...and getting caught in the rain.*
*Is there anyone who actually enjoys getting caught in the rain?
I don't know if you've heard, but Valentine's Day** is coming up. Pink, hearts, and chocolate are EVERYWHERE. I think I've proven what a rebel I can be, so in that vein, I eschewed all three of the aforementioned Valentine's Day staples and made a treat with none of them in sight.
**Funny story--I was jotting down a note the other day and wrote 'Happy VD' and it took me a minute to realize that that's probably not the best idea for an abbreviation...
This is a refreshing little dessert for anyone feeling the least bit of winter blues. It's a light and fluffy coconut cake that's been torted, and between the moist, rum-soaked layers lies a zippy and tart lime curd. Go ahead and say it: Ooh-la-la!
The frosting marks my first experience with Swiss meringue buttercream, and I can state with certainty that it won't be my last--that's some incredible stuff! It's slick and creamy like a velvet suit and with just the right amount of sweetness, nicely off-set by the crunchy toasted coconut. All in all, this is one heck of a Hallmark-free celebration combination.
Piña-less Colada Cake
(inspired by this creation)
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, cold
1 teaspoon freshly-grated lime zest
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, cool but not cold
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
toasted coconut to garnish
Make Lime Curd:
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lime juice, cream, and butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes, or until mixture just reaches a boil. Strain the curd into a bowl and stir in the zest. Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
Make Rum Syrup:
In a heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Stir only until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Cool slightly and stir in the rum.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, and cream of coconut in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients and then the buttermilk, each just until blended.
Using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites with pinch of salt in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold the beaten egg whites into batter.
Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto racks to cool completely.
Cut both layers in half. Put one half of a cake layer on a cake plate, brush generously with the rum syrup, spread evenly with lime curd, and sprinkle with sweetened flaked coconut. Repeat steps with remaining cake layers and chill cake 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water but do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring often. Stop when the color is a milky white, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed. Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. Add the cubed butter and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes more. The buttercream will look as though it's breaking, but never fear--it'll come together. Add the salt and vanilla and beat for 5 seconds to combine.
Spread frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the frosted cake, gently pressing into sides to adhere.