Hello-hello, my little lovers of sweet and beautiful things!
How’s your life going? Hope, it’s already spring in where you’re and you take advantage of it spending more time outside, having picnics and playing games. Or enjoying late brunch at open cafe terrace and strolling around the city afterwards. I personally love both options!
Here in San Francisco is definitely spring! Some people say this city is out of seasons, but I cannot agree with this opinion. Blooming trees? Check. Greener grass? Check. Amazing smell of upcoming adventures in the air? Check. See, there is no doubt she is in town.
That was one of the reasons we spent last Sunday discovering hidden gems of the Golden Gate park. But the main reason was — SF Picnic Society: Easter edition.
Now wondering what is the Picnic Society? I’m glad you asked! To my thinking, it’s the best thing which could happen to uplift picnic-ing activity. Simply imagine: cozy blankets, fancy plates and homemade picturesque dishes shared among the company of interesting people under the blue sky. Ah-mah-zing!
So if you happen to live in/visit San Francisco, now you have one more thing in your must-do list. Just saying 🙂
When I started to think about our contribution to Easter table, my first thought was carrot cake. Though we ended up having more refreshing and springy dessert. It featured moist coconut layers, Piña Colada cream and pieces of charred pineapple in between. Frankly, it was a hit combo!
If you feel intimidated by the number of steps to make this cake (I did!), you can split the work between two days.
For the cake butter:
*makes 3 layers, 23 cm in diameter
345 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
450 g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
245 g coconut milk
320 g flour
100 coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 175 C/350 F. Line bottoms of round pans with parchment paper.
In a bowl of stand mixer cream soften butter for a minute or two. Start to gradually add sugar and continue to beat the mixture until it becomes light and fluffy. Add vanilla, mix for a bit and scrape the sides. Add eggs — one at a time — mixing thoroughly in between.
Into a clean bowl sift flours, baking powder and salt. On a low mixer speed start to add dry ingredients and coconut milk, alternating between the two. Continue mixing until well combined.
Weight the batter and evenly divide it into 3 pans. Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (I have only two round pans of the same size, so I baked layers in two approaches).
Transfer the layers to a cooling rack and let them rest in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Then carefully run the knife around the edges and gently pull them out from the pans. Leave the layers on a rack until they completely cool down. If you’re going to assemble the cake next day, tightly wrap layers in plastic and place them in a refrigerator.
For the Piña Colada cream:
the recipe is from Sugar Rush book
240 g pineapple juice
240 g coconut milk
100 g sugar
24 g cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
28 g unsalted butter
In a heavy bottom pan combine coconut milk and pineapple juice. Heat over medium heat until mixture becomes hot but not boiling, the process will take around 3 minutes.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl combine sugar and cornstarch, whisk for a moment. In another bowl whisk thoroughly egg yolks and a whole egg. Combine eggs and dry ingredients and whisk together until mixture is light and homogenous.
Once milk and juice is hot enough, pour 1/3 of liquid into eggs mixture and whisk well until combined. Add another portion of milk and whisk again. Pour the remaining milk and return the whole mixture back to the pan. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Whisk the mixture vigorously at a boil for 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add pieces of butter, whisk well. Transfer cream to a clean shallow bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Cool the pastry cream to the room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
For the charred pineapples:
1/2 fresh pineapple
scoop of coconut oil
Remove core of pineapple and slice the fruit into small pieces.
Heat the pan over medium heat and add coconut oil. Place pieces of pineapple in single layer and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn pieces over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer pineapple on a paper towel to drain.
For the cream cheese frosting:
500 g whipped cream cheese
100 g powdered sugar
100 g heavy cream
Beat cream cheese until it becomes soft and fluffy, gradually add powdered sugar and mix everything together. Add heavy cream and whisk thoroughly. Final cream should be homogenous and thick enough to cover the cake.
For the color glaze:
100 g while chocolate
100 g heavy cream
10 g butter
gel paste of desired color
Heat heavy cream in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Pour heavy cream over chocolate, let it sit for 3 minutes and then stir mixture with spatula. If there’s any chocolate chunks left, heat the mixture for 15 seconds and stir carefully, repeat several times until the mixture looks like smooth emulsion. Add butter and stir well. If desired, add few drop of gel coloring and blend well. Let the glaze cool for 15-20 minutes.
Assemble the cake:
Prepare two pastry bags and fill them with Piña Colada cream and cream cheese frosting. Unwrap cake layers.
Place the first layer on a cake stand or large plate. Pipe a small amount of cream cheese frosting on a round border of the layer. Then generously fill the rest of it with Piña Colada cream and evenly distribute pieces of charred pineapple in the filling. Place the second layer on top. Repeat the same process and cover filling with the last layer.
Cover the whole cake with thin layer of cream cheese frosting to secure any crumbs and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. When cake is chilled, smooth the sides of the cake with offset spatula. Spread the next layer of frosting over the top and continue down the sides of the cake. Even the cake surface with offset spatula to achieve super smooth result. Place cake in the freezer for 5 minutes. It will help in making nice glaze drips.
Check the consistency of chocolate glaze. By this time it should be still runny but not very thin — close to yogurt texture. Transfer chilled cake to the table, scoop a tablespoon of glaze and start to drip it close to the cake borders. Work through the whole diameter of the cake, then cover the top with glaze.
At the end let the artist inside yourself guide you through decoration process 🙂