Coconut cake


It could have been the sudden onslaught of summers or the desperate need to eat something sweet or even the fact that my pantry boosted a most comprehensive collection of coconut milk that I suddenly felt this overbearing need within me to bake a coconut cake and not just any coconut cake but beautiful bundt at that and thusly here we have a gorgeously sweet, tropically kissed and easily made coconut cake.

The ingredients are eggs, flour, baking powder, butter, sugar, coconut flakes or dessicated coconut, sugar, lemon zest and coconut milk. Also vanilla extract (not pictured)

I used a food processor to mix the lemon zest in with the sugar just so it’s evenly distributed and renders a more aromatic scent. This step didn’t do much to affect the end result so it’s optional.

crack eggs in a clean mixing bowl

and add in the sugar

and beat well for a few minutes until pale

Heat coconut milk and melt in the butter ensuring it doesn’t get too hot and reserve for later.

Add vanilla extract

followed by the flour and baking powder. Add it in batches. Mixing constantly and scraping the sides of the bowl intermittently.

Once the flour is well mixed add in the coconut flakes and mix again.

and finally pour in the coconut butter mixture.

Beat well ensuring there are no dry lumps in the batter.

Pour into a well greased baking tin. I’m using a bundt pan but feel free to make it into a regular sheet cake or even cupcakes.

Bake at 170ºC for 45-50 minutes in a preheated oven or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Dust with powdered sugar or sweetened coconut flakes before serving.


Ingredients

Flour: 240g
Sugar: 250g
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Baking powder: 1 heaped tsp
Butter: 80g
Eggs: 4 
Coconut milk: 200mls
Dessicated coconut: 150g
Vanilla: 1 tsp
Lemon zest: 2 tsps

Note: The picture shows 6 eggs but the recipe uses 4.

Recipe instructions

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep aside.

In a clean pan heat the coconut milk and melt in the butter. Don’t let the mixture get too hot. Reserve for later.

Crack in the eggs in a large bowl and beat in the sugar and lemon zest until the batter gets well aerated and turns pale. It will take a few minutes and add in the vanilla extract.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt mixture into the egg and sugar batter in batches until well incorporated. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure no lumps or dry bits of flour are stuck to the sides.

Once the dry ingredients are mixed in beat the coconut flakes/desiccated coconut followed by the coconut milk and butter mixture.

Mix well until you have a sunkissed pale yellow batter punctuated with grainy bits of coconut flakes.

Scrape the batter in a well greased baking pan and bake at 170ºC for 45-50 minutes or until the top of the cake is copper hued and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in its pan for at least 10 minutes before inverting on a cooling rack where it needs to cool down for another ten minutes before slicing in.

Finally dust with sugar or sweetened coconut flakes before serving.

Enjoy!

Butter coconut cookies


DSC_0634This artistically stacked hillock of brown jenga pieces is in fact an artistically stacked hillock of edible jenga pieces. Alright, it’s not artistically stacked, and these aren’t pieces from a game..these are cookies squares, or rectangles, for you geometrically fastidious lot. Butter coconut cookies to be more precise..the kinds that possess the power to transform your tea time into a festivity—they don’t even need tea as an excuse to be eaten. They have looks, texture and crunch; all the makings of cookie stardom, and yet they stay humble. Modestly unadorned, on your tea table, or your dining table, or your study table, where they’ll sit in quiet obeisance, patiently waiting to be chewed on..one after another.

You didn’t think you could stop after just one, did you? No! you cannot. Not only is it against cookie eating rules, but also because you sure as all hell couldn’t resist these tan little fellas, exuding coconut fragrance and tropical desires.

And would you believe it, despite their come-hither look,  they’re rather incomplex. You could tszuj up these coconutty babies in moments.

 

DSC_0565 copyThe usual suspects, only a lot lesser than usual. Butter, flour, brown sugar, desiccated coconut and coconut extract. If however you do not have coconut extract (and why should you), use vanilla extract.

 

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There’s a picture of a blender because I felt like making life difficult for me, by putting ingredients into a blender instead of creaming them the usual way. It’s more convenient to use a food processor, but I was not disappointed with the outcome of this contraption. Let me not speak in riddles any further.

