Archive for June, 2011

When I think of lemon bars, I think of my Grandma Betty, and her puckered lips and beaming smile after taking a bite of one of these tangy-sweet treats.  She loved to make a batch, usually with lemon jello or pudding mix, and then refrigerate them so they were cool.

Inspired by Betty, I made these bars for a recent picnic and barbecue. (h/t Bon Appetit 2004)  They’re a wonderful eggy-custardy texture on top, and the coconut in the crust makes adds a chewy, tropical dimension on the bottom.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with some red raspberries on a platter — turned out great.

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Two of my favorite candy bars growing up were Mounds — dark chocolate covered chewy coconut — and it’s sweeter, milk chocolate sister Bounty. Since the latter isn’t marketed in the U.S., I remember hoarding pocketfuls of the bars on summer trips to Canada and carefully rationing them when I got home.  They are worth it!

This is a baked take on those treats, turned inside out:  Moist, rich dark chocolate cake filled and topped with creamy coconut-vanilla frosting and sprinkled with coconut flakes.

I love this chocolate cake recipe from scratch, using Ghirardelli cocoa powder, courtesy Gourmet Magazine from 2004. My coconut-vanilla frosting recipe follows below.

Coconut Vanilla Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

1 can coconut milk, reduced until thickened (use 1/3 cup)

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

pinch of salt

1 3/4 cups sweetened coconut flakes

(1) Blend butter, sugar, coconut milk, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add more milk if too thick to taste.

(2) Frost bottom layer of cake, adding 1/2 cup of coconut flakes spread evenly on top.  Then add top layer.

(3) Frost top layer and sides of cake.  Sprinkle remaining coconut flakes on top and along sides.

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