You may not be able to jet Mom off to a tropical island to show your love, but you can at least give her a tropical treat.
The flavors in this cake will remind her of sitting on a beach, sipping a pina colada and being fanned with palm fronds. We start with a banana flavored cake, then layer it with coconut cream and fresh pineapple. You end up with a fantastic presentation and tropical getaway flavor almost as rich as those plane tickets she deserves.
Most grocers carry fresh pineapple that's been peeled and cored and is easy to slice into rings. If you can only find whole pineapples, here's how to do it. First, slice off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Using a paring knife, peel the outer scaly layer from the pineapple.
For the prettiest rings, first cut the pineapple into slices, then use a small round cookie cutter or a paring knife to cut the round core out of the center.
Our recipe calls for caramelizing the pineapple rings, but the cake is just as delicious if you use the fresh pineapple as is.
BANANA COLADA CAKE
Start to finish: 2 hours
(45 minutes active)
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the filling:
14-ounce can light coconut milk
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch rings
1 cup heavy cream
Toasted coconut, to garnish
Heat the oven to 375 F.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, sour cream and butter. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the bananas and vanilla extract. Sift the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, then stir to combine.
Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooking, start the filling. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a simmer.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar and cornstarch. Using a ladle, slowly pour a stream of the hot coconut milk into the bowl of eggs while whisking continuously. Repeat with 2 more ladles of hot coconut milk.
Switch to whisking the coconut milk in the pan and slowly pour the warmed egg mixture back into the pan. Continuing whisking and cooking over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Pour the coconut mixture back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling. Refrigerate until completely chilled.
To caramelize the pineapple, heat a saute pan over medium-high. Working in batches, place a couple pineapple rings in the pan and cook until starting to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the rings to a plate and let cool. Repeat with the remaining pineapple rings until they are all caramelized.
Once all parts of the cake are ready and cooled, assemble the cake.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
Whisk the chilled coconut filling until smooth. Fold half of the whipped cream into the filling. Once fully incorporated, fold in the remaining half, folding just until incorporated.
Place one of the cakes on a serving platter and spread half of the coconut cream over the top of it. Top with half of the pineapple rings, then set the second cake over that. Top the second cake with the remaining filling, then the remaining pineapple rings. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 470 calories; 180 calories from fat (38 percent of total calories); 21 g fat (13 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 135 mg cholesterol; 66 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber; 230 mg sodium.
-- Alison Ladman