Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Carla's Cake Tutorial

One very important member of my internship family is Carla G., a very sunny Peruvian child clinician at LHI.  Even though we have only worked together for 6 months, Carla has been incredibly influential upon my professional and personal development.  She is not only one of the sweetest and friendliest people I have ever met, but she is also one of the most impecable dressers.  She has shared with me several recipes from Peru, as well as fashion advice.  She gives me insight on difficult cases, and very appreciated tips on self-care.

When Carla G. asked me to teach her to bake a cake that I had brought in for a staff meeting, I was so excited.  This was my chance to give something back to the woman that has inspired me so much this spring.  I went over to her house last week and she shared her beautiful home with me (she decorates her home just as well as she does her outfits).  We ate fruit, gossiped about work and life and kitchen appliances, and began the cake tutorial.  While the cake was in the oven, she taught me how to make an incredible breaded tilapia with rice.  There is nothing I love more than a great recipe swap!

The cake turned out great, even better than the first time I made it!  Carla's fish was delicious, our gossiping was fun, and it was just a lovely ladies' afternoon.  This is what we made together:

Mounds Cake
Recipe adapted from here
Yield: 1 double-layer 8" cake
Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup strong brewed coffee
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Cake Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 350*F.
2.       Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
3.       In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, coffee, vegetable oil, and eggs.
4.       Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring continuously until smooth.
5.       Grease two 8” round cake pans and dust the edges with cocoa powder.  Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
6.       Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans and bake at 350*F for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7.       Cool in pans on wire racks for 10-15 minutes, then invert the cakes out of the pans to finish cooling completely on the racks.
Coconut Filling Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk  
Coconut Filling Directions:
1.       Stir all ingredients together.
2.       Cook for about 10 minutes over medium low heat until some of the milk evaporates.  Remove from heat and cool completely.

Chocolate Coconut Ganache Ingredients:
10 oz chocolate (chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate)
½ can coconut milk (about 6-7oz)

Chocolate Coconut Ganache Directions:
1.       Melt chocolate in a double boiler until smooth.  Stir in coconut milk.
2.       Whip ganache on high for 5-10 minutes until fluffy.  Let sit for 2 minutes, then pour over top of cake.

Top filled and frosted cake with shredded unsweetened coconut.

Thank you Carla, from the bottom of my heart, for accepting me into your beautiful home and family.  Here's to many more recipe exchanges and cooking adventures in the future!

Love and cookies,

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