hawaiian paradise cake, version 2.0

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For my birthday I’ve made a pavlova the last three years. This year I decided to revisit the Hawaiian Paradise Cake, a three-layer flavored cake that’s pink, green, and yellow or orange.  This time I made each layer without using any food coloring at all. I think I like the all-natural cake better, even though the colors aren’t as vibrant. To achieve the flavors for each layer, I used a farang or Thai green guava for the top layer, strawberry preserves for the middle pink layer, and an extra egg yolk for the orange layer. The cake was frosted with a whipped cream icing; slightly tangy and not too sweet. I served the cake with my own fresh passion fruit syrup, chilled fresh mango, and a scoop of white chocolate and almond ice cream.

Hawaiian Paradise Cake, Version 2.0

Have at room temperature:
Ingredients
2 1/4 (281g) cups flour
2/3 cups (150g) white superfine sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1/4 cup strawberry preserves, thinned with 2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup (2 oz) fresh guava pulp and skin
1/4 cup (2 oz) fresh orange juice, plus zest (juice and zest of 1 medium orange)
5 egg yolks plus one more
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoon each flavoring, optional
2 teaspoons grated lime zest (lemon in original)
8 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup white superfine sugar

Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Get 6 mixing bowls together and 3 eight- inch spring form cake pans, preferably non-stick. Do not grease and flour the sides or the bottom. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, sift flour with 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl, beat together oil, water, 5 egg yolks, vanilla, 2 tablespoons lime juice and lime zest until just combined. Mix yolk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. The consistency will be thick. Divide the batter into thirds and place in separate bowls.

3. Make the following additions but do not mix until after the juice and flavoring are in: In one bowl of batter, add the strawberry jam. In another, add the guava pulp and zest. In the third, add the orange juice and zest, plus the egg yolk. Add flavoring, if using.

4. Using a clean bowl and beaters free of grease, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide the whipped egg whites by thirds and add each third to the batters. Fold in gently. Pour each batter into a prepared cake pan.

Cake Baker’s Note: Wipe down the bowl and beaters with vinegar to be sure, or your whites won’t whip.

5. Put each pan in the oven. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove pans from the oven and place on wire racks to cool completely. Run a thin sharp blade around the edges to loosen the cake. Remove the sides. Invert the cake and remove the bottom using a sharp thin blade. Insert the blade between the cake and the pan bottom and press away from the pan. Once the cake is released from the pan bottom, re-invert the cake for filling and frosting.

6. Fill and frost with whipped cream icing and glaze with passion fruit syrup (recipes to follow).

Whipped Cream Icing

Ingredients
1 8-oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup white superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream

Preparation
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and extracts in a mixing bowl. While the mixer is running on medium speed, add the cream. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fill and frost the cake then refrigerate it until ready to slice and serve.

Passion Fruit Syrup (optional, for serving)

Ingredients
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup white superfine sugar
2 tablespoons water or orange juice
1/2 cup fresh passion fruit pulp

Preparation
Mix the corn syrup, sugar, and juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add the passion fruit pulp. Let cool. You can also put this in the fridge for 45 minutes to speed up the process.

An alternative to the corn syrup is to make a simple syrup. To the pan add 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 cup water to the saucepan and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and, if desired, add a thickener. To 2 tablespoons corn starch add 1 1/2 tablespoons water. Mix well and stir into the syrup. Cool slightly. Add the passion fruit pulp. Stir to combine.

Chill the syrup until ready to serve.

To  serve, cut a slice of cake , spoon some fruit on the side, and pour some of the passion fruit syrup on top of the fruit, and if you like, on top of the cake too.  Delicious!

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hawaiian paradise cake, version 1.0

hawaiian paradise cake

Since I discovered this recipe on flourtrader.blogspot.com a few months ago, I’ve been so intrigued, not only by the colors but also the concept. It’s actually a chiffon cake baked in layer pans instead of the traditional angel food cake tin. And ever since I saw it, I’ve been planning how to make it.

This is a copycat recipe, so called because it attempts to duplicate a famous recipe, in this case the signature cake of King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant in Torrance, California, whose recipe, unfortunately,  is a secret. King’s Hawaiian Bakery’s technicolor cake originally featured three layers: guava, passion fruit, and lime. The top layer is pink, the middle is orange, and the bottom is green.

