Something about frigid temps makes me crave sweets. So when I was thinking about tonight’s recipes, that is what I was drawn to and lemon themed recipes rose to the top. I suppose because it brings with it a reminder of warmer climates. Which is where I am headed later in the month. Beach weather. I’ll be the pale, wind swept one by the eucalyptus tree.
One of my favorite tangy, sweet desserts is Sour Cream Lemon Poppyseeed Cake, yum, recipe here.
Since next week bring with it the ultimate date night, I thought it would be a good idea to include some special sweets: Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, recipe here and Valentine’s Chocolates, recipes here.
Which is a good time to let you know there will be no recipe exchange next Friday. Do you have Valentine’s plans? Do you go out or stay home and cook? Or do you ignore it all together? (You should probably make sure your romantic partner is on board with that, if that’s your plan. Right?) And during these cold, cold days, what do you like to cook?
And finally, tonight’s featured recipe (pictured at top):
Lemon Coconut Layer Cake
I have a friend who loves coconut cream pie. I’m not a big fan, so I’ve never made one. But when I saw a photo of a coconut-lemon cake, I thought she might like it, so I gave it a whirl. The original cake was 6-layers, I just couldn’t fathom that, so I reduced it to a 4-layer cake. Layering is easier to do if you use pie pans instead of cake pans. This eliminates the need to cut each cake in half to achieve thin, even layers. This cake works best if made the night before. Refrigerate so the lemon filling stays firm. And shredded coconut covers any number of baking sins.
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 13 oz coconut milk
- 3 eggs, separated
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9-inch pie pans
Cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until very light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, blending well.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the coconut milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and beat to thoroughly combine.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, and then gently fold into the cake batter. Divide evenly and pour into the pans, spreading to the edges. Bake until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Loosen and invert onto racks to cool completely.
Lemon cream filling:
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon butter
Combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, boiling water. Cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 or 6 minutes. Cool thoroughly before spreading on the cake layers.
Okay, so all the recipes for lemon filling wanted a double-boiler. I started with one, but after 5 minutes of stirring and not thickening, I changed over to a saucepan and whisked it for 5 minutes while it boiled and thickened and had no issues with it burning or sticking. High altitude may have been the reason for my original troubles. Water boils at a lower temperature here, so the double boiler may not have offered enough heat to thicken the sauce.
Butter Cream Frosting:
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 2 cups shredded coconut
With a mixer, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
To assemble: Place first layer on cake plate, bottom side up, spread with a third of the lemon filling, sprinkle with coconut, place next layer, bottom side up, repeat and again with the third layer. Place fourth layer, top side up. Frost and garnish with more shredded coconut.
That’s it for this week. On Monday the full dinner menu and shopping list will post and it will be a Valentine’s dinner if you need ideas. Happy Valentine’s Day! – TaMara
I’ve had this for a little while now and have made three or four batches with it. It’s a well regarded Presto Belgian waffle maker. I don’t have them perfected yet but I have been turning out some very tasty waffles nonetheless.
You heat it up, the light goes out when it’s ready, and pour in the batter. Close the lid and rotate the thing to its other side to help settle the batter. There is a timer, three minutes has been just about right but it doesn’t hurt to open it to check. We had some older batter mix we used at first but found the stuff we ordered with the machine to be much better.The hardest part is getting the mix just right, not too thick or too thin. That’s the part I’m still working on. If you over fill the platter it will run out the side, underfills mean that the waffle will not be perfectly formed. It’ll still be mighty tasty.I made these today with batter a tad thick, they are not quite filled to the edge.These were an earlier batch. The one on top was from the bowl scrapings and is way short of being filled out.
I have a pot of this simmering on the stove as I write this. I wanted to make it a second time to see if I could make the recipe a bit simpler. Really couldn’t, so I wrote it as I went, to make sure I didn’t miss a step. I really like this soup, it has a very rich flavor, like chicken and biscuits. Mmmm….
Because I have a vita-mix, most of the soups I make start with a thick vegetable broth. It gives a great depth of flavor. It’s chocked full of nutrients and anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t eat enough vegetables, so I do what I can to up my daily veggies. But you may not want to go to that trouble, so you can substitute 4 cups of chicken broth for the vegetable broth in the recipe below.
Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 2 stalks celery (with leaves), rough chopped
- 2 medium carrots, rough chopped
- 1 cup cut green beans (I use frozen)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless, doesn’t matter it will be shredded)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
saucepan, dutch oven or large saucepan, blender
In the blender, add rough chopped carrots, celery and green beans, spices, 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Add to dutch oven along with chicken breasts and 2 additional cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Add diced carrots, celery, salt and pepper to the liquid and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender crisp.
While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in the saucepan, add onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent. Whisk in flour and cook about 2 minutes or more. Turn the heat up to medium-high, slowly stir in milk and bring to a low boil, whisking until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
While the vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken. The easiest way to do this is to use two forks and pull across the grain of the meat in different directions. You can then use your fingers to break apart any large pieces.
Once the vegetables are tender crisp, whisk in the white sauce and then stir in the chicken. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve with parsley garnish.
Makes about 6 cups.