Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cake or cupcake! That’s a dilemma!

Are you craving for something sweet? And if you could choose, it would be a cake or a cupcake? I’ll give you the recipe and I hope the input to try both, if you like!

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Cake:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2¾ cups bleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting cake pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (16 tablespoons), brought to room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
1 cup sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López®)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 large eggs, separated and brought to room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 (packed) cup sweetened shredded coconut (6 ounces), finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and position a rack in the center of the oven.Generously spray two 9 x 2-inch cake pans with cooking spray, and cover the pan bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Spray the rounds, and dust the cake pans with flour; tap outthe excess, and set aside until needed.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk to aerate and mix evenly; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and cream of coconut and continue beating until the mixture is light in texture, about 2 to 3 minutes (creaming). Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vanilla and coconut extracts; mix to combine. Add the eggs yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix just until the final addition of flour is incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently fold the finely chopped coconut into the batter; set aside.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a clean whisk attachment; make sure the bowl and whisk are scrupulously clean. Whisk on medium-low speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium, and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to medium-high, and continue whisking until the whites are stiff but not dry.
Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven, spacing them evenly apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time, until the cakes pull away from the sides of the
pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven, and let sit for 5 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edges to loosen the cakes from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate; then, re-invert them onto the cooling rack, rounded-side up. Let cool completely.

Filling:
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
½ cup Lime Curd (recipe follows)

Combine the jam and lime curd in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until
evenly combined. Store, refrigerated, until needed.

Lime curd:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup key lime juice**
1 teaspoon finely minced lime zest

Place the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Allow the butter to melt, then add the eggs, sugar and lime juice, whisking to combine.
Cook over low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens to a custard consistency, about 8 to 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the zest, then cover and chill.

Note: The curd will thicken more as it cools.

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Icing:
1½ (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (12 ounces), brought to room temperature
¾ stick unsalted butter (6 tablespoons), brought to room temperature
1/3 cup sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López®)
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon coconut extract
1½ cups confectioners' sugar

Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed of the mixer, and add the cream of coconut and extracts; mix until just combined.
With the mixer speed on low, add the confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, until all is incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed, and mix until the icing is light and fluffy.

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Assembly:

Use a serrated knife to split each cooled cake layer in two. (Note:
You will now have four layers total). Place a small dab of icing in the center of a cardboard cake round or cake plate. Place one cake layer, cut-side down, in the center of the board or plate. Spoon ½ cup Raspberry Lime Filling onto the cake layer, and use an offset spatula or large palette knife to spread the filling in an even layer, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge.
Repeat this process with the second and third cake layers, placing each layer cut-side down and spreading each with ½ cup Raspberry Lime Filling; leave a ½-inch border.
Top the cake with the final layer, placing it cut-side down. Press gently with even pressure on top of the cake. Ensure that all the layers are centered on each other.
Cover the tops and sides of the cake with the icing. Sprinkle coconut over the top of the cake, and gently press coconut onto the sides until the entire cake is covered.

 
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