So I have to tell you what I love about James since it's his birthday. He's wonderful! I met him and was instantly smitten. It was really hard though, because my family wasn't at all encouraging. I had a missionary that they absolutely loved. But James was so fun, so exciting, and interesting. He had just returned from a Mormon Mission to Taiwan and I was amazed at all he knew. Did I say he was exceedingly handsome as well. The first date he showed up at my house in a pair of his grandpa's old cut off coveralls, and this hair! He had so much black curly hair that went everywhere. He had the look of someone a little edgy, but a heart of pure goodness. He was good! Good in every way possible. I think that's what caught my attention most about James was his goodness. He's always been good. Just a perfect spirit from heaven. Well now 18 years later, 4 (almost 5) kids later and a lot of life experiences I love his guts even more. I'm thankful for him every minute of every day. He works so hard for me and the kids, and has provided so well for us. He has let me be a mom and stay home, but also encouraged me to do anything I want as well. He is kind. Extremely kind and personable, and the best talker. He is the best dad in the world too. I married Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, but it's all his other qualities that make me love him so much! I love your guts James.
So for the big 40th bash we actually were quite low key. James enjoyed every minute of it. His mom asked if I was doing anything big, and I admit I am not that kind of wife. I don't do birthday parties, and if a gift is actually wrapped it's amazing, but we had a great night with just the fam. I do, do birthday cakes though. Nothing spectacular, and more times than not it may be a pie or trifle, but the birthday boy this year wanted a Coconut Cream Cake! Trust me, I had no recipe for this. I had to make something up according to James' wishes. I'd do anything for that man! I think it turned out great. It was sure pretty. Next time I think I'll make some marshmallow-y 7 Minute Frosting to cover the cake with. Just to mix things up a bit. This time I just used stabilized whipped cream though. Give the cake a try. Especially if you're a coconut lover like we are!
James' Coconut Cream Layer Cake
1 white or yellow cake mix made with 2 extra eggs, and coconut milk for the liquid baked according to directions. I put the cake mix in 2- 9 inch cake pans, froze them when they were done and then split each frozen layer in 2 to make a 4 layer cake.
2 c. of lemon curd (recipe next)
Lemon Curd Recipe
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits
Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour.
3 c. of whipping cream whipped until pretty stiff. Don't turn it to butter. That won't work real well.
Powdered sugar to taste
1 t. gelatin powder
1/4 c. water
While the cream is whipping I take a small sauce pan and put the 1/4 c. water in and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let it sit a few minutes and the gelatin will "bloom" or absorb all the water. Then turn the stove on low and swirl the pan until the gelatin dissolves. It's fast. Pour the liquid gelatin mixture into the whipped cream very slowly and keep whipping. You don't want big clumps of gelatin to form so drizzle slow. So now you have what is called Stabilized Whipped Cream. It will last forever. It won't separate and get wet overnight. I love to layer this between my favorite Chocolate Cream Cake and it made a great frosting for the Coconut Cream Cake.
Take one cake layer and spread a thin layer of lemon curd and then top with a generous amount of cream. Place the remaining 3 layers on the cake repeating the lemon curd and whipped cream. I like to stick a skewer of pencil down the middle of the cake to keep it in one place. Actually this time around I stuck 4 skewers in the cake to keep it upright. Otherwise it will tend to slip and fall. When done frost the entire cake with the whipped cream. I toasted a bag of coconut and spread that all over the cake to make it pretty. The cake is best made the day before, and then served cold. The cream frosting really makes a moist cake.