Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Tale of Two Cakes...part two

The second tier was a Pina Colada cake. I used my vanilla bean - reduced coconut cupcake recipe for the cake, with pineapple buttercream filling and crumb coated with a coconut buttercream. I was worried the cupcake recipe wouldn't translate well into the cake, but it worked out very well.

Verdict...super yummy cupcakes make even yummier cake, cuz I could use more of that wonderful pineapple buttercream. I've already posted all the recipes on my blog before, but this cake is worth a double recipe posting, so here thery are...

First we'll start with the coconut cake, which I found on Epicurious - Before you start with the cake, you'll need to reduce coconut milk:
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk.
I added some old vanilla bean husks to the milk that I had in my sugar bag, plus the vanilla bean from the pineapple makes the milk all vanilla bean speckly....

Bring to boil in a large deep saucepan over med-hi heat (milk will boil up in pan). reduce heat to med-lo and simmer until reduced to approx 1 1/2 cups (I actually got 1 2/3 cups exactly both times I did this - which is perfect because it gave me exactly enough to make 1 batch of cuppies and a double batch of frosting). Stirring occasionally, it takes 25 - 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely and refridgerate up to 2 days ahead.

Coconut Cupcakes: (or cake, I made 3 - 6 inch rounds from this recipe, which made 2-3 layer cakes)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp b powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted room temp butter (I accidently added 2 sticks the second time I made these, and they were just a little richer - so you decide)
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (I used 1/2 vanilla bean and 1/2 tsp good vanilla)
1 cup reduced coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line 18 cupcake tins. (grease, flour, place parchment paper in pans of choice)
Sift together the dry ingredients into seperate bowl.
Cream the butter until fluffy then slowly add the sugar and beat again 2 - 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between each addition (and as always, scrape your bowl when you need to). Add the last egg with the seeds from the vanilla bean (or extract) and beat well.
Add the cup of coconut milk, mix well. Add 1/2 the flour mixture and mix until blended, then add the remaining flour and mix until blended. (okay, so that's the original directions. I just did the dry, wet, dry method which worked just fine too - just don't overmix your flour). Bake 18 - 20 minutes. (rotate your cakes 15 minutes into cakes baked about 27 minutes)

Next comes the Pineapple Buttercream (a new favorite), which is a recipe that I adapted from Fields of Cake, one of my favorite blogsites.

1/4 cup dark rum
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted room temp butter
1 stick salted room temp butter
1/2 box (or 1/7 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pineapple filling
1/2 - 1 cup powdered sugar

In small sauce pan stir together rum and b. sugar and cook over med heat until sugar is dissolved (I just brought it to a boil). remove from heat and let cool.
In stand mixer with whip attachment, cream both butters until light and fluffy. Add pudding and rum mixture (make sure you dip your fingers into the rum mixture and savor a piece of heaven while your at it) and mix on low to blend, then turn mixer up and beat 5 - 8 minutes. Bring mixer back to low and add cream and 1/4 cup pineapple, mix to incorporate. Turn mixer back up and beat again for a few minutes. Turn down again and add sugar (I like 1 cup, but you decide how sweet you want does have the brown sugar from the rum and the filling itself). Once again bring mixer back up and beat for another few minutes. When done fold in the other half of the pineapple. (this time I used all of my pineapple...just incorporated it in is a filling afterall....)
I found at times the frosting looked a little coagulated, but keep beating. It ends up great.
Next is the Coconut Buttercream ('s sooooo good)
(also from Epicurious)
2 sticks unsalted room temp butter (I actually use 1 stick salted and 1 stick unsalted)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup reduced coconut milk (from above)
seeds from vanilla bean or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (good quality)
1/8 tsp salt

beat butter until fluffy, add sugar, milk, vanilla and salt and mix on med low until well blended and scraping bowl as needed. Increase mixer to med high and beat until light and fluffy.
I have to double this recipe when I make it because it's sooooo fantastic.

Pineapple Filling
(Adapted from "Sky High")

1 can crushed pineapple in natural juice (approx 560 g)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar (use dark or light)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Spiced rum
1/2 vanilla bean - scrape seeds out and add, then throw in the pod while cooking.

Put all ingredients into large pan. On low heat cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium and simmer until juice is evaporated and pineapple is jam like and thickened (approx 20 -25 minutes). Cool, take out vanilla pod. I stored mine in a glass jar and used after a couple of days.

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