Coconut. Most people either sing songs about its wonderful sweetness, or grumble if they taste it in anything except a Thai curry.
I adore it. I have a feeling it’s due to my mixed Bong-Mallu (For the uninitiated that’s Bengali-Malyali) DNA.
Coconut is one ingredient that serves you well in both sweet and savoury dishes.
It’s wonderfully versatile.
Coconut sprinkles make cupcakes prettier.
Coconut oil makes banana chips taste heavenly.
Coconut cream makes me weep with joy every time I sip a Pina Colada.
Coconut milk is bliss in Malai Curry (Bengali prawn curry with coconut milk).
Coconut bits in Kerala beef curry. Killer.
I could go on. But here’s my little coconut celebration.
Coconut cake with coconut cream frosting
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
125 g butter (salted is fine, but softened), plus a bit more for greasing
1 tsp coconut extract or flavour
200 g castor sugar
2 large eggs
50 g desiccated coconut, plus a bit more for sprinkling
175 g flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
250 g yogurt
100 ml milk
250 ml coconut cream tin (left in the fridge overnight)
5 tbsp icing sugar
1 drop violet food colour
For the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 180º C and line a 20 cm round cake tin with baking parchment. Grease the whole tin with some melted butter.
2. In a large bowl mix the butter, coconut flavour and sugar together. Add the eggs one by one and gently beat together.
3. Now add the coconut, flour, baking powder, yogurt and milk and mix vigorously until you have a smooth batter.
4. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting
1. Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and open the tin. Carefully scoop out only the cream from the top of the tin. Leave the water that’s at the bottom. (You could drink it later- it’s delicious!)
2. Put the cream into a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to whisk for a few minutes. When it begins to get slightly thick, add the icing sugar and food colour. Whisk for a few minutes more and then put away in the fridge to keep cool.
3. Once the cake is cool, slice it in half horizontally and spread half the coconut frosting inside. Cover with the top half of the cake and spread the remaining frosting over. Sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top. Serve!