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
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.
Lovely served as is, or perhaps with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or whipped cream on the side.
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Autumn is well and truly here… and my gosh, what a stunning season it is. Somehow, I never cease to be amazed each and every year, at the vividness of the reds, yellows and oranges of the foliage, giving out their last hurrah of the growing season. I’m thankful that there’s been a lingering warmth in the daytime… to soak up and relish for as long as it lasts; though eating al fresco of an evening has sadly come to a close.
Plums, figs and apples have been the highlight of the local farmer’s markets recently… Continue reading →
My obsession with cookbooks extends also to food magazines… the usual suspects being the Australian publications of ‘Gourmet Traveller’, ‘Donna Hay’ and ‘Delicious’. During our 2 year New Zealand sojourn, ‘Cuisine’ and ‘Dish’ became the new favourites and then later on while living in the USA, I spent many a pleasant hour reading ‘Cook’s Illustrated’, cover to cover. Cook’s Illustrated was like nothing else I’d seen before. Continue reading →
Having been firmly on the path of healthfulness and exercise for several weeks, I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back. The week from hell commenced exactly seven days ago and is thankfully on the mend now, though still not back to 100%. For several days driving was out of the question… sitting upright a total agony… and even now, trying to get socks onto my feet creates the visual appeal of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. A number of close family and friends have suffered with debilitating back pain and surgery over the past twelve months… now I have a tiny inkling of what they’ve had to deal with.
Resorting to comfort food over this past week has seen a lovely fruit and nut slice, of my Mum’s, make an appearance. There’s often a tupperware container filled with this very moreish slice when we go to stay with my parents… ready to be picked up with whichever hand isn’t holding a cup of tea or coffee. There’s absolutely nothing like Mum’s food for a little pick-me-up when you’re not quite feeling yourself. The only thing I’ve adjusted is the amount of sugar… lessened by ⅓ Cup and is still beautifully sweet from the dried fruit within. Continue reading →
The Primary School my youngest son attends has recently released a cookbook. It’s a beautiful compilation of family favourites from our school community, packed full of stunning food photographs taken by a talented local photographer. One of the recipes in this book (contributed by our Principal, no less…) jolted my memory of a biscuit/cookie that I used to make quite frequently many years ago, when we lived in New Zealand.
I’ve adapted her recipe here, almost beyond recognition, to try to re-create the fragrant, mostly healthful macaroon from my past. It comes extremely close to being just how I remember it. Continue reading →
These Cinnamon & Saffron Scrolls would have been much better for my waistline had they been made on a weekend. In that case, they wouldn’t have been sitting there on the bench top, urging me to eat them… with no one around to say “Oi, haven’t you had quite enough of those, young lady?” Perhaps I’ll make them again tomorrow to see if my theory works! Continue reading →
For a fast and easy no-bake slice (‘bars’ for my American friends), this apricot and coconut version is truly wonderful. Featuring sweetened condensed milk, this style of slice takes me immediately back to my childhood… and strangely enough also to Florida in the USA, where another Australian (who has become a dear friend), re-introduced it into my life… I’ve been making it regularly ever since! It’s citrusy cousin, which also gets made on a regular basis in my home, was featured here over a year ago. Continue reading →
Extremely popular in New Zealand (well, at least they were… about 7 or 8 years ago), cheese scones are an absolute delight! Perfect for a morning or afternoon tea when you’re in need of something a little more savoury, rather than sweet. Plus they’re extremely quick and easy to make – which is always a bonus! Continue reading →
A special dessert, remembered from my childhood… this was one that Mum used to serve on occasions at their very grown-up Dinner Parties. I clearly recall hovering in the kitchen as she made the little baskets, secretly hoping that at least one of them would break or crack as she moulded them into shape, so that I could nibble on the broken bits. Continue reading →
A pudding so easy that it almost feels like cheating. If you have access to beautiful, buttery, flaky croissants, then the hard work is all done for you and you can expect grand results with this delicious, wintery dessert. I’ve never been overly fond of Bread and Butter Pudding, but this is Bread and Butter Pudding with a difference… one that has converted me for life… evidently, you just need the right type of bread (or croissant)! Continue reading →
I mean that literally, not proverbially… life is actually pretty good around here, however it’s well and truly time that I got creative with some recipes for the glut of Meyer Lemons that my 3 little potted trees have produced this year. Since fully ripening, they’ve been waiting patiently in the fridge for the past couple of weeks, until I could find the time to make something wonderful with them. Not just one thing wonderful, but four different delights that can be created in next to no time. Continue reading →