Kitchen Adventures: Cake offers light, summery taste

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

Combining pineapple and coconut can almost make you think you are at the beach. Putting these two flavors together in a cake is an extra tasty treat.

Maybe playing some wave sounds on your iPod and siting in the sunshine can help with that illusion.

What’s great about these two flavors is they have an incredibly light taste. Often, when they are included in a recipe, the dish doesn’t feel heavy and you don’t feel like you’ve eaten too much.

The whipped topping icing also gives this dish a light, summery feel.

The recipes may seem like it has a lot of steps, but it is not complicated to make.

Be sure you read the directions carefully and don’t make the mistake I did. The recipe originally had two different measurement standards for each ingredient. I looked at one of the lines wrong and didn’t put enough flour in the mix.

The result was a cake that wasn’t as fluffy as it should have been.

Even with that little miscue, it turned out delicious. The result tastes a bit like a fruity smoothie in cake format.

The recipe author must have been from England or another European country because of the first set of measurements that originally were listed. And the fact they used the word “whilst” in the instructions.

Luckily, this recipe listed two forms of measurements and I was more familiar with the second set. If you run across a recipe that doesn’t have a conversion in the ingredients list, you can find a quick conversion calculator online.

Make sure the cake is completely cool before putting on the icing. Because it is a whipped cream icing, it will become runny if placed on a warm cake. Because it takes a while to cool and the recipe recommends chilling the finished product for four hours, it’s not a cake you can make just before an event. You’ll have to plan ahead a little to make this one.

Also, it’s not a cake you can take to an outdoor picnic in the heat. But it’s a cake that has a cooling effect in the warmth of summer.

Enjoy a nice piece of Pine­apple and Coconut Cake, close your eyes and imagine you are relaxing by the beach. If you have a pool, sit outside and dangle your feet in the water. That will help.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Pineapple and Coconut Cake
For the cake:
2 cups caster sugar, or if you don’t have it use granulated sugar (it just takes a little longer to cream with the butter)
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cup coconut milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups small pineapple pieces  
For the frosting
8 ounce container of extra creamy whipped topping or the same amount in fresh whipping cream plus 2 tsp powdered sugar to add to the fresh cream.
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Pineapples and grated coconut for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with on cup of coconut milk. Fold in vanilla and pineapple pieces. Pour evenly into the baking pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Make sure to check and make sure the cake is cooked all the way through. All ovens vary and so the cook times are a guide.
Whilst the cake is still hot, poke holes all over the cake with a skewer or fork then slowly  pour the coconut milk all over the cake. Leave to cool. Be sure to pour evenly so the liquid soaks in even at the sides.
Once the cake has completely cooled, make the frosting.
If using fresh cream, add two teaspoons powdered sugar to the cream and whip until stiff.
If using Cool Whip, add one teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional) to the whipping cream.
Spread the whipped cream frosting over the cake.
Sprinkle the grated coconut and decorate with pineapple pieces on top of the whipped cream and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours. You also can toast the coconut and allow it to cool if you prefer.
Recipe from www.lovefoodies.com