Anne’s Coconut Cake

My niece came to visit my web site a couple of weeks ago. She was interested in the recipes and said, “Do you have a recipe for Coconut Cake? It’s my favorite!” I agreed to post a coconut cake recipe, but was almost embarrassed. “How is it that I live in the Caribbean and don’t have a coconut cake recipe?” ran through my mind. I mean, they grow in my backyard for gosh sakes! So…, I went in search of the perfect coconut cake recipe. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks tweaking it into perfection. I even made “guinea pigs” out of my book club. The result? I think the sighs of pleasure at book club have convinced me, I’ve come up with the perfect Coconut Cake! Moist, strong taste of coconut, not overly sweet, and the coconut has been used toasted as well to add more dimension to the flavor.

This recipe takes a bit of time to prepare but it’s so worth it! There are actually two steps to this recipe that can be done on different days if time is a consideration. The first part is preparing the coconut cream, coconut milk, and coconut water that will be used for the cake. The second step is adding all that goodness to the cake.: Anne’s Coconut Cake: Rich and moist with lots of coconut flavor. This cake is pure tropical bliss!

For the Coconut Cream, Milk, and Water;

2 Cups Dessicated CoconutLavender-icecream

3/4 Cup evaporated milk

4 Cups water.

For the Cake;

4 egg whites, whipped to the stiff peak stage

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 Cups All Purpose Flour, sifted

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 Cup coconut milk

1/2 Cup coconut cream

2 sticks of butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces

2 Cups of Sugar

2 Tablespoons White Coconut Rum or 1 teaspoon coconut extract.

3/4 Cup Coconut water with 2 Tablespoons Coconut Rum added.

For the Filling;

1 Cup Sugar

1-1/2 Cups Sour Cream

6 Tablespoons Coconut Milk

3/4 Cup Coconut

For the Frosting;

1-1/2 Cups Sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 Cup water

2 egg whites

1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

Remainder of Coconut in 14 oz package toasted

To make the coconut cream, milk, and water;

For each step you are going to use the same 2 Cups of coconut you started with.

For the Coconut Cream; Place 2 cups of Coconut in a medium saucepan and add 3/4 cup evaporated milk. Put on medium high heat and stir frequently until the mixture looks frothy. About 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool. Place lint free tea towel over a measuring cup or small bowl. Place contents of pan into towel. Gather up and squeeze liquid out of coconut. Return coconut to pan.

Coconut milk; To the coconut you returned to the pan add 2 cups of water.

Repeat the process above squeezing out into a second small bowl or cup. Return coconut to pan.

Coconut water; To the same coconut add another 2 cups of water and repeat the process above. When this step is completed, discard the coconut.

You should now have three cups or bowl each containing a different liquid. If you wish, you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week until you are ready to make the cake.

For the Cake;

Preheat oven to 350F.

Because I only have one bowl that fits my stand mixer, I start by whipping the egg whites (using the balloon whisk attachment) with cream of tartar added, until a meringue with stiff peaks forms. Alternately you could start the cake batter and beat the egg whites with a second hand mixer but I think that’s just too much work. While the egg whites are beating, mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) and sift them together. When the meringue is formed. Put it into another bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Wipe out the stand mixer bowl and place the pieces of room temperature butter into it. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until lighter in color and texture. Add sugar gradually. I add it at a rate of about 1/3 Cup each time. Let each addition become fully incorporated before the next addition. If you are using a stand mixer this is a good time to prep your pans. You’ll need 2 8-9 inch cake pans. Spray with cooking spray, line with wax paper, spray again with cooking spray. Once the sugar is all added beat the mixture for another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the coconut rum or coconut extract and continue beating until absorbed.

Mix together the coconut cream and coconut milk.

You are going to add the flour and the coconut liquid in 3-4 additions. Turn the mixer down to low speed before adding. Start and end with the flour. Let each addition to completely mix in before adding the next. You may need to scrape down the bowl several times during this process.

When all the flour and liquid has been added take the bowl off the stand and fold in the egg whites from the first step. To maintain the maximum amount of air in your egg white add in three additions.

Once you have folded in the egg whites put the batter into your prepared pans and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. When done they will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

For the Filling;

Mix the sour cream, sugar, coconut milk, and coconut together and set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.

For the Frosting;

You will need a hand mixer, a heat proof bowl, and a pan the bowl fits on top of.

Put water in pan. About 1/3 full. Put on stove to boil.

Put egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, water, and salt into bowl.

Beat for 1 minute before placing over boiling water.

Turn water down to simmer.

Place bowl on top of pan and beat contents for 7 minutes. Mixture will be white and fluffy and will begin to hold it’s shape. When it reaches this stage, add the vanilla and beat for 1 more minute.

Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before using.

