Saturday, September 20, 2008

Coconut Cake - Two Ways

After you watch Ina Garten make her coconut cake on the food network about five times, you finally decide its time to print out that recipe. But, you’ve also just discovered the show Everyday Baking and they’ve made a tasty looking coconut cake too. What to do? Try them both!

Ina’s cake came out moist and dense with a very slight coconut flavor if any at all. It was still tasty, but was more like vanilla cake. The coconut flavor only comes through the garnish on top. Next time I'll follow the reviewer's suggestions and replace the milk for coconut milk. The frosting is a cream cheese buttercream which is to die for. 

Everyday baking’s coconut cake is a vanilla cake as well (no coconut in the batter at all) and comes out less rich than Ina’s but a little sweeter and definitely lighter. It was more crumbly (airy), but I’d still call it a dense cake. This recipe uses a lemon curd filling which I absolutely love. Both frostings were delicious, so it really just depends on your mood. Seven-minute frosting doesn’t have ANY  flavor (try adding vanilla extract) but a wonderful, smooth texture. It’s much lighter and less sweeter than Ina’s cream cheese buttercream. 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Layered Cheesecake

You’ll first make this recipe in middle school when your brother needs to bring in a homemade dessert to class, so of course he’ll ask you to bake it. You will receive many compliments and some will swear you did not bake that- it had to come from a gourmet bakery. Make things much easier on yourself- use three separate glass measuring cups. Otherwise, you will never want to see melted chocolate again... at least for a while. It’ll be stuck to everything in your kitchen but it will be well worth it. Please use dark chocolate chips- not semi sweet and definitely not milk chocolate. If you’re a dark chocolate lover- you will make this a lot. It is not sickeningly sweet, despite all that chocolate. The bottom layer is intense and fudgy with the top layers being rich and creamy. Your friends will affirm it tastes like something from starbucks- but better.

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