As you know, this weekend my good friend Charlotte (Cee, for short) came to stay with me, and we went on a bit of a foodie marathon! If you read my previous post you will know that Charlotte spent the last couple of years living in Australia and working as a deckhand/cook on various different fishing boats. It was her job to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole crew – including snacks to tide them over during the long and gruelling working hours. What a woman!
Having pretty much made ‘a cake a day’ for 14 months, it’s clear her baking skills have improved vastly and she even adapted some of her own recipes. Being in a very male-dominated environment during her time at sea, she admits, she didn’t always make the stuff that she liked best – as she had to please the majority. Now she’s back on dry land in the UK, I asked her what she felt like baking and it was this – her Raspberry & Coconut Cake, which ultimately the lads on deck just found a little bit too ‘girly’). After all, it is pink, white and very pretty!
Yesterday, we spent the day shopping for ingredients in and around the Knutsford area, then got to work in the kitchen. Cee’s recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 50 minutes to bake in the oven. You will need some parchment paper and a baking tin approximately 23cm squared.
What you need:
- 250g butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 275g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 100g plain flour
- 150g self-raising flour
- 55g hazelnuts, ground up to a fine powder (in a food processor or using a pestle and mortar)
- 150 frozen raspberries
For the coconut topping;
- 50g plain flour
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 40g butter
- 15g dessicated coconut
What to do:
- Position a shelf in the centre of the oven, and preheat to 180°C. Grease your baking tray and line the base with baking paper.
- Beat the butter, vanilla extract and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until just combined.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flours and hazelnut powder. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin, and sprinkle evenly with the frozen raspberries.
- To make the coconut topping, combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir in the coconut.
- Spread the coconut topping evenly over the cake mixture and raspberries in the tin.
- Bake at 180°C for about 50 minutes. Stand the cake for 5 minutes after baking, then turn onto a wire cooling rack. Turn the cake upside down to cool.
This mixture should make about 12 squares of cake!