Pineapple and Coconut Cake

Last week I had the great pleasure of host a lunch for my lovely friends Cecilia and Silvia. We had a wonderful time listening Ella Fitzgerald , drinking sparkling pink lemonade and, of course, having good food. Enjoying moments like that with lovely friends are one of the best pleasures of life. This post is for you! 

I made strawberry salad with pink peppercorn, a delicious salmon and leek quiche, and a pineapple and coconut cake for dessert. My cake was a great success. They loved the combination of spongecake, pineapple compote and coconut cream. I think I can call this coconut cream as coconut brigadeiro too, since I used sweetened condensed milk, butter, cream and coconut milk.

Instead of whipped cream I decided to use coconut whipped cream as frosting.  This was the first time that I made coconut whipped cream and I loved! I added to it some tablespoons of sugar and vanilla bean paste. It ended up perfectly. The texture was very similar with regular whipped cream but with a light addition of coconut flavor.

Beyond the marvelous flavor of the cake, I have to tell you about the decoration, which I loved by the way! I used some coconut flakes on top of the whipped coconut cream and then I added one gum paste ranunculus, one gum paste rose, and two gum paste tulips. I was inspired by some real flowers that I bought weeks ago. The ranunculus was a bit hard-working but I loved the final result. Don't you think it looks like the real one?

Pineapple and Coconut Cake
by Lulu's Sweet Secrets

Sponge cake
(makes three 6-inch round cake pans)

5 whole large eggs, room temperature
 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment until fluffy and pale yellow in color, about 10 minutes. Fold in the flour with a rubber spoon until just incorporated (don't overmix). Divide the batter between the 3 cake pans. 
 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Pineapple Compote

1 ripe pineapple, top, skin and core removed, cut into cubes
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups water

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Over low heat cook until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency and the pineapple is soft.

Coconut Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup coconut milk + the water leftover from the whipped coconut cream.

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir to combine. Over medium heat cook, stirring, until thickened.

Coconut Whipped Cream

1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 tablespoons sugar

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight.
Scoop all the thickened coconut cream, stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the can.  Don’t use the water to make the whipped cream, you can use it in the coconut cream.
Place the coconut cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla paste. Whip the coconut cream on high speed about 3 to 5 minutes.

Assembly: Place one layer cake on a serving plate. Spread half recipe of pineapple compote over top. Spread half recipe of coconut cream over top. Repeat to make 1 more layer of each. Top with remaining cake. Cover with coconut whipped cream.


Teacup Cake and Sugar Roses

I love the combination between teacups and flowers. They are such a pretty and charming pair. When I ventured to make my first sugar rose I used a teacup to photograph it. At that time I received a comment suggesting that I should try to make a teacup cake too. I loved the idea but that would be a big challenge for me. I didn’t have the knowledge and practice to conquer that.

Almost 2 years late I decide to give it a try. I was inspired by the polka blue floral design from Royal Albert Fine China. I have a passion for all the patterns, but those lovely blue teacup with white polka dots and English country roses are my favorite.

Actually, I think my main motivation was the opportunity to paint the floral theme on the teacup cake. It has been a while that I want to publish some of my paintings, and I couldn’t think a better opportunity than this one. First I covered the cake with buttercream and fondant and molded into the teacup shape. Then I used gel food-coloring diluted with water for painting the rose. 

I also used some sugar roses and mini cakes for decoration. As I was so excited with my painting, I decided to cover mini cakes with fondant and paint them too. For making the teacup cake and mini cakes I used my delicious recipe of white chocolate cake


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