Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TWD: Coconut Lime Tea Cake


I thought of myself as a coconut hater for so long that it is hard for me to remember that I'm now a (sometimes) coconut liker. My mind immediately defaults to its standard coconut setting (aversion, disinterest, lack of enthusiasm, Coppertone) when I see a coconut recipe, and this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Coconut Tea Cake, was no exception. It wasn't until the neurotransmitters carried the "Coconut Butter Thins!" message to the "baking motivation" section of my brain that I was able to rally enough to make this cake.

And (how predictable is this?) I'm so glad I did! I decided to make the coconut lime version of the cake, since I've enjoyed that combo before. The cake came together easily. I did make one mistake though - I was supposed to beat together the eggs and the sugar until "pale, thick and almost doubled in volume." Instead, I just beat the eggs until pale, thick and almost doubled in volume, and then had to go back and add the sugar (and lime zest) later and beat for another few minutes. Those poor eggs. Believe it or not, I actually have to read things carefully for a living. Apparently when I'm not on the clock I prefer to read every third word.

The dry ingredients, coconut (I toasted mine), vanilla and dark rum get added to the eggs eggs and sugar, along with a melted butter/coconut milk mixture. I don't think I've ever used regular, full-fat coconut milk before. I've used light coconut milk in various Thai recipes. Dorie warns that you need to stir the coconut milk first, and it states clearly on the can that coconut milk naturally hardens and separates, but even so, I wasn't ready for this:

Mmmmmmm, can't wait for that coconut tea cake!


I poured the batter into my kugelhopf pan, and an hour later, D and I were eating and reviewing the cake:

D: It's really really good. It's kind of dry, but not in a bad way.
C: Exactly! That's just how Dorie's friend who grew up eating Austrian desserts likes it.
D: Um, yeah. I mean it's really good. It's not what I'd call a decadent cake.
C: Okay good, I nailed it then. I'd be worried if you thought this was decadent. Dorie specifically says that it is more of a well-mannered cake.
C: Good with coffee or tea.
C: Refined.
C: Perfect for cutting slice after slice every time you walk by it.
D: OH COME ON, that was a WALK!!!

(My taster got distracted by the end of the Tennessee/Michigan State game.)



One thing we both agreed on: the coconut flavor was VERY mild. If you are coconut-ambivalent, this is the perfect coconut cake for you. Honestly, if it weren't for the occasional coconut flake (more of a texture issue there), I'm not sure I would even identify this as a coconut cake. David said that he wouldn't go quite THAT far, but he agreed that the coconut was subtle. Either way, we loved the flavor and thoroughly enjoyed the cake.

Carmen of Carmen Cooks chose this week's recipes. Fabulous pick, Carmen!

31 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

Mmm...I am a coconut lover especially with lime so this looks wonderful. It's a beautiful cake.

Pamela said...

I am definitely going to give lime a shot the next time I bake this cake. I really enjoyed it and agree that the coconut was very subtle. I like your pic of the coconut milk and your comment, too!

myfamousrecipe said...

That photo of the coconut milk is hilarious. As is the conversation with your husband that ends with calling a foul during the basketball game. I liked this cake, too!

Karen said...

Glad that you made this when your "oh yeah, I do kinda like coconut" sensor went off. :)

Maria said...

The cake looks lovely. We love coconut at our house!

Kim said...

Lovely cake. I think I'm going to have to try the lime version. The lemon was good too.

The Blonde Duck said...

Your cake is so pretty!

Katrina said...

Love your writing, always puts a smile on my face. I made little mini bundt cakes with lemon, thought it was really good and the coconut came through well.
Definitely too easy to keep eating!

Leslie said...

I am SO glad you brought up the coconut butter thins...I LOVED those things! I only wish I'd read your post before I went grocery shopping. Your cake looks lovely but I can't focus now that you reminded me of the CBTs. Sorry, gotta go back to the store for limes.

Audrey said...

