Monday, November 22, 2010

Tropical Cake with Exotic Fruits and A Giveaway!

When most places are covered with snow now and most people are preparing the perfect Thanksgiving meal, here I am posting some tropical cake that seems really out of place and time at the moment. Well, this cake was made a few weeks ago when the weather was still warm and although it is freezing cold and raining, it feels nice to look at this cake and have a glimpse of the warm sun we've had.

When I was back from Hawaii (yes, it was a while ago but I still can't get over it :D), it was a bit sad to find that San Jose was all cold and rain, really missed the warm sun and beach there. I was trying to find some way to reminisce the warm tropical weather we just had and it also happened that my friend, Tony's birthday was coming up!

Before I went to Hawaii, there was this dessert competition in the company that I was supposed to participate. But since I was very weak to say no to Hawaii (it was super last-minute) deal, I had to back out just two days before the competition. Yes, they really gave me a hard time on that and can't stop calling me chicken from being scared and had to run away to Hawaii (tough love). Before I knew that I was going, I have already composed of what I would want to call "the perfect tropical cake", at least in my opinion. I wrote down the components and the layering to the very detail but didn't get to actually made it happen. So, in the spirit of tropical weather, despite the rain we've been having, I thought it would be perfect for Tony's birthday, especially since the birthday boy is a fruit type of guy, not the chocolate kind of guy.

The cake was also perfect due to the fact that I had some fresh passion fruit, thanks to my cube neighbor. The story began a few weeks ago when I was walking toward my cube and I smelled something really familiar but couldn't remember what, when I peeked in her cube, she was eating fresh passion fruit out of hand! I think I squealed a little when I saw that and immediately asked where she got that. I've been looking for fresh passion fruit here in the US for forever! I saw it once in a grocery store, but they're all wrinkly and ugly, and I just couldn't pay $3 for a very small size fruit, especially when I was so busy with birthdays that week, so I had to pass.

Ever since I discovered the passion fruit my neighbor at work has, I've been getting quite a few of them but didn't manage to make or decorate anything with it. I let it all get wrinkly and put them in the freezer hoping that they would last, they're like a gem to me. I also happened to have some starfruit on hand, first time ever here. I used to have the tree back home (in Indonesia), and now it is so hard to find them here. Seems like everything was in place for the tropical cake!

The cake consists of:
- Almond dacquoise
- Creme aux Ananas (pineapple cream)
- Sauteed Pineapple (with rum)
- Grand Marnier bavarian cream
- Joconde
- Exotic fruit mousse (pineapple, passion fruit, mango, and lime)
- Exotic fruit glaze

I hope you haven't got lost in that layering yet but I love playing with flavor combination and texture, trying to achieve that perfect bite. Being a tropical-flavor fanatic, I spent so much time trying to build the perfect cake and I got too excited in incorporating too many layering and I had to trim it down to the ones above.

It was a bit nerve-wrecking to find out how the cake would taste like, is it gonna be too sweet? too sour? too soft of a texture? I think I was too scared that this disaster would happen again, where the cake was waayy too tart (luckily the birthday girl loves tart). It was my first time dealing with passion fruit puree and I was surprised to find out how tart it is.

The kitchen smelled so good when I was making the exotic mousse, you can almost imagine being in an tropical island, just listen to Jason Mraz song or "Hey Soul Sister" song and you're good to go.
I can safely say that I think this cake worth all the effort and time making it. Although it took me four days to make, everything was paid off by the satisfaction of the people eating it. Glad that the birthday boy LOVED it, even though he only got a small piece of the cake (people are butchering the poor cake).

I also made a smaller version the week after for different occasion, Kiki's birthday! Her ultimate favorite cake is actually the Ispahan cake (lychee, rose, and raspberry), but I really don't have time making it, especially when I am in the middle of committed birthday cakes and wedding cake preparation. I can't just let her birthday go by without a cake, at least not without me trying to make it happen, so I decided to make this cake again since I have a few components ready. It is slightly different though, instead of covered with the mousse, it is covered with bavarian cream, with the mousse inside (I had the leftover mousse that I kept in the freezer). There is no alcohol in this cake either as Kiki is expecting a baby boy, except the rum in the sauteed pineapple, in which case the alcohol got burned off completely.

Unfortunately, I couldn't attend the birthday as I was sick, but I hope this cake can make it up for her.

But anyways, I have had done giveaway from CSN store twice before and the last one was not too long ago. They have been so generous and offered me the third one, a $45 giftcard! If you haven't noticed, CSN store is probably the largest online shopping company I've known, it has everything, and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! In this holiday season, I thought their suitcase is perfect for those of you who are traveling, the kitchen stuff definitely makes a great holiday gift, accessories, anything you can think of, heck they have 200++ online stores!

As usual, the rule is so simple, just leave a comment on this post between now until Nov 28, 2010. Only US and Canada residents are valid for the giveaway (but of course anyone can leave a comment), no anonymous or no name comment (I won't have a way to view your profile to see where you are or if you're not some automatic machine typing), only one entry per person. Multiple comments under the same name will be counted as one entry. . The winner will be picked through as usual. Good luck and have a GREAT Thanksgiving week!


J O A N A said...

This looks yummy..I love the decoration also, feels like summer. Too bad I can't taste the cake =(

vtang said...

i really wish i oould taste that cake ber ... i really like passion fruit =(

J O A N A said...

I love the components of the cake and the decoration...feels like Summer. And yes, I miss Hawaii during this cold weather. Too bad I can't taste the cake =(

Hari said...

Hey this is your beloved bro.

That passion fruit looks wrinkly, is that normal? :) you should always make a little extra for any cake you make (for us: Veri/Bobo/Me/Wife), we are an excellent critics.

Annette said...

No picture of the inside of the tropical cake? I'm curious how it looks like with all that layering. That cake must've tasted awesome!!

Tina said...

Awesome cakes!!!!! Maybe that's how i can change gloomy weather here in Chicago)))

suburban prep said...

The cake looks beyond wonderful.
Love CSN and all they have to offer.
msgb245 at gmail dot com

Zoe said...

Wow...the cake is very professional made. Love your creation!

d-La said...

Looks yummy, Cie. You should me give a slice of every cake you make :P

Victoria said...

Ber, would have loved to try this cake.. such a unique and delicious creation!

Kiki said...

Yay... I'm one of the blessed ppl who got to taste the yummy cake. TQ, Tha!!! Still hoping for the Ispahan though

Rcee said...

This is my first time seeing carambola or star fruit being used as a garnish.

lovelyistracy @ yahoo com

grace said...

your cake is so very complex and so very lovely. i'll bet it's so very delicious too. :)

Amber said...

Now this is something I must try.

Domestic Diva said...

Lovely! Thanks for the chance.

Swee San said...

I made something similar, with passionfruit, banana, lemongrass, mango, coconut and lime. haha it's chilling in the fridge now, i'll have to wait till it sets to check it out!

I never thought passionfruits are so expensive there. Here in M'sia its only RM1, which is probably around USD0.30

mocha said...

The combination of fruits and the look of the cake looks soooooo yummy, Bertha ...

bossacafez said...

meeyeehere said...

What a lovely cake. Almost to pretty to eat,ALMOST!
I would love to be included in your giveaway! Thanks a bunch!

KJonas said...

Beautiful shaped cake!

Medifast Coupons said...

What a beautiful cake, love all the exotic fruits, a real treat.

Liz said...

That cake is both beautiful and delicious-looking! Thanks for the giveaway!

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