Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! I am 33. Oh goody. One of my coworkers pointed out that if I were a hobbit, this would be my 'coming of age'. Surprisingly, my nerdy, LOTR obsessed husband did not remember that. Hm. Clearly he is off his game.

About a month or so ago, Brian and I were watching 'Good Eats' (in HD!) and Alton Brown was making a coconut cake. I love coconut cake. My friend Patrick (from Pinkerton) went through an obsessive baking period, and he made a great coconut cake and brought it my lab for us to eat. Yum. Brian, if you remember, never even really cooked before I got pregnant. Okay, he says that he cooked but that he COULDN'T COOK VEGETARIAN STUFF. Whatev. Anyhow, he handles most of the cooking now because he gets home from work first. He really has never baked anything, but something about watching this episode of 'Good Eats' piqued his interest, and he asked me if I would like him to bake me a coconut cake for my birthday. Of course I would. I intended to journal the whole process, for you at home to enjoy.

Last week Brian came home with three coconuts. I should have taken pictures of these, but I forgot, and they were gone before I got around to it. On Friday Brian came home early from work and harvested the coconuts. He drilled holes in two of the eyes, poured the water out (into 50ml Falcon tubes) and baked them in the oven until the shell cracked. Then he cracked them open, peeled them and shredded the coconut meat in the food processor.

I am so sorry I missed this.

By the time I got home, we had:
1 bowl of shredded coconut
several 50ml Falcons of Coconut water (labeled helpfully, "C. Water")
Two cups with shredded coconut and milk in them, to make a) coconut milk and b) coconut cream

Although AB also advocates making your own coconut extract, Brian didn't get to this in time (the coconut extract had to sit for like, a week). I found out that my friend Patrick had made the same recipe and HAD made the coconut extract. I tried to get Brian to get in touch with him because I thought he might have extra (he did. Four bottles extra!), but he ended up going with McCormick imitation coconut extract instead.

On Saturday, the cake got made.

Getting ready:

Lining pans with parchment:

Mixing the dry ingredients:

Brian kept referring back to the episode of 'Good Eats' which we had saved in the DVR:

Once the cakes were baked, they had to be evened off and cut in half. Brian rigged this contraption up to do that evenly (a la AB):

Brushing the cakes with C. Water:

Making the '7 minute frosting':

Frosting and coconuting the first layer:

Final layer of frosting:

Completed product!

Cutting the cake:

More than half eaten:


Anonymous said...

brian, i am VERY impressed with your baking skills! i have been baking for a long time and i am sure that all the steps involved in this one would keep me from EVER making it. good for you! my, that was a very pretty cake server in the one picture. happy bithday, honey! we love you. hugs mom

Karl Broman said...

Happy birthday! Great pictures, but it's too bad we missed seeing the initial coconut part.

Sean said...

Holy yum, that looks good! Send me a piece in the mail.

Happy birthday!

Special K said...

OMG!! I suck! Happy (late) Birthday and welcome to 33! Brian sitting in front of the T.V. might just be the funniest thing I will see today! Precious!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you! And thanks for posting the play by play. I felt weird watching Brian watch TV. Kind of like a Penny Arcade episode....

Heidi Ellis said...

Happy belated birthday! I'm sorry for posting this late.

That's a crazy lot of work for one cake, but it looks fantastic! I think I might have to encourage Matt to do this since he's a big AB fan as well.