Wow – guest blogger Christine (also appearing here) stepped up to the coconut cake challenge. She not only baked a beautiful cake, but she proved herself to be a model citizen by sharing it with the fire rescue squad. Way to go, Christine, and thank you!
The Contessa’s Coconut Cake
I have been putting this recipe off after telling Carrie I would give it a try. This Coconut Cake comes from the 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home. I love to bake and bake from scratch often but I need to be in the mood. It was listed as an intermediate level on the on-line copy of the recipe I printed. If you read the directions ahead of time I would rate it fairly easy. Aside from the daunting use of unsalted butter (5 sticks) there was nothing standing in my way. I do admit I read a few other coconut cake recipes to see how they compare. They all said one could replace the milk with coconut milk, so I did
The batter was beautiful and delicious. The recipe states the mixture might look curdled and it did. I daresay I had a lot of extra batter but I have 8 inch pie pans, not the recommended 9 inch variety so I poured the remaining batter into an 9 x 9 pan and made a 2nd single layer cake. I also cooked it for less time in our convection oven. The icing is a traditional cream cheese variety and cleaning the excesses off the beater was a joy. The hardest part of the recipe was trying to apply the shredded coconut to the sides of the cake.
It looks delicious! But how does it taste?
In comparing this variation of Coconut Cake to others I have eaten, it does not rank as one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong the cake tastes great! But it would be even better if made with regular milk and one left the coconut out of the batter and used a lovely chocolate icing. I prefer a lighter, airier cake. This was a yellow cake and the vanilla and almond extract overwhelmed the coconut flavor. When I think of coconut cake I think of a giant puff of cotton. Again, the cream cheese icing was delicious on its own but the flavor overwhelms the cake, even with the coconut applied. I would make the icing again for a carrot cake but not a coconut cake. It seems to me that the coconut is just an added texture in this cake and not intended to provide flavor.
The end product which I will take over to our fire rescue squad looks great as it now chills in the fridge. How easy is that!