Monday, December 12, 2011

Cocount Sheet Cake

I've had this song on my blackberry all year

I impulse purchase coconuts all the time. I like shaking them in the grocery store and making everyone jealous that I know what a good coconut sounds like (a squeaky baby) and they don't. One time a woman at Byerly's asked me advice on different foods to feed her picky kids because she saw me shakin' the coconuts like a boss (For the record, I said starfruit, avocado, and seedless purple grapes). Some day this on par produce analysis of mine will land me a husband... or a TV show. 

The best coconut is heavy for it's size and has a lot of liquid in it when you shake it. 

I wanted to show my little sister how to master the coconut, but we are never around at the same time, and my coconuts were about to go bad. The squeaky baby was beginning to turn into a pubescent teen so I decided to make some sort of cake that was friendly to all of the coconut haterzzz in the world. I have a family of 19 relatives on one side and only two of them actually like coconut. "This will be a cake to please," I thought to myself as I flipped to "Cakes, Tortes, & Cupcakes" in my copy of Joy. 

I decided to get the maximum use out of my coconuts I would drain the water inside of fruit and incorporate it somehow into my cake. There was a disclaimer wrapped around my coconuts saying to throw out the brown liquid inside of the coconut. DON'T THROW IT OUT. It is very versatile. You can use it in an adult alcoholic beverage, you can make it into coconut milk, or you can use it for coconut butter. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the liquid can be reduced to a pure coconut essence, but that is for another day. If your liquid tastes sour instead of sweet, it means your coconut has advanced into old age and is useless. Throw it out. 

In order to get to that little mine of liquid, you have to take a clean screw driver and pound it into two of the three eyes on the face of the fruit with a hammer. Remove the screw driver and strain out the juice into a liquid measuring cup with some sort of contraption like the following photo. Or just cheesecloth would work sufficiently. 

One healthy squeaky baby coconut will yield about a cup of liquid. If you have more than necessary for your recipe, freeze the excess in ice cube trays and drop it in your nighttime pina colada.

To get to the meat of the coconut, crack the shell with your hammer and peel back. Please do not take it out back and smash it on the concrete. Not sanitary! Slice off any excess brown covering, like so:

Coconut Chocolate Sheet Cake (taken from Joy but adapted to my liking)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking dish.

Stir together into a large bowl:

2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose-flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine in a medium saucepan and bring to boil:

1 cup coconut water taken from a fresh coconut
1/2 cup vegetable oil (EVOO)
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup baking cocoa

Pour hot over dry and mix until just incorporated

Whisk together, then stir into batter:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut

Pour your batter into a pan and spread evenly. Grate more coconut over the top. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserts and comes out clean. Remember, you can always add time, but you can never take time away! Let cool completely. 

To frost I combined store bought cream cheese frosting with the baking cocoa and more grated coconut. Don't frost before it is cool. Go shower, rinse the egg out of your hair, and come back. Patience! 

 Voila! Coconut Chocolate Sheet Cake that pleases everyone. Your family will hardly know that the coconut is there until after they've gobbled down three pieces. 

Have a good week everyone. Go see New Years Eve in theaters if you get a chance. It is truly heart warming. In the mean time, how do you feel about coconut? In food? In skin care products? Let me know!

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