I sat and counted the number of friends I have today. Not Facebook friends, but real friends. I came up with two. It has always been like this. It’s not like a, now I’m older, in a foreign country, therefore somewhat handicapped, kind of thing. No, it’s always been like this. I grew up cautious and suspicious of people. It takes me years to build and develop a friendship. No instantaneous friendships for me in today’s instant gratification world. And, just as I find it hard to make friends at the drop of a hat, most people don’t have the time to wait around for me to be their friend either. Result, I have two friends. I’m okay with that. I’m just not that spontaneous with friend making. I am fascinated with people who literally say one sentence to one another and boom they are suddenly friends. It’s a great talent that, I just don’t own that pair of skills. Maybe because I am shy or maybe it has something to do with mom telling me all through growing up not to talk about myself or divulge too much for fear of it being used against me. Whatever it is I am an unable to talk about myself. I have been accused of being a snob, of being secretive and generally unfriendly. I’m neither, I don’t think. I am just insanely private. And there is that very big part of me that doesn’t want to share myself with anyone that doesn’t value what I might have to say.
I am often told that I will be lonely when I grow old. I can’t imagine being any lonelier than the way my sister and I grew up. Dad was away defending the country in some form or manner and it was just mom raising me and sis. There was no one else. No cousins, no aunts and no uncles. No grandparents. And barely any friends. It was just the three of us.
Actually I don’t know what loneliness is. Maybe its my closest friend, someone or something so close to me that its like my own skin. It breathes with me and is a part of me. And that’s what best friends are anyway right? They are a part of you.
I made this cake for my best friend today though he doesn’t know it. When I cook I always cook with someone in mind. He loves coconut as do I. He likes nuts too though I think I could please him more with almonds. This is an incredibly light cake and the coconut is delightfully refreshing. I never ever did think of coconut with pecans. I will be using this combo definitely again. So should you…
adapted ever so slightly from here
for the cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus 8 tbsp
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut + 1/2 cup for assembly
1 cup finely chopped pecans
for the frosting
200 grams cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
For the cake.
Heat oven to 350°F/175°C. Butter and flour three 8″ cake pans (or as in my case I have only one. I just divided the batter and baked three times). Set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl. Cream butter, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high, and beat until batter is smooth, 5–10 seconds. Whip egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites, coconut, and pecans into batter. Divide batter into prepared pans and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel large air bubbles. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 20–22 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks and let cool completely.
For the frosting.
Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.
To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake stand and spread with 1/3 cup frosting, sprinkle a generous amount of coconut; top with another layer and spread with 1/3 cup frosting and the coconut. Top with remaining layer. Pour on top the remaining frosting and sprinkle with pecans; chill cake 1 hour until frosting is firm.