Monday, May 30, 2011

Coconut~Pistachio Cake with Lemon Curd & Fresh Berries

I bet you're saying..."Whoaaaaaaaa!"  How many flavors can one dessert have?  Well, feeling a little like Marie Curie this morning, I decided to push the envelope, so to speak.  The first thing I spied to bake a cake in, was one of my favorite summer pans--the Maryann Cake Pan.  It has a concave center that you can fill with a plethora of creamy fillings and/or fruit.
After deciding on the perfect pan, I went to the pantry and thought, "what flavor should I make the cake?"  I pulled out some coconut milk powder, which I had discovered from King Arthur, but before I closed the pantry door, I saw the pistachio flour that I had just ordered, and knew that would not take away from the coconut flavor, but rather give a great texture to the cake.
You might be asking right now, "what prompted the Lemon Curd?"  Well, after making macarons last week, I had eight egg yolks in the refrigerator that I knew I wouldn't let go to waste.  I could have made a really rich ice cream, or pastry cream, but while trying to imagine what my mother would make, the idea for lemon curd came to me.  After all, I had just been to the market and bought a bag of lemons and beautiful berries to top it all off.
So, sometimes it's by necessity that I come up with an idea for a dessert and then, there's just plain luck!  Starting off with the pan and the ingredients and I came up with a really delicious, refreshing, and full of flavor dessert to top off our indoor Memorial Day picnic.  I just wish the kids were here!
Coconut~Pistachio Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk powder
1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 cups King Arthur All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Pistachio Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 recipe of Lemon Curd
Pint of strawberries & blueberries or your favorite
1 cup heavy cream, whipped


Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray the Maryann Cake Pan with a nonstick baking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy.  Add the sugar and coconut milk powder and beat for 5 minutes.  Add the coconut flavoring and the vanilla (bean or extract) and mix together.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the dry ingredients and mix alternatively with the buttermilk until full incorporated.  Turn the mixer to medium and beat one minute more.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center.  Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then, invert onto a serving plate.
While the cake is baking, begin to make the Lemon Curd.  Of course, I realize you could buy a jar of lemon curd; there are some really good ones in the market, but making your own is so easy and is so versatile.  In addition to using it in this recipe, try spreading it on toast, an English muffin, or even a scone.  Also, you can use the curd to fill the centers of cupcakes and muffins.  This recipe will keep two weeks in the refrigerator, so I know you can come up with some really good ideas to use it on.


Lemon Curd
8 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large lemons--you should get about 3/4 cup of juice and about a 1/4 cup of zest
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubes and kept cold

Start by zesting the lemons.
 Next, cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice from them.
If you don't get 3/4 cup of juice, add enough cold water to make the measurement.  Set the zest and juice aside.
In a metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar, about 5 minutes to incorporate the sugar well..
 Place the bowl over a sauce pan, with about 1 1/2-inches of water that you've brought to a simmer.
Add the juice and zest and stir together.  Continue stirring over the simmering pan of water for about 8 minutes.  The back of a wooden spoon or spatula should be coated with the mixture and the color will definitely be lighter.
 Remove the bowl from the sauce pan and start adding the cold butter, one cube at a time.
 Make sure the butter has melted and been completely incorporated into the curd before adding more.  When you've added all the butter and the mixture is smooth, transfer to a glass bowl and cover the top of the curd with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

I happened to have about one cup of whipped cream left over from making strawberry shortcake, but if you don't, quickly whip some heavy cream.
Gently, fold in half of the lemon curd into the whipped cream,


 Once the curd is fully incorporated, pour into the center of the cake.  Decorate with fresh berries and serve.
 Having grown up in a military family, I know full well the immense pride I feel for the men and women (and four-legged animals) that serve our country and protect the freedoms we hold dear.  I especially know what it takes for their loved ones to be separated from them on holidays, special occasions, and everyday family events.  Thank you, XOXO.  Enjoy!
 

4 comments:

  1. OH LORD - I hope this lasts a week in the refrigerator...HINT HINT!

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  2. WOW! all my favorites, lemon, strawberries well two of my favorites. blueberries are good, too ... they are my husband favorite.
    susan thanks for sharing,
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  3. I've never made lemon curd--looks like I need to!

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  4. Hi! I've been trying to figure out the name of that pan for a long time, and by doing a google image search I found this recipe you listed..! :) The pan you link to is different from you pan--yours has varied large/small scallops versus the one in the link is one standard scallop size. I was wondering if you remember where you got yours? Thanks! - Bryce

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