Author Archives: Gather and Graze

About Gather and Graze

A 'Melting Pot' of recipes from my Australian kitchen… Encouraging others to slow down a little, eat well and enjoy life!

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze

For many, the smell and taste of coconut will evoke a variety of memories. Perhaps it transports you back to an exotic island holiday where days were spent beachside in a somewhat idle fashion, sipping kitsch cocktails from hollowed out coconuts. For me, it brings to mind a period in the late 80’s of hanging out with friends at the local public pool, rubbing coconut oil onto arms and legs before baking in the sun… hmmm, and drinking way too much Malibu and milk. With hindsight, neither option a wise choice!

This cake is coconutty in the extreme, flavoured with both desiccated coconut and coconut milk. It’s beautifully moist, not too sweet and the lemon adds a brightness that cuts through the richness perfectly. A great solution for getting that much-desired coconut fix, without risking skin cancer or a hang-over!

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 8-10 Slices
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 125g (½ Cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 175g (¾ Cup) Raw Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Free-Range Eggs
  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon
  • 250mls (1 Cup) Coconut Milk*
  • 225g (1½ Cups) Plain Flour
  • 10g (2 tsp) Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 130g (1½ Cups) Desiccated Coconut

Lemon Syrup Ingredients

  • 30mls (2 Tbsp) Lemon Juice
  • 60g (¼ Cup) Caster Sugar

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a 23 x 13 cm (9 x 5 inch) loaf tin.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each one, then stir in the lemon zest.

Into a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

Alternating with the coconut milk, stir in the sifted dry ingredients in 2 or 3 lots, then with a light hand, fold in the desiccated coconut.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Depending on your oven, the top of the cake may need to be protected with a loose piece of foil in the final 10-15 minutes of cooking, if it appears to be browning too quickly.

For the Lemon Syrup, gently heat the lemon juice and sugar (either on the stove-top or carefully in the microwave), just until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly brush (or spoon) the warm syrup over the cake just after it comes out of the oven (you may wish to poke a few holes into the top using a toothpick to allow the syrup to soak in more easily).

Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before removing to a cooling rack.

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze

Lovely served as is, or perhaps with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or whipped cream on the side.

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze

Notes:

  • I used 50g of Ayam Coconut Milk Powder mixed with 200mls of warm water.
  • Lime zest and juice would substitute beautifully for the lemon.
  • Thinking that raspberries might also be a great addition to this cake, though perhaps adjust the amount of desiccated coconut slightly to produce a lighter batter, making it easier to fold in the berries.

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Double-Choc Ginger Oat Cookies

Chocolate Ginger Oat Cookies | Gather and Graze

Truth be told, I love grocery/food shopping in any shape or form. More often than not, I have a recipe in mind before plucking items from the shelves, but from time to time I’ll bring something home that I’m curious to try and will set about researching the best way to put it to good use. This was the case recently when I brought home a pack of Buderim Naked (Uncrystallised) Ginger from the local supermarket. Continue reading

Karaage Chicken

Karaage Chicken | Gather and Graze

Well, there’s a first time for everything… and I do believe that this is the first deep-fried recipe to make its way onto Gather & Graze. Karaage Chicken (a Japanese dish) has lately become a family favourite, particularly when made into burgers with brioche-style milk buns, lettuce leaves and a dollop or two of chilli-kissed mayonnaise to bring it all together. Continue reading

Passionfruit Curd

Passionfruit Curd Recipe | Gather and Graze

There are times when overthinking a problem or issue can stop you in your tracks and cause an inordinate amount of time wastage. My current dilemma hinges on whether you, my very kind readers, would be open to the idea of anything deep-fried being featured here on Gather & Graze. Would it be considered totally improper to do such a thing in these days of hyper-nutritional-consciousness? Or, are such dishes permissible on the proviso that I strongly stipulate that said dish be prepared and consumed on a very occasional basis? Love to know your thoughts, as I’ve been umming and ahhing whether or not to publish not one, but two (eek!) delicious dishes, that both happen to require dunking into very hot oil.

