Coconut Cake

Difficulty : Medium

Deliciousness : 4 out 5 slices

This cake’s plain name doesn’t do it justice. I would like to rename is “Dreamy coconut-custard angel food cake”. The cake is light and spongy like angel food cake. The custard that goes between layers is amazing and so sweet. The whipped topping is fluffy and cool,perfectly balancing the rich custard. It’s the perfect cake for a hot summer day, pair it with pina colada and it’s insta-vacation.

This was my first time working with real vanilla, long brown beans that are damp and slightly sticky. Sold in tiny glass jars in the spice aisle, I felt like I was purchasing  ingredients for some magical potion. I thought, “What’s next, mandrake root?” as I dropped them in the shopping cart. Despite my hesitation and urge to cheat and use extract, slicing and removing the tiny vanilla seeds on the inside was easy and smelled amazing. You can substitute extract, but if you do you need about 1/2 Tbs.

I made the custard first, since it needs to cool before it can act as the cake’s filling. Since I’ve never made a custard before and it was challenging. My first issue, the flour did not suspend in the milk and as a result, the heated mixture didn’t really thicken. How “thick” exactly are we talking anyways? Paste or cement? After 10 minutes, and no thicker than a weak paper mache paste, I added more flour and wham!-it got much thicker. Delicious smelling and looking, like cookies ‘n cream ice cream.

While my custard was cooling I set to work making the cake. This turned out to be a bad idea because the cake is supposed to set overnight with the rum mixture soaking into it. Ugh oh! I missed that detail because the recipe isn’t clearly written, see my revised recipe so this won’t happen t you. Making the batter was fun, instead of sifting the dry ingredients together, I used a handy trick of whisking them. It works well and is a life saver if, like me, you can never find your sifter. My biggest issue technical issue with this cake when it came time to separate the eggs. I just can’t seem to do this and had to start over…twice. I’m going to have to find a better way to do this.

Egg apocalypse! I struggled a lot with separating eggs whites and yolks. I got yolks in my whites and shell in my yolks. It was hard but I plan to improve my egg separating technique before next time. My most hilarious issue while making this cake was that each time I increased the speed on the electric mixer, zap! I caused an electrical short that my friend had to reset repeatedly. I had  a blast making this cake and if I had known to give the run syrup more time to soak into the cake it would have been even better!

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