June 20, 2009
The Cake Slice: Pina Colada Cake
The Cake Slice Bakers has done it again! Another great cake from the book we are baking from for a year: Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. And a perfect cake to celebrate the beginning of summer.
The cake is a lovely interpretation of a tropical drink that combines pineapple juice and coconut milk and boozed up with rum. (Although I made this cake sans booze because of my kids -- it's a virgin cake!) The layers are baked using brown sugar and buttermilk which made them tender and moist. Then moistened some more with a mixture of equal parts pineapple juice and coconut milk (my substitute for rum) before being layered with a jam-like filling of crushed pineapple cooked down with freshly-squeezed lime juice and vanilla.
The cake was frosted with coconut buttercream which gave me some trouble. It also didn't help that I was not making it in my kitchen and had to rely on my in-law's hand mixer (my Kitchen-Aid had made me a spoiled girl. :) ) On my first try, the sugar syrup seized up on me but I still added it to my egg whites which made it lumpy so decided to start over. Second try, the sugar syrup came out okay but when I added the butter, it made me nervous since it wouldn't hold together -- it looked all curdled! I whipped for more than ten minutes and the butter was getting warm so I put in the fridge for several minutes and thought about starting again.
While I was waiting for another batch of sugar syrup to boil, I decided to take the bowl out of the fridge and whip again. After a few minutes, it came together (YAY) so added the coconut milk. (I left out the coconut extract since I don't like the strong smell.) The cake was quickly frosted and served to my patiently-waiting family.
The Pina Colada cocktail usually comes with a paper umbrella so I borrowed that idea when it came to decorating the cake, complete with a chunk of fresh pineapple and cherry. I used a 1M tip when I piped the dots of frosting on top. The sides of the cake was pressed with lightly-toasted coconut shavings.
(My in-laws couldn't make it to his birthday so they decided to throw another party for him. Lucky boy!)
The cake tasted just like a pineapple-upside down cake with added coconut flavor from the frosting. One bite from my brother-in-law and he exclaimed "Hey, this tastes just like Mom's!" Apparently, my mother-in-law baked a pineapple cake so great, she got orders for them. So stories were told on how my MIL would be baking several cakes every day. This happened about 30 years ago so it was fun to hear stories and how food triggers memories.
So guess what, my brother turned 40 three days ago and I baked this cake again per his request. I played around a bit and used Buttermilk Spongecake (page 68) and lightened the pineapple filling with a little freshly-whipped cream and it was a hit, too! Today is my cousin's birthday (Happy Birthday, Katie!) and I'm baking them in cupcake form as I *speak*. I used two different cupcake liners so I can put rum on one and have the other "virgin." More pics later, maybe.
Please stop by my fellow Cake Slice Bakers for their lovely interpretation of this wonderful cake. Print the recipe as well, give it a try and let me know how you like it. Now let's go to the beach!