I fancied baking today, and spied a couple oranges in the fridge and a very tired looking coconut in the pantry which needed to be used quickly. However, I would recommend you use desiccated coconut instead, if you have a very sweet tooth, or wish to avoid hand grating a coconut.
Whole orange and fresh coconut cake
2 oranges, 1 to be used whole, 1 for decoration
200g butter, softened
3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vanilla caster sugar
1/2 cup freshly grated or desiccated coconut, plus extra for decoration
1 1/4 cups self raising flour
1/4 cup icing sugar, for decoration (optional)
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 (180°C/160°C fan assisted).
Grease and line with baking parchment a 22cm diameter round baking tin.
Wash the oranges and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Set aside one of the oranges. Roughly chop the other orange, and then using a food processor, puree the orange until smooth. Set aside.
In a food mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the beaten eggs, followed by the orange puree.
By hand fold in the coconut and flour to form a fairly loose batter.
Pour the batter into the cake tin, and level off the top to help even baking.
Place the tin on the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 50 minutes. Check the cake is cooked with a skewer pushed into the centre. If it comes out clean then the cake is finished. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes and test again. You may need to cover the top of the cake with some foil to prevent burning.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Zest long, thin strips from the 2nd orange. Juice the orange, ensuring any seeds are removed.
Sift the icing sugar into a small, clean dry bowl. Stir in just enough orange juice to make a smooth icing and then drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle the extra coconut and the orange zest on top. Allow to set and serve with a hot beverage, preferably a nice cup of tea!
During a recent visit to Borough Market I came across a stack of Bergamot lemons. I knew that these lemons are a key ingredient in Earl and Lady Grey teas, but I had never seen them in the flesh, as it were. So I thought I buy a couple to see what all the fuss was about. I left with my purse £3 lighter, thinking that these lemons had better be the bee’s knees at that price.
Bergamot Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf
225g butter or Stork margarine, softened
225g vanilla golden caster sugar
3 extra large free range eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tbsp milk or milk alternative
zest and juice of one bergamot lemon
2 tsps poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 180c, 160c Fan or Gas mark 4
Butter and line a large loaf tin with baking paper or parchment.
In a food processor or mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture if light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one by one. I tend to beat the eggs separately before add to the butter sugar mix as this ensures that the egg white and yolk are fully combined.
Add the milk, seeds, zest and juice and stir until well incorporated.
Sift in the flour and fold into the batter.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin, making sure that it even.
Place the tin on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for about 40 – 50 mins. Check the loaf at 40 mins with a skewer, if it comes out clean the loaf is done. If not, then bake for another 5-10 mins.
Allow to cool in the loaf tin for 1o minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a rack to continue cooling. Serve with a cup of tea.