Coconut is another one of those foods that people seem to always have strong feelings about, you either love it or hate it. So many people I know despise coconut, so when I find someone else that loves it as much as I do, I can't help but feel like I've found a kindered spirit. I know that comes off as a little dramatic, but you get the picture. I was really looking forward to making this recipe and then sending most of the cakes off to one of my sisters in the "coven of the coconut".
So it's too bad that they turned tasting like the box that I had planned to ship them in. Some of the flaws in these cakes were my fault, but most of them weren't. First they turned out dry, and nothing makes me snub my nose at a cake more quickly than dryness. The dryness problem is all on me though. We purchased a new stove, with a cool new convection oven (love it). With the convection feature, things bake more evenly and most importantly more quickly. That was two years ago, and I'm still trying to perfect the art of baking time modification for each new recipe. If I had just taken these cakes out of the oven five minutes earlier, I have no doubt they would have been moist or, at least, moister. Ugh.
The cakes weren't overly sweet, and that was a plus, but if you're looking for a strong coconut flavor, don't bother with these. The strongest flavor to be found were the eggs. The recipe calls for four of them, and the egginess (is that even a word?) is unignorable.
The cake is supposed to be baked using a bundt or kugelhopf pan, but I decided it would be easier to ship them if I made mini loaves, so even though they tasted crappy, they looked cute. And since I had leftover coconut milk, and toasted coconut, I whipped up a quick glaze of the milk, and powdered sugar, and then topped the glaze with leftover coconut. The glaze turned out better than the cakes did. A dollop of whipped cream on the side may have saved the dryness, but not the lack of coconut flavor that I was really hoping for.
I'm not saying that this isn't a good recipe, I just hope that someone else will have better luck with it than I did. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to find an Almond Joy bar that I can cry into. Coconut lovers of the world unite!
Afternote: I shipped these cakes to my friend Crystal. She and her five year old loved them, and didn't find them to be dry at all. Everything is subjective.