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Sweet coconut and raspberry cake

July 26, 2011

[Anachronistic notice: I wrote this several weeks ago but never finished it! Try to pretend that Wimbledon is still happening when stumbling across my British tennis references…]

I know, the raspberries have snuck in here again. But for a wimbledon-themed birthday celebration there had to be some red fruit in there somewhere. Perhaps it should have been strawberries. Really, this is basically a coconutty victoria sponge. A winning combination say I, even if dear Murray wasn’t. Sigh. Still, coconut is remarkably consoling. Perhaps we should have saved a slice for Nadal too.

Ingredients

Makes a two-tier, 8″ cake. Adapted from sky-high.

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 5 1/3 oz butter / marg
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
For the coconut buttercream
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 7 oz unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 pack desiccated coconut (100 g ish)

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 / 350 oF. Whisk the egg whites, add the milk and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together sifted flower, sugar and baking powder. Beat in the coconut milk and butter, continue mixing till light and fluffy. Finally, in 2 additions, add the egg white mixture and mix just long enough until everything is incorporated. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 30 mins, until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the cakes spring back lightly to the touch. Let them cool completely.

The icing is interesting because it is an amalgamation of buttercream and meringue frosting. To make the icing first do the cream cheese buttercream bit. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until nice and whipped, adding in the icing sugar bit by bit with the vanilla. Set aside. In a pan, add the water and castor sugar and heat until the sugar reaches the soft ball stage  / 238 oF (don’t stir during heating). In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, whilst pouring in the sugar syrup in a thin stream. Continue to beat until a stiff meringue forms (it will take a while). Finally, add the cream cheese mix in slowly bit by bit, turning the mixer up to high to whip until light and fluffy. Why isn’t there a synonymous phrase for “light and fluffy?” It’s definitely overused in the cooking world. I wince.

 

To assemble, make the filling, either by using the coconut buttercream, or alternatively do as I did and use a mix of jam and fresh berries in the centre, using some of the coconut buttercream round the edges to make a “dam” to stop the red filling erm, contaminating (science vocab alert, I was in the lab for 12 hrs today: I can’t help it) the rest of the white covering. Then place the top tier over the filling, and frost with the rest of the coconut buttercream. To finish, take dessicated coconut and press into the tops and sides of the cake. Decorate with a few fresh raspberries. Mmmmm.

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