 

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it puts the lotion into the basket, or cubed up cold butter along with flour into the blender, and whizz ’em mercilessly. Actually you gotta pulse it. a few second pulse a few times, and you’re there.

 

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the butter and flour will get mixed, and the flour will begin to clump.

 

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like so.. (you can also use the good old creaming method. You know, where you beat the butter and add in sugar, so on and so forth. This is just easier and less fussier and your muscles stay relaxed.

 

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add in the sugar and pulse again, a few times

 

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you will end up with the most fabulous sweet edible sand. But we’re yet to add a few more ingredients to the alchemy.

 

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so, in with the coconut

 

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a few drops of coconut extract, and a good mix.

 

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almost there, but it’s still a bit crumbly. Not quite together.

 

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nothing that a couple tablespoons of milk won’t rectify.

 

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mix it a bit together.

 

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and there you have it. Serious clumpage.

 

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using your hands, roll it into a ball.

 

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stick it in a cling film, and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Makes it easier to handle.

 

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generously flour your board. The point is to not let it stick when you roll. Don’t skimp on the flour.

 

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roll the dough out. It will break on the edges but that’s not a bad thing, nor difficult to manage. Just keep putting things in place and perspective using a spatula or palette knife. and keep running it under the dough as well, to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the board.

 

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like so.

 

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once the dough is rolled out, sprinkle over some more desiccated coconut and white sugar. The top will retain the coconutty, sugary granules and look all the more alluring. It’s a vanity thing.

 

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you can cut these into any shape or form. The easiest would be into squares using your knife, just slice through the dough and form easy rustic squares..but I was itching to try out these Japanese cookie cutters that I’d recently bought in a fit of idle need, and proceeded to fall in love with them.

 

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oh so pretty did they look —their rectangular fluted edges with an air of serene uniformity.

 

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I couldn’t help but click them in different lights and angles.

 

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bake at 180°C for 18-20 minutes, for the desired crunch. Let them rest for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring on a cooling rack

 

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they get crunchier every sitting moment.

 

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Eat as many

______________________________________

Ingredients

Flour: 200g (1, 1/4 cup)

Brown sugar: 100g (1cup)

Butter: 100g (1/2 cup)

desiccated coconut: 50 gm (1/2 cup)+ 2 tbsp (for sprinkling)

coconut/vanilla extract: 1 tsp

milk: 2 tbsp (if needed)

granulated white sugar: 2 tbsp ( for sprinkling)


Recipe:

Pulse together the butter, flour and sugar in a food processor until it starts clumping together. Transfer into a bowl and add in desiccated coconut and extract and mix. If the dough doesn’t come together, add in the milk and mix.

forem into a ball, wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll into a neat square on a generously floured board. make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the board. sprinkle coconut and granulated white sugar on top and cut into squares.

bake at 180°C for 18-20 minutes in a pre heated oven and let cool on a cooling rack.

Serve with tea, or just as is.

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stack em high and apply to face.

 

 

 

Love letters.


DSC_0923How could you ever go wrong eating something so melodiously lyrical and so dramatically picturesque? These bountiful babies are rather romantically called love letters, and why not! Gracefully golden and poetically charged as they are, these fattened cigars are also tastefully sublime.

These happen to be a very popular Keralan tea time snack, of which rather embarrassingly though, I got to know of very recently through a dear friend I met on twitter called Febin Mathew, who also happens to be a fantastic writer and runs a wonderfully whimsical blog called (epicfaildotcom.wordpress.com) or you can check out his writings here

Love letters, as gorgeous as they sound are really just thin crepes that are filled in with coconuts and sugar.

DSC_0879m copythe ingredients are simple enough. Sugar, desiccated coconut. flour, egg and cardamom pods.

DSC_0881this recipe requires cardamom powder and its a good practice to make some from scratch rather than buying the dried up bottled stuff. All you really need is a mortar and pestle.

DSC_0882to make a somewhat fine powder.

DSC_0883into a bowl, dump in your flour

DSC_0884crack in the egg and get mixing.

DSC_0885somewhere here I realized I should have used a bigger bowl, but a bit of mess never hurt anyone. we need a thin batter and an egg alone won’t thin it.

