Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shower Me With Love

When I had my fourth child, a wonderful friend, who was my doula at the birth, asked if I'd had a baby shower yet. I hadn't and hadn't even expected one as this was baby #4, old hat, been there, done that. She insisted on throwing me a baby shower, saying that each baby is special and needs to be celebrated.

We had a terrific get-together at a local restaurant, eating good food, opening presents, laughing, talking, and making much fuss over my cute baby in the baby carrier. I won't forget that kindness and try to pass it on to other women who are special in my life. A friend is expecting baby #2 and so I had a small group of ladies over to say, "We love you! We're excited for you! Let us know how we can help."

My pregnant friend is a fan of coconut. Normally I do not bake with coconut as most of the people in my family retch at coconut; my daughter has described it as eating tanning lotion with the texture of wood pulp. For my friend, however, I brought out the coconut for these delicious little cakes that I first saw on Tartelette, the blog of an amazingly talented French pastry chef. (just a moment -French pastry chef - I swoon just typing those words!)

I looked at the recipe and said, "I have coconut, I have cherries, I can do that!" Of course, I didn't figure out till I was actually mixing up the ingredients that I didn't have coconut extract. Duh. So I substituted some of my heavenly Mexican vanilla extract. This was also my first experience baking with Euro measurements. I have a kitchen scale, but it's not digital, so I don't know how precise it is.

The cakes were sweet, moist and just right for an intimate gathering of friends to celebrate life and happiness.

Cherries and Coconut Cakes from Tartelette

Makes 8-10
8 oz flour (230 gr)
6 oz sugar (170 gr)
2 eggs
2 Tb. melted butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. coconut extract (or vanilla extract)
1 tsp. baking powder
grated zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries
1/2 chopped almonds or coconut

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, melted butter, coconut milk and extract.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients. Fold in the cherries.

Divide between muffin tins lined with cupcake liners, or other molds. I used heart shaped molds, coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with coconut, or slivered almonds if you don't like coconut. I

Bake at 350 F, for 20-25 minutes


DianneM said...

Well for goodness sakes, and I didn't even try one and they were sitting right in front of me. I guess I kind of thought it would be more thoughtful to leave them for the new mom and her hubby. Now, I wish I had taken a bit. :)

Sarah said...

I didn't taste them either, but I think they are beautiful mom. I think you need to use that heart pan more, cause it makes beautiful little personal size cakes. Good job mom!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Wow, Helen would be so proud, Lynn!

You are the sweetest friend!

Helen said...

I am so glad they turned out good for you! My husband who usually dislikes coconut could not get enough! They are great for gift giving. You are a sweet and thoughtful friend.

Kelly-Jane said...

They are so pretty! and I love coconut.

Melinda said...

I think they look lovely. (I agree too, that each child needs a celebration and to be special.)

Nora B. said...

Lynn, firstly I think that it's amazing that you have 4 kids. You deserve a medal just for that :-) And I think it was lovely that you organised the get-together for your friend, sounded like everyone had a wonderful time. Lastly, great photos!

Gabe said...

That description of coconut sounds like it came from sarah. lol

Those sound delicious.

We had four very overly ripe bananas sitting on our counter and it was either toss them out or turn them into banana bread so I took a bit of time to whip some up. There are two loaves in the oven as we speak and enough batter for hopefully two more. We are having company this weekend and I just know it's all going to vanish before I know it.

**doffs her cap and vanishes**

Anne said...

Your are such a thoughful friend...I too agree that each child is special.

Anything heart shape and with coconuts melts my heart... they are absolutely worth craving for :)

Gabe said...

Well, I am pretty sure the banana bread turned out quite well. I tasted it and it was delicious. Bekah, my sis, tried it and helped herself to a second piece.

Thanks for such wonderful recipes.

**doffs her cap and vanishes**

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Dianne - Well, you can't help being selfless and kind. We'll just have to make them together sometime. And don't forget to borrow the twinkie pan!

Sarah - We'll make some heart cakes for you and your man. Pesto flavored, I think.

Patricia - Awww, thanks!

Helen - Thank you. I don't think mine are as pretty as yours, but they certainly tasted good.

Kelly-Jane - Thank you.

Melinda - Thanks for the kind words.

Nora - Not a medal, but on some days maybe a Valium. :-) And Sarah, my in-house photographer, says thanks, too.

Gabe - Congratulations on your banana bread success! You will never again throw another banana away, knowing how easy delicious banana bread is.

Anne - I agree. Heart-shaped is just too sweet.

SteamyKitchen said...

Oh wow. I love the combo of flavors. I am at my Mom's house this week and she has a big bowl of cherries sitting there, begging to be made into this.

Jerry said...

You may not be a french pastry chef, but you wow me with your recipes and creations. I love cherries and I love coconut, so marrying the two is heavenly! Hope that your friend loved them.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Jaden - I hope you have a fabulous time with your mom. How is the hunt for Pinkberry going?

Jerry - Thanks so much!