Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Coconut & Lime Cake

As you know, I was away last weekend. It's been booked for months, and so felt a bit bad when I realised the school summer fair was on the same day. Never mind, I thought - I'll make some cakes for the cake stall.

Then, I get a note saying that school was having a competition to see which class could make the most cakes. Which meant I needed to make the same number of cakes for each child. Oh, and I promised someone else I'd make a cake for an NCT fundraiser too. My first idea was to make my usual chocolate cake in loaf tins so I could make two cakes in one go. And then I made a coconut sponge cake, my absolute favourite. Having made golden banana cake from Nick's book for the NCT, I still needed to make one more cake so each child had two cakes. Why do I do this to myself?

I realised I still had coconut milk left over. I didn't want to make the same basic cake so I decided to adapt it and add another flavour. I remembered I had some limes lurking in the fridge- and came up with the idea for this. It's based on the original recipe. I kind of made it up as I went along - I decided to add the lime syrup after I'd baked the cake then add the usual buttercream with a bit of lime juice. This is a really easy recipe but the syrup adds another step.

It seemed to work. I don't know how it tasted but one of the mums accosted me in the playground today to say that it went quickly and that people who had tried my cake kept coming back for more. This means I really should make it again sometime soon so I can try it. I meant to ask my husband to try it at the fair but forgot and he didn't.

I actually used 2/3 of the amounts given so I didn't overload the tin but it made quite a small cake so use the full amounts for a good sized cake. You can use 2 x 20cm /8in sandwich tins then "glue" the cakes together with some of the icing and top with the rest.

About coconut cream - don't use creamed coconut (it's solid). If you're struggling to get coconut cream, use one of those small tins of coconut milk (Blue Dragon do one) and use the top part which is thicker and whiter. The clearer liquid not give you enough flavour.

Coconut and Lime Cake

Serves 8 - 10


For the cake:
3 eggs, beaten
175g/6oz self-raising flour
175g/6oz caster sugar (golden preferably)
175g/6oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50g/2oz desiccated coconut (I did miss this out last week so I'd regard as optional)
2 tbsp coconut cream
juice of half a lime

For the lime syrup:
Juice of 2 limes
85g caster sugar
50ml water

For the coconut and lime buttercream:
280g/10oz icing sugar
100g/4oz butter, softened
3 tbsp coconut cream
juice of half a lime
lime zest

1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 400g/1lb loaf tin (or 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins) and line the base with greaseproof paper. Mix the eggs, flour, sugar, butter, and baking powder in a food processor for 2-3 mins until smooth. A food mixer or hand mixer will do this just as easily (tho I'm sure you could just mix it in a bowl by yourself). Add the coconut, coconut cream and lime juice and mix for a few more seconds.

2. Place the mixture into the loaf tin (or sandwich tins) and smooth the tops. Bake for 25-30 mins until evenly golden and firm. Leave the cake(s) in the tin for 5 minutes, and loosen the edges, then turn out to cool on a wire rack.

3. Make the lime syrup. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil gently, stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Pierce holes all over the cake(s), pour the syrup over and leave the cake(s) to cool fully. Peel the paper off the cake(s) when fully cool.

4. Beat the butter, icing sugar, coconut cream and lime juice together until smooth. Swirl the icing over the cake (or sandwich them together and swirl icing over the top. Grate some lime zest over the top if you like. (I forgot!)

Enjoy. And tell me how it tastes please. I've made myself hungry now writing this post!
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