Wednesday 16 March 2016

Lemon, Coconut and Cherry Loaf Cake

 - dairy-free!

Butter was on my shopping list; it's not my fault I forgot to pick it up - my husband distracted me by asking if we needed any cheese. By the time I'd explained, as I do every week, that if I needed something, it would be on my list, we had moved away from the butter shelf!

So, I would need to bake a cake with oil. As I also needed a cake to enter into this month's AlphaBakes challenge, which is the letter C, I decided to make a coconut cake, using both desiccated coconut and coconut oil. For added flavour, I decided to use a lemon that was languishing in the fridge, and some dried cherries which were near the 'best-before' date.

100g dried cherries, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Kirsch (optional)
150g SR flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
75g desiccated coconut
200g caster sugar
160g coconut oil
zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
lemon juice, as required

Soak the cherries in the Kirsch, if using, for a few hours beforehand, if you are organised enough. If you haven't got much time, or don't want to use alcohol,  soak the cherries in boiling water for a few minutes, then drain well.
Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment and pre-heat oven to 180C.
Mix the flour, baking powder and desiccated coconut.
Beat the coconut oil, caster sugar and lemon zest until well blended.
Add the eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of the flour mixture, and beat in slowly.
Fold in the rest of the flour mixture, the cherries, and enough lemon juice to give a soft dropping consistency - I only needed a tablespoon of extra liquid.
Transfer the batter to the loaf tin, level the top and bake for about 60 minutes, until a test probe comes out dry and clean. If necessary, cover the cake after 30 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then transfer the cake to a wire rack to finish cooling.

As the cake rose with a fairly flat top, I decided to turn it upside down and top with a lemon glacé icing made with a icing sugar and some of the leftover lemon juice.

You can see from the photos that the cherries sank to the bottom of the cake. To try to prevent this, I should have tossed them with a little of the measured flour. As I had turned the cake upside down to serve, this didn't look as bad as it could have done, but it was a stupid mistake to make! Fortunately it didn't affect the flavour, which was a good balance between the lemon, coconut and cherries. The texture was moist but a little heavy - I think it might have been better to beat the eggs and sugar together, then warm the oil slightly, to add it as a liquid.

AlphaBakes is a monthly challenge co-hosted by Caroline Makes and The More Than Occasional Baker. The idea is to bake something with a randomly chosen letter of the alphabet as the initial letter of either a major ingredient, or the name of the recipe. This month the host is Ros at TMTOB, and the letter chosen is C - in this case there's a double dose of Coconut and Cherries.

PS - this is my 600th blog post. How typical that it should be about something that wasn't entirely successful!


Snowy said...

Wow, 600 posts Suelle, congratulations. I've made a lot of your recipes and they are among some of my favourites.
I like the ingredients in this cake, coconut, lemon and cherries and I also like cakes using oil, so another to try.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I love that coconut and cherry combination. Congratulations on getting to 600 posts - that's an impressive number. I've come to realise that there are people who make lists and people who just don't get it. I make lists and, after many long years and countless explanations, my wife still doesn't understand why.

Jean said...

Looks lovely. Personally I'm not too worried if cherries sink, as long as they're in there somewhere.
Congrats from me too. 600 posts is an achievement. So many blogs fizzle out, it takes dedication to keep going.

Baking Addict said...

Firstly congratulations on 600 blog posts - what an achievement! This cake sounds perfect for spring with lovely spring like flavours. It's a good save turning the cake upside down and making a glace icing - looks beautiful! Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.