Monday, September 5, 2011

Piña Colada Cake and the Big Screw-Up

Come with me and escape!
Do you like piña coladas? Well, I do. I don't think you can go wrong with the combination of pineapple and coconut, especially when we're talking about cake.

My family decided to celebrate Labor Day this year on Sunday so that everyone would have Monday to recover. What exactly we were supposed to be recovering from, I am not sure, so I figured I'd booze up our little shindig to give everyone something to recover from. To that end, I made this piña colada cake (which has rum in it), and a white sangria. My dad made a red sangria, so for those of us who were imbibing, there was plenty of alcohol. Not that we're lushes or anything. We were simply enjoying the last hurrah of Summer that is Labor Day weekend.

Sunken middle :(
The party was one of my family's less eventful affairs. For me, the highlights were renaming my sister Frakah Khan (and then my nephew deciding my sister should name her baby Frakah Khan), and having a little dance party with my sister and my nephew. I taught my nephew how to do the sprinkler, the blender, the bump, and the dip. He really took a liking to the blender, and he had me dip him over and over again until I thought my arm would fall off. I tried teaching the kid how to do the running man, but he took one look at that move and said, "no, me can't do that." Ah well, one day...

Holey piña colada cake, Batman!
I suppose there was one minor event during the preparation of my family's get-together: I screwed up the cake. I prepared it perfectly, but it turned out that I did not bake it long enough. Yeah, I undercooked the cake. I was very upset about this because I was really looking forward to enjoying the cake. Luckily, it was only the top part of the center of the cake that was not cooked all the way, so I simply cut a hole into the cake, glazed the cake, and filled the hole with pineapple. Problem solved! In the end, despite my little mistake, the cake was still delicious, moist, and tropical. Perfect for an end of Summer treat.

Piña Colada Cake
from here

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp dark rum
2 lrg eggs, at room temp
1 cup cream of coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
1 tbsp rum, +2 tsp for glaze
2 tbsp pineapple juice, +2 tsp for glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the rum and cream of coconut until combined. In two additions, mix in the dry ingredients on low speed. Mix until just combined. Fold in the pineapple chunks.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the center of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (and make sure the cake does not jiggle!). Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto another wire rack. Poke holes in the cake using a toothpick, then drizzle over the mixture of 1 tbsp rum and 2 tbsp pineapple juice. Allow the cake to cool completely.

To prepare the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, pinch of salt, and rum and pineapple juice. Slowly drizzle the glaze over the cake, trying to get it even over the top.


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