Today is my birthday! YAY! I’m dangerously getting older as I see my wrinkles deepening and my grey hair growing exponentially! Yes, I’m overdramatizing but who likes to grow old when you’re passed the age of 18? So I won’t tell you my real age but I can tell you that I’m old enough to organize my very own little party with some of my closest friends and family. It gives me great pleasure to cook and plan for the ones I love, which is why this past weekend I organized myself a little Pah-Tay!!!
I like surprises (I was going to write love but I suddenly have a doubt…), so I love making surprises for others. As a result, I decided to turn my party into a small event. I’ve worked in event planning so I love love love accessorizing and making things pretty (yes, I believe I’ve got the Pinterest syndrome, if such a thing exists)! I threw a theme in the air and called for a Black and Gold party! Why not, I asked myself? I also said I would get a caterer for part of the dinner and would make the rest. I don’t know if that makes me a high achiever or a total control freak, I just saw the whole idea as simplifying everyone’s lives; potlucks are usually amazing but they can turn out to be such preparation nightmares! With this formula, no one had to bring anything, just their pretty little faces dressed in black and gold! It was so much fun to prepare the whole event and even more fun when people got here to celebrate with me!
With birthday party comes birthday cake. As I was making my own cake, I wanted something that stood out of the pack, something that would be both classy and tasty. I also wanted to use my acquired cake making skills (I took a few cake decorating classes during my maternity leaves) but didn’t want to do a simple buttercream icing, which I’m not always a fan of. So, I did a little research and ended up creating my very own cake by merging a few recipes I found. As I was preparing the whole thing I had certain doubts. I didn’t know how the cake would turn out and it seemed that many things weren’t going as easily as I had planned. But in the end the result was more than fabulous. I got incredible reviews from the attending guests. Seriously, one friend even said that this cake was one of the best he had probably ever had. Now that’s some serious props!!! With great pleasure I now share this recipe with you but under one condition: I want to know who’s going to try it out. I want to know exactly how it turns out and what the comments around you are. This recipe is worth trying and sharing and I want to make sure that the recipe is on the dot; that it works out for everyone!
Last note, please forgive the not so great pictures. My camera is broking so I wasn’t able to capture the piece of edible art the way I would’ve liked. Plus, by the time we got to eat dessert I was a little tipsy and not so much focused on taking pictures as I was on eating that cake!
Sophie's inspired coconut and pineapple cake Serves 12 people | Preparation time: 1h30 | Level: CHEF
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE
2 cups flour
1 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 ¼ cups mayonnaise
¾ cup coconut milk
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp rum (or rum extract for extra flavor)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 can of crushed pineapple
FOR THE MERINGUE
6 egg whites
½ cup water
1 2/3 cups sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Heat your oven to 350˚F. Grease three 9” cake pans with butter and line with parchment paper. Separate the content of the pineapple can between 2 of the cake pans and gently spread to create a base for the cake. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk your flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the desiccated coconut.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the whites until soft peaks form and set aside.
In another bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place sugar and egg yolks, mix until fluffy. Add the mayonnaise, coconut milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients until batter forms. Take the bowl off the stand mixer and gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in pans. Invert into wired racks a let cool completely.
To make the meringue, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar in a bowl of a stand mixer until medium stiff peaks form (about 3-4 minutes).
In a small sauce pan, bring the sugar the water to a boil. Cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 240˚F.
With the mixer on very low (careful for splashes), slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the egg whites until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks, about 20 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix.
To assemble the cake: place the cake layer with no pineapple at the bottom on a cake stand and spread 2-3 cups of meringue over the cake. Take the second layer and put it on top with the pineapple side on the bottom. Put another 2-3 cups of the meringue on top. Repeat with the remaining layer. Cover top and sides with the remaining meringue and cover outside cake with the shredded coconut. Chill the cake for 30 minutes to firm the meringue. Serve chilled or at room temperature.