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      Recipes — citrus

      Coconut lemon Cake

      Coconut lemon Cake

      Coconut and lemon?  You got me!

      A while back I read a cute novel called, " The Coincidence of the Coconut Cake".  You know, the kind of book your girl friends refer for a nice relaxing day at the beach. Nothing serious, heavy, or deep, just a fun light read. It’s a cross between You’ve Got Mail meets How to Eat a Cupcake. It focuses on a talented chef named Lou and the critical food critic Al who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

       But what I remember most about this book besides the deliciously described coconut cake, was the character Lu (the chef) always dabbed a little vanilla behind her ears at the start of every day. As much as I love vanilla, why hadn’t I thought of this?!  Don’t think I didn’t try it!  A little bit of wonderfulness following you around all day? Yes, please!:).

       Also, since this book’s main setting settles in a small French cafe, the descriptions will leave you hungry and searching for really good food and perfectly sweet confections!

       Speaking of confections… If you love lemon and coconut, and I do… You gotta try this cake!

      Just think... 3 layers of coconut cake from scratch, sweetened coconut flakes, coconut milk, cake flour for an unbelievably soft crumb, eggs for richness, and a ton of butter. The flavors and textures are the perfect companions. I love how detailed this recipe is. You just can’t go wrong!

       

       Ingredients

      • 3 cups sifted cake flour (300g) spooned and leveled
      • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup (120ml) coconut milk, at room temperature*
      • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
      • 1 and 1/2 cups (345g; 3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
      • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
      • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
      • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
      • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) VanillaPura Madagasgar  extract
      • optional:1 teaspoon coconut extract (I prefer the cake without it, but it’s still tasty!)
      • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (about 2 loosely packed cups)
      • 1 and 1.5 cups homemade lemon curd

       

      Cream Cheese Frosting

      • 8 ounces (225g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
      • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened
      • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
      • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) coconut milk or heavy cream
      • 1 teaspoon VanillaPura Madagascar vanilla extract
      • pinch salt
      • Topping:toasted (or not!) sweetened shredded coconut and lemon slices for garnish

       

       

      Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray or lightly butter three 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.
      2. Make the cake: Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine the coconut milk and buttermilk together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
      3. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract and the coconut extract (if using). Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
      4. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not over-mix. Use a whisk to rid any large lumps, if needed. The batter will be slightly thick. Finally, fold in the coconut. The batter will be lumpy. See photo above for a visual.
      5. Spoon/pour batter evenly into each cake pan. Bake for around 22-25 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. Remember to rotate the pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
      6. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon coconut milk/cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of milk/cream to thin out, if desired.
      7. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with a thin layer of frosting, then half of the lemon curd. Top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with a thin layer of frosting, then the remaining lemon curd. Finish with the third cake layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Garnish the top with coconut and/or lemon slices. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
      8. Slice, serve, enjoy!

      Notes

      1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Assemble and frost the cake the next day when you are ready to serve. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months if you have room in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Honestly, it tastes much better fresh.
      2. Flour: Do NOT use all-purpose flour in this coconut cake. Your cake will be too-dense, solid, and heavy. Make sure you are sifting the cake flour before measuring to aerate it and rid lumps. I strongly encourage you to just buy cake flour, but as an alternative you can make a DIY cake flour. For every 1 cup of flour in this recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of it and add 2 Tablespoons cornstarch in its place. Sift at least 3-4 times, then use in the recipe.
      3. Milk: This recipe has been tested with equal parts coconut milk and buttermilk. If you can’t get ahold of coconut milk, you can use 1 cup of buttermilk instead. For a DIY version of buttermilk, add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a large liquid measuring cup. Then add enough regular room temperature milk (whole, skim, 1%, 2%) to make 1/2 cup total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. This soured milk can be used in the recipe.
      4. More Lemon Flavor: To increase the lemon flavor, feel free to add the zest of 1 lemon to the coconut cake batter. Keep in mind that this will take away from the cake’s coconut flavor. Also optional for more lemon flavor: beat zest from 1 lemon into the cream cheese frosting.
      5. More Coconut Flavor: To increase the coconut flavor, feel free to use the optional coconut extract listed. And/or you can add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract to the frosting.
      6. Sheet Cake: The batter makes a perfect sheet cake! Simply spread into a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. It also fits nicely into a 9×13 inch cake pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through.

       

      A big thank you to Sally’s baking addiction for sharing this recipe!

      Honey Vanilla Fruit Salad

      Honey Vanilla Fruit Salad

      Valentine’s Day is over and I’m feeling overloaded with all those chocolatey sweet sugary confections. I’m ready for some fresh light and of course, a little sweet, alternatives:). 

