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!
So it’s Shrove Tuesday, Pancake day. You’ve a stack of pancakes ready, but what to fill them with? Here are 5 suggestions –
Heat the pancakes (2 or 3 per person) in a frying pan, with 3 tablespoons of limoncello. Remove from the pan and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with fresh lemon zest, a little fresh lemon juice and some golden caster sugar, honey or syrup.
Heat the pancakes, then serve with a tablespoon of lingonberry jam, thick yogurt, a dusting of icing sugar and a sprig of mint.
Chocolate and Hazelnut Pancakes:
Cover the warmed pancakes with Nutella, sprinkle with whole roasted hazelnuts, and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve with coconut yogurt, seen here with a dusting of ground chocolate.
Caramelised Spiced Apple Pancakes:
Serve the warmed pancakes with a few slices of apple which have been caramelised and flambeed with brandy. Then fill the pancake with ginger yogurt, and dust with mixed spice, stem ginger pieces and icing sugar.
Coconut and Lime Pancakes:
A few tablespoons of your favourite coconut yogurt, together with some fresh lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice will add a mojito zing to your pancakes. Finish with a drizzle of fruit or maple syrup.
How are you celebrating pancake day? If you would like the recipe for the pancakes, please visit this link Pancake recipe.
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Packaged in a beautiful sea green box, these coconut truffles are an absolute delight. You don’t get many in terms of weight, but for the current sale price of £3.50, if you’re looking for a last minute gift for the coco-nut or the chocoholic in your life, you could do far worse.
The coconut filling has a pleasant flavour, if a little over sweet in it’s aftertaste. The milk chocolate is smooth in texture and delicious – what you would expect from the Lindt chocolate house.
The box weight is 200g, for which you will get around 16 truffles, or in my language, gifts for 2 people! (more on this later). Normally retailing for about £4.90, I suggest you take advantage of the current offer and treat yourself, or a loved one with these spherical delights.
I would have liked a few more in the box for the retail price, but for the sale price, I think it’s reasonable.
I shall be posting gifting ideas soon, including how to make presents for 2 people, out of 1 box of chocolates. For gifting ideas, subscribe to this blog to make sure you don’t miss out.
As ever, thanks for reading. If you have any comments or would like me to review other food and drink items, please share them in the comment box.
I recently reviewed the Vita Coco coconut water and thought I should give the pineapple version a try.
I actually prefer this to the plain coconut water, for 2 reasons. 1, this product, unlike the coconut water only version, doesn’t contain any sugar. I was surprised and disappointed to discover the addition of sugar to to the Vita Coco coconut water, and admit it has made me conscious as to how healthy these coconut water products really are.
2, the flavour is simply lovely – like sipping a non-alcoholic pina colada on a golden beach on a hot summer’s day. The sweetness is provided by the pineapple, adding a fresh flavour dimension without the saccharine aftertaste. I found it very easy to polish off half the 1L carton in one sitting.
Have you tried this drink? What do you think? Please comment below.
This is the ultimate battle of the brand leaders of the coconut water –
Innocent vs Vita Coco.
Which will win?
The Innocent coconut water was sent for me to try. However I purchased the Vita Coco version out of my own pocket.
Coconut water has become the staple beverage for healthy eaters for a few years now. It’s increase in popularity has sprouted a number of companies, all claiming their water is the best.
Coconut water boasts many attributes – it is a source of potassium, which contributes to healthy muscle function, and there are claims that it aids hydration – although I would suggest that most drinks aid hydration, but I won’t split hairs.
But, is there any real difference between one brand of coconut water and another? Isn’t 1 glass of coconut water pretty much the same as another glass of coconut water? Now it’s time to get to grips with these 2 leading brands of coconut water, and find out – let the battle commence.
Contents: 100% pure coconut water, from 4.5 coconuts
Shelf life after opening: 2 days
Taste: Nice, clean refreshing taste.
