Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gluten-Free Tropical Candy Cake

I've taken charge of providing the gluten-free dessert option for a company work party so I've been busy brainstorming these days.

Inspired by my all time favorite candy, I've come up with this tropical candy cake!  A flourless banana coconut cake surrounded in mango Bavarian cream and spiked with Tropical Dots.   It's pretty, the flavors are fun and it's entirely gluten-free!  

 This cake got rave reviews from the gluten-free crowd and the non-gluten-free-ers as well!  The texture is great, it's not overly sweet, and it's a nice departure from the flourless chocolate cakes and brownies of the gluten-free world.  Bavarian cream is sort of half frosting and half mousse that sets up to be slice-able when chilled.  It's not sickeningly sweet like some frostings and the texture is awesome so I like to lay it on really thick!

Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Cake
Loosely based on these gluten free coconut cupcakes.  Makes one 8 inch cake.

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 bananas, mashed smooth
1 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Butter an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and beat until light in color.  Mix in coconut milk and bananas until combined.

Whisk together coconut flour, baking powder and shredded coconut in a bowl.  In the mixing bowl, using the electric mixer, combine the dry and the wet ingredients   The batter will get very thick very fast.  Mix just until it's well blended.

Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter with an off-set spatula. Bake at 350 for 50 to 55 minutes.  The top will be well browned and you will hear the cake crackle in the center when you put your ear to it.  Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, turn onto a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Mango Bavarian Cream:
Adapted from Sprinklebake's raspberry Bavarian cream.

2 15-ounce cans of mango, drained and chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/4 to 1/2 cup orange juice or water
1/3 cup orange juice or water
1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin powder (2 packets)
2 cups heavy cream

Combine mango, honey and 1/4 cup liquid in a blender.  Blend into a puree, adding more juice or water as needed to keep things moving in the blender.  You will have about 2 cups of mango puree.

Combine 1/3 cup orange juice and gelatin in a small saucepan and let stand 5 minutes.  Melt on medium-low heat just until liquid.  Whisk into the mango purée.

Beat heavy cream in a bowl until stiff peaks form, using electric mixer at high speed. Fold your mango mixture into the whipped cream.

Banana Coconut Cake
Mango Bavarian cream
2 boxes Tropical Dot candies
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Place your cake, centered, in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.

Pour half of the Bavarian cream over and around the sides of the cake. Tap the cake on the counter top to help the cream settle into the empty ring around the cake.  Cover smoothly with remaining Bavarian cream.  Tap on the counter top again to bring up any bubbles. The cream should completely fill the 9-inch pan with the top of the cream being level with the top of the pan.  

Arrange candies in a circle around the edge of the cake, pressing them very gently so each candy is barely set into the cream.  Refrigerate until the cream sets (several hours). 

Run a small knife around the pan. Remove the spring form collar.

Carefully paint a thin layer of honey around the sides of the chilled cake.  Warm the honey just slightly with a splash of orange juice to help it spread.  Gently press coconut shavings onto the sides of the cake.

For serving on a dessert bar, label the cake as gluten-free using a long wooden skewer with a "gluten-free" flag attached.



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