Looking for something to help you believe that summer is on it’s way? No fresh local grown fruit yet? What better way than something that just glows with thoughts of swim up poolside bars and warm breezes?
Pina Colada is a pineapple, coconut, rum flavour combination. The name means “strained pineapple” as the original beverage was made from fresh pineapple juice. Fresh pineapple juice however contains bromelain which interacts with gelatin and cancels the solidifying effect. So for this recipe please go with the canned variety and don’t try to substitute fresh. You will be much happier with the outcome.
The creation story of coconut’s is connected to Hina, a moon Goddess mentioned in many South Pacific cultures. With the fruit of a coconut being round and white like the moon, coconut groves became sacred places with connections to the divine and it was common to make coconut offerings to the deities.
You will need:
2 cups shredded coconut, divided in half
1/2 cup rum
1 14 oz. tin of crushed pineapple, packed in juice
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 cups whipping cream
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 packette plain gelatin
3 Tbsp. rum
Close your eyes a moment and think about your intentions. Why are you preparing this dish? What is its purpose? Take a deep breath in ….. and release to clear the nigglies of what is going on around you. Wash your hands and put on an apron to separate what was before from what is now. Welcome the compassionate spirits and begin.
Begin the day before by combining 1 cup coconut and 1 cup semi-drained pineapple with 1/2 cup rum and setting aside. Stir a few times to ensure that all the liquid is absorbed into the fruit and nut mixture. At that time you can also gently toast the remaining cup of coconut to a light brown colour, cool and put aside. Place the remaining pineapple in a sieve over a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until needed, allowing the liquid to fully drain. Refrigerating overnight is fine.
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare the baking tin by greasing and flouring the tin. I am using a 10″ spring form pan for this recipe.
If you have been following me you know that I am fond of my little 4″ spring form pan and often will pull a little cake batter out of the main event to finish off a mini version for sharing, either with family if I am taking the cake out of the house or with neighbours who may not be baking for themselves anymore.
Combine the dry ingredients. I have been using my three layer sifter more and more in cakes. I measure and place the flour, leaveners and salt into the sifter and then sift directly over the liquid ingredients in sections, mixing with each addition.
Gather the bowl with the pineapple and coconut mixture.
With all the components ready, combine by stirring the liquid ingredients together until will mixed.
Sift a portion of the dry ingredients over the pineapple mixture and toss. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the bowl and mix in. Repeat until the flour mixture is combined but to do over mix.
Bake until lightly browned, the sides are gently pulling away from the sides of the pan and a knitting needle or toothpick comes out clean.
In my case the small pan was about 25 minutes and the larger closer to 45 minutes. If you combine the entire batter into one pan it will be closer to 55 – 50 minutes in the oven.
Ensure that the cake is fully cool before cutting into three even layers. This cake is reasonably strong but it is always important to have patience.
On some ocassions, like with the small cake in the picture above, it may be helpful to cut off the raised top section before slicing into thirds.
In other cases the center peak can be dealt with by building the cake upside down and using the top section upside down as the bottom piece to fit on a dinner plate with an indentation instead of a flat cake serving platter.
Using the pineapple juice that has dripped from the fruit, begin the filling and icing.
There will be about 10 Tbsp. of drained liquid. If you have 8 or 11 that is not an issue. Return the liquid to the bowl and sprinkle half a package of plain unflavoured gelatin over the juice.
Whip 4 cups of whipping cream and once peaks are forming add the sifted icing sugar, 3 Tbsp. rum and the pineapple mixture to the whipped cream while continuing to whip. If the pineapple juice did not come to 10 Tbsp. it is possible to add a little extra rum at this point. Once well mixed and thick begin by placing the whipped cream between the layers, making sure each level is flat before icing the top and edges.
Once the cake is covered, clean the edge of the plate and using a spoon cover the sides with toasted coconut. Place the cake in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the gelatin to set.
Just before serving, complete the cake by forming a ring of pineapple with the remaining crushed pineapple around the outside top of the cake where the coconut stops. It is easily molded.
Pina Colada is the official drink of Puerto Rico and it even has it’s own day, July 10, on the special events calendar. The drink is often served with a marashino cherry garnish which you can also choose to add as a decoration to the cake.
Summer may not be fully here but we can certainly offer up wishes for its speedy arrival.
Pina Colada Cake from My Kitchen Wand