Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Coconut Creme Identity Crisis

I love to bake. y'all know that. But it hasn't always been this way. Long time ago.. back in the days of me being gainfully employed, I would have EASILY told you that I preferred cooking to baking.. because baking was so.. PRECISE. a little too much of this or not enough of that, and you're looking at floppy, vanilla-scented pancakes that taste like paper plates. (not that I'd know ANYTHING about that... or maybe I would. hmmm.)

However, since 'retiring' from my life as an engineer, and consequently assuming the life-long role of 'mommy'.. I have found I have a real JOY for baking. like.. REAL JOY. like.. my house is imploding from hostile laundry-takeover and the kids are jumping to and from the couches well over 4 feet apart. on hardwoods. and yet... this happy HUM comes over me as I hear, smell, and taste my way through another baked creation. JOY, I tell you.

But I'm an engineer! not a baker! no.. I'm a mommy! but the baking! ohhh the baking.... SO yeah. so what if I'm in my upper thirties and just now figuring out what I want to be when I grow up? chalk it up to a good old fashioned identity crisis, right?

At any rate, I've really been making a concerted effort lately to dig in and get to know others that operate (either by hobby or profession) in the trade of baking. I've begun following new blogs, connecting with other Twitters (twitterers? tweeters? twits??)... anyways.. I've been meeting new folks. and this is GOOD! cause WOW! the TALENT that exists out there is AMAZING!!!

One of the best things that has come of this new venture into discovering me is that I found out about a contest. Now y'all KNOW I love a good contest! I'm always trying to score stuff from Erin Cooks, and that Bakerella's always hosts contests I can't pass up. But THIS, people. this is different.


Can you BELIEVE I've never entered a baking challenge before? I KNOW! so with my new ice cream maker attachment in hand.. I knew it was a sure sign I had to pop my proverbial cherry and enter.

And seriously. cupcakes? and ice cream? together? booyakasha! I was SO down for that!

Now, the PLANNER in me had a TON of flavor combinations I wanted to do... but the PROCRASTINATOR in me waited til the VERY LAST few days to even begin creating something to qualify as an entry. So... upon finding the super-easy-my-kid-could-do-it ice cream recipe, I decided to go with something of the coconut persuasion.


First of all.. this recipe I found for Coconut cupcakes is AMAZING! I'll do a full post on the cupcakes soon, but go ahead and check it out (when you're done reading this post, of course! no need to hurry off now, ya hear?) NUTMEG! using nutmeg added such a GREAT layer to the flavor of the cake... oh! seriously the best coconut cake I've had in like.. a LONG time.

it took me a few dozen cupcakes to REALLY figure out the proper amount to put in the liners (so as to leave enough room for the ice cream, and the ALL-important crunch layer) Turns out this a mistake I did not mind.

Oh.. and I had NO LUCK with my silicone flower pan. I thought I'd be cute with a flower-shaped cupcake? nope. wrecked the first two trying to release the cakes. then decided to eat the others out of spite. oh.. the things I put up with for the sake of art!

Now that I had the cupcake portions made and the ice cream made.. it was time to make the magic happen. Now, I COULD have just slapped the two together and called it good. or GOOD-GOOD cause coconut cupcake? GOOD. coconut ice cream? GOOD. But this is my first challenge, and I wanted to do it right. and besides.. what's a ice cream cake without a crunch layer? that's right.... these cupcakes needed some crunch.

So even though y'all KNOW I can make my own graham crackers.. I went ahead and used some good ole Scooby Bones. and how could I not? I mean.. just LOOK at Scoob! Even HE seems to be giving me a secret smile letting me know I'm on to something good here.

I crushed the 'bones' up, mixed with sugar and butter, then baked the pressed-down mix in the oven. cause YES.. I wanted the crunch layer even SWEETER and BUTTERIER (is that a word?) than the regular grahams.

Topped the cupcakes with the crumbled graham cracker crust, then topped that with the coconut ice cream. (yes, a few are missing from the pan, since I wanted to test the cupcakes. I wasn't sure if baking such a small amount would dry out the cake.. but I was pleased to find out that even that little layer of cake was moist and delicious!)

After those set, I topped with a simple whipped cream. store-bought, at that, cause you know.. deadlines and all. I used my piping bag to make up for the lack of home-made, if that earns me any points back!

once they had time to freeze a little more, I began the picture taking.

Ladies and Gentlemen.. I give you...

The Coconut Creme Identity Crisis

It's a cupcake! no, it's ice cream! but it's got a pie crust! and whipped cream! Do I eat it with a fork? a spoon? my hands? aaaah!! I'm so confused!

Yes.. to pay tribute to my very own identity crisis... I offer you an identity crisis in food form. and GOOD FOOD FORM IT IS!

My husband Troy tried them, and agreed with me that these are in the "holy Mother#*&%er these are Mother#*&%ing GOOD" category. but we like coconut. we could be biased.

YOU, however, my readers, are not! (ok.. maybe one or two of you are, and that's totally cool with me!) ACTUALLY, I'm counting on a FEW of you to be biased and tune in later this week so you can VOTE FOR ME so I can win this challenge.

If you're curious, you can check out the blogs of the co-hosts of the contest... Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious. then, of course, tell them how great I am. and that I deserve to win. or.. you know.. maybe just vote for me once (or twice or like 20 times. )

At any rate.. this was SO MUCH FUN to do!! SO glad I took on the challenge of a challenge, and I totally look forward to doing another one. but maybe next month or something. I'm so full of coconut right now, it's a little hard to move.. much less bake.


Susie said...

yummo.... put some magic shell in between the ice cream and whipped cream and I'm yours.

Great job...creative, innovative and it LOOKS delicious. Oh how I wish we had Jetsons tv abilities to create food from thin air. Or teleport.

Hey engineer - get on that!

Stef said...

I'm so glad that you got your entry in. I totally want to try making that ice cream sometime. It sounds awesome! It's been fun chatting with you about it all on Twitter!!

Cathy said...

OMG That looks so good! so good. I love coconut.

Elissa said...

Those look so good! Forget forks and spoons, I think I would just dig in. I happen to be a huge coconut fan (I made two coconut flavored things this weekend!) and cupcakes, ice cream, graham cracker crust... it's all good stuff. You sound like a baker to me! :)

Martha said...

I'm not a fan of coconut, but they look great! The graham crust, what a good idea!

Erin said...

Once again you are the queen of creativity!

Bethany said...

these look fantastic. i love the idea of the graham cracker layer! thanks for the entry!


Amanda said...

I have that same flower pan and it is a struggle. I've had success using it with muffins that are sturdier and more rough-and-tumble than a sweet coconut cupcake.

And, yes, I too love coconut. :)