TROP­I­CAL CO­CONUT CAKE WITH PINEAP­PLE FLOW­ERS

Your Home and Garden - - A Very Merry Food Bag -

SERVES 12-16

We’re run­ning with a sum­mery seafood theme at our house this year and this trop­i­cal cake will pro­vide the per­fect light fi­nale to our cel­e­bra­tion.

1 fresh pineap­ple, skin re­moved, sliced into even 3mm-thick slices

225g but­ter, soft­ened

2 cups caster sugar

2 large free-range eggs

2½ cups self-rais­ing flour

1 cup unsweet­ened co­conut milk

2 tsp vanilla ex­tract

½ cup sour cream

6 large egg whites

Whipped co­conut cream, to serve (start a day ahead; see step 13 for in­struc­tions)

PINEAP­PLE CURD

¾ cup caster sugar

110g but­ter, diced

Finely grated zest ½ le­mon

½ cup good-qual­ity (unsweet­ened) pineap­ple juice ¼ cup le­mon juice

4 large eggs, beaten

CREAM CHEESE BUT­TER CREAM 200g but­ter, soft­ened

250g cream cheese, soft­ened 4 cups ic­ing sugar

2-3 cups toasted shred­ded co­conut

FOR THE PINEAP­PLE FLOW­ERS

1 Pre­heat oven to 80°C fan­bake. Lay pineap­ple slices on lined trays and bake for about 2 hours (if edges brown too quickly, lower heat). When pineap­ple has shrunk and is easy to lift off trays, place half (still warm) over small glasses or egg cups to set into con­cave shapes; leave rest on trays. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 days to dry out fully then use or store air­tight in fridge.

FOR THE CURD

2 Place the sugar, but­ter, zest and juices in a heat­proof bowl over a pot of sim­mer­ing wa­ter. Stir un­til the but­ter has melted.

3 Stir in beaten eggs. Con­tinue cook­ing, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til curd thick­ens and holds a line when you run a finger across a coated spoon. Pour into a jar and re­frig­er­ate when cool.

FOR THE CAKE

4 Pre­heat oven to 180°C fan­bake and grease and line two 25cm cake tins.

5 In a stand mixer beat the but­ter and sugar to­gether un­til light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beat­ing well af­ter each ad­di­tion.

6 Add one-third of flour and mix un­til com­bined. Mix the co­conut milk and vanilla to­gether. 7 Add half the co­conut milk to bat­ter and mix thor­oughly. Con­tinue to add the flour and co­conut milk al­ter­nately, mix­ing un­til only just com­bined, un­til used up. Add sour cream and mix un­til in­cor­po­rated.

8 Beat the egg whites un­til they form soft peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake bat­ter.

9 Di­vide evenly be­tween the two pre­pared tins. Bake for about 25-30 min­utes or un­til a skewer comes out clean when in­serted in the cen­tre. Set aside to cool.

FOR THE BUT­TER CREAM

10 In a stand mixer fit­ted with a pad­dle at­tach­ment, beat the but­ter un­til pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat un­til com­bined. Grad­u­ally add the ic­ing sugar un­til com­bined and smooth. TO AS­SEM­BLE

11 (The cakes can be made 1-2 days ahead and as­sem­bled the day be­fore or on the day; keep re­frig­er­ated once iced.) Lay one of the sponges on a serv­ing plat­ter and spread with the pineap­ple curd. Place the other sponge on top and se­cure with a cou­ple of bam­boo skew­ers pushed down from the top (snip off skew­ers flush with top of cake).

12 Spread the but­ter cream care­fully all over the sur­face. Sprin­kle and press the toasted co­conut into the but­ter cream. Ar­range the dried pineap­ple flow­ers on top.

13 Serve with whipped co­conut cream. (Leave a can of co­conut milk in fridge overnight. The next day, drain off liq­uid and scoop hard­ened co­conut cream into large bowl. With a hand-held mixer, whip un­til light and fluffy, adding 1 Tbsp ic­ing sugar if de­sired. Chill un­til ready to serve.)

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