A few weeks ago was Bobby Flay’s week. Mr. Flay is known for his BBQ but I was on a baking high (sounds drug related, it’s not) at the time and wanted to do something of his. Bobby’s BBQ recipes certainly didn’t seem beginner so I figured his desserts wouldn’t be either.
And they aren’t.
I picked Bobby’s, hold on, I have to open another window and copy / paste the name cuz it’s ridiculously long.
I picked Bobby’s Toasted Coconut Cake with Coconut Filling and Coconut Butter-cream. Not sure if you clicked over to the recipe but if you did you’ll notice a funny little thing.
Total Cooking Time: 6 hrs 35mins.
IT’S NOT JOKING!
Problem is when I cook I tend to take all that time plus an additional 50%. That’s what has been holding me back. Finding a solid 8 hr block to cook isn’t exactly an easy feat. Hell, that’s a work day!
I finally got some time today but got side tracked and didn’t start cooking until about 8pm. That’s when I realized I was missing a few of the 45 ingredients. It doesn’t help that there’s no shopping list to go with it so you have to write everything down. Combine all the numerous items together (like the sugar that’s listed a few times and the eggs, you only need 6 by the by). This is the most expensive cake I’ve ever made. That’s after cutting some corners.
Vanilla beans are ‘SPENSIVE! I opted for just using vanilla extract in place of them. The only other change I made to the recipe was an extra third of a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the butter-cream. I’m not a big fan of super sweet stuff but there is definitely a lack of sugar in the frosting and 3 sticks of butter just seems, well, let’s just say you are allowed one slice of cake and the rest has to be shared amongst friends.
Anyway, I get to makin’ this cake at 8pm. I get my simple sugar syrup started. I put my coconut into the oven to toast.
Mmmm…. toasted coconut is a delicacy.
I get started on my custard. My milk said it went bad on the 23rd (today is the 27th). It hasn’t been opened yet though because I drink soy or almond milk (lactose intolerance for the lose). I open it and it smells and tastes fine’ish. I call Betsy though since she’s the resident chef and all. While I’m on the phone with her I figure it’s time to check on my coconut toasting.
Mmmm…. charred coconut, NOT a delicacy.
“Wanna go to Wal-mart with me Betsy and maybe come help me make a cake?”
“SURE!” she screams as I hear her knocking kids over in the background in a mad dash for the door.
Elapse 30 minutes (10 for Wal-mart and 20 because it’s how long Sonic took to get my drink).
This recipe really is a two person job. One of the comments on the recipe was to split it into 3 days. Custard and syrup day 1, cake and toasting day 2, and making frosting and doing frosting day 3.
We setup more coconut toasting and get started on the custard. I’m stirring the stuff on the stove while Betsy gets started on the stuff that has to be mixed into it.
“Where’s your 1/3rd cup measuring cup?” B asks.
“Right there.” I point next to the sink where my HAND WASHED dishes are. That’s right, I’m not 100% lazy and yes, I do own a dishwasher.
“That’s a 2/3rds cup.” She says with a look of duh on her face.
“Yea,” I say, “just fill it halfway. That’s what I do.”
Betsy looks at me like maybe I’m not playing with a full deck of cards. That’s okay though. I go back to eating my elmer’s glue and stirring the vanilla milk milk.
Everything goes pretty gold past this point. Cakes are in the oven, getting ready to be done and it’s time to stick a toothpick in to see if they are ready. I don’t have those though so I suggest a straw.
She laughs in my face.
We resort to using match sticks (the non fiery end).
Cakes are done. Pull ’em out and I want to flip them immediately. That way they will cool flat. I run Betsy home and finish up the ingredients waiting the allotted 2 hours for my stupid fucking custard to set up.
Once that’s done I make the butter-cream frosting which just takes like sweet butter to me but whatever. The cakes have to be flipped back over and I stumble, figuratively that is. I put the cakes face down on my cutting board (my wooden one) so the tops of the cakes stuck to ’em. Oops! Oh well, that’s what frosting is for right?
Have you ever tried to cut cakes in half? Not across the top where it’s easy ya dolt. In half like, into two big round pieces. It’s very difficult. Luckily you have icing and filling so people won’t really be able to see your layers that may or may not be anywhere near the same thickness. Kind of like the difference between the thickness of a penny and the thickness of a roll of pennies.
The filling went on easy and then I iced the cake. Butter-cream that is almost exclusively butter goes on really well. It’s more the consistency of icing that comes from a can. I spent a lot of time making sure the icing went on even and pretty. Then when I was done I got pissed since I realized I was just going to cover it up with toasted coconut.
Which by the way, is some form of medieval torture. I think Marie Antoinette started it. Patting toasted coconut onto the side of a cake and then kind of not really brushing off excess so that you have enough to keep going around the outside is just silly. Then you have to pat it on the top and how do you brush off extra from there? It’s not like you can turn the cake sideways. It starts to slide off the plate (not that I know… someone told me that… /whistle).
Anyway, I just got done with it and wanted to share this wonderful experience with you. If Betsy hadn’t been there then there’s no way I would have gotten it done before 4am (and multiple super market trips).
I haven’t had a chance to try it but I can’t wait. She sure turned out pretty though.
Special note… it’s 3am as of this writing. I’m going to bed now. I’m not going to stay up and fix all the lil’ grammar errors and the weird sentences that don’t make any sense.