Coconut Cream Ombre Rosette Cake

DSC_3996File this one under Mom’s Corner! I had basically nothing to do with this one other than the fact that it was made for my sister’s and my birthday. Oh, and I’m pretty sure I stirred the coconut cream for like 10 minutes straight! Ha, I can weasel my way into any accomplishment. But really, it’s pretty amazing that my mom took the time to make this because we had just finished making 200 cupcakes for a wedding two days before. It was super fun and I’ll probably post more on it later, but also kind of tortuous because I didn’t get to try one of the coconut cream cupcakes that everyone, and especially my brother, kept raving about. I missed out on the cupcake tasting and we had no extras. I tried each components separately and knew they were delicious, but mom said that wasn’t enough (yay!). She recreated the cupcakes into this beautiful, pink, girly masterpiece. Seriously, thank goodness she did. It really lived up to the hype. Luckily, she had been wanting to attempt an ombre rosette cake for a while – I think it turned out so cute (and the cut slices look like hearts)! The recipes she uses are down below. I included her notes for high altitude bakers since it has worked so well for her! It’s her go-to, especially for cupcakes.

Thanks mom for the beautiful cake and for always giving us such special birthdays!! DSC_3991 DSC_3994DSC_3999 DSC_4002 DSC_4017

Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa sifted
1 cup hot water
1 cup buttermilk (add 1 extra tablespoon for high altitude)
2 cups sugar  (remove one tablespoon for high altitude)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (add 1 extra tablespoon for high altitude)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour (add 1 extra tablespoon for high altitude)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Add the sifted cocoa powder to a medium sized bowl and pour in the cup of hot liquid. Whisk until completely dissolved. Next add the buttermilk to cool down the mixture, then add the sugar and whisk until all is combined. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla and mix again.

In a small bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk this into the wet mixture until you no longer see any lumps. Stir in heavy cream until evenly mixed in. Divide into two cake pans and bake at 350 degrees F (375 for high altitude) for about 30 minutes or until done. Let cool and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Coconut Cream (Makes about 2 cups)

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Coconut milk
1 cup Milk
1 1/2 Tbsp of corn starch
1/2-1 cup of toasted coconut

Mix all ingredients, except toasted coconut, together and mix well.  Cook all ingredients together over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to boil and thicken. Add the toasted coconut, if using, after the pudding has cooled.

Coconut Frosting

1 cup butter, at room temperature
8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp coconut extract

Beat the butter and half the confectioners’ sugar until smooth; add half the coconut milk, then the rest, and the extract, and the rest of the confectioners’ sugar, beating until you have a spreadable frosting. Cool completely before frosting.

Assembly

Spread coconut cream on top of the bottom layer (For an extra touch, add a small layer of chocolate buttercream too). Place the second cake on top of the coconut cream. Frost entire cake with coconut frosting.

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Indoor Birthday Picnic

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July was too hot for picnics. This was heartbreaking for me because picnics are definitely on my list of top favorite activities. I apparently don’t hide this fact either – last year for my birthday Paul and my mom almost got me the exact same picnic themed gift! My mom sent me an adorable, custom picnic kit and Paul said, ‘hey! I almost ordered a nearly identical basket!’ I didn’t get the set until the day after my annual birthday picnic, but don’t worry, it still got used! So yes, this year’s annual birthday picnic was a given, but the weather was just miserable. I have not adapted well to the Boston humidity…rather than sweating through our lunch we decided to try an indoor picnic. We kind of stumbled around the internet to see if there are any places you can go to set up an indoor picnic…we really weren’t sure how that would work or what we were looking for though. In the end, I thought a picnic at home with Mad Men sounded very pleasant! This was, I believe, the week that Mad Men stole my life. It was lovely and I’m glad we still kept up the tradition even when we were too stubborn to go outside. I was leaving for Colorado the next day, so it felt really nice to just chill out and enjoy the day before a busy travel day.

I also have to give a shout out to the prettiest birthday package (last photos)! I woke up and gasped at the sight of this beautifully wrapped box on my desk. Isn’t waking up to packages just the best feeling ever?? Birthday part two featuring the prettiest cake coming up soon!

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Extra Special

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Don’t worry, my mom isn’t mad at me for waiting so long to post about Mother’s Day…at least I don’t think she is! I was so happy to get to go home to Colorado last week. I thought I would be blogging a lot because I finished all of my class assignments and I always find tons of things to blog about when I’m at home with family. I did take tons of pictures, of course. And I started a few posts, but I don’t think I posted…anything. Oops! I just had such a nice time hanging out with everyone and enjoying the sunshine (for the last few days when it finally stopped raining).

I planned ahead way more than usual for this trip because it was an extra special one. My mom’s birthday was on Mother’s Day and I won’t say which birthday, but it was a good one. I already pulled a surprise visit for my dad’s, so I had to be somewhat clever with this one. I kept it a secret for a while, but eventually told her I would be coming…I just told her the wrong day. Yeah, totally not clever, but clever enough to work! I arrived a day before my parents returned from a little trip of their own and then us kids surprised her at the exact same place we surprised my dad – and almost the same exact table. See, so un-clever. And Perfect!

In my family, I’m not alone in the food obsessed department. Most of our occasions revolve around what food will be enjoyed. That was very much the case on this extra special day. And while I have lots of other things I could post about from that day, for now I’d just like to share the food! We had a lovely picnic at the park and then burgers and a milkshake bar (so awesome!) to end the day. I hope that I can always be home for my mom’s birthday/mother’s day. I know that I can speak for both of my siblings when I say that we are all so thankful to have such a great mom and friend. She’s always made every celebration fun for us and I hope that we can return the favor now that we are all grown up (sort of)! Love ya, Mom!

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So, everyone at the table was genuinely shocked that I forgot to take a picture of my burger before I ate it. That like, never happens. I was so excited to dig in. And I have to give credit to my dad and his ‘$50 burger.’ Ok, I’ll admit it – you did good.

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My flavor creation: vanilla ice cream, Nutella, cookie dough, and rainbow sprinkles. Plus chocolate whipped cream and more sprinkles on top! So good! We looked at the Millions of Milkshakes menu for inspiration (never been, but good ideas!).

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Classic chocolate for Dad. And props to my sister as well for blending up and beautifying our shakes! (Yes, they were both campaigning fairly hard to ‘make the blog’) Excellent work, my friends.

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With all these other people taking over my blog, I have to end with another picture of my contribution to the day. Breakfast sandwiches! P.S. Have you all seen this pretty amazing invention? No, I didn’t use it, but I wish.