Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Bothaw's Coconut-Pecan Filled Chocolate Cake
by SuSu, Bunchbox

Some people lie to inflate their worth in the eyes of others. But sometimes, those lies become real, at least to the people telling the tales. The story gets told so many times that they come to believe it's true, even when faced with evidence to the contrary.

Gavin Darklighter, cousin to Biggs, was in love with Asyr Sei'lar. She was a Bothan, and everyone worried for the young man. Bothans, after all, are genetically predisposed to play politics for personal gain, and everyone wondered what Asyr wanted Gavin for?

To put the minds of the rest of Rogue Squadron at ease, Asyr acquired the hard-to-get ingredients for a classic chocolate cake to bake for them all. How classic was it? Asyr claimed it was an old, old Bothawui recipe, passed down from generation to generation, and never given to non-Bothans, so they'd best enjoy it while they had it!

Everyone admired the tasty cake, indeed! But Gavin was startled — this tasted EXACTLY like a cake, frosting and all, that his mother made for her brood on Tatooine! It wasn't presented in layers; Mrs. Darklighter had 10 children, and no time for niceties. But she'd spend 15 minutes making the icing, while she baked the cake in a big roasting pan, made with a ready-mix powder, and just spread the icing across the top and cut the cake up into blocks. It was a favorite treat, and Gavin was aghast that Asyr claimed it was an ancient and secret Bothan-exclusive recipe!

Gavin was going to say something, but a hand on his shoulder stilled him. The hand belonged to his commander, Wedge Antilles, who said, "I know. My mother made this cake, too. And so did Tycho's. Even Wes remembers this cake from his childhood, though he can't remember who made it for him. Hobbie is pretending he'd never had it before so he can cadge a second piece."

Gavin's mouth was agape, and he had to be reminded that he had chocolate cake and coconut frosting still in his mouth. "But," he mumbled as he swallowed the chewed cake, "where did the recipe come from?"

Wedge laughed, "You want to know? Okay, I know because my sister used to collect stuff from the old fashioned flimsi magazines. You're too young to remember them ... but they had pictures and holovid stars and recipes and junk that appealed to young girls. She found the recipe in an ad for 'Mr. Bothaw's Baking Chocolate' — it's a now-extinct brand that made all manner of chocolate baking products, including cake mixes. Asyr must believe it's a cake from Bothawui, but 'Bothaw' is the manufacturer's name!"

"But ... but ... that means the recipe is ..."

"... less than a few decades old. And publicly available!" Wedge finished the thought for Gavin, and then continued, "By the way, the better part of valor is often silence. Knowledge might set one free, but ignorance is bliss." The older, wiser man pat Gavin on the shoulder again, and re-joined his comrades as they ate their cake in happy silence and blissful smiles!

    Mr. Bothaw's Chocolate Cake
  • 1 box devil's food cake mix (or any other chocolate cake you like)
  • 3 eggs (or as many as the box cake mix recommends)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or as much as the box cake mix recommends)
  • 1¼ cup water and/or milk (or as much as the box cake mix recommends)
Heat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Prepare two or three cake pans by greasing and flouring the pans, or spraying with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Prepare the box cake mix according to the instructions on the package. For most popular brands, put the cake powder, eggs, vegetable oil, and water into a bowl and beat with a wire whisk or electric mixer till the batter is smooth. Stir the flaked coconut into the batter. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Tap the pans on the counter to even out the batter distribution in the pans. Place in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, or till a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes before turning out onto racks to complete cooling.

    Coconut Pecan Caramel Frosting
  • 12 oz / 335 g can evaporated milk
  • 1½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons butter (6 oz / 170 g), at room temperature, cut into chunks
  • 3 cups coconut
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
In a big, unheated, thick-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the canned milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, vanilla till well blended. Heat the pot over medium heat, whisking constantly till the mixture gets thick and browned in color. Add the butter, cut into chunks, stirring into the hot icing till it all melts. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the coconut and the pecans, and mix with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula. Cover well with plastic wrap, cool it to room temperature, then refrigerate till you need it.

Cake Assembly
The cake layers must be completely cooled to room temperature. Place one of the layers on a cake plate and spread either a half or a third of the icing on the top of it (depending on whether you made two or three layers). Place another cake layer on top of that, then spread another portion of icing, then place the third layer of cake over that, and spread the remaining icing on top, but not the sides. Cover and refrigerate the cake until serving time.


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