Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mama's Coconut-Pineapple Layer Cake

Last night Stone and I had a dinner party.  While I was contemplating on what to prepare for dessert, my favorite part, I told Stone I was undecided.  Should I make Mama's Coconut-Pineapple Layer Cake or my Summer Strawberry-Coconut Cake.  He wanted Mama's Cake!  The only problem, rain was in the forecast for the day of the gathering.  Well, anyone who has made a boiled frosting knows it doesn't take to kindly to humidity.  
Fast forward to the day of the dinner. I called my mama.  I said, "mama I'm making your Coconut-Pineapple Layer Cake and it is supposed to start raining around noon and continue into the night."  Immediately mama says, "that frosting doesn't take to kindly to humidity."  Duh, this I already knew which is why I was calling. I was hoping she would have some advice that would help, and she did.   Mama said, "you need to set the fan on your thermostat to the on position and let it run until after your party"  and "cover the frosted cake, either in a tupperware type container or wrap it in saran wrap."  I did the later since I was covering the cake with coconut, which kept the saran wrap from adhering to the frosting.  Lets just say, as usual, mama was right.  The cake was superb.  The frosting was perfect.  Stone liked it so much that after everyone had left he said, "I think I need to eat another piece of that cake for Debbie," my mama.  And so he did.   
The next day it tasted just as good as the previous night so I sliced it up and Stone took it to the office.  Hmmm, I wonder if he had another piece. I would have which is exactly why I sent it with him.  Otherwise, by the time he came home there would have been nothing but crumbs.

 Mama's Coconut-Pineapple Layer Cake
1 cup (unsalted) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs (at room temperature)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice, (not extract)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven 350'.

In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream butter.  
Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy and sugar is dissolved.  
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  

Now get the flour, baking powder, and salt combination that you had set aside previously.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat on low speed of your mixer just until blended.  Do not over beat at this point.  Stir in lemon juice and vanilla and almond extract.

Pour batter evenly into 3 cake pans that the bottoms of the pans have been lined with parchment paper and have been sprayed with baking spray.  

Bake at 350' for 25 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool in pans 10 minutes.  Then remove from pans and let begin coolling on a cooling rack

Pineapple Filling
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (20 ounce) can (crushed pineapple in juice) NOT SYRUP, (undrained) MEANING DO NOT DRAIN!
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan; add pineapple and butter.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.  Place 1 layer of cake that is still slightly warm on cake platter.  Spread half of the pineapple filling on cake.  Next place the second layer over that and spread remaining filling over it.  Then place third layer over that and let it cool completely.

Heavenly Frosting
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 cup water
4 egg whites, (that have come to room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
In a small saucepan, add the sugar, salt, and cream of tarter.  Stir mixture to combine;  add the water.

Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until it is clear.  Now stop stirring, allow the mixture to boil until it reaches the 240' on a candy thermometer.  I used my thermapen which works great!  !    If it begins to form crystals  around the edge of pan, just wash it down with water on a pastry brush.

Remove from heat and set aside.  In a large bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  

Once the eggs whites are at a soft peak, begin to slowly pour the boiled sugar mixture into the egg whites.  Pour the mixture along the side of the bowl while beating the two together.

Make sure to pour the sugar mixture in a slow steady stream, beating the frosting the entire time.  Once all the sugar mixture has been added, pour in the almond extract. Beat until the frosting is thick enough to form stiff peaks.

Once the frosting has thickened to for stiff peaks, begin frosting the cake.  Lastly sprinkle coconut on top and sides of cake.  I used more coconut that what recipe calls for.

This frosting has to be cover, otherwise it will not remain fluffy and it will get grainy.  Cover tightly with a tupperware type of container or what I did was cover it really well with saran wrap.  The coconut prevents it from sticking to the frosting.