As if you have not eaten enough sweets this holiday season; boy, do I have the most fabulous dessert for you. Coconut is a favorite of mine and my mom's, so we spent our Christmas Eve whipping up this Martha Stewart-worthy of a recipe. Disclaimer: This cake, which whimsically resembles the wintry mix outside your window against the summery sweetness of pineapple, is not simple nor easy. The stunning cake, courtesy of Taste of Home, requires attention and patience. Yet the effort is absolutely worthwhile when you carefully slice and plate that first piece. I can't wait for you to try it yourself!
Makes 12 servings
5 eggs, separated 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple 1 1/2 cups flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided 1/4 cup butter, melted 2 teaspoons coconut extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups heavy whipping cream 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 5 cups flaked coconut, divided
1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1 cup of juice. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in butter, extracts, and 1/2 cup reserved juice. Add dry ingredients; beat until well-blended.
3. Beat egg whites with clean beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
4. Transfer to two greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake 18 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
5. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, beat cream cheese, pineapple, and remaining confectioners' sugar until blended. Stir in 2 cups coconut. Fold in whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
6. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons reserved juice. Spread with 2 cups mousse. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer and drizzle with remaining juice. Spread remaining mousse over top and sides of cake. Press remaining coconut onto top and sides. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
recipe by taste of home magazine