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Sunday, 13 October 2013

CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT CAKE

Good Afternoon to you,


Close your eyes and imagine,

a beautiful tropical island, with white sandy beaches. The sky is a glorious shade of blue, with not a cloud in the sky. There is  a gentle breeze blowing,  and you can hear the leaves of the coconut palms, rustling in the breeze. Between the coconut palms you can see a hammock, which is ready and waiting for you to lie upon. 

Now doesn't that conjure up a glorious image.

Well, I have to tell you, if you have not already guessed, this was one of the adverts for "Bounty" that fabulous chocolate and coconut treat. Can you guess where this is going...... oh yes,  not only do I love chocolate, but I absolutely adore coconut.

No, I do not have a Bounty to share with you today, but what I do have, is this  fabulous Chocolate and Coconut Cake.


When you eat this cake, let your imagination take you to that beautiful island. 

My apron is on (can you tell I'm excited to make this cake) and my choice of music really should be, something with a little Caribbean sound  to it, but, not today,  what I am in the mood to listen to,  is,


The Beatles. I'm sure I don't need to tell you anything about The Beatles, suffice it to say this album is fabulous.  I can sing every word, of each of the songs, and my favourite songs are, "Drive My Car", "Michelle" and without a doubt "In My Life". I have to tell you that the other songs run a close second.

The first time I heard the Beatles sing, was when we lived in Yorkshire, in the early 1960's and if my memory serves me correctly, they were on Granada TV, and they were singing Please, Please Me. I think the final LP I bought of the Beatles, was the White Album, which I still have today. Listen to "Blackbird" it's so lovely. When all is quiet, there is nothing like hearing a blackbird singing it's tune in the evening..... it is just so very beautiful.

The music is playing and as I mentioned, my apron is on.... I told you I was excited about making this Chocolate and Coconut Cake, so it is time to organise the ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

175g (6oz) unsalted butter
175g (6oz) caster sugar
175 g (6 oz) self raising flour
3 medium eggs
5 dessertspoons of hot water
150g (5oz) dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
pinch of salt

HOW TO MAKE
CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT CAKE

20cm (8") round spring form cake tin,
butter and line the base of the cake tin
with parchment paper
Pre-heat the oven to 160C


Cream together the sugar and butter
in a bowl,
until light and fluffy


Whisk the eggs together


Sift together the flour and salt.

Add  half  the whisked eggs and half the flour 
to the creamed butter and sugar mixture
and fold in using a metal spoon.

When  fully incorporated add the 
second half of the whisked eggs and flour
and
again fold in gently until  mixed together


Add the coconut,
vanilla essence
and


5 tablespoons of hot (not boiling) water
and gently mix together


Place the mixture into the lined cake tin
and bake
for
50 minutes - 1 hour
or


until the cake is golden in colour
and baked thoroughly.

Allow the cake to cool for five minutes
then remove from the tin.

Place on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool
completely.

Remove the parchment paper from the base of the cake.

THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE

225g (8 oz) plain chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
250 ml (8 fl oz) double cream
25g (1 oz) unsalted butter


Break the chocolate into  pieces
and place in a heat proof bowl


with the unsalted butter

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water,
and melt the chocolate and butter.
Stir until smooth.

Remove the bowl from the heat 
and stir in the cream.

Leave to cool

I leave mine to cool for 25 minutes and during
this time the glaze will thicken,
stir now and again.

Whilst the cake is still on the wire rack,
place the rack over a baking tray
to catch the chocolate glaze which will
drizzle down the cake.

When the cake has cooled,
pour the chocolate glaze over the Coconut cake
and let it drizzle down the sides.




Grate chocolate to decorate


Now, how fabulous does this cake look.  This is a beautifully, moist cake which we sometimes eat just as it is, or if we are feeling really decadent, we drizzle some cream over the cake.


Now let me tell you a little bit about this recipe. I must have had this recipe for about 30 years and it was given to me, by a 13 year old girl called Sally.  Sally used to live next door to us and one Friday, she returned home from school with a Coconut cake which she had made in Domestic Science. It was her first foray into baking and she was so thrilled with the cake, that she brought a few slices around, to share with us.  The cake was moist and so gorgeous, that I asked her if she would mind sharing the recipe with me. She was over the moon, firstly that we all loved the cake and secondly that I wanted to make the coconut cake.  So she went home and wrote down the recipe on a sheet of paper for me. I would say, it only took her 15 minutes before she returned and  presented me with her handwritten recipe..... which I still have today.  It is a little dog eared from being used so much, it even has splatters on it.  I have written this recipe down in my cookery book, but do you know I know this recipe so well, that I don't really need to look at Sally's recipe, but I love to get out the sheet of paper listing the ingredients and method, because when I do, I remember Sally and the sense of achievement which, was written on her face when she shared her Coconut cake with us. I lost touch with Sally over the years and I often wonder, if at the age of 43 years, she still makes this Coconut cake for her own family.

The only tweak I have made, is I add a little more hot water and I add chocolate glaze, to make this the perfect cake for us.

Isn't that the joy of cooking or baking, changing a recipe to suit your families needs and the pleasurable past memories which surface, when baking a cake or creating a family meal. That is one of the reasons I love cooking, I remember things which I had forgotten about, and once I start cooking, up pops all sorts of memories.

Take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,








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