Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cake with Pineapple filling and Coconut Buttercream

Have you ever lost your voice?
I mean, completely lost! 
For the past week I have been reduced to a whisper.
My boys are loving it. I am so not intimidating. I tell them to pick up their toys and they just grin at me. 
I go to the store and have to ask for something. They grin at me too. 
I know if you could hear me, you would probably be grinning too.

On the plus side, people really have to stop and listen to what I have to say. 

My son and his friend asked what happened to my voice. I told them little green elephants with wings oh so blue came into my room at night and took my voice for a while. They are just flying around singing with my voice.
My son, knowing it is part of a book we read and that I am just plain silly, laughs. His friend is looking at me wide eyed and says, "Are you serious?" I know he was thinking he may be next. Poor little boy. I assured him I was kidding, he didn't look convinced.
I do miss my voice, I hope those elephants return it soon. 

Today, I want to share a recipe with you.

It is super yummy and tropical. One of my favorites.
It has a few steps, but totally worth it.

Vanilla Bean Cake
(adapted from Bobby Flay's Coconut Cake)

2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, slightly cold

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour 2 (9 by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.

Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more.
Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pan and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in the pan on baking rack for 10 minutes.
Run a small knife around the side of the pan and invert cakes onto the baking rack, removing parchment paper, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Once the cakes have cooled, level the cakes or just slice off top layer.
Brush a coconut simple syrup on the cake layer before putting on the filling.

Coconut Simple Syrup:

1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Make a border with the coconut buttercream and then fill with the pineapple filling.

Coconut Buttercream:
2 stick unsalted butter, softened
4-5  cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the cream of coconut and vanilla, beat until combined and smooth.

Pineapple Filling:

1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
 1 cup crushed pineapple
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon butter

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, combine sugar, flour and salt. Stir in egg, pineapple and pineapple juice. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened. Stir in butter. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

I did not get a picture of it completely frosted. Oops. 
I get to decorating and forget about the pictures sometimes.

It really is a tasty cake if you have the time to make it!

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,

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