For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog A Taste of Madness. It's written by a Canadian woman named Cathleen. Cathleen is a math teacher (how cool!) and enjoys doing yoga and traveling, in addition to making- and eating- desserts. Sounds like we have a lot in common!
I'm not sure I'd seen A Taste of Madness before, but believe me, I'll be back frequently to try new recipes. There were about 25 looking awesome ones that I bookmarked, and I didn't even go through her whole blog. I actually made two recipes of hers this month, the Cottage Cheese Pancakes (which I added a smidge of vanilla to, they were amazing), and Coconut Oatmeal Cake. My husband and I both really wanted to make her crumpet recipe but ran out of time, it's one we plan to make soon, though! Cathleen is originally from the UK, so we figure she would know a good crumpet recipe!
This Coconut Oatmeal Cake was great. I've seen recipes that called for a broiled coconut-pecan topping and always wanted to try it. I brought it to a friend's get together where we got to paint, and it got rave reviews from everyone. It's so moist and the topping is delightfully sweet, crunchy, and a little chewy from the caramelization. This is a perfect cake for winter because of the spices, oats, and rich topping! I can picture it perfectly on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
My only change was to decrease the salt in the cake (I worried it would be too salty with 1 1/2 tsp), and for the topping, there was a difference between the types of sugar mentioned in the ingredients list and the recipe itself. I decided to go with what the ingredient list said, and it turned out wonderfully!
Coconut Oatmeal Cake
1 1/4 C boiling water
1 C quick cooking oats
1 1/3 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 C packed dark brown sugar
1/4 C milk
1/2 C salted butter
1/4 C packed dark brown sugar
1 C sweetened coconut flakes
1 C shopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 by 13 pan.
In a heat safe bowl, pour boiling water over oats and stir to combine. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the batter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar, then stir in eggs until smooth. Mix in the dry ingredients a little at a time, until smooth. The mixture will be thick. Mix in cooked oats.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
When cake is almost done baking, prepare the topping. Place the milk, butter, and brown sugar into a medium sauce pan and cook over medium until everything is melted and well combined. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans.
When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately top with the topping mixture. Spread the topping as smoothly as possible so no bits of coconut or pecan sticks up, this will help prevent burning.
Place an oven rack at the highest setting, turn the oven to broil, and place the cake on the top rack. Watch it very carefully (don't walk away!) and remove the cake immediately when the topping turns golden. This will only take about 2 minutes.
Let cake cool, and serve. It's great both warm and at room temperature.
Yield: about 10 servings