February 13, 2011

if you like pina coladas...

...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.

Happy VD!

Piña-less Colada Cake
(inspired by this creation)

Lime Curd:
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

Rum Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum

Cake:
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.

Make Cake:
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.

Assemble:
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.

Make Frosting:
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.

66 comments:

bellini valli said...

Happy VD:D and ooh-la-la:D

Ashleigh said...

Actually, I love being caught in the rain. Unless I have electronics on me. Or I'm on my way somewhere important.
Otherwise, love it. You always have a story after being caught in the rain :)

http://ashleigh-studentmythsuncovered.blogspot.com

Pam said...

Rum soaked layers. Must have.

Gloria said...

You said Piña Colada?????? I love Piña Colada is my favorite drink with Mango sour (a delicious) this look fantastic Grace, I have to do soon, Have a lovely Valentine day.
xgloria

Joanne said...

I might be okay with getting caught in the rain if I had a few pina coladas in my system. At that point...I would probably not even realize I was caught in the rain.

This cake looks so delicious. I would prefer this to chocolate on V-Day. For sure.

Lisa said...

Torted Coconut Cake. Rum soaked layers. A velvet suit. Ooh-la-la!

Sounds wonderful, Grace!

For my part, I've been caught in the rain for at least fifteen years now....but that's another story.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love it even though I have no cold winter blue..;-) Looks delicious!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Heavenly! That is one of ma favorite flavors.

Cheers,

Rosa

Jacqueline said...

Mmmmmm, that sounds amazing! You are torturing me here, big style :)

lisa is cooking said...

Lime curd, rum syrup, and toasted coconut--how could this not be amazing? The cake looks tender and delicious too. Great job!

vanillasugar said...

Happy VD! lol Still that cracks me up even at this age....how bad is that

Laura Jeanne said...

I have to say I am not one for Chocolate on Valentines Day so when I saw this recipe my mouth started to salivate. How Delicious is this!!!!
I will post this recipe to my blog, areyougoingtoeatthat.org, soon and tell you how it came out.
Must try so thank you for sharing.

TKW said...

Now you are very, very naughty for getting that smarmy song stuck in my head, but I will forgive you because that cake looks divine.

Foodycat said...

Ooh la la indeed! Wow! I bet you could up the pina colada factor with a pineapple curd.

tamilyn said...

I often write the Happy VD on the mirror to get chuckles at home.

I love splashing out in the rain-as long as there isn't lightening nearby.

Ooooo, rum......

Julie said...

I'm not sure what it means to be "torted", but it sounds good to me! And I love a boozey cake :)

ladymorgiana said...

Happy VD ;) I love your cake :) such a brilliant idea :)

jose manuel said...

Que receta tan fantastica, esto es una verdadera delicia.

Saludos

peachkins said...

I love pinacoladas and this cake!..... and I agree about happy VD..heehee

Happy Valentine's Day!

scrambledhenfruit said...

This cake is gorgeous! No need for pink hearts and chocolate here. That's a wonderful happy heart day treat. :)

shaz said...

It all depends on the time of year. If it's winter, forget it. But, in the Summer Rain (dancing with my baby), it's quite lovely :)

Ooh-la-la that is a very magnificent cake Grace. And I think I might just give Swiss Meringue buttercream one more go (somehow it never seems sweet enough for my palate).

Barbara said...

Ooh la la is right. From the lime curd to the rum-soaked layers to the Swiss meringue.
You don't need red and hearts to fall in love with this one, Grace!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What a unique recipe! I'm liking it!

Faith said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your first foray into Swiss meringue buttercream! Once you start, it's hard to go back, lol! Looks like an incredibly delicious cake, Grace!

Rosy said...

I'm loving this idea!!! Looks so moist and delicious.

Abby said...

I went crazy chocolate today, but I might trade you a cupcake for a slice of this! Happy Valentine's Day!

Julie M. said...

Ooh la la indeed! I do love chocolate, but I could easily give it all up today for a slice of this deliciousness. And yea, VD probably wasn't the best acronym to choose. :)~

kat said...

Such food porn!

Amanda said...

Beautiful!! And now I have that song in my head. ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

I wish I had some!