I had intended to bring the nectars for the cake with me from New York but I forgot. So I had to go with the juices available here in Bangkok. The top layer is strawberry, the middle is orange, and the bottom is guava. In Thailand, guava is a bland green fruit  known as farangIt is eaten sliced with a spicy dip prik kleua or chili-salt which names two of the three main ingredients in this dip, the other being sugar. But I digress.

I wanted this cake to be made with all natural ingredients. So I brought natural food colors with me from Whole Foods in New York. As you can see, the colors are not as vibrant as the artificial food colors. I did not want to use artificial flavoring so I used the zest of the farang and the zest of an orange to boost the flavor of the juices in those layers.

So with the dissertation drafted and submitted to my sponsor and committee just before New Year’s Eve, I decided to try this recipe today.  The strawberry flavor is distinctive, and so is the orange, but unfortunately, the farang flavor is barely there. I loved the whipped cream icing–light and slightly sweet without being overpowering. I call this version 1.0 because I am quite sure I am going to tinker with this recipe again until it is perfection.

Have at room temperature:
Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 1/4 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon
2/3 cups white superfine sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup (2 oz) key lime juice
1/4 cup (2 oz) guava nectar
1/4 cup (2 oz) passion fruit nectar
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoon each flavoring, optional
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
liquid food coloring: yellow, red, and green (I recommend natural food coloring)
8 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup white superfine sugar

Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Get 6 mixing bowls together and 3 eight- inch spring form cake pans, preferably non-stick.  Do not grease and flour the sides or the bottoms. Set aside.

Cake Baker’s Note: I had followed the original recipe and greased and floured three 9-inch cake pans. Mistake. Chiffon cakes are too delicate to bake in greased pans.  They sag under their own weight. Better to use ungreased springform pans.

2. In a large bowl, sift flour with 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl, beat together oil, water, yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest until just combined. Mix yolk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. The consistency will be thick, like cookie dough. Divide the batter into thirds and place in separate bowls. In one bowl of batter, add the key lime juice. In another, add the guava nectar. In the third, add the passion fruit nectar. Add flavoring, if using. Next, add the food coloring: green for the lime layer, red for the guava layer, and orange for the passion fruit layer. Make the colors darker because the addition of the egg whites will lighten the batter. Do not mix until the nectar/juice, flavoring, and coloring have been added.

Cake Baker’s Note: Here’s a sampler for mixing colors–
Orange: 2 drops yellow, 1 drop red (passion fruit, mango)
Green: 1 drop yellow, 3-4 drops blue (farang/guava, lime)
Yellow: (banana, pineapple)
Red: (guava, strawberry)

I unintentionally over-mixed the orange and guava layers, which is why they are not as fluffy as the pink layer. I should have mixed the colors separately and then added them to the batter. I used about 5 drops red for the pink layer, a total of 9 drops for the orange, and after mistakenly adding red to the green, I think 9-12 drops will do it. I omitted the lemon zest and added 2 teaspoons orange zest to the orange layer and 1 tablespoon farang/guava zest to the farang/guava layer.

3. Using a clean bowl and beaters free of grease, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide the whipped egg whites by thirds and add each third to the batter. Fold. Pour each one into a prepared cake pan.
4. Put each pan in the oven. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove pans from the oven and place upside down on wire racks to cool completely. Re-invert pans and run a thin sharp blade around the edges to loosen the cake. Remove the sides. Invert the cake and remove the bottom using a sharp thin blade. Insert the blade between the cake and the pan bottom and press away from the pan. Once the cake is released from the pan bottom, re-invert the cake for filling and frosting.
5. Fill and frost with whipped cream icing and glaze with fruit syrup (recipes to follow).

Fruit Syrup

Ingredients
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup white superfine sugar
1/2 cup nectar or juice
5 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water

Preparation
Mix the corn syrup and juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch until dissolved. Mix cornstarch mixture with sugar/juice mixture. Let cool. You can also put this in the fridge for 45 minutes to speed up the process

Whipped Cream Icing

Ingredients
1 8-oz package cream cheese, at room temperature (reduced fat will work too)
1/2 cup white superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream

Preparation
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and extracts in a mixer. While the mixer is running on medium speed, add the cream. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fill and frost the cake then refrigerate it until ready to slice and serve.

Serving suggestion:
Slice the cake and spoon the fruit syrup over each slice just before serving. Serve each slice with a spoonful of fresh fruit, such as sliced berries, mango, and kiwi.