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At The Next Party, Let Them Eat Cake

Who doesn’t like cake? Who doesn’t like sweets? Morris Wise and Chris Spinosa are some good guys to have as your friends, especially when you’re throwing a party. These guys started Hula Baby Biscotti & KO Bakery on Kauai and have been doing a great job using some great local products in all their recipes. Morris and Chris are coming over for my next party and they are bringing one of their spectacular cakes!

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Morris Wise and Chris Spinosa get a bit of help from Lanai. PHOTOS FROM COOKING HAWAIIAN STYLE

PAPALUA’S FUDGE AND COCONUT MELE MAC CAKE WITH COCONUT SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

For Papalua Fudge Cake:

* 3/4 cup cocoa powder
* 4 ounces Hawaii dark chocolate (semisweet or bittersweet), chopped
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 cup soft butter
* 2 cups Maui white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 4 egg yolks
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup organic coconut milk
* 1 tablespoon Kauai vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
* 4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour and baking soda. Set aside.

Combine coconut milk, vanilla and vinegar. Set aside.

Combine cocoa, chopped chocolate, 1/4 cup butter and water in a small saucepan and bring to simmer while stirring; remove from heat and cool.

Whip egg whites to stiff peaks in mixing bowl. Use a spatula to move whipped egg whites to another bowl and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

In the mixing bowl, cream the 1 cup softened butter and sugar well until light and fluffy. Add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture and mix well. Be sure to scrape down the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients.

Add flour mixture alternately with coconut milk mixture to chocolate batter, beating until smooth after each addition.

Gently fold whipped egg whites into the chocolate batter with a large silicone spatula. It helps to do one-third of the whites at a time. Be sure egg whites are completely incorporated into the batter.

Bake 20-30 minutes until cake tests done with a wooden toothpick or skewer.

Cool for 10 minutes in pans and then invert onto cooling racks. Finishing cooling to room temperature. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled before handling and decorating.

For Toasted Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

* 8 egg whites
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 pound plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
* 1 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
* 1 tablespoon Koloa Kauai Coconut Rum (optional)
* 7-ounce package Island Princess Mele Macs

Reserve three or five whole Mele Macs and place the remainder in a storage bag and put in the freezer.

Spread the coconut flakes on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees until golden brown.

When the toasted coconut is completely cool, you may pulse in a food processor to a medium grain texture, if necessary.

Separate eggs, making sure that there are no yolks.

Put egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl and whisk to combine.

Place the egg and sugar mixture over a pot of simmering water. Continue to whisk until the mixture registers 140 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove the whites and sugar from the heat and pour into mixing bowl. Whip at high speed until stiff peaks are formed. Reduce to medium speed and continue whipping until the mixing bowl is completely cool to the touch.

Slowly add the room-temperature butter a couple of tablespoons at a time. The buttercream may break (resembling soft cottage cheese).

Continue to whip and the mixture will come back together.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated, add the coconut rum and toasted coconut. Stir with a rubber spatula for three to four minutes.

This will help to remove some of the air from the buttercream, making it smoother.

The Icing On The Cake:

Remove the bag of Mele Macs from the freezer and pound with a heavy object, such as a meat pounder or rolling pin, to break up the candies into small pieces.

Use a serrated knife to trim the tops off each of the cake rounds. Place one of the rounds on a cake-decorating turntable and spoon approximately three-fourths cup of the buttercream onto the middle of the cake round. Using an offset spatula, spread the buttercream until it overhangs the edge of the cake just slightly. Sprinkle approximately half of the broken Mele Macs on the butter-cream. Place the next layer on top, pressing down slightly, and repeat with the butter-cream and the rest of the broken candy pieces.

Place the last layer of cake on top. Scoop a small amount of buttercream on top. Finish the crumb coat on the cake by covering the entire thing in a light layer of buttercream. Don’t worry if the frosting has cake crumbs in it, these won’t be visible on the finished product.

Once the crumb coat is finished, place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Return the cake to your decorating turntable and scoop the remaining butter-cream on top. This is the finishing layer of frosting, so go slowly and make the coverage as even as possible.

Place the reserved whole Mele Macs on the top of the cake to finish.

Cake can be decorated ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator two to three hours before serving.

Watch Cooking Hawaiian Style on OC16 On Demand channels 12 and 1012. Visit cookinghawaiianstyle.com for more recipes.