DSC_0886add in water, a little at a time to make a thin consistency. I ended up adding about 100mls of water, that is about 6-7 tablespoons

DSC_0889this is the consistency we are looking for. It should be thin and pourable, with no visible lumps.

DSC_0894add in about 3/4ths of the cardamom powder. Mix well and keep aside.

DSC_0895now this step is entirely optional and not a part of the authentic recipe, but I like to do it. Take a good heaping tablepsoon of vanilla sugar.

DSC_0896and half the sugar of this recipe and put it in a pot over slow flame.

DSC_0899until it very lightly caramelizes and just starts turning golden.

DSC_0900at which point we add in the remaining cardamom powder.

DSC_0901and all the desiccated coconut

DSC_0902turn off the flame and stir it all in. Put this mixture in a grinder and grind it for a couple of seconds.

DSC_0905and you’ll get this. It’ll have faint whiffs of caramel, vanilla and cardamom.

DSC_0906mix in the remaining sugar and reserve for stuffing.

DSC_0907put your pan on a low medium flame and add a dollop of butter/ghee. I’ve added ghee as per the recipe.

DSC_0908tilt it well to coat evenly.

DSC_0909take a ladle full of your batter.

DSC_0910gently on to the pan

DSC_0911spread as thinly as possible.

DSC_0912it will start cooking the moment it touches the surface

DSC_0913flip to cook the other side.

DSC_0916filling these crepes is fairly simple.

DSC_0917put a good heaping mound in the middle

DSC_0918fold over from the top and from the sides, like so

DSC_0919and like so.

DSC_0920and finally fold over to make neat little packages.

DSC_0922arrange on platter of choice.

DSC_0924sprinkle on some castor sugar and sigh a little, because this might be your only chance at receiving any love letters, and devour them with milk, coffee, tea or just plain.

DSC_0929this is what the insides look like.

Ingredients

all purpose flour : 100g or 3/4 cup

cardamom powder: 2 teaspoons

sugar: 80g or 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

desiccated coconut: 100g

water: 100mls about 1/2 cup

butter/ghee: 1 tablespoon

Preparation instructions:  make a thin batter from flour, egg and milk. Add in 3/4ths the cardamom powder and reserve.

In a saucepan, lightly caramelize the vanilla sugar and half of the sugar from the recipe. Just as it starts melting and turns light golden, turn off the flame and in remaining cardamom powder, and the desiccated coconut and mix. Grind this mixture and reserve.

In a non stick pan, melt the butter/ghee over a low medium flame and pour a ladle full of the prepared batter. Spread evenly to form a thin crepe and flip to cook the other side.

For filling, lay out the crepe and put a heaping mound in the middle. Fold over 1/4 of the top, then fold from both sides to pack and finally fold over from the top again to make a roll.

Sprinkle with castor sugar and serve warm.

DSC_0923enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Banana Coconut cupcakes


This cupcake happened when I saw, the last remaining banana in my fruit basket had turned into a ghoulish yellow black with kinds sloppy looking ends..I was grinning wide because isn’t this is the perfect opportunity we are always looking for when we really want to make banana bread..?? Ok so the banana wasn’t enough for a bread, but it was more than enough for some experimenting with the just brought coconut creamer.. yes creamer because I couldn’t fine any coconut milk and my desperation for whipping up some Thai food had left me with few alternatives..

So anyways, this was by far the easiest cupcakes I have made without bothering much about the whole wet ingredients, dry ingredients shenanigans.. It was made in one bowl without any mixer.. just a spoon and a bowl..

Ingredients

1 banana

1 egg

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup coconut powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup flour

30 mls milk

15 mls vegetable oil

 

take the banana

add in 2 tbsp brown sugar

mash them all together like there’s no tomorrow.. doesn’t this look like melted chocolate? hah..

crack in an egg and pour in 15 mls of vegetable oil

add in the coconut powder and the baking powder.

next in is the flour.. just stir

this is the resultant brownish gloop.. and yes the kitchen was smelling awesome..

into my pretty silicone molds.. I love these colorful babies.

I filled them a little more than half way through.. you can see the banana remnants atop.. don’t worry these will all be gone..

I baked these at 200℃ for around 22 minutes.. depending on your oven.. these are hot and I ate 2 already..

Enjoy !!