SERVES 8 to 12
A little like chocolate and a lot like nothing else you’ve ever tasted, if you haven’t had red velvet cake you must try this. If you have had the pleasure, you’ll love this unusual variation.
1. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar. Add the vanilla, buttermilk, and oil. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir or beat until the batter is smooth. Add the red food coloring and mix thoroughly.
2. In a tall glass or a measuring cup, combine the baking soda and vinegar. Fold this frothy mixture gently into the cake batter. Pour the batter into two greased 9-inch round pans. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
3. While the cake is baking, prepare the pineapple filling. In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and cold water and whisk until there are no evident lumps. Add the pineapple and juice, and stir. Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture boils. Remove from heat and cool completely. Once the mixture has chilled and just before you’re ready to assemble the cake, stir the chopped pineapple sage leaves into the mixture.
4. Dust the sides of both layers (and your serving plate, if you wish) with powdered sugar. For the frosting, cream together the powdered sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on top of the first cooled layer of the cake (Figure 1). Build the edges up slightly to serve as a sort of barrier to hold in the filling. Next, spoon on the pineapple filling (Figure 2). Carefully place the second cake layer on top. Cover the top of it with the remaining cream cheese frosting (Figure 3).
5. Drain the pineapple rings and pat them dry with a towel. Place each on top of the cake (Figure 4) and garnish with sprigs of pineapple sage.
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