Coconut Cake, Act One

Sometimes you need a stress reliever from your stress reliever…

I had that moment tonight.

I was plugging along on my coconut cake and then I wasn’t.

I killed my KitchenAid. It is done. Kaput.

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I had to move on to the hand held guy in order to finish my cake.

My method of relieving my stress was actually causing more stress.

What are you supposed to do now?

I took a deep breath and called whined to my boyfriend to come fix it.

He looked and said it was something about my motor. I still don’t know, but luckily it is still under warranty and I will call tomorrow to get it fixed.

Because I NEED it. Baking season is on its way/already here. I can’t manage without it right now.

But enough of that.

What can you do when your stress reliever is causing you more stress?

Scream? Cry? Punch a pillow? Use a hand held mixer and get an arm workout?

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Maybe.

Or maybe you can learn some grounding techniques. Or even go to this site for some guided relaxation and choose one that works best for you.

It is always a good idea to have some back up plans for you to relax.

Because unfortunately things happen that mess with your tried and true relaxation techniques.

I like deep breathing for this situation. Breathing in for 3 seconds, breathing out for 3 seconds. Continuing that until I get a handle on the extreme stress.

Yes, it has moved to extreme at this point.

In the past this situation would most likely have brought on a panic attack. Things have gotten out of my control and quickly. That would have sent me over the edge.

I want to speak on this because it is Mental Health Awareness Week. We are in the midst of it right now.

There are lots of issues that I could be addressing but I feel that it is most important to talk about stress.

Not everyone has depression or bipolar or ADHD. But everyone has stress.

I want to bring awareness to your mental health. Are you aware of your level of mental health?

Could you be doing some things differently so that you have a healthier level of mental health?

Probably. I know I could.

So think on that. Reflect on what you could be doing differently.

I will do the same and get back with you tomorrow with my assessment of my mental health and the frosting of this delicious coconut cake.

But for now reflect and bake this cake. Hopefully your mixer won’t break down on you in the first few steps.

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Don’t stress I will show you the finished product tomorrow/later today.

Coconut Cake

Recipe by Alton Brown (my favorite food person ever!)

Vegetable oil, for cake pan

14 1/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pans, approximately 3 cups

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut cream

8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

16 ounces sugar, approximately 2 1/4 cups

1 teaspoon coconut extract

4 egg whites

1/3 cup coconut water

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Oil the parchment paper and then flour the pan. Set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Combine the coconut milk and coconut cream in small bowl and set aside.

Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, cream on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and gradually add the sugar slowly over 1 to 2 minutes. Once all of the sugar has been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer back on to medium speed and continue creaming until the mixture noticeably lightens in texture and increases slightly in volume, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. (And about right in the middle of this step watch your mixer have a fit and break down) Stir in the coconut extract.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture to the butter and sugar in 3 batches, ending with the milk mixture. Do not over mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter, just until combined. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bang the pans on the counter top several times to remove any air and to distribute the batter evenly in the pan. Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is light golden in color and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.

Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes then remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Once the cakes have cooled completely cut across the equator of each to form 4 layers. Place the 1/3 cup coconut water into a small spritz bottle and spray evenly onto the cut side of the 4 layers. If you do not have a spritz bottle you may brush the coconut water on with a silicone pastry brush. Allow to sit while preparing the frosting.

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