Tag Archives: coconut

Retro coconut cake with raspberry jam & coconut buttercream…

Today I made this little beauty…

I’ve been meaning to share this deliciously retro sounding recipe for ages. I found it in one of my Good Food 101 Cakes and Bakes book and tried making it for the first time a couple of months ago. It’s so delicious that it’s found its way firmly into my repertoire of faves.

In making it, I also learnt an incredibly handy skill…how to make coconut cream! I discovered this, whilst scouring my local shops for coconut cream in a last minute panic, but to no avail! Every single shop, however, had boxes of creamed coconut (a solid white block made from pure coconut) so with the help of a bit of on the spot googling I learnt that all you need to do is dissolve 75g creamed coconut (grated) in 100ml of hot water and stir until smooth. Hey presto! These quantities also, luckily, make exactly the amount of coconut cream that you need for this recipe!

All you need is…

175g unsalted butter

175g caster sugar

175g self-raising flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

50g dessicated coconut

2 tbsp coconut cream (remember the handy hint above 🙂

For the coconut buttercream icing you need…

280g icing sugar

100g unsalted butter

3 tbsp coconut cream

and finally half a jar or so of raspberry jam for sandwiching.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (180 degrees if it’s not a fan) and grease and line the bases of two 8 inch round cake tins. If you find lining cake tins a hassle you should read this handy ‘Kitchen How To’ from Miss Igs.

Mix the butter and sugar together with a handheld electric mixer for a few minutes before adding the eggs, flour and baking powder. Beat well for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Stir the dessicated coconut and coconut cream in gently.

Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and pop in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake to test it, if it comes out clean, it’s ready!

Leave to cool for a few minutes, then loosen the edges and remove the cakes gently from their tins and put them on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream you just need to sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and beat in the butter and coconut cream until smooth.

Spread half of the buttercream on top of one of your cakes, followed by a layer of raspberry jam on top of that, or if you fancy putting the jam on first followed by the buttercream it’s your call!. Either way, gently lower the second cake on top and finally dollop on the remaining buttercream and spread and swirl to you hearts content until you’re happy with the finished product…

Then cut yourself a huge slice and get stuck in…

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Argentinian alfajores biscuits…

My baking addiction makes me a pretty good person to live with…the kitchen’s always sparkling and there is never a shortage of cake around. The only downside for my long suffering housemates is that they have to wait until whatever I’ve baked has been sufficiently photographed before they can tuck into it and when I eventually let them, I ask them to provide me with comprehensive feedback…so I guess it works both ways! My housemate’s girlfriend, Dani, has an amazingly sweet tooth so is a prime target to try new recipes out on. She’s Argentinian and was telling me recently about a traditional Argentinian biscuit called alfajores, which are light shortbread biscuits, sandwiched together with lashings of dulce de leche and rolled in dessicated coconut. They had me intrigued and sounded a bit like a hybrid snowball/wagon wheel but classier. So, I set out, with the help of the world wide web, to find out more about alfajores and was determined to have a go at making them!

I found a plethora or recipes on the internet and after browsing a few decided to follow this one from Lori Lange (aka Recipe Girl). The biscuits are made using, amongst other things, egg yolks and corn flour which act to make them both rich and light. They also contain cognac and lemon zest, which gave them an awesome flavour! Here are the finished articles…

After chilling the prepared biscuit dough, I cut out and placed the pleasingly perfect circles on a baking tray…

The recipe said to bake them for 12-15 minutes and that they should be dry but not brown…

Dani’s feedback on my alfajores was very positive. She said that they were very authentic but she also told me that her Mum bakes them for literally 5 minutes until they are just set and still retain a slight ‘cookie dough’ texture. I think I’ll take that on board for next time, as they were delicious but slightly dry.

I think next time I could be a tad more generous with the dulce de leche too. I personally can’t get enough of the stuff and would love to have a go at making my own! I’ve added it to my ‘to bake/make’ list.

