This post really takes the cake.

Note: I realize this is usually where we’d have a Kitchen 101, but I’m putting together something kinda comprehensive for you and it’s taking just a bit longer than I thought. It’ll be here next Tuesday! Here’s a little hint– it’s a basic kitchen skill that will save you money on chicken.

So, every month I get the new issue of Bon Appétit and I get all excited about it. I get big plans to read it through and try out at least five recipes and maybe even make the time to cook the cover. Does that happen? Noooooooooo. Because I have class, and work, and homework, and blah blah blah and while I do generally get the whole thing read while on the train and the bus, I don’t make the time to cook from it.

This month, I decided that was going to change. Baby steps are better than no steps at all, and I was determined to make at least one recipe from the March issue in March. Within the article on how to use buttermilk in desserts, I found this little gem. That’s right, it’s a Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake. Nom nom nom.

Now, we all know I’m not much of a baker. I’m impatient. I don’t like having to follow recipes. But I already had most of the ingredients I needed, so after a quick trip to the store for coconut, I was ready to get down to business. Except, you know me, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly.

You can read the full, original recipe by clicking the link I gave you up yonder. I’ll give you my version, with the tweaks.

8 in x 4 in loaf pan
2 mixing bowls (One for dry ingredients, one for the wet. If they aren’t the same size, the wet ingredient bowl should be the bigger one.)
electric mixer
measuring spoons and cups

1/4 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a combination of 1/4 C black onyx cocoa powder and 1/4 C regular dutch process cocoa)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt (I used sea salt because that’s what I keep around)
1/2 C virgin coconut oil, room temperature
1 1/2 C sugar (I used 1 C white sugar and 1/2 C brown sugar)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 C buttermilk
1/4 C unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat your oven to 325°.

Spray your loaf pan generously with cooking spray. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

In the 2nd (largest) bowl, beat the butter, coconut oil, and sugars together until pale and fluffy.

Now you’re going to alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Add about a third of the dry mixture and mix on low to incorporate. Then 1/3 C of the buttermilk, then another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the buttermilk, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

If you’ve ever made a quick bread batter (like pumpkin or banana bread), your batter will be just a tiny bit thicker than that.

Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan. Make a little channel down the middle and sprinkle about a tablespoon more of white sugar into it. Then top the whole she-bang with the coconut flakes.

I wish I had a good picture of this for you, but I got shmutz on the camera phone lens (one day, I’ll be a grown up with a real camera) and I didn’t realize it until after. All the pictures are hazy, as though I dreamed that step, and dream sequences in the middle of recipes are just so hokey, right?

Hopefully you’ll get the idea from this picture of the final product:

Kinda pretty, no?

One word of caution. The BA recipe says this thing should bake for 70-80 minutes. I baked mine for 70, and I thought it came out just a little drier than I would have preferred. I think I probably could have pulled it out right at an hour and let the carry-over cooking take care of the rest, but that’s just me. I read a couple of comments on the BA site, and both of those folks said theirs were slightly underdone at 70 minutes and sunk a bit in the middle. Maybe it’s an altitude thing? I don’t claim to be  a food scientist, so I’ll just say stick a tester in around the hour mark, and if it’s not done enough for you give it the extra 10 or 20 minutes.

I will tell you that I’m the only one who felt the way I did about the the lack of moisture. I took it to work and got some pretty rave reviews. It was gobbled up well before lunch time, so maybe it’s just a personal preference thing. Other than that, I really liked the flavor of this cake. It was rich and very chocolaty, and that coconut oil really gives it that little something extra.

Just a little friendly reminder that the “An Edible Mosaic” cookbook giveaway is still going on until Saturday. All you need to do to enter is go like the I’m Gonna Cook That! Facebook page, OR follow me on Twitter, then come back over here and leave a comment on this post to let me know. Piece of cake, yeah?

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