What to make when you’ve been snowed in for days? Snow cake, of course! When I proposed baking a cake the boy first suggested chocolate. I talked him into a “snow” cake instead, a.k.a. coconut.
We used Ina Garten’s coconut cake recipe, though I used unsweetened coconut instead of the sweetened she calls for. Really, this cake is sweet enough. It’s a dense cake, but flavorful and stays moist for several days, which is important when you’re making a cake for just three of you. (Though we did take some to share on a snow-day playdate.)
Instead of Ina’s cream cheese frosting, I used Smitten Kitchen’s Swiss meringue buttercream.
This is the frosting I used on the boy’s 3rd birthday cake this past summer, and it was an all around favorite — not sickly sweet, easy to make, and it held up on a humid August day — what more could you ask for? It does use quite a lot of butter … fortunately I stocked up before the blizzard, but we still needed to restock when the husband went out for a between-storm grocery run.
After frosting, we took a snowflake stencil, cut out of wax paper, and laid it gently over the top. We sprinkled a heavy layer of dried coconut (unsweetened, again) over the openings, then removed the stencil to reveal our snowflake. I had tried to talk the boy into dying the frosting light blue so the snowflake would show up better, but he insisted that a snow cake had to be white. (Duh.) I think he was right though, as it turned out just lovely. Don’t you think?
(You could easily adapt this to make a Valentine’s cake by tinting the coconut pink and making a heart shape on top.)
You can’t have cake without ice cream, and I’d had snow cream on the mind ever since reading this article in the Washington Post. When I was a kid, the only thing we ever made with snow was orange juice-topped sno cones, not particularly creative. I remember wanting to make maple syrup candy, a la Little House on the Prairie, but I don’t think we ever did. So naturally I took advantage of the 30-some inches of fluffy white snow in our backyard to make maple snow cream — delicious and equally enchanting to kids and parents alike. (Well, this parent at least!)
Recipe: Maple Snow Cream
- 1 bowl full of clean, white snow
- 1 cup cream
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Instructions: Heat cream in a small sauce pan over low heat. When warm, whisk in the maple syrup. Remove from heat and let cool. Gather snow. Pour cooled maple cream over snow, stirring to combine and break up any chunks that form. Enjoy immediately! Makes 4 servings.
What are you baking for — or with — your Valentine? It turns out I’m not the only one with home-baked Valentines on the mind — Kelsey of The Naptime Chef and Jennifer of Savor the Thyme are hosting a “Food is Love” challenge. Hop over to either of their blogs for the details; enter by Tuesday, February 16, and you could win a prize from Scharffen Berger chocolates. Happy Valentine’s Day to you & your foodie families!