For me there is only one coconut cake. It is a crowd pleaser, easily serves up to ten people, and keeps well in an airtight tin for about three days. This cake reminds me very much of my late Mother, as this was the first cake I baked with her at the age of eight. I remember my sole duty was to sprinkle the desiccated coconut and scrape the bowl at the end!
Whenever I bake this cake, it reminds me of the time when as a child I pretended that the desiccated coconut were snowflakes hitting the ground. At that time, I hadn’t experienced or seen snow except for illustrations in books. A year later our family left Cyprus to live in London, where I would experience real snow for the first time, the year was 1967.
1 cup water
½ cup caster sugar
1 slice of lemon
1 ½ cup plain flour
3 level tsp baking powder
1 cup caster sugar
2 cups of desiccated coconut
1 cup sunflower oil
½ cup warm milk
5 medium eggs
1. Put all the syrup ingredients into a small pan and simmer on low heat until sugar is dissolved and the liquid ‘thickens’ a little. Leave to one side until completely cooled.
2. To make the cake mixture, add oil and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat together until the mixture whitens.
3. Gradually add the beaten eggs, making sure to beat well after each addition.
4. Add 1 ½ cups of desiccated coconut and stir.
5. Sieve the flour and baking powder together and set to the side.
6. Lastly, alternate the flour and milk into the mixture until mixed to a soft dropping consistency.
7. Empty mixture into a lined and well -greased tin and bake in a preheated oven 350F/175C/Gas Mark 4 for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
8. Once out of the oven leave in the tin for a few minutes and turn out onto a large tray with edges around.
9. Prick the top of the cake and whilst still hot, pour the cold syrup, remembering to remove the cloves and lemon slice.
10. Sprinkle the remainder of the desiccated coconut.
Tips and Suggestions:
- To allow the sponge to absorb the syrup, “prick” in places with a skewer.
- Tap tin on the bench to remove any air bubbles before putting cake mixture in the oven.
- The use of a large tray with edges is so that when the syrup is poured, it prevents it from spilling.
- Always use the same size cup for measurements.
- Cake tin size used is 25cm/10”
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