Friday, February 20, 2009

Celebrating My Blogiversary with The Cake Slice

Exactly 1 year ago, I started this little food blog. I wanted to share my love for baking, cooking, and good food. When I look back on the first posts, it is a little embarassing! I have learned a little about my camera and food photo shoots. Although I am by no means a pro, I feel like I am able to express myself and the food I create through my photos in a more appealing manner now.
Joining the blogging world has been an adventure. I am involved in so many fun baking and cooking groups and have met (not in person) lots of great friends and foodies.
Today's cake comes from one of those groups- The Cake Slice. Make sure you go to the blogroll and check out all the other beautiful cakes!
I was super excited when I saw this months cake- Southern Coconut Cake. My husband is from Georgia and we lived there for 7 years. Coconut Cake is something that always made its way to the table for special occasions. I have never made one before, but I was excited to give this one a try. I decided to make a Lemon Filling, because that is how I always saw this cake served.
Luckily, I had a friend who had just returned from a fun 3-month trip to Brazil and while she was there, she celebrated her birthday. She wanted me to make her a late birthday cake and this was the perfect choice. We loved it!
I actually made a cream cheese frosting instead of the cream cheese buttercream the recipe called for, because I wanted a simple frosting and I have made Italian Buttercream before and I don't love the taste.
This cake was a big hit and perfect for celebrating my blogiversary! Make sure you come back tomorrow, to take part in my first giveaway!

Southern Coconut Cake from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake

For the cake:
5 large egg whites
½ cup of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 cups of cake flour*
2 and 1/3 cup sugar
4 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter (8oz.) at warm room temperature
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 ½ cups of sweetened flaked coconut for garnishing cake

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a parchment circle and butter the circle.
Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the ½ cup of milk and the vanilla and whisk to mix thoroughly; set aside
In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, beat dry ingredients well in order to break up any lumps. Add the butter and coconut milk on low speed and beat just to combine. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.

Add the egg white mixture in 2 or 3 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Divide the batter among the pans.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake taster inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then turn the cakes out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on an 8-inch cake round. Cover this layer with 1 cup of the buttercream frosting. Spread it evenly all the way to edge of the cake. Then sprinkle ½ cup of shredded coconut on top. Add the second layer and repeat the process. Top with the final layer of cake and frost the top and sides of the cake.
Place the remaining 1 ½ cups shredded coconut on a large baking tray. Pick up the cake and hold it on the palm of one hand over the tray. Using the other hand scoop up the coconut and press it to the sides of the cake. Continue with this process until the sides of the cake are covered. Set the cake on a serving plate and sprinkle any remaining coconut on top of cake. Chill cake for at least one hour to allow frosting to firm up a bit.

Cream cheese buttercream frosting
12 ounces of cream cheese* slightly chilled
1 stick of butter plus 6 tablespoons of butter (7 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of confectioners sugar, sifted after measuring
2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
¼ cup of water
3 egg whites

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed until slightly fluffy and smooth. Add the butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Set aside at room temperature while buttercream is made.
Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue to cook without stirring until the syrup reaches the softball stage 228 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, place the egg whites in mixer bowl and have the mixer ready to go. When the syrup is ready, turn the mixer on med-low and begin mixing the egg whites. Slowly add the hot syrup to the whites taking care not to pour onto the beaters, it may splash. When all the syrup is incorporated, raise the speed on the mixer to med-high and beat the egg whites until mixture has cooled and stiff meringue forms.

With the mixer on low, begin adding the cream cheese mixture by the spoonful. When all is incorporated, raise the speed to medium and whip until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Lemon Filling From Southern Living
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

4 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

1. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan; whisk in 1 cup boiling water. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sugar and cornstarch dissolve (about 2 minutes). Gradually whisk about one-fourth of hot sugar mixture into egg yolks; add to remaining hot sugar mixture in pan, whisking constantly. Whisk in lemon rind and juice.
2. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened (about 2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Whisk in butter; let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Cream Cheese Frosting from Southern Living

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 (16-ounce) packages powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract

Come back tomorrow for a Giveway, 2 great soups and a treat!


