Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coconut pecan cake with caramel mousse

I was asked to make a cake last week and I automatically thought of this one. It is moist cake with a light mousse, and a rich coconut topping that throws this one over the top!

Pecan cake

Butter for greasing
1 cup toasted pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
6 eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 egg whites
1/4 cup unsealed butter, melted

Caramel mousse

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp plus 1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 sheet gelatin or 1 tsp powdered
1 tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Coconut pecan topping

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter an 11 by 17 inch cake pan. Line with parchment paper. Combine the pecans and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to the bowl of a mixer. Add the eggs and beat for 6-8 minutes until doubled in volume. Fold in the flour and set aside.

In a clean mixing bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks using an electric mixer with clean dry beaters. Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. fold the whites into the batter. Fold in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake until the center springs back when lightly touched about 10 to 12 minutes. cool.

To make the caramel mousse:

In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, lemon juice, and one tablespoon of water and cook until the sugar becomes dark amber in color. About 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly add the 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk until smooth.

Combine the gelatin and remaining 1/4 cup of water in teh medium bowl. Let stand 3-5 minutes until the gelatin dissolves. Stir in the hot caramel, brandy, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 3/4 cup of cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into the mousse.

Invert the cooled cake on a cookie sheet turned upside down. Remove the pan and the parchment. Cut the cake in half crosswise so that you have two pieces of cake measuring 8 by 12 inches. Spread one layer with the caramel mousse and stack the other layer on top. Place in the refrigerator while you make the topping.

* The mousse is very runny. I have found that by making a more dense cream (half the portion) it makes for an nice edge for the mousse to stabilize in.

To make the topping:

Combine the milk, sugar, yolks, butter, and vanilla in a small saucepan over med. heat. Sitr until thickened about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and pecans.

Pour the topping over the cake. Use a metal spatula to spread the topping evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Return the cake to the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Recipe by. The secrets of success cookbook. Small variations made by Hope.

Sugar high, hope.

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