      It’s always around mid to late February when my spring fever kicks in and I start craving fresh fruit and sunshine! Here in Northern Utah,we are still digging ourselves out of several feet of snow. No more gray cloudy skies! Bring on those beautiful Utah blue skies! I’m dreaming of a yummy fresh fruit salad, while sitting outside soaking up some sunshine vitamin D! Who’s with me? For all you spring dreamers, here’s a recipe to fill your fresh fruit cravings. I’ll just have to wait a little longer for those easy going Sunday back porch mornings. Here’s to hoping for spring!

       Really, just use your favorite fresh fruits. It can change throughout the year, depending on what fresh fruits are readily available.  This recipe is just a starting point. Be creative and change it up!

      Ingredients:

      -1 peeled cored and chopped pineapple

      -16 oz of strawberries stemmed and quartered 

      -12 oz blueberries 

      - 4 kiwis peeled and sliced

      - 2 oranges (save juices about 3 Tbsp)

      -1/4 cup honey

      - 2 tsp VanillaPura Mexican rum vanilla extract

       

      Directions:

      1. Combine the cut fruit into a large bowl.

      2. When segmenting the oranges, hold over a medium bowl to catch any juice. When all the segments are removed, squeeze what is left of the orange over the bowl. 

      3. Whisk in the honey, vanilla, with the orange juice. Pour over and mix through the cut fruit.

      Easy Peasy!

       Recipe provided by the Wholesome Dish.

       

      Lemon Raspberry Trifle

      Lemon Raspberry Trifle

       

      My lemon tree produced eleven lemons this year! Last year only two. Although, it was enough to make homemade lemon curd to top some flakey pastries. But 11! I know, to some of you out there 11 doesn’t sound like much. But here in Utah, in the dead of winter, with a foot of new snow outside, it’s a gift!  Just in time for my Mom’s birthday!  She loves this Raspberry trifle recipe I found a few years ago.

      But this time, I’m making it with homemade ladyfingers. Adding Madagascar Vanillapura extract and some lemon zest to make them a little brighter with a hint of buttery sweetness.  You do know, that when you make a trifle, its not JUST about how it tastes. Right?  It also has to LOOK delicious! These ladyfingers will be soaked in lemon juice and sugar.  I always add a little more of the lemon juice and sugar than the recipe calls for.  My mom likes it TART and sweet.

      Growing up in Southern California we had limitless amounts of lemons from the most beautiful lemon tree in my grandmother’s back yard.  She knew how to make so many perfectly tart lemon desserts.  I guess this is probably why I’ll go for lemon over chocolate desserts hands down. But, they gotta be tart! And this trifle is the perfect combination of a sweet, tart, and rich delight!

       

       

       Ingredients foe the trifle:

      • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
      • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
      • 12 oz-Mascarpone cream cheese, softened
      • One 8-ounce jar prepared lemon curd (I prefer homemade)
      • 2 cups heavy cream
      • 22 hard ladyfinger cookies 
      • 3 cups mixed raspberries 
      • Powdered sugar, for garnish
      • Whipped cream for serving

       

      Directions

      1. In a small measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
      2. Place the mascarpone cheese, lemon curd and heavy cream in a food processor and process until smooth and a bit fluffy.
      3. To assemble the tiramisu, place half the ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, breaking a few to fit, and drizzle with half of the lemon syrup. Top with half the lemon cream and 1 cup mixed berries. Repeat the layers, using the remaining ladyfingers, syrup and lemon cream.
      4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours or overnight. Before serving, top with the remaining 2 cups of berries and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream on the side.

       

      Homemade Lady fingers

      Ingredients

      • 2 tablespoons butter
      • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
      • 4 egg yolks
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 4 egg whites, beaten until stiff
      • Pinch of salt
      • 1 teaspoon Madagascar Vanillapura extract
      • 1 tsp of lemon zest

       

      Directions

      1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 baking sheets with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. Mark parallel lines in the flour across the width of the tray about 4 inches apart. Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and with an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and has tripled in volume, about 8 minutes, using the mixer. Add the egg whites, remaining 3/4 cup flour, salt and Madagascar Vanillapura, lemon zest, fold to mix thoroughly so the mixture is smooth. Fill a large pastry bag with a 3/4-inch plain tube with the mixture. Pipe fingers about 4 1/2-inches in length on to the baking sheet, using the lines as a guide. Dust the ladyfingers with powdered sugar. Bake until for 15 to 18 minutes, or until just firm on the outside and soft in the center.

       

      Bothe recipes were originally found from the Food Network. I love them both! I just made a few alterations here and there.