Roman and his roommate Christina treated a couple of friends to dinner last night. It was delicious. Roman made mac and cheese in a crock pot using sharp white cheddar, brie, gruyere and smoked gouda. Christina made a herb crusted pork roast, blanched green beans with pumpkin seeds and spinach salad with bosc pears and roasted hazelnuts (yes, the salad I’ve been making, and blogging about a lot lately). I’m so glad Christina found that recipe on Epicurious as well - everyone should know about it.
For dessert I wanted to bring something special since I was treated to such a nice dinner. I decided to make my grandmother’s coconut cake. On visits to Florida, other than seeing my grandmother and making trips back and forth between the ocean and the beach, her coconut cake was one of the things I looked forward to most. Now that I’ve made this cake twice, I’ve decided that it does taste best one or two days after making it. The flavor of the coconut has a chance to develop and the cake gets more moist. Nonetheless, my homemade coconut and pineapple ice cream made it work.
This recipe is not quick and easy, so make it only if you have a lot of time on your hands. And whatever you do, do not use pre-cut sweetened coconut. You gotta use the real deal for this cake. Try to find a scored coconut at the grocery so you don’t have to be so violent with the hammer.
Cream butter until soft, add sugar until well mixed. Sift flour, add baking powder. Add flour to butter & sugar mixture alternate with milk and vanilla. Beat egg whites until they are lightly peaked. Fold egg whites into flour mixture and grease and flour 2 eight inch cake pan. Divide batter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Frosting: 1 1/2 cup sugar, 5 tbsp water, 2 eggs whites, 1 tsp white corn syrup, 1 tsp vanilla
Cook all ingredients (except vanilla) in top of double boiler, beating with electric beater until stiff speaks form. Add vanilla, continue beating until stiff. Frost bottom layer, add around fresh coconut. Top cake with second layer, frost and cover sides and tops with remaining shredded coconut.