Archive for the 'Hawaiian' Category

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)

Cake:
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.

Filling:
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.

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.

Kalua Pork

Typically, this Hawaiian dish is cooked in an underground pit – but since that’s not the most convenient method available to me, I found this recipe that uses an oven.  You can use Hawaiian smoked salt, which my parents brought me from Hawaii when they went in April, or a combination of sea salt and liquid smoke.  

I found banana leaves in the freezer section of my local Asian market.
(adapted from Epicurious)

1 large banana leaf
6-lb boneless pork shoulder Boston roast (Boston butt), cut across grain into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons Hawaiian smoke salt (or 2 tbsp sea salt plus 2 tbsp liquid smoke)

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Lay 2 sheets of foil (each about 1 feet long) on a work surface with long sides overlapping by about 4 inches. 

Cut 2 (12-inch) lengths from banana leaf and center 1 on foil. 
Put pork on banana leaf and sprinkle with salt. 
Cover top of pork with other 12-inch length of banana leaf and 2 overlapping sheets of foil (each about 1 1/2 feet long). 
Crimp edges of foil tightly to form a packet and put in a large roasting pan. Add 2 inches of water and cover pan tightly with more foil.
Bake pork in middle of oven 3 1/2 hours. 
If necessary, replenish water in the pan while cooking.
Remove foil covering, and transfer foil to a flat surface.  
Remove the meat from the foil and banana leaf packet, place in a bowl, and shred with forks. 
Serve warm.

Kalua Pig

Typically, this Hawaiian dish is cooked in an underground pit – but since that’s not the most convenient method available to me, I found this recipe that uses an oven.  You can use Hawaiian smoked salt, which my parents brought me from Hawaii when they went in April, or a combination of sea salt and liquid smoke.  

I found banana leaves in the freezer section of my local Asian market.
(adapted from Epicurious)

1 large banana leaf
6-lb boneless pork shoulder Boston roast (Boston butt), cut across grain into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons Hawaiian smoke salt (or 2 tbsp sea salt plus 2 tbsp liquid smoke)

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Lay 2 sheets of foil (each about 1 feet long) on a work surface with long sides overlapping by about 4 inches. 

Cut 2 (12-inch) lengths from banana leaf and center 1 on foil. 
Put pork on banana leaf and sprinkle with salt. 
Cover top of pork with other 12-inch length of banana leaf and 2 overlapping sheets of foil (each about 1 1/2 feet long). 
Crimp edges of foil tightly to form a packet and put in a large roasting pan. Add 2 inches of water and cover pan tightly with more foil.
Bake pork in middle of oven 3 1/2 hours. 
If necessary, replenish water in the pan while cooking.
Remove foil covering, and transfer foil to a flat surface.  
Remove the meat from the foil and banana leaf packet, place in a bowl, and shred with forks. 
Serve warm.

Ahi Poke in Lettuce Cups

I fell in love with poke in Hawaii. It came with some plate lunches, and I could not get enough!  There are many variations – I love the really spicy stuff with little flecks of nori in it.  However, I made this for a family dinner that included people who have almost no tolerance for spicy food, so I took it in another direction.  The bright flavor of green onions and ginger mingle with the buttery-smooth ahi and the crunch of the iceberg lettuce is a perfect contrast.

1 head iceberg lettuce
3/4 lb sashimi-grade ahi
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, minced
2-4 tsp minced fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger!)
pinch sea salt
Pull apart the leaves of lettuce and find the crisp parts that will work well as lettuce cups.
Cut the ahi into 1/2″-3/4″ cubes.  Toss with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, green onions, and ginger.
Cover and refrigerate one hour.
Arrange the lettuce on serving trays and scoop a few cubes of fish into each.

Hawaii-Inspired Dinner Menu


We had so much fun in Hawaii last week that I wanted to re-create some of the foods of the islands even though weather is cold and snowy here in Portland.  I knew I had to make Kalua Pork, because it was my favorite foods from the trip.  I also wanted to give making poke a try, and fortunately we have an amazing fish counter at a local Asian grocery store, so I was able to pick up some beautiful sashimi-grade ahi.  For dessert, I found a recipe for a light white cake filled with macadamia pastry cream and coated with coconut.  A perfect finish for this dinner!

Recipes will be posted soon!
My sister and husband put together some great drinks using POG (Pineapple-Orange-Guava juice), pineapple-orange-banana juice, freshly-squeezed lime juice, and rum.  They complemented the menu perfectly!

Menu:
Saimin
Steamed white rice
Sliced fresh papaya and pineapple