Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Coconut Cherry Meringue Cake

This pretty little cake is so festive and special, without being hard to make. This recipe is one of Alison Holst's and I have been making it since my college days.

Coconut Cherry Meringue Cake
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. coconut
1/4 c. maraschino cherries, halved
1/4 c. milk

2 egg whites
5 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 c. coconut
1/4-1/2 c. maraschino cherries, halved

For Cake: With a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light.  Add egg yolks and flavorings and beat again.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients with coconut and cherries and toss to coat with flour.  Tip dry ingredients and milk onto creamed mixture and fold until mixed.  Spread this mixture into a ring pan that has been lined with parchment paper. (I use a 2-part angel food pan with an outer ring and removable insert bottom. Trace around the bottom onto parchment paper, cutting paper to fit inside the ring.)
For Meringue: beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the sugar and beat into stiff peaks.  Add the flavoring, cornstarch and coconut and beat briefly or fold in to mix. Spread meringue over uncooked cake and decorate with remaining cherries.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 min. until the top is a light golden brown and the sides start to shrink from the pan.  Cool for 10 min. Run a knife around the outside edges of the cake and lift out the center insert. Run a knife around hole in the center of the cake, then using a wide spatula and your hands, lift the cake from under the parchment paper, removing paper and cake to a plate. Cool completely before serving.  Slice with a serrated knife.  If the knife sticks to the meringue, dip in hot water first.

Notes:  It can be tricky to get this beauty out of her pan.  I found a recipe recently where they bake a meringue cake like this in a 8 inch circle pan lined with parchment.  I'm guessing it would work that way too if you like to try.  Also this cake is small enough that my mother would only call it a sniff for my crew of 9, so next time I make it, I'm going to try making it bigger.  Wish me luck, or let me know how it goes if you try it!

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