Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ben's Belated Birthday Cake

To celebrate our last semester at Wes, the new year, and the birthdays of two of our friends from VWM, I decided to throw a little get-together to start things off on the right foot.  I made a cheesecake for Tess, and a cake for Ben.


Ben is probably the nicest, most genuine guy you will ever meet in your life.  You can't spend a minute with Ben and not smile.  So, to celebrate the sunshiney feeling you get from spending time with a wonderful human being, I decided to go a little tropical/springy with Ben's cake. 

Coconut Cake with Coconut Rum Syrup, Cream Cheese Frosting, and Strawberries
Recipe adapted from Culinary Cory



Cake Ingredients
4 egg whites (I only had medium eggs, so I used 5)
1 tsp coconut extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Ingredients
I like to use a 4-bowl system for separating multiple eggs.  One to separate over, one for the good whites, one for the yolks, and one for the shells
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Cream together butter, sugar, and coconut extract
Add egg whites in 4 parts, beating well after each addition

Stir in milk until smooth, but do not overbeat.  Fold in coconut.
Disperse batter evenly into 2 well-greased and floured 9" cake pans
Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes
Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes, then remove from pans. 
 Cream Cheese Frosting 
Ingredients
1 8oz package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
4 cups confectioners' sugar
Ingredients
Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy
Slowly add confectioners' sugar on high speed until smooth and fluffy
 Cake Assembly
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 2 parts coconut rum and 1 part sugar.  Cook until sugar dissolves and liquid starts to brown.  Brush liberally onto what will be the middle of both layers of cake.  Let sit 2 minutes.
Add a thin layer of cream cheese frosting and top with sliced fresh strawberries, or other fruit of your choice
Carefully place second layer on top of the first and press down lightly
Fill in the gaps around the sides, then pile a giant glob of frosting on the center of the cake, and work the frosting out toward the edges, then push down over sides
The frosting doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, because you're just going to throw more coconut all over it.  Then decorate with more strawberry slices just before serving.




¡Feliz cumple, Ben!  Thank you for sharing your smile with us every day.

Love and cookies,

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