This particular dessert is for those who like fruit and cream. The recipe, having less than one cup of sugar, lets the sweetness of the pineapple shine through. The nutty pistachio cake and the rum custard are the other two elements which come together to create this tasty dessert.
The issue I had in preparing the recipe was that the batter is baked in a jelly roll pan and then the cake is cut in half and then split horizontally after baked. I did not have a 10 1/2 by 15 1/2 inch pan (my pan was larger), so in order to compensate, I actually baked 2 cakes and skipped the step in splitting horizontally. Be sure to read the tips and notes, for the recipe below reflects the original instructions.
The tropical flavors as well as the lightness of this dessert make this cake a perfect ending to a summer meal.
Pineapple Rum Trifle Cake
adapted from the Best of Gourmet 1999
2/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tbs flour
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
2-20 oz cans of crushed unsweetened pineapple
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp sugar
Prepare 10 1/2 by 15 1/2 inch jelly roll pan by oiling the interior and lining bottom and sides with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a food processor with the pistachios, flour and salt. Grind ingredients to a fine powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs for 30 seconds on medium. Then increase speed to medium high and slowly pour in sugar while the batter continues to be beaten with the blade. Continue to beat for an additional 10 minutes. The end result should be a pale yellow batter that is light and thick. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in dry ingredients from the food processor in 1/4 cup increments. Make sure it is all mixed in but do so gently so as not to deflate the thickness of the egg batter.
Spread batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cake is done when edges are slightly toasted and top springs back when lightly touched. Cool cake completely by letting sit in pan on top of a rack.
While cake is cooling, prepare the pineapple filling layer. Empty both cans of pineapple into a food processor (juice and all). Pulse mixture for 3 seconds. The pineapple will have more of a pureed look when done. Pour pineapple into sieve set over a small bowl. Set pineapple aside, juice can be reserved for another use.
To make rum custard filling, set up a double boiler on the stove. Also fill a sink 1/4 full of ice and cold water. Heat up water in double boiler to a steady simmer. In a small bowl, add first 3 filling ingredients on the list above plus only 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Mix together and then pour into the top saucepan of the double boiler. Stir constantly with a wire whisk while mixture cooks. Once it reaches a pudding-like consistency and the whisk leaves marks in the custard, transfer the saucepan of custard to the prepared ice bath in the sink. Let cool to room temperature.
Take the remaining 3/4 cup of heavy cream and beat until you reach the stiff peak stage. Fold the cooled custard into the cream. Set aside.
Invert cake layer onto flat surface and remove parchment paper. Trim edges to create a size of 7X14, reserving trimmings. Cut cake in half and then split horizontally.
For assembly, place 1 cake layer onto cake plate. Spread with 1/2 cup of pineapple and then 1/2 cup of rum custard. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat the process until layers are stacked and filled. After the last layer, use the cake trimmings to piece together the final, 5th layer. Chill cake covered in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Make the topping by beating the cream and sugar together. Once soft peaks are formed, spread evenly over cake top and sides.
Tips and Notes:
1. When adding dry ingredients to cake batter, do not dump in. Instead, pour a steady stream as the folding is done. Dumping in will cause clumps, which in turn will require more mixing which will deflate the texture of the batter. That lesson is reflected in the cake layer thickness differences in the picture above.
2. On the egg batter for the cake, it is important that you run the mixer for the full 10 minutes to insure the proper height of the cake layers.
3. My cake was a little bigger and did not have the pieced cake trimmings on top. The whipped cream topping is forgiving when it comes to covering jagged uneven edges and, so that will not be noticed. When cut, it is the cake layer thickness which is the most noticed.
4. I used 1 1/2 times the recipe for the topping on this cake. Also, if doing again, I would probably do the same with the custard filling. Bear in mind that my cake was a little bigger due to my pan used.
5. Without the whipped topping, cake can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 days. If you prepare ahead with the whipped topping, make it no more than 1 day in advance. Either way, let cake come to room temperature before slicing and serving.
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