Assemble the Cake;

Take the Coconut water you made and add two tablespoons of coconut rum or 2 teaspoons coconut extract.

Remove cooled cakes from pans. Slice each one in half along the axis. Place the first half on your dish. Using a pastry brush apply 1/4 of the coconut water mixture. Top with 1/3 of the filling mixture. Place second half of cake on top and repeat process until all layers are assembled. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow it to set before frosting.

In the mean time, place remaining coconut from package on baking sheet. Put in oven at 350F for 5 minutes until toasted. Once coconut begins to toast, it can go to burnt very quickly. You may need to take it out and stir it half way through. Don’t walk away, keep an eye on it.

Frost the cake. After cake is completely covered apply toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

So thank you Anne for suggesting a Coconut Cake! My book club and friends also wish to thank you!


Easy Bread Pudding Recipe – Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

If you’ve been yearning for a recipe for old fashioned bread pudding, this is a delicious raisin bread pudding recipe that will bring back warm memories.

6 slices day old bread

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Break the bread into small pieces and place into the baking pan. In a saucepan, melt the butter, then drizzle over bread cubes. Sprinkle raisins over bread.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat thoroughly. Pour egg mixture over bread. Lightly push bread down with a fork until bread has completely soaked up the egg mixture.

Bake 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed.

=> Best Bread Pudding Recipe: Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding RecipeHoney-bar

Left over doughnuts make a delightfully sweet bread pudding. This recipe has the added pleasure of a butter rum bread pudding sauce recipe.

2 dozen (stale) Krispy Kreme doughnuts or 1 1/2 dozen regular glazed donuts

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (do not use evaporated milk)

2 (4.5 oz) cans fruit cocktail (do not drain)

2 large eggs, beaten

1 (9 oz.) box golden raisins

Pinch salt

1 or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Butter Rum Sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 13×9-inch glass baking dish.

Cut doughnuts into small cubes and place into prepared baking dish. In a bowl, combine the milk, fruit cocktail, eggs, raisins, salt and cinnamon. Pour mixture over the doughnuts and let this soak for 30 minutes. You can also cover the dish and refrigerate overnight at this stage.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch. Serve bread pudding warm and drizzle the Butter Rum Sauce over each serving.

Butter Rum Sauce

1/2 cup butter

1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar

Rum (or rum extract) to taste

In a saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar. Add in the rum; heat until bubbly. Pour over bread pudding.

=> Best Bread Pudding Recipe: Double Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe

This is a must have for those times when you have some left over bread and want something a little different – destined to be a favorite.

2 cups chocolate milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

2 egg whites, beaten till stiff peaks form

6 cups day old French bread cubes

Vanilla Sauce


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

In a heat proof bowl, combine the milk, chocolate chips and butter. Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the milk is steaming hot (not boiling). Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted.

Separate egg whites from yolks and beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; set aside.

In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar; beat well. Gradually beat in the milk mixture. Fold in the egg whites. Stir in the bread cubes and let sit for 60 minutes.

Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Bake for 60 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed lightly. Top with vanilla sauce.

Vanilla Sauce

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups boiling water

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add in the flour and stir constantly until the mixture bubbles. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil until mixture is smooth and completely cooked. Remove from heat. Add in the vanilla. Serve over warm bread pudding.

=> Best Bread Pudding Recipe: Apple Bread Pudding Recipe

Like a warm, cozy afternoon, this apple bread pudding is tasty treat that features a lemon bread pudding sauce recipe that gives this dish a wonderful citrusy touch.

1 1/2 cup bread cubes

1 cup milk

2 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon lemon or orange rind, grated

1 1/2 cup apples, peeled and chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

In a large saucepan, add bread cubes to milk and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Separate the egg yolks and whites. To the bread mixture, add in the egg yolks, butter, vanilla, raisins, sugar, cloves, lemon/orange rind and the apples.

Beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold into bread mixture. Pour bread mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed.

Lemon Sauce

1/3 cup lemon juice

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Yellow food coloring (optional)

In a saucepan, combine the lemon juice, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch. Stir until well blended, add more water if needed. Remove from heat and add yellow food coloring if desired. Serve over warm bread pudding.

Healthy Banana Cake (Naturopath-Approved)

This is my favourite banana cake recipe. It is incredibly simple and feels great to eat a second helping guilt free. When using almond or soy milk for it, it is dairy-free, sugar-free and free of any artificial or processed products. A healthy snack for the whole family – and absolutely guilt-free!!

I’m certainly not suggesting you replace your Christmas dessert with it, but here is a healthy suggestion for one of your holiday meals.

