Wednesday, May 21, 2008

a white cake that ran away to the florida keys

I lied. I'm not quite done with law school for the year. I'm still working on the writing competition, which is used to determine membership for all those law journals I'm not entirely convinced I want to be involved in.

Which is why I have another legal-themed recipe to present: Whiteacre Cake with (Fee Simple) Key Lime Syrup Subject to Condition Subsequent.

I'm not very good at classic desserts. Chocolate chip cookies bore me. Yellow cake (with or without chocolate frosting) makes me yawn. And white cake... white cake gets on my nerves. It's like a perfectly pressed, starched, itchy dress shirt, or an immaculate sundress that you can't sit down in for fear that it'll get dirty smudges.* White cake, in all its pristine purity, just begs to be mussed up.

Which is why I took a classic white cake, added toasted coconut and coconut milk, and drenched it in tart, buttery key lime syrup. You can think of it as white cake that did something not entirely legal, ran away to the Florida Keys with the proceeds, and is now spending its days drinking and lounging on the beach.

In fact, I'm thinking of abandoning this writing competition business and running away to the Florida Keys myself. Anyone know of a source for cheap plane tickets?

Whiteacre Cake with (Fee Simple) Key Lime Syrup Subject to Condition Subsequent

If it happens that any of the parties present are not of legal drinking age, this dessert will contain no alcohol.

(Serves ten to twelve exasperated law students.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.

Place a heavy pan over low heat and dump in one cup of shredded coconut. Toast, stirring occasionally, until the coconut is pale brown and fragrant. Remove from heat.

Transfer the coconut to a big mixing bowl. Add one and a half cups flour, half a cup of sugar, two teaspoons baking powder, and half a teaspoon salt. Stir in a teaspoon of vanilla and a fourteen-ounce can of coconut milk.

Beat four egg whites in mixer on medium speed until very stiff. They are very stiff when you can turn the bowl upside down, and they won't move. If they start sliding, beat them for longer.

Fold half the egg white mixture into the batter to lighten it. Fold in the other half.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for forty-five to fifty minutes, or until a knife stuck into the cake comes out clean. Turn the cake out and allow to cool.

To make the syrup, heat half a cup of sugar with a quarter cup of water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and bubbles start to form and break very rapidly in the mixture. Remove from heat and dissolve half a stick of butter in the syrup. Stir in one cup of key lime juice. Allow to cool.

To serve, cut the cake into wedges. Pour on a tablecloth-endangering amount of syrup. Grab a fork and tuck in.

Note: For alcoholic syrup, use half a cup of key lime juice and half a cup of dark rum.

*White cake is also dangerously close to angel food cake, which, I'm convinced, is not so much a dessert as it is an elaborate culinary joke. Karyn of hotpotato said it best: "Rip out some unloved teddy bear’s stuffing. Plate it with strawberries. Call it angel food cake. And excuse me while I eat something edible (rocks, laundry detergent) instead."


Foodichka said...

Aww, I love angel food cake! It's the cotton candy of baked goods. Not much to it, but the texture makes it a fun diversion.

adele said...

*shudder* That texture... that texture...

Kim said...

Well- I am a white cake kinda gal I must confess. Add coconut frosting and you have named my favorite of all time, to think you were so close. I also like white starched shirts which proves your point. Therefore.....
A. You would make a great lawyer.
B. You are too funny to be a lawyer.
C. If I had the money I would buy you a ticket to go to the Keys in a heartbeat.
D. Because- you could be a funny chef or a funny foodie instead of a being a lawyer. You also look like your cook really well too...

adele said...

Kim - Thank you. It means a lot to me to hear that. :)

Cakelaw said...

This looks delish - just don't tell ayone te legal name or they'll head for the hills before they try it!