Margarita Cream Cake

serves 10-12

1 cup (about 4-ounces) sweetened shredded coconut, finely chopped

2 teaspoons grated lime zest

3 cups (about 3 1/2-ounces) pretzels

6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup water, divided

4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1 (10-ounce) can frozen margarita mix, thawed

1/4 cup tequila

1/4 cup Cointreau or triple sec

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Whipped cream

Lime wedges

Place the oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350° F.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch non-stick spring-form pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the coconut and lime zest; reserve 1/2 cup.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the remaining coconut and pretzels and process until finely ground.  Add the melted butter and pulse to combine.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake until the edges are golden, about 10-12 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the water and gelatin and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.  Add margarita mix, tequila, and Cointreau/triple sec and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until gelatin dissolves, about 5 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Once cool, spray the inside edges with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl using a wire whisk or hand-held mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  In a separate large bowl, beat together the sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and vanilla.  Add 1 cup of the cooled margarita mixture and beat until incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in one-third of the whipped cream, then gently fold in remaining cream.  Pour the filling into the crust.  Refrigerate until just set, about 1 hour.

Stir the remaining 1/2 cup water into the remaining margarita mixture.  Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Pour the filling and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.  Carefully run a sharp paring knife between the cake and the sides of the pan, pressing against the pan.  Remove the sides of the pan.  Press the reserved coconut mixture onto the sides of the cake.  Garnish with whipped cream and lime wedges. Enjoy!

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