I find it fascinating to see how my friends’ and my birthday celebrations have changed over the last decade. Early 20s celebrations consisted of mostly clubbing and as years went by we moved towards more of a bar/lounge kind of atmosphere, usually preceded by a lavish dinner. Now in our late 20s early 30s, things have changed. A few weeks ago we celebrated my friend’s birthday in the most gratifying and simple way possible. We started the day with high-tea at the Getty Villa and the original plan for night celebrations was dinner, one or two Disney movies and late-night karaoke to all Disney songs. Half-way through Lady and the Tramp, our second movie, we took a break to eat spaghetti and homemade meatballs—a very appropriate dinner. By the end of the movie, we could barely open our eyes and silently agreed to cancel karaoke and watch Mulan instead, while indulging in my coconut rum cake. At one point, I glanced around and saw a group of girls eating spaghetti/meatballs and cake and doing a Disney movie marathon; and I realized that we were celebrating our late 20s/early 30s the same way we did as 6 year olds. And I’m totally okay with that.
Coconut Rum Cake
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/4 tsp. of salt
4 large eggs plus 3 large yolks
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup of well-stirred sweetened coconut cream
3 tbsp. of cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. of well-stirred sweetened cream of coconut
1 tbsp. of dark rum
3/4 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 tbsp. of heavy cream
1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) with rack in middle.Lightly butter cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Lightly butter parchment.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, the three yolks, sugar and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture until combined and finally whisk in the butter. Pour into cake pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. Remove from oven and leave on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. While the cake is still warm, brush the top and side of the cake with coconut cream. Let it soak in before adding some more. Let the cake cool.
Beat together the cream cheese, coconut cream, rum, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar. Icing should be smooth and slightly runny. Add last tablespoon of cream if necessary.
Smooth icing over top of cooled cake, allowing some to drip over side with the help of your spatula. Top with coconut slivers.