How good does this look? Yummy huh? I have been mia for a while and have a TON of stuff to blog but I figured I would start the year off with my latest creation. I have been taking Wilton cake decorating classes at my local Michaels store and for my course 2 final cake I decided to go tropical. This gray and gloomy January weather can get so dreary so I decided on a little something that reminds me of my warm sunny vacations in Hawaii. I have several coconut cake recipes and I have been wanting to try guava curd for a while now. The frosting is a vanilla italian meringue buttercream, my absolute favorite. I baked an 8" square cake for class - it has several layers of the cake and buttercream and curd for filling and the cupcakes are filled with the curd. I topped the cupcakes with toasted coconut shavings and a drizzle of guava glaze. The batter had made enough for 6 jumbo cupcakes after I filled my cake pans They are/were really good. For my final class of course 2 we decorated with royal icing flowers, color flow designs and basket weave. When I brought the cake home I scraped it all off just going back to my original cake. The basket weave added an extra 5 pounds of frosting and I liked the cake the way it was with just the IMBC and nothing extra. So here are some pics and the recipes to follow.
Jumbo Cupcakes fresh out of the oven
Cakes and cupcakes cooling
I love using my apple corer to cut even holes for filling
yummy guava curd
giant swirls of vanilla italian meringue buttercream
with the toasted coconut shavings
Now onto the cake for class - the project the recipe was originally intended for the cupcakes were just for fun
Starting off the first layer with buttercream and a ridge to keep the guava curd from spilling out
isn't this a fantastic color? The curd was so good I kept eating spoonfuls. ha
iced as smooth as I can get it. I have trouble with sharp corners on square cakes. Practice makes perfect I guess
The start of the basket weave. Now this frosting was a different consistency than the IMBC. Only because I had a slight disaster before class and had to rescue it with adding powdered sugar. I am glad I did because it never really stuck to the IMBC and I was able to scrape it off easily.
Color flow hibiscus and royal icing flowers. I seemed to be really good at the apple blossom of my version of it. We learned all kind of flowers but somehow mine all ended up looking the same.
More color flow and royal icing.
Finished cake and I graduated class! ha
after I scraped off all the basket weave and decorations and cut a slice. So pretty
time to sample the goods!
Coconut cake and Guava Curd.
I adapted a recipe I found online for a 6 layer coconut cake with passion fruit filling
- 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt - I used one tsp
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water ( I used whole milk instead water for more depth and richness water is boring in cake)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ( I used 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp coconut extract)
- 6 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup passion fruit nectar or puree ( obviously I subbed guava nectar and added in a few drops of pink food coloring. The yolks and butter changed the color and I wanted to pink it back up
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean—split, seeds scraped ( I omitted this step)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
I used 2 8 inch square baking pans greased and floured and one jumbo cupcake pan that made 6 cupcakes and used liners. These are the directions from online and not with my modifications added in
- Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt at low speed. Mix in the butter, coconut milk, water and vanilla until combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat at high speed until very smooth, 2 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, 2 minutes. Fold half of the egg whites into the batter until incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert them and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the filling: In a saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the passion fruit nectar, egg yolks and vanilla seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thick, 6 minutes. Remove from the heat; whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Scrape the filling into a glass bowl, press a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
- Using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally to create 6 layers. Set one layer on a cake plate. Spread with 6 tablespoons of the filling. Repeat with the remaining 5 cake layers and filling, ending with a layer of cake. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
Italian Meringue Buttercream
I use Warren Brown's recipe. He is the Cakelove guy and I love all his recipes and tips and techniques for being a better baker. This is by far the BEST frosting I have ever tasted. Buttery and sweet but not overly sweet like some powdered sugar frostings can be.
ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAMWarren Brown writes, "This is the standard buttercream at CakeLove. It has a very smooth texture. It's easy to work with and one recipe is enough for a three- or four-layer 9-inch cake. It's rich so a little goes a long way. I like this buttercream because it has an excellent taste profile, is versatile and is easy to flavor, and handles well when decorating."
He notes, "Timing is important when making the cooked meringue that is the base for this buttercream," and says to heat the sugar syrup to 245 degrees before pouring it into the whipped egg whites.
Equipment: standing mixer, mixer bowl, wire whip attachment, candy thermometer, 1-quart saucepan, measuring cups including 1 cup and 1/4 cup, teaspoon set, 5 medium prep bowls, 3 small prep bowls, rubber spatula.
- 5 eggs (large)
- 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) extra-fine granulated sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, soft
Separate the eggs and place the whites in the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with a wire whip attachment. Reserve the yolks for another use.
Measure 1 cup of the sugar into a heavy-bottomed 1-quart saucepan with 1/4 cup water. Gently stir to combine; I use the candy thermometer for this. Leave the candy thermometer in the saucepan, numbers facing down to balance the thermometer.
Measure the 1/4 cup sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
Cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces and set aside in a medium bowl.
Begin making the sugar syrup. Place the saucepan with the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Partially cover with a lid to capture the evaporating water -- this helps to moisten the sides of the saucepan to prevent sugar crystals separating from the syrup.
Begin whipping the egg whites to stiff peak in a standing mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment set to high speed. When the whites are at stiff peak you have a meringue. Keep the mixer running and pour the 1/4 cup of sugar into the meringue.
Raise the heat to bring the syrup to 245 degrees if it is not there already. When the syrup is at 245 degrees, remove the thermometer and slowly pour the syrup into the meringue.
When pouring, keep your eye on the bowl. Aim for the space between the mixer bowl and the revolving wire whip. To maintain the same rate of pouring, pour slowly and raise the saucepan from your shoulder. Twisting at the wrist or elbow tends to throw off my aim.
After 1 to 2 minutes reduce the speed to medium for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the meringue is cooled.
Add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high for one to two minutes to fully combine the butter with the meringue.
The following flavorings can be added to the base recipe for Italian meringue buttercream for cupcakes or a layered cake.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 to 4 tablespoons (to taste) dark rum
2 to 4 tablespoons (to taste) amaretto
1/4 to 1/2 cup raspberry puree
2 tablespoons lemon liqueur (lemoncello)
1 teaspoon orange oil
1 teaspoon lime oil