Halekulani Coconut Cake

One of my favorite hotels on the island of Oahu is the Halekulani.  
In Hawaiian, Halekulani means “house befitting of heaven” 
or “heavenly haven."  

There are three things that the Halekulani is known for.  
The first is the suite that Vera Wang designed as seen below.  

The second is beautiful weddings. 

And last, but certainly not least, is their coconut cake.  
Halekulani has a well-known restaurant named Orchids

Their sponge cake is layered with pastry cream, topped with sweetened whipped cream and coconut flakes.  Even though I am about 5,000 miles from home whenever I get a craving for this coconut cake I feel very lucky that I don't have to pay $145 to have it express shipped to me.

And neither do you ;)
Happy 4th of July!

Halekulani Coconut Cake  
Sponge Cake
3/4 cup cake flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg 
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 egg whites (warmed to room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Pastry Cream:
1 1/2 cup milk
1 split vanilla bean
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Whipped Cream Frosting:
3 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups coconut flakes 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To make sponge cake: Sift together cake flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Set aside. Combine egg, water and oil; add to sifted ingredients. Mix batter until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar; continue to whip to form a stiff meringue. Gently fold batter into meringue and mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour into an ungreased 9-inch cake pan and bake about 30 minutes. Invert cake onto a rack and cool.
  5. To make pastry cream: Scrape vanilla bean seeds into milk and bring to a boil over moderate heat (add vanilla bean pod to milk as well). Combine sugar, flour and egg yolks; whip until light yellow. Slowly pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper it. Add milk-yolk mixture back into the remaining milk and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until thick. Immediately remove bean pod and strain, then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill.
  6. To prepare whipped cream: Whip cream and sugar until fluffy. Fold 1 cup into pastry cream; reserve the rest to frost cake.
  7. To assemble: Cut cooled cake into three layers. Stir 3/4 cup of coconut flakes into pastry cream. Spread cream between layers of the cake. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with remaining coconut flakes. Serves 8. 
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin


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