I was on the verge of writing about a great new jerk place I’ve discovered in Peckham but when it came down to business, I just couldn’t do it to you. She’s writing about jerk, again?! May as well re-name the blog Jerk Stories and be done with it.
So I’ve spared you. For now.
What do you want? What does anyone want instead of some juicy jerk and a hummin’ curry goat I asked myself. Probably a pretty little cake or something.
Here you go then; here’s your cake. The only real woman-power involved is dealing with your coconut. It’s easiest to break them open with a hammer but I don’t have one so I just smashed it against the wall a couple of times. Once you’ve cracked it, the best way to remove the insides is to use one of those nifty winding corkscrew de-flesher wotsits but you probably don’t have one (me neither), so carefully slip some kind of implement (I used a combination of butter knife, skewer and thin-lipped spoon) between husk and flesh; large pieces will ping out across your kitchen. You can then retrieve them and go about the business of grating. It’s a faff. I recommend investing in the proper equipment. Whatever happens though, don’t use desiccated coconut; it’s gross.
This recipe was sent to me by a friend. It’s light, so you can eat a gargantuan slice without feeling sick, which is brilliant or dangerous, depending on your attitude towards healthy eating. I ate too much, then packed the rest off to work with Chris. We take it in turns to feed the fruits of my labour to our colleagues, thus garnering favour in both camps. This earns me extra cups of tea throughout my working day and means I can gatecrash Chris’ work events every now and then, (“just happened to be passing…”) where the beer is always free flowing and the people are nice. Nothing keeps things sweet like a slice of cake. Except perhaps a leg of jerk chicken.
A fresh coconut cake
(This is my friend’s recipe. She has asked me to say that she is not entirely happy with the icing, so there you go, I’ve said it).
This fills 2 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins
For the cake
175g self-raising flour
75g fresh coconut, grated
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
175g butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the icing
100g softened butter
100g icing sugar
200g softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g coconut, grated, plus extra to garnish
Preheat the oven to 170C
Grease and line the two tins with greaseproof paper
Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar and beat for a couple of minutes on low speed until well combined. You can do this without an electric mixer, using a wooden spoon. Add the coconut, stir it in and divide the mixture evenly between the two tins. Cook in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or so, until evenly golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tins and then turn out onto a wire cooling rack. I find the easiest way is to position your cake tins on top of a can or jar then let the sides drop down leaving the cake and base of the tin resting on top.
When ready to make the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix well then add the coconut and mix again. When the cake is cool, spread one third of the icing between the two layers and sandwich them together. Spread the remaining two thirds over the top and around the sides and then garnish with extra grated coconut as desired.