Tag Archives: Better Homes & Gardens

Curse you, Better Homes & Gardens

7 Jul

This weekend, in a domestic frenzy, I somehow decided to make a coconut cake completely from scratch.  Including cracking and shredding the coconut.  I think I blacked out and was temporarily possessed by the spirit of Martha Stewart.  (Why can’t she possess me to organize my kitchen cabinets or clean out the upstairs closet?  Or better yet, transform my bedroom into an oasis of calm.)   Actually, I think I was more of my inner-competitor.  See, lately Hubby has been making these awesome chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  (This is quite an achievement coming from the man who once boiled elbow macaroni for, like, an hour.)    I saw this yummy looking coconut cake on the cover of an old Better Homes & Gardens magazine a friend gave me.   I love coconut cake, and so as not to be outdone by Hubby’s sudden interest in baking, I decided to give the recipe a whirl.  At first, I wasn’t going to go to the trouble of doing the coconut  myself, but then Hubby said, “Yeah, but it would be so much fresher”.  Game on.

 Let me tell you, cracking into a coconut and getting the good stuff out is no small feat.  Hubby said we are screwed if we’re ever stranded on an island because it is hell to get the white, fleshy coconut meat out.  After finally prying all of the meat out & cleaning it, I optimistically mixed my little heart away on the cake and then the frosting from scratch.  Of course, it couldn’t be an ordinary frosting.  Noooo, this recipe called for whipping egg whites just so, and also boiling a water/sugar syrup, and using a candy thermometer to get it to a certain temperature.  I’m pretty sure I could be qualified as a chemist after all this nonsense.  I obediently mixed the eggs and syrup mixture together as the recipe described, and waited for the obligatory “stiff peaks” to form.  I painstakingly frosted all 3 layers of the cake, including using wax paper strips along the outside of the cake so I could remove it and have a “pristine” cake plate when I was done.  

When it was finished, it was beautiful!  Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.  I snapped a few pictures on my cell phone (to be posted once I figure out how) and went about my business of cleaning up the kitchen and attended to some laundry while Hubby took an evening shower.  When he was done, I was so happy to reveal all my hard work and dig into the yummy cake.  Except something went wrong.  I returned to my cake to find that the frosting had not set, and was oozing slowly down the sides of the cake, much like my mascara runs when I watch Steel Magnolias.  Friggin’ great.  I smoothed the frosting back up the sides of the cake and we decided it would be much better off in the refrigerator to set.  No problem. 

Except that stupid damn frosting never set.  By the next evening, the frosting had slid down and created a puddle around the bottom of the cake.  Thankfully, it wasn’t all completely gone, and still had enough substance and “goo” left to it to not melt completely away.   And it DID taste awesome.  However, instead of putting a little notch on my domestic goddess belt, I was sorely disappointed and, quite frankly, annoyed to have put that much trouble into something to not turn out right.  *sigh* I guess that’s just the way it goes in “Domesticville” when you decide to visit it only once every 6 months. 

Then last night Hubby decides to fix some grouper, which is a rare find in these parts.  He did his usual web recipe surfing and was very eager to try out his new recipe.  Except he overcooked it.  Ha!  I felt kind of bad for him, because I obviously know how it feels and he was very disappointed.  But my inner-competitor was just a tad bit gleeful.  I better go find another new recipe before he does.