Coconut Cream Cake

Once upon a time, when I still lived at home, we used to go for Sunday drives or, when we went on holidays, we drove. I don’t remember what the occasion was, but we were probably up at some horribly early time of day, because my dad would get so excited to go he couldn’t sleep, therefore, no one could sleep. 🙂 My dad is not a big man, but he works exceptionally hard – he’s that boss that asks nothing of his guys that he doesn’t do himself – and he is an eating machine to counteract all the work he does! His internal clock is better than any Swiss timepiece (he’s Swiss, so you know it’s exceptional) and he has never, ever missed a hunger pang. All this to say, when it is time to eat, dad’s finding a place to eat.

On this particular day, we answered the call of dad’s stomach and pulled into a roadside diner type place. I got a pop and a piece of coconut cream pie. I had never before, and have never since, had a coconut cream pie that was that good or that tall. It was a skyscraper of a pie and I can still remember my eyes just goggling.

I don’t pretend to say that I’ve recreated that pie or that flavour, just that coconut cream pie is the bomb diggity and every time I have some, I am reminded of that day. That pie is the pie that all other pies in my life are judged by. I wish I knew where we had it and I hope we complimented whomever made it.

Now, I can make an adequate pie crust, only because of my food processor, but I didn’t feel the urge to make such the other day, but coconut cream something seemed extremely necessary. I nearly went with just coconut cream pudding but was genuinely afraid that if I made it, I would eat it all by myself, so I scouted and found a few recipes where folks had put the pie filling onto/into a cake and felt that would keep me from inhaling the filling on its own.

Cake ingredients:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream the sugar & butter together. Add the eggs, one at a time, thoroughly mixing after each one. Add the vanilla.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and add in.

Add in the milk. Mix thoroughly.

Grease & flour a 9×13 pan (I just sprayed with non stick spray). Pour in the batter and bake at 350F for 35 – 40 minutes. Until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Take out of the oven and let the cake cool right off.

Once cooled, take the stick end of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over that cake. Right down to the pan.

Make the filling sometime during the cake cool down.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1-1/4 cups of milk
  • 1 can coconut milk, including the solids
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 TB cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Separate the eggs, making sure that the yolks go into a container large enough to add some more liquid to as they need to be tempered.

Put the milk, coconut milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and cornstarch into a saucepan. Mix until the cornstarch is blended in. Turn on the heat to medium and let it start to show bubbles around the edges. Not a full boil, but well on its way.

Take off the heat to temper the egg yolks. Get your whisk ready in the yolks and pour a steady stream of the milk mixture, whisking quickly. Once you’ve poured in about a cup and mixed will, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and put the whole works back on the stove. Stir and heat until the mixture starts to bubble and gets thick.

Take off the heat and let cool. Every once in a while, come back & give it a stir, to keep a skin from forming.

Once it’s cool (and the cake is, also) pour over the cake, into all those wooden spoon holes and put into the fridge.

My toasted coconut – because I was fancy

When ready to serve, either cut & serve as it is or make some whipped cream and serve with a dollop of that and a little bit of shredded coconut, as is or toasted.

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