A Beautiful Bird's Nest
I was inspired by this delightful rendition, but I had to do it my own way. What can I say?

So I started with my favorite carrot cake recipe (without the coconut – I'll explain later!), and created from there. First – why couldn't I use a bundt pan? It's circular, sloped on the side, already has a hole... So that's what I did!

I didn't want to fill up my standard 12 cup pan more than halfway (how deep are nests anyways?), so I baked an 8”x8” layer to save for later . Adjust your timing, checking after about 30 minutes.

Apparently I didn't prepare my pan well enough, or perhaps carrot cake and bundt pans are simply not a good match, so there were some loose pieces. I did what they refer to as a 'crumb coat', a thin layer of icing to help hold it together, and chilled. Oh yeah – the icing... I still can't imagine any frosting other than cream cheese on a carrot cake, so I doubled the original recipe for that – but I added about a quarter cup of cocoa to turn it brown. So far so good!

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't have the patience for intricate icing techniques. Not that there's anything WRONG with that, but I needed a simpler plan. Now, here's why I left the coconut out of the cake – I dyed it brown, and patted it against the cream cheese frosting! Equal parts of red and green food coloring make brown – adjust as you like (in other words, PLAY) to get the shade you want. Add a teaspoon or two of water, and then “smoosh” your coconut strands in a plastic bag until you get the hue/depth desired. [HINT: I set a little coconut aside, used a touch of plain white, dyed a tiny bit green, and then tossed the entire bunch together].

Now, for the best part – fill the hollow with purchased malted milk “eggs” - and you've got an Easter dessert unlike any other!

Thanks again, Vanilla Bean Baker - your idea is magnificent! I truly hope you don't mind my tweaks...

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 19 April 2014 - 21:01:15
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