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In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

This updated coconut cake with whipped cream frosting and coconut custard is even better than a childhood memory, which is no small thing

Kim Ode



JewishWorldReview.com | With spring in the air, coconut cake seemed like the perfect recipe to offer readers. But which cake?

There's no generic formula. Oh my, no. Cakes can be white or yellow, filled with custard or lemon curd or frosting, be coconutty through and through, or simply sport a drift of flakes.

A recipe that's often referred to as the "ultimate," from the Peninsula Grill in Charleston, S.C., includes 2 pounds of butter, 6 cups of heavy cream, 11 cups of coconut and 7 cups of sugar. This 12-pounder sells for $100, which also is about what shipping costs will run you. No doubt it's marvelous.

Other recipes looked promising and, when auditioned, got their share of compliments. Still, one cake could have been more tender. A lemon filling was refreshing, but did it complement or undercut the coconut? An Italian buttercream frosting is to die for, but in an era of serviceable stuff in cans, how many bakers would take on boiling sugar and water to the soft-ball stage?

During a recent visit to my folks in South Dakota, I'd baked another version that was perfectly good, yet still not what I was seeking. Then my sister mentioned a scrumptious cake that we'd loved as kids, a feather-light sponge cake layered with custard that our Aunt Faye made from a recipe she'd gotten from her sister-in-law, Helen. (In a small town, it's good form to track a dish's provenance.)

We'd all once had the recipe, and all had mislaid it. So when my sister said that she'd found it, the rejoicing commenced.

Yet as with most nostalgia, the recipe didn't match the memory - nor the times. It called for gelatin, no longer a kitchen staple.

The custard filling was vanilla, with coconut only folded in. We could do better, and still honor its roots.

For starters, we boosted the batter's flavor with coconut extract. Today's bakers also have more access to coconut milk, so that was an easy swap for the custard's plain milk and also made it unnecessary to fold in coconut flakes, which improved the texture. Scalding milk no longer is necessary for health concerns, and cornstarch provided the body that gelatin once did.

Instead of folding the custard into whipped cream, we used the custard as filling and the whipped cream as frosting for a more attractive cake.

Finally, we shifted from that church basement standard, the 9- by 13-inch pan. Turns out the batter makes two lovely 8- or 9-inch rounds, which result in a showier, multilayered cake.

A final plus: This dessert should be made the day before -- even two days! -- so it can thoroughly set and chill, making it a perfect do-ahead. Swoosh on the whipping cream anytime within 24 hours of serving and toss on a generous blanket of toasted coconut.

The result is even better than a childhood memory, which is no small thing.



COCONUT CAKE

SERVES 12 to 16 (makes two 8-inch cakes).

This recipe calls for 8 eggs, divided, with 4 yolks in the cake, and the remaining 4 in the custard (recipe follows). Coconut milk is usually found in the Asian foods aisle at the supermarket. This recipe should be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Don't want to make a layer cake? The batter could be prepared in a 9- by 13-inch pan, as well.

  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups coconut flakes or chips, sweetened or unsweetened
  • Coconut Custard (see recipe)
  • Whipped Cream Frosting (see recipe)




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Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place rack in center position. Using 2 (8- or 9-inch) round pans, cut and fit 2 rounds of parchment paper. Spray paper with cooking spray.

Separate the 8 eggs, placing all the whites in a large bowl and placing 4 yolks each in two small bowls. Set 1 bowl of yolks aside for the custard.

Add vanilla and coconut extracts to remaining bowl of yolks and whisk together. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until airy and free of lumps. (You can also use a sifter.) Set aside.

With a mixer, beat together egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy, then slowly begin adding the sugar, a spoonful at a time. Increase the speed and beat until the whites hold a soft peak when beaters are lifted. With a spatula, fold the egg yolks into the whites, then fold in the flour, scraping and lifting from the bottom of the bowl, being careful to deflate the whites as little as possible, until no streaks of dry flour remain.

Divide batter among the 2 pans. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when pressed gently in the center.

Place pans on wire rack to cool completely. The cakes will shrink a bit as they cool.

While oven still is hot, spread coconut on a rimmed pan and toast until golden, watching carefully and stirring occasionally. This will take about 5 minutes for chips, 10 to 15 minutes for flakes. Pour toasted coconut into a bowl and set aside.

To assemble the cake: Remove cooled cakes from pans and peel off parchment paper. Turn right side up and, with a long serrated knife, carefully split each cake into 2 even layers. Place 1 layer on a serving plate and cover with a third of the custard (about cup). Repeat with the remaining cake layers and custard. Spread any remaining custard over the top of the cake. Wrap the outside and top of the cake with plastic wrap, pulling it firmly against the sides, and refrigerate overnight, or for up to two days.

Up to within 24 hours of serving, whip the cream and spread over the top and sides of the cake, then cover generously with coconut. Return the cake, uncovered, to the refrigerator until serving time. Slice with a serrated knife.

Nutrition information per each of 16 servings: Calories 400; Fat 23 g; Sodium 160 mg; Carbohydrates 45 g; Saturated fat 16 g; Calcium 60 mg; Protein 6 g; Cholesterol 135 mg; Dietary fiber 1 g.

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 2 other carb, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 4 fat.


COCONUT CUSTARD

Makes about 3 cups (enough for a 4-layer cake)

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (13.5- to 14-oz.) can coconut milk (not low-fat or lite)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, or enough to equal 3 cups with the coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the cornstarch, sugar and salt. Open the can of coconut milk, taking care to open the end indicated on the can (because the solids will have settled), then pour into a 4-cup measure and whisk to recombine the liquids and solids. Add milk to equal 3 cups and whisk together.

Whisk the milk mixture into the cornstarch and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Tip about cup of the hot mixture into the yolks, whisking briskly so the eggs warm without forming lumps.

Return the saucepan to the heat and whisk in the yolk mixture, stirring at a boil for another minute. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract, then pour into a bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes, then stir. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.


WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

Makes about 5 cups (enough for 2-layer cake).

  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


Directions

Whip the cream with the powdered sugar to stiff peaks.

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