Festive Alternatives for Holiday Entertaining
A tropical snowstorm on a cake stand is about as close as weâ€™re going to get to a blizzard here in Thailand, but why not seize on aÂ wintryÂ recollection as a flourishing finale for a holiday feast with fanciful swirls of marshmallow drifts atop a cake layered with fresh pineapple and mango and light flurry of toasted coconut.
â€˜Tis the season to pull out all the stops in the kitchen, cook up storm, and share the pleasures of good food at celebratory gatherings and festive homey meals with family and friends !
Tropical Cake with Mango and Pineapple
- 1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2Â mangoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons super fine sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons + 1 Â½ teaspoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoonÂ vanilla
Combine the orange juice, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Stir in the cornstarch until dissolved. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, while stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and add the diced pineapple and mango and stir until well combined. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Cake: preheat oven to 350F/180C Â Prepare 2 8 inch cake pans lined with parchment circles cut to the size of the bottom of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment circles and the sides of the pans.
- 4 0z/125 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- Â 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3 Â½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Â 1 Â½ cups super fine sugar
- Â½ cup milk
- Â½ cup Greek yogurt
- 4 egg whites, unbeaten
- Â½ teaspoon orange extract
- zest of 1 orange
With the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Combine the milk and yogurt and stir until combined and smooth.
With the mixer running at medium speed add the dry ingredients and milk/yogurt mixture to the whipped butter alternately. Once combined turn the mixer up to high speed and add the egg whites (unbeaten), orange extract, and orange zest and continue to beat for 2 minutes. The mixture may look slightly curdled which isÂ OK!
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Test by inserting a thin skewer into the center of the cake. If the skewer is clean when removed the cake is finished. Set the cake layers on a cooling rack until cool.
- 1 Â½ cups super fine sugar
- 2/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup spring water
- 4 egg whites (2/3 cup)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Â¼ teaspoon vanilla
Place the sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil. Cover and boil for 3 minutes.
Uncover and insert a candy thermometer into the sugar syrup and continue to boil without stirring until the syrup reaches 242F/116C. This will take several minutes.
While the syrup is cooking place the egg whites and salt in a clean chilled mixer bowl, the mixer fitted with the wire whip, and whip until the egg whites are stiff and softly peaking. Remove the sugar syrup from the stove and with the mixer set at high speed slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites from about 12 inches above, Â in a very thin steady stream. Beat for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens into a glossy white marshmallow like consistency. Add the vanilla and whip until combined.
Set the frosting aside at room temperature until you are ready to assemble the cake.
Assembling the cake:
- 1/3 cup toasted shredded coconut. Lightly toast the shredded coconut in a dryÂ sauteÂ pan and set aside to cool.
Remove the cake layers from the baking pans and remove the parchment from the bottom of the layers. Place a cake layer in the center of a flat platter or cake stand and top the layer with a thick layer of the pineapple and mango filling. Place the second cake layer on top of the filling.
Ice the side and top of the cake with a generous layer of frosting and smooth it out with an icing spatula. Place a large pastry ring on the top of the cake and build a thick layer of icing swirled into peaks around the pastry ring. Remove the pastry ring and fill the circle with pineapple mango filling. If there is filling left over set it aside to serve along with the cake.
Lightly dust the top and sides of the cake with the toasted coconut and serve the cake at room temperature.
The marshmallow frosting holds up well at room temperature, but you can refrigerate the cake for later use, bringing the cake back to room temperature before serving