When I’m upset, I bake. If I’m sad or depressed or bloated, or sad and depressed about being bloated, I bake. It could be cookies, cupcakes, bread, brownies, a 3 tiered wedding cake, anything and everything is fair game when I’m down. If my husband walks in to flour-coated counter tops he knows to come directly up to me, hug me and apologize. I’m not sure why or when this bakers rehab began but it really makes me feel better after I complete it. I suppose it’s because I can always control what I bake, and if I’m down I’m probably feeling that way because something happened that was out of my control. (Little bit of a control freak, I am.)
I know that if I put a cup of my sourdough starter in with my 3 cups of flour, it will begin to delightfully bubble. I know that if I beat equal parts of warm butter and cream cheese with the tiniest bit of powdered sugar and vanilla, I will have my favorite cake icing. And I know that if I empty a can of sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan and let it cook on low for awhile, I will make dulce de leche. These are the things I know for sure. Life is uncertain. There are twists and turns and incredible highs and lows. We never know what tomorrow will bring and what it will make us feel like. But I do know that if my day is a hard one, it will become infinitely better once that double crust pie is cooling on the rack.
Here is one of the things you may find me baking in my kitchen on a particularly rough day…
We had it last night for Cindo de Mayo and it was delicious.
*Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Mango-Passion Fruit Filling
-Prepare 2 9in round yellow cakes per package instructions (You’ll need 1 box of yellow cake mix. don’t bother making it from scratch, it’s actually better if the cake is a bit dry)
-Once cakes are finished baking, allow to cool on a rack.
(note-this step can be done way ahead and you can freeze the cakes until the day of, you don’t even need to allow them to fully thaw)
-In a large bowl combine 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 can of coconut milk. Stir to completely combine.
-Once cake is cooled enough to handle, place one on a plate with high sides and poke holes all through it with either a fork or wooden skewer.
-Slowly pour enough milk liquid over the cake so it’s completely soaked and spongey.
-Evenly spread the contents of 1 jar of Mango-Passion Fruit Preserves over this layer and place other round cake on top, poke holes in this layer as well.
-Slowly pour more of the milk liquid over this layer until it is also well-soaked.
(note-you will probably have leftover milk, sometimes I only need half of the liquid. When this happens I add some rum to it and drink it. Remember, I’m down about something.)
-Frost the cake with 1 pint of heavy whipping cream that has been lightly sweetened and whipped to stiff peaks. OR 1 8 oz. container of cool whip. And sprinkle the top and sides with coconut flakes.
-Chill for at least an hour before serving.