SiHaN said...

congratulations! Your cake looks gorgeous enough for such a cause. Must have tasted even better too..

Gigi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gigi said...

Happy Blog-o-versary! Very sweet of you to make the cake for your friend! I love the lemon filling. I will have to bookmark the recipe.

Barbara Bakes said...

Congratulations! I love the combination of lemon and coconut!

Steph said...

Happy Blogiversary Mary Ann!! I love your blog and how frequently you update it with the coolest and healthiest dinner ideas. Isn't it amazing how quickly you learn how to use the camera? I never knew how important light, macro... and all that stuff was.

Your cake looks really good. All these cake slice cakes makes me really want to go and get the book. Btw.. did you get a chance to find that cupcake recipe?

Lisa said...

Nice cake. You are a baking machine. Happy one year!

Prudy said...

Happy Day! Congrats on a year of blogging. I absolutely love your blog. I read every post-even if it means I have to backtrack. I just love seeing what you are up to and I think you are brilliant!

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful and I love the sound of the lemon filling. Happy 1yr blogging too!

Gabrielle said...

Someday we need to open a shop- you do the sweets- I will do breads.

Netts Nook said...

Congrats on the year your cake looks great.

Jo said...

Congratulations on your anniversay and your cake looks lovely. I also like the cake stand that you have it displayed on.

Cathy said...

Happy Blogiversary, Mare!!! WE are lucky that you decided to set up that blog a year ago! I am consistently inspired to cook better, healthier, more beautiful food for my family because of your blog. And getting to know you through blogging has been an extra treat. You are great! And the cake looks fabulous, too

pinkstripes said...

Happy Blogoversary!!

Your cake looks delicious and the lemon filling sounds fabulous. YUM!

~~louise~~ said...

A very HAPPY blogoversary to you Maryann!

That cake of yours might just be the very best Coconut Cake I have ever feasted these eyes upon. Your friend is quite a lucky girl.

I feel quite lucky myself for being invited to share in your scrumptious posts.

May you have many many more anniversaries:)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that's so funny-- today is also my blogiversary! cheers to us! this looks delish, and i love the lemon!

Alexis said...

Looks fantastic! Coconut is one of my favorites too and the tarty-ness of the lemon is a perfect contrast to the super sweet coconut. Yum!

Risa said...

I wanted to let you know I just found your blog and I love it!

The Food Librarian said...

Happy Anniversary!!! What a wonderful cake. Mary Ann, I look forward to reading your blog and all your fun happenings!

TeaLady said...

Yay!!! One year. GReat job on your blog. Hope you stay with it another year. I enjoy visiting.

Wanted so bad to make this cake, but there have just been tooooo many sweets in the house this month. YOurs looks fantastic.

Leslie said...

Happy blogiversary! That awesome coconut cake is a great way to celebrate. I like the lemon filling, very fresh and must be a nice foil for the sweetness of the coconut.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog about 2 weeks ago and I am really rejoyingit. I love all your recipes. I would love to win your book.

Y said...

Happy Blogiversary! What a lovely cake to celebrate with.

Not Another Omnivore said...

Coconut is life's way of letting me know I'm loved.


Stephanie said...

Happy blog birthday! I hate looking at my early posts. It's like reading the diary you had in high school lol.

Snooky doodle said...

Happy bloganniversary :) this cake looks delicious! wish to try it since i go mad for coconut :) Looks so nice too.

Sara said...

Happy blogiversary! The cake looks amazing, I love coconut cake.

TeaLady said...

YAY!!! One year and still going. Isn't this fun. Sharing. Reading. Eating. Way to go.

Your cake is beautiful. Great job.

katie said...

Happy happy blogoversary! Your photos are wonderful. The coconut cake looks like the belle of the ball!

Jacque said...

Happy blogiversary!! You've really created a great blog in one short year. Congrats!

Your cake looks terrific. I think it sounds wonderful with lemon filling.

Karen said...

happy blogiversary! I think coconut cakes always look so elegant!