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Monday 13 July 2015

Coconut Tea Cake

I know that coconut is a bit of a divisive thing. There's no doubting its current popularity as a healthfood: you only need to look at the chilled aisle of any supermarket to see the dozens of different branded coconut waters available, as well as the curious yet delicious vegan coconut yogurt that seems to be in everyone's lunchboxes these days. Then there's the jarred coconut oil, with its exotic fragrance and myriad of uses. Everyone loves it. And yet, when you put coconut in a cake, people seem disappointed that you didn't go for chocolate instead.

Imagine my surprise then, when the photo you see above got more than 200 'likes' on Instagram over the course of a few hours. Are people coming over to the dark (and tropical) side, finally?

They'd be right to; that cake is divine. But it's also not the coconuttiest slice of happiness I have ever turned out, so is probably a good place to start if you're wanting to see if you, too, oh coco-shy sweet lover, like the good stuff as much as the rest of us.

It's a cake I have heard tell of for the last few years, and been curious about making. The method is unusual and so are the quantities of ingredients - most of the fat in the recipe is from tinned coconut milk (it contains only a smidgen of butter), and there are lots of eggs, which means a gorgeous close crumb and texture.

Sadly, I am not going to be giving you the recipe, because it's from a book by Dorie Greenspan that I really want to encourage you to buy for yourself: Baking: From My Home to Yours.
I know that it's not exactly a little-known title. It's more that I was given a copy of the book for my birthday recently (33 - don't tell anybody) by my parents-in-law, and it is, in all honesty, more than worthy of the hype. It's simply stunning: full of clearly explained and delicious sounding recipes for cakes, cookies, pies and all manner of desserts, I'll be baking from it for years.

Coconut is amply covered (I think Dorie might be a fan), so the book is in keeping with modern diet trends (if we're calling desserts healthfoods - I'll leave that up to you).

I think the book would suit anybody who has in interest in baking, whether an absolute beginner or a more advanced sweet maker. Dorie is American, but has lived in Paris for years, so there is a nice balance between US style recipes and European classics. Buy it. You'll love it!

But while you wait for it to arrive, try these coconut recipes from around the web:

 What's your favourite baking book by the way? Does it include lots of coconut recipes?

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