Pam said...

What I would give for a slice right now... YUM!

oneordinaryday said...

Happy VD to you too, Grace!
LOL

elra said...

Beautiful and tempting looking cake!

Leslie said...

VD? Is VD still around these days? I suppose I should go to a brothel and take a poll!! Lol
Love your cake. Swiss meringue is my FAV!

MaryBeth said...

I have the rain so now all I need is my honey and some Pina Coloda Cake.

Robin Sue said...

There is a whole lotta love going on in this cake! Love all of it! Have a great VD yourself!

5 Star Foodie said...

This cake sounds amazing! Love the rum syrup and the lime curd here!

Emily said...

Oooh, looks great, Grace! I love coconut cakes.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

haha Happy VD Grace! And I'll take that cake over hearts any day! :P

Catherine said...

Lllarrrr look at that frosting! Well done for going against the grain and doing your own thing for Valentines Day! Happy VD *snigger*

Lucie said...

Hope your VD was fun ;) I would dive head-first into this cake if I could. Unfortunately my computer screen lies between us...

Juliana said...

Grace, your cake looks terrific...so many steps, but worth the work...I haven't tried to make the egg white in double boiler...will have to give this a try...hope you had a nice V day :-)

pierre said...

pina colada is synonym of vacation for me so MANY THANKS!!From pierre de PAris

Mickey said...

This cake looks delicious! Your photos are amazing!!
mickey

Marjie said...

So, are you giving me permission to make this cake for just me and my girls? We are the only ones who love coconut.

Mrs. L said...

Of course I like Pina Coladas...and this cake! And as for the rain? Only if I'm in my birthday suit on a deserted beach in Hawaii (or Tahiti)...then it's okay :)

Lori said...

No I do not like getting caught in the rain. However I will definitely make my way outside for a warm rainy day, sans thunder and lightning.

And as for Pina Coladas, oh yeah, love it!

cupcakegirl said...

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The Teacher Cooks said...

You really made me laugh today. Thanks!! I really have to try this out especially the meringue. Awesome!

sophiesfoodiefiles said...

What an amazing, huge, pretty & fab looking builded cake!! I love the syrup here too!


What a lot of work though,...It is like ART!! REAl & PURE ART!


AAAaaah,...ooooooooh,....!!!!

Toyin O. said...

That looks so good:)

Chef Fresco said...

Oh man, yum yum! That icing looks amazing!

Jenn from Much to my Delight said...

Bring it on. I'm ready.

FOODESSA said...

OMG...Grace...this looks and sounds heavenly. Book marked for sure!!!

Happy belated Valentino Dia,
hugs, Claudia

Kerstin said...

A always requests coconut pineapple cakes, so I bet he'd love this one as well! Wish I was enjoying a piece of this on the beach :)

marla said...

The only way I want to get caught in the rain is with covered head to toe in North Face gear and this cake. Love it! What is the difference between Swiss Meringue & Italian Meringue buttercream anyway?? hmm

lisa said...

Ooh, love this cake! Hope you had a happy V Day too!

Hungry Dog said...

That is one gosh darn beautiful cake! I must remember this for my husband's birthday, it's right up his alley.

tasteofbeirut said...

Delicious cake and sounds like it is super moist and heady with that rum elixir!:)

Mickey said...

Yes I like Pina Coladas :) Love this!
mickey

Chef Dennis said...

OMG, yes i like pina coladas, and walks in the rain, now please send me some of that delicious cake!
it looks so very very good, what I wouldn't give for a big slice of that cake and a glass of milk!
thanks for making me hungry
Dennis

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Ooo that lime curd sounds too good to be true! I like your rebellious spirit, girl!

Y said...

Haha, happy belated VD! Colada cake looks awesome. Rum, lime, coconut.. all my favourite things.

Jannett said...

wow..an outstanding looking cake. Put on my to try list... ;o)

~~louise~~ said...

Oh how I love the thought of a Pina Colada at this very moment. Oh yes, it snowed, again!!!

Somehow, I feel all warm and cosy just thinking about your lovely cake.

Thank you so much for sharing, Grace...

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Ummmm this looks amazing! I love anything that involves coconut...yum!