All in all, my alfajores were a success, they didn’t last long at all in my kitchen, which says it all 🙂

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Blinging it up at Cambridge Clandestine Cake Club

Last Saturday I attended my first Clandestine Cake Club in Cambridge. Word of the CCC is spreading like wildfire, especially after it’s founder, Lynn, appeared alongside our very own Miss Sue Flay of Secluded Tea Party fame on the One Show recently. I’d heard about the CCC on the bloggers grapevine before this sudden wave of popularity and was very excited to be able to attend a local event and to meet Lynn. We were set a theme of ‘Spectacular Show Stoppers’, which caused me some sleepless nights! The problem being that, although I’m very proud of the cakes I make, the best (and tastiest) ones don’t look particularly show stopperish! In the end I decided to make a larger version of my good ol’ sticky lime and coconut drizzle cake and then bling it up to the max! It was all a bit of an experiment. I cut some very thin slices of lime, blanched them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then made up some syrup with sugar and water and boiled the lime slices in it for about 30 minutes. Then I laid them out on a wire rack to dry overnight. On Saturday morning, I got up super early to but the finishing bling touches to my cake. I coated the candied lime slices with edible gold glitter…

and then began assembling my creation…

I sprinkled the cake with caster sugar mixed with lime zest and even more edible gold glitter…

and then arranged the gorgeous, glittery lime slices around the edge…

I was pretty darn pleased with the end result…

Behold my sticky lime and coconut, gold, bling, spectacular show stopper…

My friend Lauren, asked on twitter whether I would be wearing a gold medallion to complement my cake…I think she was joking but she gave me an awesome idea and before leaving the house I changed into my lime-iest, gold-iest, bling-iest outfit, to match my cake! :)…

and hot footed it across town to join the rest of the CCC-ers. As usual, I was the first there, eagerly awaiting the commencement of the cake eating festivities. Slowly but surely the cakes arrived and before I know it I was in cake heaven. Just check out these beauties…

There weren’t any duplicates!

Lynn started proceedings by giving a little speech about Clandestine Cake Club. I love the fact that there’s no element of competition, it’s all about getting together and enjoying cake, it’s as simple as that!

I had skipped breakfast so that I’d have even more room for cake but even so only managed 4 slices before slipping into a cake induced coma! I was so impressed with the variety and deliciousness of everyone’s contributions and spent a very enjoyable morning chatting away to cake friends old and new 🙂

Here are a couple more accounts of the event from fellow food bloggers Miss Igs and Helen of Half a Pot of Cream

As the morning started to wind up, we were encouraged to dive in and take some cake home with us…this is the aftermath…

If you love baking and eating cake then the Clandestine Cake Club is most definitely for you. Have a look at their website to find an event in your area or why not start one of your own? Everything you need to know is right here.

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Coconut carrot slice…not for cinema consumption!

Unfortunately I am not graced with a pantry like Nigella’s (and that’s not a euphemism). It’s a pretty rare occurrence to be able to bake something using only supplies that are already in the cupboard, without the need for a trip to the shop. However, that’s exactly what happened to me on Friday night, when I decided to take part in National Baking Week and try a new recipe for coconut carrot slice…

The inclusion of grated carrot made it amazingly moist but unlike your typical carrot cake it didn’t have a cream cheese frosting and instead was topped with a crunchy mixture of dessicated coconut, sugar and butter…

To make it you need…

250g unsalted butter

300g light muscovado sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs

200g self-raising flour

50g dessicated coconut

200g carrot, grated

2 tsp ground mixed spice

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a (20cm x 30cm) tray with greaseproof paper.

Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan and then leave to cool for about 5 minutes before adding the sugar, vanilla and eggs. Beat until smooth with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour, coconut, carrot, spice and salt. I discovered at the last minute that I didn’t have any mixed spice so I improvised and used 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and a few gratings of nutmeg, which worked perfectly well!

