The next letter in Dr Seuss’ book, On Beyond Zebra is “UM”.
The first flavor that came to my mind, was umeboshi plum, which I just used in “WUM”. I decided on “Umbrella Drink” and my favorite umbrella drink…Pina Colada.
The above photo is how I’ve always seen a Pina Colada presented, so I thought the 3 garnishes (paper umbrella, pineapple and maraschino cherry) were important details. There are only 3 ingredients, so it seemed a simple flavor to replicate.
For my first attempt at this letter, I thought I’d try making this recipe PALEO. The main reason is that my friend, Mrs Chen, is currently eating PALEO and her birthday was last week, so I thought I’d kill two birds and make a cake that she could eat. While she did like the cake, Mr Shuck spit it out. It tasted a lot like pineapple quiche: not a great taste. It contained: pineapple, almond flour, coconut milk, eggs and baking soda. It needed sugar. Lots of sugar. And less eggs. I didn’t attempt an icing since it was so horrible.
It took a week for me to get another chance to try again. My first stop was to the party store to pick up the umbrellas…$5 for 175! If anyone who knows me needs paper umbrellas…
I followed a recipe for pineapple cake that I found at Tidymom.net. I substituted a splash of rum instead of vanilla extract and ended up adding more pineapple because the batter didn’t have a lot of flavor. I ended up with 48 mini cupcakes, (which I baked for about 14 minutes) and 6 regular size (which I baked for 22 minutes). The cakes browned nicely, but rose a little “lumpily”…
I guess the lumps add character.
For the icing…I used whipped coconut cream. I originally found the idea for this when I was searching for a PALEO friendly icing. I used a conglomeration of suggestions from a couple of websites. I started with 2 cans of coconut cream from Trader Joe’s.
I put the coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight so the fats would solidify. I turned the cans upside down before opening them and drained off the coconut water that was on top of the cream (really on the bottom of the cans). I wanted to make sure that the icing stayed stable all day, so I added some WhipIt, which is essentially just corn starch and dextrose.
I also added about 4 tablespoonfuls of evaporated cane juice (sugar) and 1-2 tablespoonfuls of vanilla bean paste (I didn’t measure, I just dumped some in.) Then, I whipped the heck out of it until it was nice and fluffy. It turned out to be thick enough to pipe. I did end up with a couple of solid lumps of coconut, which clogged up the icing tip, but were easily picked out with a toothpick.
I was a little hesitant to use maraschino cherries since they are usually artificially colored, but fortunately, I came across some at the grocery store that didn’t contain dye.
For the pineapple slices, I used dried pineapple rings from Trader Joes that I cut into sections with pointed ends and shoved into the cake.
The end result…
Now…what to do for “HUMPF”?!?!?!