1 cup bran
1 cup milk (almond or other)
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour (or use half whole-wheat and half
buckwheat to cut down on the gluten)
2-4 ripe bananas (very ripe works best)
1 cup chopped dried fruit and/or nuts: prunes, almonds, figs, rasins,
sunflower seeds. You could also try fresh fruit like apples, pears, or berries, etc

Heat oven to 180 C
Soak bran with milk for couple min, then add other ingredients.
Mix well.
Pour into greased baking/caking pan or tin loaf (works as a loaf or flat as a cake)
Bake for 1-1.25 hours (until sharp knife comes out clean)

You can experiment and mix together any combination of nuts, dried fruits and fresh fruits. We have put everything and anything in it that was in the kitchen. Even the pulp from our juicer made it in there once, but without much success:-) We wanted to try it, as it’s always such a waste to throw out the rest of the fruit from the juicer.

Tips On How To Make A Delicious Banana Cake – Easy Tips For Beginners

Banana cake is one of the most versatile desserts today. You can eat right after it has cooled down from the oven or you can frost it with your desired frosting. You can even top it with fruit jams, syrups, nuts or anything that suits your fancy. In order to enjoy a lavishly frosted and topped cake, you need to have the perfectly baked banana cake.

Here are some tips on how to make a delicious banana cake:

1. First, gather all your ingredients, measured and weighed, and placed in separate bowls for easy and smooth flow of the preparation process. Keep your electric mixer, wooden spoons, rubber spatula, wire whisks and mixing bowls within reach.Carrot-Muffins-1

2. Second, the butter should be softened but still cold. When you cream the butter and sugar, make sure that the sugar has been incorporated into the butter resulting into a creamy and fluffy mixture.

3. Another tip on how to make a delicious banana cake is that the eggs should be slightly beaten and added into the butter – sugar mixture one by one and mixed well every addition. You should have a smooth mixture after this stage.

4. When adding the dry and liquid (milk) ingredients into the egg mixture, always start with the dry ingredients and end with the dry ingredients also. In this step, the dry and liquid ingredients are added alternately into the egg mixture, mixing well after each addition. You can add in three batches of the flour mixture and the milk mixture in two batches. This is a very important process because the way you combine the ingredients will greatly affect the result of your cake. Over mixing the batter will result in a dry and crumbly cake.

5. Then lastly fold in the pureed or mashed bananas and food extract into the batter. Mix just until the mashed bananas are evenly distributed into the mixture.

6. One more great tip on how to make a delicious banana cake is to follow the oven temperature and baking time stated in your recipe. This is very vital in baking the banana cake so that there will be an even cooking time and the cake itself will result in a nice and delicious looking cake.

A great recipe will yield great results when followed strictly. These are just some tips on how to make a delicious banana cake as some banana cake recipes will call for different instructions. Always remember to measure and weigh the ingredients as stated in the recipe and follow the oven temperature and baking time written in the recipe

Three Impressive iPhone Apps to Try

Smartphones have changed the way we live. They have become affordable and are being used by a large number of people. These devices are embedded to our daily life to increasingly enable creativity. Mobile apps too are helping people get things done easier and faster. Let us examine three impressive mobile apps here.

Sherish: This app provides a new social networking platform that helps in finding friends and groups nearby. Users have to register with their mobile number to enter into it. They can also optionally login with their Facebook account. Just like other social networks, Digisocial has a newsfeed that allows comments and a messaging service. An impressive thing about this app is, it is available for free and has no ads. However, the developers should look for a way to improve its coverage and make it stand as an effective social networking platform. Digisocial is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later. This app is also available for Android devices.

Acro-Dict: English language has been adding a vast amount of abbreviations, codes and acronyms every day. This app helps users keep track of all the AAC that they deal with at work, home, and daily life. It lets users search with an abbreviation and lists all the possible expansions under the suitable categories. As the entire database is available offline, Internet connection is not required to use Acro-Dict. It also presents a good tutorial and helps users get the most out it. Acro-Dict comes with an inbuilt keyboard, but users can also utilize the iOS keyboard if they want. I prefer using the iOS keyboard as the in-app keyboard doesn’t support a few things. Acro-Dict is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Starmatic: This is the old Kodak Brownie Starmatic camera that has been reborn for the iPhones. This toy camera and photo sharing app helps users express their photographic talent and to be inspired by the amazing photos from others. Users can shoot photos and share it with the Starmatic community and there is Stramacolor film to add effect to these images. With a lovely sidebar controlled UI, this app makes it very easy to use. They can also view, like and repost the photographs of other users. This app is impressive, but it is heavily inspired by Instagram. A few innovative updates could change this. Starmatic is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad and requires iOS 4.2 or later. It is a free app.

