Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lilikoi Cake

Here’s what I did with all those lilikoi I juiced last week (sorry, didn’t take a picture):

Sift together and set aside:
1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 TB cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder

In your KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a hand-held mixer), cream together:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (soft)
3/4 cup sugar

When nice and fluffy, add, one at a time and blending well after each:
3 or 4 eggs (my base recipe called for 3, but there were 4 in the carton and I wanted to use them up, and they weren’t all that big in spite of being graded “large,” so I used 4)

Now add, and blend well:
1/3 cup heavy cream (usually I bake with yogurt, but happened to find some aging but still good cream in the back of the fridge that needed to be put to use)
1/3 cup lilikoi juice

Add the previously sifted dry ingredients, and blend well. The batter should be thick and very smooth.

Scrape into a prepared baking pan (I used an 8” glass Pyrex baking dish, sprayed with Pam… meant to dust it with flour but forgot, didn’t seem to matter), and bake in the center of your preheated oven at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown, resilient to a light touch, and pulling away from the pan slightly at the edgess. Cool on a rack.

While the cake is in the oven, make some lilikoi syrup by bringing to a boil in a small saucepan:
1/4 cup lilikoi juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 TB brandy

Stab the cake liberally with a toothpick or bamboo skewer, then spoon the syrup over the top.

I made this as a “snack” cake, meaning I didn’t bother to frost it and served it from the baking dish. It had little holes all over from the bamboo skewer, but we didn’t mind. It was delicious! Excellent flavor and texture and either the 4th egg or the lilikoi juice or both gave it a lovely pale yellow color.

This would make a superb upside-down cake. Fresh pineapple would be good. I may have to try that next time.

This would also be excellent as a layer cake. If I go that route, I will:
~ increase ingredient quantities by half to make two 8”-9” round layers, double them for a triple-layer extravaganza
~ base final egg quantity on the “3” option above
~ go to the trouble of lining my cake pans with parchment paper, smearing with butter, and dusting with flour… a pain in the patootie but worth it for special-effort desserts
~ reduce cooking time (round pans with less batter will cook faster) to 22-25 minutes (probably, that’s a guess at this point)

My 50th birthday is less than 3 month away now, and I’ve been giving some serious thought to what kind of cake I’m going to make for myself. (We cake junkies like to bake our own birthday cakes.) I’m neither especially horrified nor particularly thrilled about turning 50, and have no interest in any party beyond a modest family hoohah. Although I’m totally psyched that both my sisters are flying out from the mainland to help celebrate/commiserate. What I most want is very little fuss and an awesomely delicious cake.

This one just moved to the top of the list. I’m thinking of using the lilikoi curd from my pie recipe between the layers, and making a lilikoi (…or maybe tangerine …or maybe lilikoi-tangerine) buttercream frosting.

I can hardly wait!

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