I’m so delighted that rustic, slightly messy looking cakes are right on trend at the moment. A throw back to the pared back naked cake fad which foregoes fancy cake decoration and celebrates the delicious textures and flavours of a well made cake from all natural ingredients. It reflects the way I love to bake and in all honesty, as some one who has never quite mastered the basic of cake decorating 101 it’s such a relief not having to fuss over the final presentation.
I’ve always loved the tropical summery flavour combination of coconut and passionfruit. The nostalgia of endless days spent at the beach, slathered in the tanning lotion du jour, Reef Coconut Oil. The heady evening scent of backyard passionfruit vines laden with gloriously scented fruit. So here I am busting out my mini loaf tray again (I know it’s becoming quite the obsession) and making little coconut teacakes smothered in a generous layer of passionfruit buttercream frosting. Olde worlde pretty baking that just begs to be eaten.
This cake also bakes wonderfully well in a regular sized tin, it just requires a little longer in the oven, up to 55 minutes depending on the vagaries of your oven. The secret to a beautifully moist, deliciously flavoured coconut cake lies in the soaking of the coconut in milk for at least half an hour before baking. For a gorgeously tender crumb, be careful not to overmix the batter, a gentle folding through of the flour and coconut is all that is required.
And if, like me. you can’t go past the combination of coconut and passionfruit here are two more recipes you might like to try From The Old fashioned Australian Kitchen Pantry. Passionfruit And Coconut Impossible Pie. or Pure Heaven. Passionfruit Melting Moments With a Roasted Coconut and Passionfruit Butter Cream.
Little Coconut Tea Cakes With Passionfruit Buttercream Frosting
Makes 8 Tea Cakes (or one 20cm round cake)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
a generous pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons boiling water
THIRTY MINUTES before baking, soak the desiccated coconut in milk.
PREHEAT oven to 170 C. Position oven racks so the top of the cake tin is roughly in the centre of the oven.
GREASE and flour an 8 hole mini loaf tray or deep 20 cm round cake tin. Line base with baking paper.
SIFT together flour and salt and set aside.
BEAT together butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy, at least 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated.
ADD coconut and milk, stirring until just combined.
FOLD through flour and enough boiling water to ensure batter is of dropping consistency, being careful not to over mix.
SPOON batter into the prepared mini loaf or cake tin. When filled tap the tin gently on the kitchen bench to distribute the batter and smooth the top with a palette knife.
BAKE for 20 – 25 minutes for the mini loaves or 50 – 55 minuttes for the round cake, middle oven rack position. A skewer inserted into the cakes should come out clean when perfectly baked.
REMOVE from the oven, allow to cool in the tin a little before transferring onto wire rack to cool completely.
For The Passionfruit Buttercream
75g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
pulp and juice of 4 passionfruit, divided
USE an electric mixer to beat the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
ADD the pulp and juice of two passionfruit to the mixture and continue to beat until well combined.
SPREAD a generous tablespoon of buttercream over the top of each tea cake and smooth with a palette knife. Spoon over a little more passionfruit pulp to decorate just before serving.