Zelf pensioen regelen in de chaos

In m’n vorige blog vertelde ik over m’n eigen chaos. Ja, ik ben een chaoot, maar ik vind dat helemaal niet erg. Dat komt, doordat ik heb ontdekt wat daar ten grondslag aan ligt: het is niet een ‘irritante’ eigenschap, maar het is het product van een andere eigenschap. Veelal is dat te wijten aan extraversie. Veel mensen die ik ken en die behoorlijk chaotisch zijn, zijn vrij extravert op een bepaald vlak. Het zijn zeker niet allemaal flap uiten, maar ergens hebben ze allemaal wel een bepaalde spontaniteit in zich.

In m’n vorige blog stelde ik dan ook dat spontaniteit ergens ook gezien kan worden als een soort van chaos. Je zegt in je spontaniteit vanalles, oftewel: niet vanuit je hoofd of ratio en dus niet al je woorden weloverwogen. Nee, je denkt iets en je spreekt het dan uit. En dat is met chaotisch zijn net zo eigenlijk: je ordent niet. De eerste stap is dan ook wel om het maar gewoon te accepteren dat je een chaootje bent. Tja, wat doe je eraan, het hoort bij je en is een onderdeel van je verschillende eigenschappen die jou maken tot wie jij bent.p052-1-jpg

Maar goed, zoals ik ook al eerder zei, kan ik ondanks mijn chaos, tegenwoordig toch super goed structureren. Zelf pensioen regelen zonder een pensioen adviseur er steeds bij te moeten betrekken, kan ik bijvoorbeeld prima zelf. Andere financiële zaken regel ik ook allemaal zelf. Dat zou je toch allemaal niet 1,2,3 verwachten van een chaoot? De enige reden waarom ik dit heb bereikt, is mede omdat ik het van mezelf accepteer dat ik chaotisch ben.

Ik negeer het niet en daarmee ontken ik het niet. En daardoor kan ik er juist op anticiperen. Tuurlijk gaat het wel eens mis, maar op zo’n moment ga ik even rustig ervoor zitten en bekijk ik waar ik de teugels weer strakker aan moet trekken. Echt, chaotisch zijn is geen probleem en dat moet je je ook niet laten aanpraten. Want chaotisch zijn betekent ook dat je flexibel en creatief bent! En dat zijn toch heel goede eigenschappen? Supergestructureerde mensen zijn immers vaak up-tight en is er minder ruimte voor echte spontaniteit.

De chaotische mensch leeft met zijn hart en ik denk persoonlijk dat dat veel meer geluk met zich meebrengt dan in je hoofd leven. Dus wat ik hiermee wil zeggen: voordat je gestructureerde mensen op een sokkel plaatst, bedenk je ook dat die eigenschap óók negatieve kanten met zich meebrengt.

Restaurant Marketing Ideas

In order to grow your restaurant sales you need to come up with unique restaurant marketing ideas to make your restaurant stand above the rest. These unique marketing ideas need to cover a range of marketing distribution channels, these channels are how you as the restaurant or cafe owner will attract your customer to dine with you. In your restaurant marketing idea efforts you will need to ensure that you have multiple customers coming from multiple marketing ideas and strategies and in effect you will then not rely on one income or customer source. Here is what I am talking about;

Say you want to implement some restaurant marketing in your venue to attract more customers, you should in effect target those customer through different mediums such as, email, direct mail, web site, joint venture marketing, database marketing and radio just to name a few. By attacking your market and bombarding your market through many mediums will enable you to find out which restaurant marketing medium is the best for your restaurant.

Marketing covers many customer generation channels these channels include:

Print advertising

This medium include magazines, newspapers, books, trade books, telephone directories and brochures.

Broadcast/electronic advertising

This marketing medium include radio, television, facsimile and internet/email

Display Advertising

Display advertising include outside billboards, bumper stickers, signage, posters and vehicle advertising.

Direct Response

This medium include marketing direct mail as well as telemarketing

Events and promotions

This marketing medium include trade shows, fairs, exhibits, conventions and promotion novelty items such as key rings etc

Publicity and Public Relations (PR)

This include press releases, feature articles, internal newsletters, speeches, seminars and sponsorships.

Word of mouth

This medium includes spontaneous word of mouth and restaurant customer testimonials.

Although this list of restaurant marketing mediums is not exhaustive it will however provide you with a list to start from when marketing your restaurant or café. What is important when you start or rejuvenate your restaurant marketing it is to ensure that you target your market, don’t try and be everything to every one. Here is an example, lets just say you were a fine dining restaurant and you wanted to market your restaurant, you certainly would not market your restaurant on a shopper docket (know those ads that appear on the back of your shopping docket receipt). This would be foolish as this is not the market you may be wanting to attract to your fine dining restaurant. You could however advertise in the business section of the Wall Street Journal or Financial Review.

Marketing your restaurant does not have to be a daunting exercise, if you are going to increase your sales you need to do some marketing. Oh…. One last thing if you are marketing your restaurant then make sure you test and then measure the effectiveness of the marketing. There is no use to throwing away your money on marketing that is not working.