Tip the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes. Whilst the cake’s in the oven you need to make the topping with…

85g dessicated coconut

25g light muscovado sugar

25g melted butter

Mix the coconut with the sugar, then add the melted butter and stir together. Smooth this crumbly topping over the cake and pop back in the oven for a further 10 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Leave it to cool before cutting into about 15 generous slices… 

I love having a few simple traybake recipes up my sleeve and have definitely added this one to my repertoire. My only word of warning is that coconut carrot slice doesn’t make for a very suitable cinema snack! After managing to sneak my contraband cake into the cinema on Saturday, I ended up with a very messy lapful of dessicated coconut and sugar 🙂 Hey ho, I’m sure there are worse things that could’ve happened!

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Moreish macaroons…

These little beauties are coconut macaroons…deliciously sweet and chewy on the inside and slightly caramelised and crispy on the outside… 

 

Macaroons like these have been somewhat overshadowed by the pastel coloured, prettiness and popularity of the French macaron. I’m yet to pluck up the courage to make the French variety but my ‘ugly duckling’ macaroons as I’ve christened them, are soooo easy make…but beware they come with a warning…you’ll need a lot of willpower to not devour the whole lot in one sitting! actually you’ll be lucky if you can resist until they’re fully cooled 🙂

To make about 24 macaroons you’ll need…

4 egg whites, at room temperature

200g granulated white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

60g plain flour, sifted

300g dessicated coconut

Whisk the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. When the mixture is warm and nice and creamy it’s ready! So remove it from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, flour, and dessicated coconut. 

Cover and put in the fridge for about two hours, or until firm. 

Preheat the oven to 165 degrees and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Take a tablespoon of the cooled coconut mixture at a time and roll into a ball between your palms before placing on the prepared baking sheets. Make sure you leave about an inch or so gap between your macaroons so they have room to expand…

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes and then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely…

I challenge you to wait that long before sampling them!

They were delicious warm from the oven, delicious once they’d cooled and…after forcing myself not to finish the whole batch in one sitting, I discovered they’re still equally as delicious a couple of days later!

The recipe I used was from the Joy of Baking website. 

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Coconut and Pineapple Cupcakes

I was supremely surprised on Monday morning to not even have a smidgen of a bloody mary hangover and was able to make the most of the bank holiday. I had evening plans to go and watch Sex and the City 2 at the flicks with my girlfriends (I know I know what a cliché) and saw it as a great excuse to do some baking for guinea pigs other than my work colleagues or housemates.

I’m gradually working my way through the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and to this date have been very impressed by every single creation. This time I chose to make coconut and pineapple cupcakes as they have been intriguing me for a while and I’ve never baked with coconut milk before. 

Coconut and Pineapple Cupcakes

120g plain flour

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter

120ml coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

9 tinned pineapple rings chopped into small pieces

dessicated coconut to decorate

and for the coconut frosting – 

250g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter

25ml coconut milk.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and beat using a handheld mixer on a slow speed until everything is combined and a sandy texture.

Mix the coconut milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and add to the flour mixture. Add the egg and beat well.

Divide the chopped pineapple between the cupcake cases and spoon the mixture over the top until each case is two thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and they bounce back when touched and then leave to cool.

To make the frosting beat the icing sugar and butter using a handheld mixer until the mixture comes together (I always get impatient and add the liquid a bit early but it never seems to have a detrimental effect on the finished frosting). At this point you should add the coconut milk and beat for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy.

When the cupcakes are cold, spread them with the frosting and sprinkle over the dessicated coconut.

I finished frosting my cupcakes and dashed out the door to meet the ladies without having a chance to check whether they were edible so I spent the first half of the film worrying that they were going to be uncooked an soggy in the middle because of the moist pineapple (sad I know). I needn’t have worried…they were delicious! I think the ladies in the seats around us wondered what all the yummy murmurings were all about and were shooting us jealous glances…or maybe that’s just what I was hoping! 

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