Macadamia Coconut Cake

Don’t mind the legs sticking out of the cake slice…it’s just the design on the plate.

This was a wonderful dessert for our Hawaiian-inspired dinner.  It includes macadamias and coconut (two very rich things), white cake, and fluffy meringue icing (very light).  They balance each other out perfectly!
I was a little nervous about cutting a single cake into 3 layers, but it is firm enough that it wasn’t a problem at all.  Just use a good serrated knife and take your time.

(adapted from Epicurious)

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a buttered 9-by-2 inch round cake or springform pan with a round of wax paper and butter paper. Dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.

In a bowl with an electric mixer cream butter with 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Onto a sheet of wax paper sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour into butter mixture alternately with milk in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla and blend batter until just combined well.

In another bowl with clean beaters beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining 1/3 cup sugar gradually and beat meringue until it holds stiff peaks. Stir one fourth meringue into batter to lighten and fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake in middle of oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and a tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely. Cake may be made 1 day ahead and kept at room temperature, tightly wrapped.

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup macadamia nuts
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chilled heavy cream

In a dry heavy skillet cook 1/3 cup sugar over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Cook, stirring with a fork, until melted completely and a light caramel. Add macadamia nuts and cook, stirring, until nuts are coated well and caramel is deep golden. Pour praline onto a sheet of foil and cool completely. Break praline into pieces and in a food processor grind fine. (Do not purée to a paste.)

In a small saucepan whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, egg yolks, milk, and cornstarch. Bring pastry cream to a boil over moderate heat, whisking, and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk in vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to a bowl and chill until cold, its surface covered with plastic wrap. (Pastry cream will be very stiff.)

In a bowl beat heavy cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk pastry cream to loosen and whisk in praline. Fold in whipped cream and chill while making frosting.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt

Make frosting:
In a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water whisk together frosting ingredients until mixture is warm and sugar is dissolved. With a portable electric mixer on high beat frosting 6 to 7 minutes, or until thick and fluffy. Remove bowl from heat and beat frosting until cooled slightly.

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut for coating cake
macadamia nuts brushed with honey for garnish

With a long serrated knife cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Spread filling between layers on a cake plate and spread cake with frosting. Press coconut onto sides of cake. 

Garnish with macadamia nuts.

6 Responses to “Macadamia Coconut Cake”

  1. 1 That Girl December 31, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    The addition of the macadamia nuts makes it oh so islandy!

  2. 2 madebymel December 31, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    I love the combination of macadamias and coconut. That picture with the legs is hilarious!

  3. 3 Erica December 31, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    mmmmmmm I love anything coconut. Perfect edition to a hawaiian feast! Have a happy new year!

  4. 4 Joelen January 1, 2009 at 2:46 am

    It looks so light and airy! Great job getting a taste of the tropics!

  5. 5 Kristen616 January 5, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Ohh this looks SO good and fresh! I love macadamia’s and coconut…I’ll bet they are heaven together!

  6. 6 Aparna February 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    its look very delicious.

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