Piña Colada Cake (virgin)/ Pineapple Coconut Cake

Piña Colada is a delicious tropical cocktail which inspired me to crack it as a cake. The satisfying combination of the coconut cream and the pineapple is absolutely delectable. This from scratch cocktail cake is fabulously moist and soft as a cotton candy. The busting combination of flavors lives your taste buds and the sunshine like color is sure to  please your eyes. 

Baked this ultimate cake packed with incredible flavors on the occasion of my better half's birthday. In order to surprise him, had to burn the candle at both ends. It was definitely worth it! I skipped the alcohol flavor and went with pineapple extract to keep it virgin. I gained a lot of experience working with egg whites while preparing the Meringue Cookies that I posted earlier. Hence you will notice that the quantity of eggs is relatively high than any regular cake to acquire the French spongy cake base. 

I must accept that I couldn't afford to sacrifice the color of this cocktail cake, especially when it comes to the pristine white whipped cream and the bright yellow. Brown sugar wasn't the right choice, hence found an alternative choice being Palm sugar candy/ Panam Kalkandu (in Tamil) which was lying in my pantry. Powdered the Palm sugar candy/ Rock candy using a mixer and tried with the whipped cream process. Surprisingly, it turned out to be perfect with its own benefits hence I pursued the same for the entire cake recipe. Most importantly,  this palm rock candy is nothing but palm tree sap which contains a lot of benefits. To name a few, it is a low glycemic sweetener, rich in vitamins, iron, increases metabolism, cures cold and cough as well. You certainly must try this sweetener if you haven't, although regular white sugar works just fine. 

Using frozen pineapples was another challenge, as I was not aware of its outcome with regards to the sweetness and texture. Fresh pineapple were not available, so the closest was frozen than canned in order to have full control of the sugar level. Again, I was spellbound with the bursting tropical flavor of the outstanding pineapple filling. 

To cut down the baking time, I chose to use 2 pans. Unfortunately,  I had them slightly vary by an inch. I initially planned to trim off the edges to even it out. But when I stacked them I couldn't afford to lose the extra inches as the cake already looked smaller than expected. Hence came up with this curvy shape and liked what I created as well. 

Dessicated coconut (untoasted) is sparingly used for decoration purpose. I personally don't prefer toasted coconut on my cake, although you may pursue by all means. The cake, frosting and fillings can be prepared the previous day like I did. Give your cake base the extra time to cool down before you slice it into layers. Icing the cake was pretty quick and I really enjoyed the process that I failed to capture the stepwise picture. 

Imagin, you can aquire all the wonderful flavors of the tropical drink in a slice of cake. It can't get any better. Give it a try for any of your upcoming occasions or turn a mundane day extra special with this dessert. I can assure you will be surprised with the compliments that pour in from all who gets to taste this Pina Colada cake. I would love to hear from you as how it turned out for you. Don't forget to tag me as well. 



Cakes you might be interested are linked with the title below.

European Tiramisu Cake




Caramel Crunch Ice Cream cake



Classic Opera





PREP TIME
Bake TIME
TOTAL TIME

Category: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican fusion
Level: Medium
Yields: 7 in cake (medium sized)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 287
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21 g32 %
Saturated Fat 1 g4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 267 mg11 %
Potassium 2 mg0 %
Total Carbohydrate 18 g6 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g3 %
Sugars 6 g
Protein 2 g3 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C4 %
Calcium34 %
Iron0 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
INGREDIENTS
Cake:
Egg whites - 4
Cream of tartar/ white vinegar/ lime juice - ½ tsp
Palm candy(panam kalkandu) (powdered) / Sugar(fine) - 1/4 cup

Wet Ingredients:
Egg yolks - 4
Palm candy / Sugar(fine) - 2 tbsp
Vegetable oil (no flavor) - 3½  tbsp
Coconut cream - 2 Tbsp
Pineapple juice - 2 tbsp
Pineapple extract or vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Dry ingredients:
All purpose flour -3/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - ½ tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Pineapple filling:
Pineapple chunks - 1½ cup
Palm candy/ Sugar - 2 tbsp
Cornstarch - 2 tbsp
Pineapple juice - ½ cup
Pineapple or almond extract - 1 tsp

