Sunday, July 24, 2011

House to Home

We are officially all moved into our new home! We spent the day cleaning up the rental and packing up miscellaneous things. It was very strange leaving there today. Even though we'd only lived there a year, it's become a part of our history. It's where we had our first real Christmas tree, where we celebrated many family birthdays, had family dinners, where most of this blog has taken place, where we learned how to deal with spiders, where we first had to do lawn work, where we met our friend Mel, and where the great BBQ Sauce explosion of '11 happened. It wasn't my favorite little house, but it was our home for a year and I'll always remember it.

Our new bedroom has all of the furniture in it and we got to sleep here last night. Looking forward to many more nights in our new home! Tonight, we set up our fire pit. We had bought it in May, but wanted to wait to use it, until we moved here. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Yes, my friends, it's summer!
We saw this commercial last night and we both started laughing, I thought I'd share......

My sister requested a Pina Colada Cake for her 25th birthday. It took me awhile to find one that I wanted to make, but this one worked out well. The cake was more of an angelfood cake texture. I could definitely see this recipe used to make cupcakes, too. It also happens to be the first baked good to come out of my new kitchen! Enjoy!

Pina Colada Cake
Oven 350

For the cake:
3 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. coconut extract
8 egg whites
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting/garnish:
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
toasted coconut

Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, and grease and flour the sides.In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour, until just blended. Stir in the vanilla and coconut extract.

Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl and stir in the shredded coconut. Thoroughly clean and dry the bowl of the electric mixer.

In the mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). Using a rubber spatula, fold ½ cup of the egg whites into the batter until smooth, then carefully fold in the remaining whites until smooth and blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool on the rack to room temperature.

To make the frosting, puree pineapple in the food processor until smooth. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add pureed pineapple until frosting achieves the desired pineapple flavor (approximately ¾ cup of puree). If frosting is too liquid, allow to chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.

To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on cake stand. Top with a layer of pineapple frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Garnish with toasted shredded coconut.(To toast coconut in the oven, spread shredded coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300F for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure that the coconut browns evenly.)

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