It has been 4 years this month, April 16th, since William and his friend and fellow Navy Corpsman, Brenton Lane, died in a motor vehicle accident. According to reports, they died instantly from their wounds and did not suffer. We’ll never know why two great men met such a sad fate, but we do know they left behind an amazing amount of love and gratitude for who they were and what they accomplished in their short lives. This love and gratitude along with time has allowed for so much healing.
Grief is much like a deep, open wound. It is painful and scary and requires careful attention for proper healing. For that wound to heal it must be irrigated with copious salty tears and then properly dressed with strong supports. It’s time consuming and heart-breaking work, and requires more energy than one could ever imagine. Some may choose to ignore the wound, deny it exists, but left alone it will fester and somewhere down that lonesome highway complications will arise. Are you actively working through your loss? What can any of us do to help?
Right now I need help with spring-cleaning. I can’t ignore it any longer. Let’s start with the refrigerator. That is how this recipe was born. Cheeses were on the brink of expiration as was the tofu and it seemed like the perfect time to use up some of these coconut products. I love coconut. Cleaning out my fridge has never tasted so good. I’m glad I did not wait another minute to work on it.
With tangy goat cheese and layers of coconut flavor, this dense, moist cake gets an extra protein boost from tofu and has those crusty end slices that we all fight over. Great with a cup of tea or topped with some Greek yogurt or cream and those tropical fruits hidden in the back of the fridge.
[recipe title=”Spring-Cleaning Coconut Cake” servings=”2 loaves”]
3 cups all purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
½ cup smashed tofu*
6 ounces mild goat cheese
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1-cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
2 tablespoons coconut liqueur (I use Southern Accents Coconut Cake)
1-teaspoon coconut extract
4 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
Heat oven 325F. Butter 2 (8 to 9-inch) loaf pans (glass pans work best). In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine tofu, goat cheese, cream cheese and butter; beat for 3 to 4 minutes or until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed throughout this mixing process. Add both sugars and continue beating for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Add coconut liqueur and extract; blend well. With mixer on the lowest speed, add flour mixture, 1 cup at a time until moistened. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 1 minute or until batter is smooth. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and smooth the tops. Sprinkle evenly with coconut. Bake for 35 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 300F. Bake for another 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and the hallmark crack down the center of the loaf appears just barely dry. Flip cakes out of pan onto a cooling rack immediately and then turn upright. Freezes well.[/recipe]
*I used Nasoya extra-firm sprouted tofu, but any firmness works well. Tofu has a similar moisture and protein content to eggs and I often use it as an egg substitute in many of my recipes.