My recipe for today however is a quick little one, that requires no deep-frying whatsoever, but results in a silky smooth fruit curd/butter that can be spread onto toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles, scones or the like. Continue reading

Orange Poppyseed Quatre-Quarts Cake

Orange Poppyseed Quatre-Quarts Cake | Gather and Graze

It’s handy to have a few cake recipes up your sleeve that are both quick and simple. Even better to have one in your repertoire that doesn’t require you to pull out a written recipe at all. A Quatre-Quarts (aka Pound) cake is just that… and as long as you have a set of scales on hand, you can whip this cake up in a flash. Four main ingredients in equal quantities, though you may wish to enhance the basic batter, by adding spices like cinnamon or cardamom or by adding a hit of flavour with the likes of vanilla extract or citrus zest. This time around I’ve gone with the classic combination of orange and poppyseed, which I know will disappear all too quickly this afternoon when school gets out. Continue reading

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore | Gather and Graze

Cacciatore, meaning ‘hunter’ in Italian, is also the name given to a wonderful winter-warming stew. It’s a well-loved Italian classic, with many variations to explore. Capsicum (peppers, for my American friends) and/or mushrooms are quite often added and I have no doubt that there’s a debate to be had over whether to choose red or white wine. Continue reading

Mexican Salsa Dip

Mexican Dip | Gather and Graze

When we lived in Florida a number of years ago, some Canadian friends introduced us to a close variation of this fresh Mexican Dip. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the recipe that was kindly passed on to me, so I’ve just been making it from memory ever since and am pretty sure that it’s reasonably close. The tins of RO*TEL Mexican Style Tomatoes (that have green chilli, lime and cilantro added to them) are widely available in supermarkets throughout the USA, but something I can only get my hands on from time to time. I’m sure though that adding a couple of diced fresh tomatoes and a chopped green chilli to the mix would be a good alternative. Continue reading

Beef and Red Wine Casserole

Beef & Red Wine Casserole Recipe | Gather and Graze

There are certain recipes on Gather and Graze that are posted primarily as a guide for my two teenage boys, who will one day leave the nest and find a need to not only cook for themselves, but perhaps for friends, or a loved one and even further down the track possibly children of their own. This is one of those recipes… Continue reading

Seasonal Fresh Fruit Tray Bake

Seasonal Fruit Tray Bake | Gather and Graze

Frustratingly, I seem to be incapable of writing blog posts when my husband goes away. You would think I’d have more time on my hands (with one less mouth to feed, less washing to do and less picking up of stuff left around the house… hmmm). What I think actually happens is that I go into survival mode, cutting away anything extra that doesn’t fall into the ‘must-do’ category Continue reading

Beef Pastitsio

Beef Pastitsio | Gather and Graze

Pastitsio is a layered Greek pasta dish, in many ways similar to it’s rather delicious Italian cousin, lasagne. It works well with either minced beef or lamb, though my family unanimously prefers the beef version. If you’re unable to find the Greek Kefalotyri cheese, feel free to substitute with Parmesan. Hope you enjoy this gently-spiced pasta dish as much as we do! Continue reading

Swedish Sliced Chocolate Cookies (Martas Skurna Chokladkakor)

Swedish Chocolate Biscuits / Martas Skurna Chokladkakor | Gather and Graze

My lovely Swedish friend recently lent me one of her baking cookbooks and I’ve been having a fabulous time translating recipes and learning the Swedish words for certain ingredients and cooking techniques. So far I’ve baked two cakes, as well as these delicious chocolate biscuits… all in the space of a week. They’re really quite easy to make and they taste just as wonderful as they look on the plate! Continue reading

Prawn Paté/Dip

Potted Prawn Dip | Gather and Graze

We’ve had something of an Indian Summer here in Canberra this year and it’s been absolutely glorious. For the first time ever, we may actually make it through to Anzac Day without having to turn the heating on… something Canberrans strive to achieve each year.

