Coconut Raspberry Dream Cake

July 25, 2012 § 14 Comments

This woman.

This foxy lady.

Mrs. Glamour-in-the-flesh.

My mom.* (Hold the gasps)

*the woman my world revolves around, my inspiration, my best friend.

Yeah, her.

She had a birthday this weekend. Let me tell you, twenty nine* has never looked so good, madre.

*sometimes it’s ok to lie

And Mrs. Glamour?

She has a special fondness for all things coconuty and sweet. And raspberry. And chocolate.

Bless her.

So to celebrate this jewel, I created this gem.


Happy birthday, Mom.

I love you longest, deepest, and widest.


Coconut Raspberry Dream Cake with White Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

This cake.

She is everything cake should be.

Light, fluffy, and moist, moist, moist.

The most heartbreaking, delicate crumb that will ever pass your lips.

I dare you not to go back for seconds.

The Cake:

  • 5 Large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite raspberry jam/preserves
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 inch round baking pans.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs whites, add 1/2 c. coconut milk and the extracts; mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low to break up any lumps.

Add butter and coconut milk and mix on low until combined. Increase mixing speed to medium and beat until fluffy and light.(about 2 minutes)

Add egg white mixture in 2 additions; mixing until just combined.

Divide batter evenly between the three pans and bake 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cakes to sit for 10 minutes in the pans.

Remove cakes from baking pans and allow to cool completely before assembling and frosting.

The Frosting:

  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3-3/12 cups powdered sugar

Melt chocolate and cream over simmering water; allow to cool completely.

Cream butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar on high until light and fluffy; add chocolate mixture. Continue to add additional powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until the desired consistency is achieved.

*Will make more than enough to frost this 3 layer cake. Store any extra in the fridge.

To Assemble:

Once your cakes have completely cooled, place your first layer on a flat, parchment covered surface (I recommend a cake stand or foil-covered cardboard) and spread with 1/2 of your raspberry preserves. Top with second cake layer, and spread with remaining preserves. Place remaining layer on top and frost entire cake with the butter cream frosting. Try to frost as evenly as possible.

Lightly press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake, or just sprinkle on top (whichever you prefer).

Chill cake in the fridge for about 2 hours so that layers and butter cream sets. Take the cake out about 30 minutes prior to serving.




Freshly Pressed Euphoria & Espresso Crunch Biscotti

July 22, 2012 § 34 Comments

Let me just start with this:




Seriously though.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all for your incredible kindness, your warm welcomes into this exciting new world* of blogging, and of your words of encouragement and advise. I treasure every comment, every like, every reblog, and every single solitary view.

*cue Aladdin theme song

I truly and honestly feel as though I could end my blogging career right here, and be completely satisfied.

You see, I read them all. Sat myself down last night with a vat of the black, black, blackest coffee and soaked all of it in.

Four hundred comments. Eleven thousand views. Three hundred followers.

Every word.

Of every sentence.

Of every comment.

And somewhere, between the welcomes and well wishes, the growing number of reads and likes, this blissful, euphoria has come, cozied-up next to me, and has yet to leave my presence. That was you, my beloved readers. You gave that to me.

So now I can sit here, all warm and fuzzy inside, and honestly say that even if I never have another post freshly pressed, even if in three years I never have as many views or comments or likes as I have gotten in the last three days, I will press on because of memory of this experience. The knowledge that people from every corner of the world and I have been connected, even if only for a moment. Because of the overwhelming feeling of confidence and support that I have found in this place, I will keep going.

Now that I have properly and lengthily gushed over you all, let’s get down to the good stuff. Dessert. Because for me, there is no better way for me to reveal the depth of my love and affection for someone, than to feed them. And I love you all a whole heck of a lot.

Espresso Crunch Biscotti

Dark chocolate, nuttylicious goodness, wrapped up in a crunchy espresso cookie. Created to be dunked, splashed and soaked in your favorite mug of joe. Or eaten straight off the pan. I’m having one* in true celebratory form right now.

*and by one I mean two**

**and by two I mean “who’s counting?”


Espresso Crunch Biscotti

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. 

In a small bowl whisk together the espresso (coffee), milk, egg and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until combined. Gradually add the espresso mixture and beat until a dough forms, adding the chopped nuts and chocolate chips about halfway through. With floured hands divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll each half of dough into a log about 10 inches long and 2 inches wide. Transfer the logs to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 35 minutes or until firm to the touch (logs will spread during baking). Remove from oven and to cool for about 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. On a cutting board, using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise at an angle into 3/4 inch slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes (or until golden) on each side. Remove from oven, cool and store in an air tight container.

Why Blogging Scares Me

July 18, 2012 § 657 Comments

That’s right. I said it.

Blogging scares me.

This blog, this place that was created to be a bright and shiny window to my deepest, innermost thoughts, was born almost a month ago. And I have yet to make and publish* one single post.

*publish being the key word. I’ve written thousands in my head.**

**only slightly exaggerated.

It’s not that I haven’t been laughing. Or loving. And Lord knows I’ve been eating. Life has still been happening here. And it has been (mostly) wonderful.I am 100% sure that this severe-lack-of-posting funk has nothing whatsoever to do with me having nothing to say, but rather everything to do with the irrational, unexplainable, cold sweat/makes-me-want-to-puke/sudden-loss-of-brain-funtion inducing fear that I am met with each and every time I put my fingers to the keys.

After spending a few weeks believing that I was clinically insane and needed to be medicated (heavily), I finally realized that I am terrified of you. Yes, you, dearest potential reader(s). Not in a “people scare me” kind of way, but more so of the idea that you will come, you will read, you will see the truest form of me, you will leave,

Yup. That’s it.

The “not caring” is what has me stuck like a stick in mud. I can barely stand the thought that nobody is going to care about anything that means everything to me. The questions that have been rolling around in my mind and driving me mad is, Why should you care? What about the ramblings of a senior citizen teenager with the soul of an eighty-seven year old woman would ever posses you to keep reading for a single moment longer? Much less return for seconds and thirds?*

*fourths and fifths seemed gluttonous

In the end, it was agonizing. Let me repeat a-g-o-n-i-z-i-n-g. Warring internally with myself, trying to figure out how in the world I was going to present myself as this humorous, glamorous, and any other fantastical words that ended in -ous, human being. The answer I came up with, today as it happens, is simple.

I’m not. I won’t. I can’t.

My life is not a pre-written, pre-arranged script that can be drafted and edited and formatted to “fit” a certain genre or reach a particular group of people. Do I want to reach people? Yes. Do I want people to find a small corner of happiness when they visit this blog? Absolutely. Am I willing to lie, to puff myself or my life up to make those things happen? No, absolutely. I have promised never to feed you crap food, I will never feed you crap about who I really am, and what my life is really like. No, It is not always beautiful and chocolate covered, but, my hope is that it is that rawness, that feeling of being able to relate, that brings you back for one more bite.

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