Dan’s Coconut Milk Layer Cake

4 Star, Cake, Layer cakes | 2nd December 2011 | By

This was one of the cakes that leapt out at me when first perusing Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet and I was keen to make it as soon as possible – which I did back in October and have left it so long that Dom has beaten me to it. AND his looks brilliant!!! I’ve not come across cakes made with coconut milk very often and found it quite intriguing. I was hoping to include it as one of the Open House cakes, but in the end it just wasn’t feasible, either the original or a cupcake version I had been toying with. So, having bought the necessary ingredients, I made a version of it the following weekend for us anyway. It’s not strictly a chocolate cake, but I was planning to incorporate chocolate somehow as well as use up some odds and sods left over from the big bake.

This is what I did:

  • Placed 50g desiccated coconut in a small bowl.
  • Warmed 160ml coconut milk up in a pan.
  • Poured this over the coconut.
  • Added 1 tsp vanilla extract and 50ml white rum, then covered the bowl and left for a couple of hours.
  • Creamed 250g unsalted butter with 300g cardamom sugar (caster) until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in 4 smallish hens eggs, alternating with a little of the flour.
  • Added 275g twice sifted flour (100g wholemeal, 175g white), 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda alternately with the coconut mixture.
  • Divided between two 22 cm round cake moulds and baked for 30 mins at 180C.
  • Squeezed half an orange over the two cakes whilst hot (it was meant to be lime and rum, but I didn’t have any lime and forgot the rum).
  • Left to cool for 10 minutes then turned out onto racks to cool completely.
  • Found a small dish of buttercream icing lurking in the fridge.
  • Beat this up with 150g mascarpone and one of my jars of apple & lemon curd.
  • I’d also meant to add 100g melted white chocolate, but I forgot!
  • Sandwiched the cakes together with the apple/lemon mascarpone then spread the rest over the top and around the sides.
  • Topped with 40g white chocolate shavings.

Despite some of the ingredients I forgot, they couldn’t have been essential, because this turned out to be a really lovely cake. When asked his thoughts, CT helpfully stated “it tastes like a homemade cake”. What he actually meant by that, was it tasted like a real cake made by a real person and was utterly delicious. It was not overpoweringly coconutty, but the rum came through clearly and pleasantly. It was moist and had a good firm chewy texture. The apple cream, mascarpone filling and icing complemented it well and was delicious in its own right. For some reason, it reminded me of a really good banana cake – but without the banana!

We Should Cocoa – the December Challenge

We Should Cocoa | 1st December 2011 | By

After the mixed response we had to the Apple round-up, many of you asked for something “simple please” for Christmas. So, I’ve been mulling over the possibilities. What about Avocado? It’s seasonal and comes from the same neck of the woods as cocoa. What could be more appropriate? Turkey maybe?

But no, I jest. I decided on my choice for this month’s We Should Cocoa sometime ago. Seasonal, festive and if you’re very lucky you’ll find one in your stocking. It is a well established flavour pairing with chocolate and it’s one of my favourite colours. The future’s bright, the future’s Orange!