Welcome to my site!

Welcome to my site!
I'm Cindy, and I love to cook! And, I love to eat... hence the size of my rear end! I come from a long line of cooks. My great great Grandmother was a cook in the original Harvey Houses. My grandmother Julia was an awesome cook, and my mom was incredible. I owe my skills to these great women. Especially my Mom who said this to me about making gravy... "Cindy Lynn, wallpaper paste is wallpaper paste & gravy is gravy. Never the two shall meet!" Shall we say my first experience at making gravy left a little bit to be desired! Thank the high heavens my cooking skills have improved since then! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gluten Free Coconut Cake

One of my good friends is gluten intolerant.  It was her birthday last week and I wanted to be sure she could celebrate with a cake that she could enjoy – and you know – wouldn’t make her sick!  She requested a Coconut Cake.  So, to Pinterest I turned!  I found numerous recipes for GF Coconut Cake.  This one sounded the best to me – so off to market I went.  With the amount of butter, cream cheese and coconut in this cake and frosting – how could it NOT be delicious?  I was pleasantly surprised and everyone loved the cake!  I want to be sure to “give credit where credit is due”.  Here is the location of the recipe I used:  http://www.gfreefoodie.com/recipes/detail/644/
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter or butter flavored substitute, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
3 cups Gluten Free flour blend, plus more for dusting the pans
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk or non-dairy milk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
For the Cream Cheese frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon Gluten Free vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure coconut extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and coconut extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don't be concerned.

In a separate bowl, sift together the Gluten Free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.  (Note:  I tasted it at this point and was concerned because I’ve never used a gluten free flour mixture before.  The one I used contained bean flours – so the taste of the batter was a bit alarming.  BUT, it was really yummy once it was baked.)

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 to 65 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and coconut extract on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip!).

To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

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