Comments: It is definitely worth adhering to the shelf life date, as I detected a slight bitter aftertaste after the 3rd day of opening.
Price: 1L carton £3.69 (Ocado)
Brownie points: 10% of Innocent’s profits goes to charity.
Contents: 99% coconut water, 1% fruit sugar, vitamin C
Shelf life after opening:
Taste: Like Innocent, a nice, clean refreshing taste, but with a sweet aftertaste.
Comments: This is slightly sweeter than the Innocent brand, however after 3 days, I didn’t detect a bitter after taste.
Price: 1L carton £3.49 (Ocado)
Result: Score Draw.
Overall, I couldn’t detect a huge difference in taste between the 2 coconut waters. However, if I had to pick I would choose Vita Coco based on the fact I could get away with using this on the 3rd day after opening and it’s about 20p cheaper.
But that slightly troubles me, Vita Coco seems to last longer because of it’s sugar content. Do I really want to add to my sugar consumption? As much as I like the taste and the convenience of a longer lasting coconut water, I’m wondering if perhaps the Innocence version is the healthier alternative.
What do you think? What’s your favourite coconut water and why. Please leave your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to champagnetwist.wordpress.com for more.
Yesterday, I mentioned how the audience were invited to sample COYO lollies at the Culture Cloud – Lulu Guinness wellness event in Covent Garden. As promised here is a review of the lollies.
Created especially for Lulu Guinness’ in store Picnic Pop-Up, the COYO Pops yoghurt ice lollies are, available exclusively at the Covent Garden shop until late July.
I tried the Skinny Dip Chocolate Ice lolly, and have to say, it was delicious.
The texture was beautifully creamy, yet the flavour wasn’t the expected sickly, sugary sweet, tongue tieing affair. It was simply a tasty coconut lolly, covered with a good quality chocolate covering. Chocolate and coconut are a natural combination, but if you’re thinking this was a frozen Bounty on a stick, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is truly one of the best lollies I’ve ever had, and I’m going to make a special trip to try the other flavours.
Yes, I’m going to make a special trip just for a couple of lollies, they are that good!If you’re in the area, and would like an healthy alternative to regular ice lollies or ice cream, you could do a lot worse than to visit the temporary pop up venue.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Picnic Pop-Up is running until 22nd July, at the Lulu Guinness Covent Garden store. The other flavours, which I didn’t taste, are Sunny Salted Caramel and Very Vanilla. Cost £3.
COYO coconut yogurt alternative is on sale in most supermarkets. I’m going to find some and create some recipes using this product.
Have you tried any of the COYO products? What did you think? Why not comment below. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe if you would like more from Champagne Twist.
It’s Maundy Thursday today, the day before Good Friday. This year is going by fast, just think it will be April next week. The weather is still cold, so before we enjoy all those chocolate Easter eggs, perhaps we can indulge in something with includes a healthy combination of fruit and nuts … ahem!
Coconut and lime drizzle mini loaves
1 cup golden vanilla caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp coconut or almond extract
plus vegetable oil of greasing the pans
For the lime drizzle:
1/2 lime, juice and zest (a whole small key lime would be great if you can get hold of one)
1 tbsp icing sugar
warm water, recently boiled
For the mini loaves
Preheat the oven Gas mark 4/350 F.
Prep 8 mini loaf tins, greasing well with the vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and then set aside.
In a jug or small bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together.
Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together until just mixed.
Divide the batter evenly between the loaf tins, and bake in the oven for 40 mins, until well risen and golden brown on top.
Test with a skewer to ensure the loaves are fully baked. If the skewer doesn’t come out clean, bake for another 5 -10 minutes.
If the skewer comes out clean, remove the loaves from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Then remove the loaves from the tins and continue to cool on a wire rack.
For the lime drizzle
Simply combine all the ingredients together and pour equal amounts over the mini loaves, while they are still warm. Leave for a few minutes before enjoying with a nice cup of tea.