82. Guam & Northern Marianas: Coconut Mango Latiya Cake

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Guam and Northern Marianas a few tiny dots in the middle of the ocean. Famous for being close to the Mariana Trench which is the deepest part of ocean anywhere in the world! Scientists say there are so many fish and other sea creatures that are undiscovered. Guam’s economy survives on Japanese tourists who come to visit these exquisite dreamy tropical islands! As Micronesia’s most populous island, Guam is about as ‘cosmopolitan’ as it gets in the middle of the ocean.
Some people are against it since the shopping malls are everywhere and the traditional Chamorro language is barely spoken on the islands. But then again if you think about it it’s kind of amazing, shopping malls in the middle of the ocean!

Guam

Things you didn’t know about Guam:

  •  Guam has the tallest mountain in the world 11 277,6 meters! Mount Lamlam is 1,332 feet above sea level. But thanks to the Marianas Trench (the deepest part of all the world’s ocean), it’s underground base becomes the greatest change of elevation on Earth compared to the height of Mt. Everest.
  • Brown Tree Snakes are pests to Guam. They are not indigenous to Guam. It has been theorized that they stowed away on ships from Australia and Indonesia and sneaked their way onto the shores of Guam. Since they are not naturally from Guam, they do not have any predators. Therefore killing Brown Tree Snakes is socially accepted, so if you see someone smashing a snake it is considered normal.
  • Guam is part of the USA!!! I never knew this. It’s closer to the Philippines then to US but still it’s part of the USA.

This cake tastes so tropical that it immediately transports your mind to white sand beaches and palmtrees. It’s very light because of the egg whites.Coconut Mango cake

Ingredients: 1 ¾ cups almond flour, 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 8 eggs room temperature (separated) 2 cups confectioner’s sugar (with 1 tbsp separated out for the egg whites), 2 tbsp vanilla extract,1 tease of baking powder, mango puree (blitzed mango in your blender) , toasted flaked coconut, dairy-free gluten-free pastry cream *(see recipe below), 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms and sides of a 13X9X2 rectangular pan with canola oil. Sift the flours and salt together into a bowl and stir with a whisk to incorporate completely. Set aside.
  2. Carefully separate the room temperature eggs into separate bowls of egg whites and egg yolks.
  3. Combine the yolks with the sugar into a large bowl and beat with a hand held mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. You want the ribbon effect. Ribboning describes how the batter, when it drops from the beaters, sort of folds back and forth on the surface, much like a ribbon, when you raise the beaters.
  4. Reduce speed to low and beat in all but 1 Tablespoon of the confectioner’s sugar, which will be used for the egg whites. Scrape down the bowl as needed and increase speed to high and beat until pale and thick again, about a minute. Add the flours, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Set Aside.
  5. Using another bowl and hand held mixer with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and start gradually adding the 1 Tablespoon of the confectioner’s sugar, over the course of several minutes. Continue to beat, but increase to medium high and then high only towards the end. If you develop egg whites slowly on medium, they are often a lot more sturdy, which is what you want. When stiff peaks form when you slowly lift the beaters, fold one cup into yolk mixture to lighten and then fold in the rest of the whites, until there are no more white streaks of egg white. You want to work delicately but swiftly, so as not to deflate the egg whites, and you want it to be fully incorporated. This makes for a fluffy more voluminous cake.
  6. Pour into 9-inch by 13-inch pan and level with the back of a spoon or use a small offset spatula. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Surface will be golden brown on top, and spring back when you poke the top with a finger. Leave to cool on a wire rack before using.
  7. For assembly, add first the pastry cream first then the mango. Do not worry if the cake has shrunk from the sides of the pan, causing the mango puree to drip down between the sides of the pan and the cake. Spread evenly all over the top of the cake. Add the mango and level the surface evenly using a small offset spatula, or the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours to up to a day, to help the pastry cream and cake to meld together somewhat more. Finally add the toasted coconut flakes, but do this only when the dessert will be eaten soon, because they lose their crispiness/crunchiness relatively quickly.

Dairy free pastry cream ingredients: 4 large eggs, 140 gr granulated sugar, 4o gr cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 can of full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean

  1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until combined and free of lumps.
  2. Bring coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly pour 2/3 cup of the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, whisking briskly and constantly, to temper the eggs.
  3. Add tempered egg mixture back into coconut milk on the saucepan on the stove, whisking constantly.
  4. Continue to cook over medium to medium high heat, whisking, until mixture becomes very thick, like a pudding, and big bubbles start happening. Careful not to overdo it, though, as the eggs will cook easily, making it more dense and rubbery.
  5. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and vanilla.
  6. Pour pastry cream through a fine mesh or sieve into a bowl. This ensures that any cooked egg solids will be removed from the final product. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside in the refrigerator until assembling dessert.

This is funky pop music from Guam. I love it!

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