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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Coconut Pineapple Cake

My mother who will celebrate her birthday at the end of January was born into a second generation family from Switzerland Each year for her birthday they would celebrate with a birthday cake similar to this one.

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/3 cups sugar, divided
6 large eggs, separated
3 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350^.  Butter and flour (and add parchment paper, also greased, if your pans stick) 3 nine-inch cake pans.  (For Hubby's party I made 2 larger layers for the ease of our large family gathering with several young children who appreciate smaller slices.  3 layers are prettier.)

In your mixer bowl with beater attachment, combine butter and 2 cups of the sugar.  Beat until fluffy. Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.  Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat slowly as each ingredient portion is added and mix only until combined.

Beat in vanilla and coconut extracts. Mix on medium for about 30 seconds or just until all ingredients are well combined.

Remove this batter to a different large bowl and clean your mixer bowl.  Whip egg whites until they hold soft peaks, then, while mixing on slow, add last 1/3 cup sugar and whip to stiff peaks.  

Gently fold egg white mixture into batter in thirds.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (My larger pans took an extra 5 minutes.) When done, remove pans from oven onto wire racks.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Remove cake from pans (and remove parchment paper if used)  and let sit until completely cool.

While cake bakes and cools, make filling and frosting.

Pineapple Curd Filling :
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, drained--keep both juice and pineapple
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 egg yolks, lightly whisked
1/4 cup unsalted butter  (1/2 stick of butter)
1/2 teaspoon pineapple extract
pinch salt
Using a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch and salt.

Add the drained pineapple juice and the lemon juice.  Whisk together.

Add the yolks and cook on medium heat until mixture boils..boil for 30 seconds more until mixture becomes thick like a pudding.  Remove from heat.

Stir in butter until completely melted.  Now stir in the crushed pineapple and pineapple extract.  Let this filling cool.  If necessary refrigerate for an hour.  (This filling should be thick enough to not spread or run when spooned onto a cake layer, but soft enough to spread easily when pushed over the layer with a spoon.)

White Frosting  :
8 ounces white chocolate  (Place in medium size microwavable bowl.)
1/4 cup heavy cream (Add cream to white chocolate and microwave 30 seconds, until mixture is just warm.  Stir these 2 ingredients together until smooth and creamy.  Microwave again in short bursts if necessary.)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature  (Add to white chocolate-cream mixture and stir until smooth.  If too thick or white chocolate not completely melted, microwave for 10 second bursts and stir until smooth.)

Place above into mixer bowl with beater attachment and add:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon coconut extract

Beat until smooth and creamy.  Mixture should now be cool.

Next, add about 6 cups confectioner's sugar.  Easiest to add 2 cups at a time and beat slowly after each addition.  When all sugar has been added, beat on medium high until smooth and fluffy.  Add enough sugar to make frosting a consistency that is  easily spreadable or that can be piped and will keep its shape.


Place one cake layer on cake platter and top with 1/2 of the pineapple curd filling.  Spread to within 1 inch of cake edge.  

Add second cake layer on top and then add 1/2 of the curd on top of this layer, again spreading to within 1 inch of cake edge.  (When a layer is added on top of the filling it will push the filling further to the cake edge, but not over the edge and into the area where you will want to frost.  Curd and frosting will not mix well.

Now add the top cake layer and you are ready to frost sides and top of cake.  There should be enough curd and frosting to completely cover wanted areas well.

Add sweetened, shredded coconut to sides and top of cake immediately after frosting.  As cake sits, the exterior will set up a little so that the coconut will not stick.

Note:  Any white or yellow or sponge/angelfood cake will work.  What really makes this cake wonderful is the delicious filling which keeps the cake moist.  Also this simple, beautiful frosting is a lovely white contrast to the very yellow filling, making a lovely Spring presentation.  I chose to decorate my cake top  with Spring flowers from our yard.  (See previous post.)  This cake keeps well at room temp for 2 days.


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