Chocolate-covered coconut milk cake
David’s building a shed in the back yard. I said, “You’re working on a building!” And he said, “A holy crap building!” Because he’s never built a shed before. They say it’s good for you to try something new, but it’s not without its challenges. David is doing a beautiful job, though. I love our shed, and I’ve liked it every step of the way. It feels full of possibilities. At first it was a stage for our Isaac (as is the whole world, of course). Then, once it had a few walls, it became the perfect setting for a tableau vivant. I joked that he could add glass walls, thinking of an aviary or a greenhouse, and he said with glass walls it could be a writer’s room for me. I could see it with turrets and little staircases and balconies, like some mad 18th-century folly
. Maybe it will be a smokehouse or a chicken coop or a fancy accommodation for Clio. David talked about putting a screech-owl cote on top, and painting the wall visible from the window with something nice to see when you look out upon the yard. Our house is a crazed tumble of crooked lines and angles, and the sloped roof of the shed is a perfect addition, adding one more level of ramble to a structure that’s been altered and amended for over 150 years. After one rough day at school, Malcolm raced home to help David with the shed, and it was a beautiful thing to watch him out there, happy and confident and actually helpful
, wielding a drill with assurance and agility. It’s inspiring and hopeful to watch David build this tiny house; he’s making something solid and useful and simple but pleasing to the eye, as well. I like to think about the shed as part of our eccentric home, weathering the years with the rest of us. And I’m grateful for a dry bicycle seat! And that’s my story about the shed.
I had some leftover coconut milk, so I decided to make a cake. This has a subtle coconut flavor, but no flaked coconut, so the texture of the cake is smooooooth. Completely smooth. The chocolate on top adds a nice flavor and a bit of texture. A nice, simple cake, and very easy to make.
Here’s Working on a Building by Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T rum
1 t vanilla
4 T butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 – 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly butter and flour a cake pan.
In a food processor, whiz the eggs until they’re light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, rum, vanilla and butter and process until completely smooth.
Add all of the dry ingredients and process again to combine. Add the coconut milk and process, again, until completely smooth. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Spread the chocolate chips over the warm cake, turn the oven off, and return the cake to the oven. When they’re melted, after a minute or two, spread them over the cake.
Let cool, remove from the pan, slice, and serve.