Coconut Whipped frosting:
Whipping cream - 2 cups
Palm candy/ Sugar - 2 tbsp
Coconut cream 2 tsp
Yellow food gel (optional) - 2 drops

Brushing the layers:
Pineapple juice - ½ cup

Decorations (optional):
Desiccated coconut - 1/4 cup
Fresh mint leaves - few

Requirements:
8 inch and 7 inch springform pan*
Piping bag with star tip
Parchment paper or butter for greasing.
Cling wrap (optional) to refrigerate the whipped cream. 
DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 320F. Prepare your pan, by greasing with butter and dusting with flour or line with parchment paper.  


2. Separate the eggs carefully and add in the egg whites into a clean whipping bowl. Start whipping on low speed and gradually increase the speed. To this add cream of tartar and continue whipping until foamy. 


3. Sprinkle the powdered or fine sugar in small batches about a tablespoon at a time on high until the sugar dissolves completely. Make you sprinkle the sugar painstakingly slow as it makes a huge difference with the outcome. Continue whipping on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. If using a stand mixer transfer the egg whites into another bowl*.


4. In the same bowl drop in the egg yolks, sugar, oil, coconut cream, pineapple juice and pineapple extract. Continue whipping until well incorporated. 




5. Turn off your mixer and sift in the dry ingredients - a
ll purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Now carefully whisk the ingredients preventing any lumps until well combined.





6. To the above mixture, gently fold in the prepared egg whites using a spatula in small batches to prevent over mixing. In order to retain its airy texture, fold in circular motion carefully. 

7. Transfer prepared batter into your prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter to help the air bubbles to escape or use a skewer and run it through the batter.


8. Bake in the middle rack in your preheated oven for 30-35 mins or until done (as the oven temperature varies slightly). Test by inserting a toothpick to come out clean.

9. Remove the pan and rest to cool completely for at least an hour. Run a knife around and remove the cake carefully from the pan and slice to make layers. I sliced both the cakes into halves to get 4 layers.

Pineapple filling:
1. Thaw frozen pineapple chunks. Crush them in a blender with a cup of water. Strain to set about 1 cup of juice a side for later use. The pulp is used to make the filling.
2. Set a saucepan on medium heat and mix in the crushed pineapple pulp and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. in a seperate cup take ½ cup of pineapple juice and mix in cornflour avoiding any lumps. Pour this mixture into the saucepan and stir in vigorously until the sauce thickens. Pineapple or vanilla extract and give it a good stir. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When refrigerated, this filling can hold well for couple of days. 

Coconut whipped frosting:

1. In a large mixing bowl pour in the whipping cream, sugar and coconut cream. Whisk on medium speed for about 4-5 mins until you get stiff peaks. Refrigerate with a cling wrap on until ready to frost.

Layering the cake:

1. Spread a dollop of frosting on your board and then place a layer of cake for your cake to stay in place. 


2. Brush the reserved pineapple juice on to this cake layer for the favor to penetrate and keep it moist.


3. Spread the coconut whipped cream layer evenly using a spatula. 


4. Now spread an even and generous layer of pineapple filling.


5. Place the 2nd layer and repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 until the top layer is placed. 
6. Apply a layer of crumb coating with the coconut frosting and refrigerate for about 30 mins. 
7. With the remaining frosting I added yellow food gel and whipped it up for the color to mix in. This step is completely optional. 


8. Apply an even final coat. Using star tip I pipped in the top outer layer. Patted dessicated coconut to the bottom of the cake for texture and color. Placed few fresh mint leaves for some contrasting color. 



NOTES AND TIPS


1. You got to be extra cautious when whipping the egg whites to achieve stiff peaks. The bowl has to be clean as a whistle and dry as a bone. I would suggest you clean with white vinegar prior to adding the egg whites. When this step is done, you can transfer and add the yolks to the same bowl without giving it a rinse.

2. My pan sizes vary here in order to fit in the convection oven. You can also use 1 pan to bake the cake, but remember to increase the baking time about 20 mins approximately. 


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