With the early evenings still warm enough to sit outside, this Prawn Paté worked a treat the other night. It was accompanied by a chilled glass or two of Bandol (Provençal) Rosé which, I’ve got to say, complemented the rosiness of the prawns perfectly. Continue reading

Lemon Poppyseed Biscuits/Cookies

Lemon Poppyseed Biscuits/Cookies | Gather and Graze

The lemons in our garden are still a deep shade of green, but having almost reached a mature size, I catch myself daydreaming about what to do with them all once fully ripe. These lemon and poppyseed biscuits/cookies are a wonderful way of utilising some of the zest, while at the same time creating a beautiful, little treat to pair nicely with a cup of tea or coffee. Continue reading

Passionfruit Ice Cream

Passionfruit Ice Cream | Gather and Graze

Over the phone, I listened rather enviously as my Mum proceeded to tell me recently that she had passionfruit coming out of her ears… thankfully not literally, just figuratively! Unfortunately, my parents live about 1300km north from where we live, so helping her out with this glut of fruit was not going to be an option. It did, however, jolt my memory of a delicious passionfruit ice cream that I’d made about a year ago. Continue reading

Apple & Walnut Picnic Cake

Apple and Walnut Picnic Cake | Gather and Graze

There’s a certain novelty to eating outdoors in the form of a picnic. The vigorous shaking out of the much-loved blanket… ours, a tartan one, made all the more nostalgic having been received as a wedding gift decades ago from English friends unable to attend our wedding. And there’s room on that blanket for three, four, five, six… is it not true that however many people there might be, enough space can always be created? Coffee slurped out carefully into cups from a thermos or two… complementing both sweet and savoury offerings, centrally placed, spilling from tins or Tupperware or preferably both… giving the freedom to eat with one’s hands! Continue reading

Satay Chilli Chicken

Satay Chilli Chicken | Gather and Graze

Finding the right balance of flavours when creating Asian dishes at home can sometimes be a challenge. So when this dish hit the spot with each and every member of the family, I figured it was definitely worthy of featuring on Gather and Graze. The amount of chilli is just enough to tingle on the tongue, without making eyes water and noses run… and the sauce generously coats the chicken and vegetables, without leaving a puddle of liquid on the bottom of the bowl. The two slightly unusual ingredients, Kecap Manis and Sambal Oelek, can be found in most good Asian grocery stores and in many everyday supermarkets here in Australia. I hope this is also the case for those who live overseas as well. Continue reading

Chocolate-Chip Spice Buns

Chocolate-Chip Spice Buns | Gather and Graze

Eeek… remember me? Roughly a year and a half between posts and for that I am truly sorry!  Hopefully some of you lovely people are still out there, graced with the ability to forgive (and not forget!) this lapsed food blogger. Continue reading

Greek-Style Broad (Fava) Bean Salad

Broad Bean Salad | Gather and Graze

It was our first year growing Broad Beans in the garden here in Canberra and they survived through the winter frosts beautifully to produce a surprising amount of pods that are just now becoming mature enough to pick. Mostly, I’ve been allowing them to reach about the 18-20cm mark, so that they can be shelled and the tender beans inside eaten raw, without peeling. For those that sneakily grow a little larger, I’m hoping to test out Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Spicy Broad Bean Fritters… which very much looks like falafel. I’m already dreaming about sandwiching a few into some home-made flat bread with salad and yoghurt dressing. Continue reading

Macadamia Nut Honeycomb… and what’s in a name?

Macadamia Nut Honeycomb | Gather and Graze

It’s been way too long, my friends… and I apologise sincerely for my all too frequent lapses in blogging these days. All manner of excuses come to mind, mostly legitimate… others somewhat pathetic… in the desperate hope that you’ll forgive me and continue to accompany me on my food blogging journey (as sporadic as it may be). Continue reading

Leek, Mushroom & Gruyère Pastries

Leek, Mushroom & Gruyère Pastries | Gather and Graze

The occasional kitchen flop can sometimes be a blessing in disguise on several fronts. Most likely it helps to ensure that the same mistake won’t be made again in the future… and it can also serve to get those creative juices working to find ways of improving upon a particular recipe that didn’t turn out so well. Continue reading