May I just say, before I say how gorgeous your cake looks, in the hope that you will feel in good company, that I read things for a living that were written by people who read things for a living, and I'm 100% (1000%) (10,000%) convinced that all the careful attention gets channeled into work product, leaving nothing left over for any other task of daily living. If I had a nickel for every typo I fix before their client alerts go out, I could...hmmm, quit my day job and bake coconut cakes for a living. I can only hope they'll be as refined, well-mannered and elegant as yours is. :)

bakingwiththeboys said...

You know...I think you're right. I tasted the batter and it was pretty good. If not for those hairy bits of coconut floating through the cake, I probably would have eaten it. Oh well...more cake is not something i desperately need...that would be alcohol. This selling house thing with kids is killing me.

mike said...

Isn't unmixed coconut milk just beautiful? Glad you remembered coconut "thins" - jolted my memory as I need to make those again! The batter was fantastic, kind of strange how sometimes that doesn't translate over. Just add more rum. :) Looks beautiful!

Kathleen said...

I love coconut! Great sounding recipe.

jillbert said...

After seeing your photo, I'm glad I used light coconut milk! I was thinking along the same lines as you and I made the lime version too. I tossed some coconut on top and that helped with the coconut flavor.

Di said...

Sorry, still a coconut loather here, no matter how much you try to convince me that it's not that bad. Your cake is very pretty, though; that does make me wish I liked coconut even a little bit. =P

dharmagirl said...

my lite coconut milk was a little chunky, but nothing like yours...

i'm guessing that your taster/husband was rooting for tennessee?!? i was thrilled that michigan state won:) in football, though, i always pull for the SEC teams. well, except for alabama. :)

Nickki said...

My coconut milk was also lumpy, despite giving the can a good shake before opening :-)

Your cake looks lovely! A keeper of a recipe :-)

Melissa said...

I was the same way - wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the coconut in it. But mine was very mild too and very yummy!

lasinthekitchen said...

Oh, I LOVE your kugelhopf pan - your cake looks just stunning! Now I want a kugelhopf pan. I think I could have written the same post because I feel the same way about coconut as you (especially the Coppertone reference) and the Beau and I had the same reaction to the cake as you and D! I wish we had saved more for us at home! =)

spike. said...

coconut milk is totally scary when you open it up! Luckily, this cake is anything but scary.

Susan said...

Fabulous looking cake! I am going to try and make this one today, maybe do a double post next week. Hard to fit all this baking in around two jobs! :)

Flourchild said...

I agree with you it wasn't much in the coconut flavor department. I liked it but it was not a fav. Your slice of cake looks like mine!

carmencooks said...

I've never had coconut milk separate quite like that on me before! Thanks for baking with me this week. :)

Jess said...

That kugelhopf pan makes gorgeous cakes! Nice job. I haven't made mine yet, and I'm also a little put off by the leftover coconut milk thawing in my fridge right now. But I loooove coconut, so I've got to try this one.

Marthe said...

Oh my gosh, I think I would have thrown that coconut milk out!! Hahaha

I liked this a lot!

Lynnylu said...

What a beautiful cake-such a lovely light brown crust. I love your pan, too. Thanks for commenting on my blog, Cafe Lynnylu.

Becky said...

totally with you on the coconut butter thins...gosh those were good!

I am making mine today and will make sure to stir my coconut milk. That is nuts! :)

your cakes looks yummy!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I agree with your/D's/Dorie's assessment of this cake, but now I'm in the mood for a truly decadent coconut cake, now that I'm no longer a coconut hater either! Love the way your cake looks. Is that your kugelhopf pan?

Liz said...

Yes, my pet...come on over to the dark side...you will be one of us coconut-lovers soon!

Also glad that the kugelhopf pan got more love!

Bridgett said...

Coconut is definitely a favorite mine, minus the coppertone...yikes! Your cake looks beautiful. Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

Kayte said...

I finally figured out how to make a list and put it in the google reader thing...after three years of not...but I can't figure out how to comment on some of the blogs from there, so I read all the entries I missed over here and now I am back on your blog to comment on them all. Maybe not a bad way to do it actually. This cake looks really really good. I made minis as guys are not big on cakes around here for some reason and I really don't be needing to have a coconut cake sitting around, unfrosted or not. Love your photo of it all, just looks so classic.

 
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