It's Cake Slice Bakers time again already, when I join in with other bloggers on the 20th of each month to bake from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. This month our choices were a rather lovely sounding banana loaf (tempting), an extravagant multi layered coffee chocolate cake (maybe just a bit too much work involved), a mandarin, polenta and macademia cake (also tempting) and a Greek coconut cake, that for various reasons I decided to make.
My eldest son's girlfriend is Greek and a keen baker/cook and has shared some lovely Greek recipes with me so I thought it would be fun to try this... although I was then disappointed to read this traditional cake is usually made with semolina but not so in this recipe! Also, consistant with my past experience of this book, the oven temperature and timings seemed way off the mark, which I think could really throw an inexperienced baker. Which is a shame as there are some fabulous looking cakes... but I digress.
The amount of mixture specified in the recipe was vast. There were vat loads of batter so I actually made it in two 23 cm (9") cake tins rather than just the one and I added the coconut toffee topping to just one of them as I had plans for this cake!
As it happens last week I attended another Clandestine Cake Club meeting in Cambridge and the theme for the evening was beverages. For some reason when I saw this coconut cake I immediately thought about Pina Colada. I've always thought coconut and pineapple make a lovely combination of flavours in a cake... although absolutely vile in a cocktail!
So I took my two relatively plain coconut cakes, soaked them in a rum syrup (rather than the specified lemon syrup), then sandwiched them together with a layer of pineapple conserve (made very easily from a tin of pineapple in juice) and some coconut buttercream. I finished the whole lot off with some piped buttercream and dried pineapple flowers.
I don't think I have ever made such an enormous cake!
It did look so pretty when I photographed it at home...
But after driving it into Cambridge and then walking with it from the car park, I took the lid off the box to reveal a bit of a disaster... the entire top had slid off and the pineapple and buttercream had oozed everywhere. The photo below is after I had attempted a rescue. I guess I should be grateful that at least the whole lot hadn't slid onto the floor like last month!
Fortunately everyone seemed to agree that it tasted really good even if it looked a mess. And I managed to bring what remained into my class the following day where it was also well received.
I think it might have said something about our Clandestine Cake Club that the majority of offerings for our beverage theme were alcoholic. There was a delicious limoncello cake and a strawberry Pimms sponge sandwich.
A chocolate Guinness cake and a peach, blueberry and amaretto sponge (yummy!) also made an appearance, along side a coffee chocolate cake and a tea loaf
Despite appearances I can definitely recommend the coconut cake and this is my version of the recipe:
Greek Coconut Cake (adapted from World Class Cakes)
You will need two 9" (23cm) cake tins, greased and lined. Preheat the oven to 170 deg C (150 fan)
- 9 large eggs, beaten
- 455g caster sugar
- 315g self raising flour, sifted
- 225g butter
- 300g dessicated coconut
- 50g caster sugar
- juice of a lemon
- 100ml white rum
- 150 ml double cream
- 80g soft brown sugar
- 100g shredded coconut
- Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy
- With a hand mixer, add the beaten eggs a little at a time, with a spoonful of flour with each addition, to prevent curdling
- Fold in the remaining flour and the coconut until well mixed.
- Divide between the two tins and bake for approximately 1 hour (the book says to bake one cake at 150 deg (130 fan) for an hour and a half to two hours)
- While the cake is baking make the syrup by combining the caster sugar, the juice of a lemon and the white rum in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar
- When the cakes come out of the oven, brush the tops with the drizzle until it is all used up.
- Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then make the coconut topping.
- For one cake combine the double cream and soft brown sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the shredded coconut and then pour the mixture over one of the cakes. Turn up the oven temperature to 190 deg C (170 fan) and return the cake to the oven for ten minutes or so until the top has browned.
- Allow to cool for ten minutes and then turn out of the tin. The cake is perfectly delicious as it is (and you can freeze one for later) or you can go the whole hog like me and sandwich together with the fillings of your choice, where you will have a cake that is impossible to cut, tastes amazing and is big enough to feed about thirty people!
You can see what the others have baked this month here: