Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ina, You Let Me Down

Saturday night was movie night and, as always, we were standing around ogling the massive amounts of food we seemed to have for a few people. My friend Karen mentioned that she had made Ina Garten's Coconut Cake that day for her mother's birthday.

It planted a seed, mainly because I had purchased way too much coconut for a cookie recipe, so I pulled out my copy of Barefoot Contessa At Home and read through the recipe. I had everything I needed...5 sticks of butter and 1 lb of cream cheese. Oh, Ina, you are my hero.

I mixed up the batter and placed my two 9" pans in the oven at 350 as per the recipe. The recipe said to bake for 45 to 50 minutes, so I set the timer for 45 minutes. About 23 minutes into the baking, I began to smell the cake. And while it smelled wonderful, I've always followed the rule of thumb that if you smell it, it's done. I did not trust my instincts, however, and let it continue to bake.

I finally gave up and checked at the 30 minute mark and sure enough, the cake was no longer that lovely golden brown one likes to see on a cake, it was brown. The color of a vanilla wafer. I let it cool and iced it and took it to work yesterday. It was eaten but the small sample I tasted was very dry. Delicious, but dry.

Research of other coconut cake recipes show a baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Oops! I suppose everyone is entitled to a mistake, but Ina, your pedestal is beginning to look a little shaky.

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