|Coconut rum cake|
We had coconut trees everywhere around my childhood home. I didn't know anyone who could climb a coconut tree, but we got the fruit down easily enough with a long pole with a bent metal hook tied on to the end. Wielding a parang (machete), and under close supervision from my father, mother or one of the older guys, I was taught how to cut through the husk of a young coconut and get the top off the inner shell. Tipping the whole fruit up to drink the water straight from it required some skill.
After that, the hole in the shell would have to be widened so that you could dig out the soft flesh. And the scoop would be a shard from the shell.
After being inspired by the Don't Call Me Chef pumpkin-coconut-soy challenge, I thought I would make a cake – then decided to leave out the pumpkin and soy, and instead pile on the coconut in three forms: cream, fresh meat and shredded. I recently acquired a bottle of dark rum and used it to flavour the cake. A coconut rum like Malibu would of course have fit the theme better.
This isn't a large cake. I made two layers in loaf pans and it probably would have been prettier if I had sliced each cake in two to make four layers in all with frosting in between. But it really didn't matter in the end because it was polished off quite quickly! Coconut, aaah...
|A slab of joy|
Serves 8-10. Cake is best made a day before it is frosted so that the rum is well absorbed. You can leave out the real rum and use ½ teaspoon imitation rum essence instead. Add it together with the vanilla extract.
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup coconut cream (preferably fresh)
2-3 tablespoons dark rum
1 quantity frosting (recipe follows)
Flesh from 1 young coconut, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sweet shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and base-line two loaf pans. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, and mix into the creamed mixture until blended. Stir in vanilla extract and coconut milk until batter is smooth. Divide batter between the prepared pans.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until top is golden and springs back to the touch.
- Place on wire rack to cool for five minutes, then remove cakes from pan and peel off base paper. While cakes are still warm, poke holes in the crumb with a toothpick or thin skewer; spoon on the rum so that it is absorbed into the cake. Cover with foil. Or, if possible, place cakes in an air-tight container and leave overnight (at room temperature).
- When ready to assemble, place one cake, flat side up, on a serving plate and spread with half the frosting. Spread with fresh young coconut slices. Place the other cake on top and spread with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle with shredded coconut, pressing gently to adhere.
60g butter, softened
1-1½ cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon coconut cream
- Beat butter and coconut cream together until creamy; beat in icing sugar gradually until mixture is a soft spreadable consistency.