17 January 2012

all kinds of coconut cake

After my failed almond bread (which was nicely recycled as French toast sticks, but I never got the chicken sandwich I really wanted) I decided to try something fun. I'd recently seen Coconut Bars from Elana's Pantry. There's a lot of coconut here so they should have been great.

They were just okay. They were not what I expected and I'm calling them cake because they seem softer than what I think of with bars.

Almond meal, shredded coconut, coconut milk and coconut oil where no problem for me to find. The coconut flour here is not as fine as American commercial coconut flour, but a few seconds in the mixer takes care of that. (Notice all the coconut products? That's why I've renamed it "all kinds of coconut" cake.) There's no stevia here, and I don't like it much anyway, so I just omitted it.

Maybe I over mixed the batter, but it was much runnier than I expected. As it baked, huge bubbles rose. After the specified thirty minutes I took it out of the oven and popped the bubbles. The batter was under baked so I put it back in the oven. After five minutes, though, I could see that the bottom was going to burn.

The dish was supposed to cool on the counter for thirty minutes and then go into the refrigerator until "chilled." So I trusted that maybe the mushiness would disappear after chilling for a little while. Several hours later I cut a little piece. Hmmm. Coconut. But something was missing from the flavor and the consistency wasn't quite right.

I let the dish sit in the refrigerator for a couple days, mocking me and my weekend of baking failures. This morning I took it out again and offered a piece to Muffin on a whim. She's had a cold, which has made her a picky eater, and I wasn't expecting her to even try it. She loved it. I cut her a piece and it's not the end of the world that she had coconut cake for breakfast. The consistency was much better after being refrigerated for a longer amount of time.

I like the coconut flavor a lot but something is still missing from the overall taste of the cake. I have two solutions to that. I'm going to try a batch with golden syrup instead of honey. It's not in the same universe of being healthy, but it has a nice toasted marshmallow flavor that I really like in some baked goods. I'm also going to try a batch with dark chocolate chunks mixed in. I need something to complement the coconut.

One long weekend, two baking projects to take back to the drawing board. 

13 January 2012

failed almond quick bread

This afternoon I decided to turn off Pinterest and actually make something I'd pinned. I hadn't had a sandwich in several months so I chose almond quick bread. I make sweet quick breads all the time and I liked the idea of not having to turn on KitchenAid mixers or bread machines in order to get a loaf of bread that could be used for savory sandwiches.

I failed on so many levels. I couldn't find tapioca starch so I used corn starch, wondering if it would be the same thing. I don't know if that's what went wrong or if it's because I used the wrong size pan (my own fault for not paying attention) in an oven that is wildly inaccurate. Even though my pan was well-greased, the loaf stuck. It wasn't burned, just browned and dry. The loaf is too narrow to make the chicken sandwich I was hoping for (due to the wrong size pan). I snacked on some of the crusty bits I was able to free from the bottom of the pan and they were pretty tasty.

Either we'll have French toast sticks for breakfast this weekend or I have a nice new batch of breadcrumbs.

You can't win them all.



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