Monday, January 23, 2006

A Really Easy & Good Cake

So last night I went to my weekly L Word extravaganza, and I was assigned to bring dessert. Now, I may be a good cook, but a baker I am not. However, I have been itching to use my new Kitchen Aid Mixer!!!! So I came up with this easy-but-looks-really-hard-and-tastes-really-good cake recipe:

Coconut Pecan Cream Cake

1 White Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
3 Egg Whites
2 Tbs Oil (I used Canola)
1 Cup Half'n'Half (yes, this is the "cream" part)
1/3 Cup Water
1 1/3 Cup Pecan Halves (Raw)
1 1/4 Cup Angel Flake Coconut (you know, the sweetened kind--I never said this was a healthy recipe)
1 Container Coconut-Pecan Frosting (I used Betty Crocker)
1 Container Cream Cheese Frosting (I used Duncan Hines)

1. Prepare two, non-stick 8 inch square or round cake pans (I think square looks fancier for some reason) with shortening and flour (this means rub shortening around on all the inside surfaces of the pan and then toss a little flour in and shake it around and turn the pan sideways until all the surfaces are coated with the flour--you can use oil for this, but shortening works the best for making sure your cake soesn't stick). Preheat the oven to 325.

2. In a heavy skillet over MEDIUM heat, toast the pecans by stirring them around over the heat. You will know they are done when they a)smell great and b)start turning a darker brown. Empty the skillet onto a cutting board and chop up all but 1/3 cup of the nuts.

3. In your mixer, mix up the cake mix, egg whites, oil, cream, and water. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes and then add the chopped pecans and 1 cup of coconut and mix them in.

4. Pour half the batter into one pan and the other half in the other so that you will have two cakes the same size. Then put them in the oven for 40 minutes.

5. When cakes are cooked, let them cool on a rack, bottom side down for 30 minutes.

6. When cakes are fully cooled, use a long bread knife or long, thin boning knife to cut each cake in half horizontally (so you will have four layers).

7. Put the top side of most irregular cake down on your cake plate, cut side down. Frost just the top of the cake with 1/3 of the cocnut pecan frosting (you can even leave about 1/4 inch around the edge unfrosted.

8. Now place the bottom layer of that cake on top of the first layer (cut side down) and frost it with the second third of the cocnut pecan frosting. Place the bottom side of the second cake on top of the frosted cake, cut side down, and frost with the last of the cocnut pecan frosting.

9. Place the top layer of the second cake on top of the frosted layers, cut side down. Frost the top and sides of the entire cake with the cream cheese frosting.

10. On top of the cake, outline a four inch square with a little wal of coconut. In the middle place the whole toasted pecans.

You're Done! It sounds like a lot of instructions, but really, once you have made this or even just read the whole thing, you will see that the actual time spent in the kitchen is minimal. I watched the last quarter of the AFC championship game while I made it. It's a good watching TV and cooking at the same time cake :-)


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