Monday, March 28, 2011

Flower power

Ain't that a pretty flower. It ain't real, in case you're wondering. I nicked it from work (no, work isn't all roses but this came with a festive hamper) for no reason other than because it looked so pretty. Pretty flowers make me smile.

Which is what led me to recently buy a silicon mould in the shape of a rose. Not one, two. I had no plans for the moulds but I had to buy them cause they looked so pretty.

A sucker, I am.

So anyway, I had these moulds and I had to use it so that I could have a pretty flower cake. I decided on a coconut-ginger cake. Two mould's weren't enough for the batter, so I made six muffins as well, frosted of course.

I love coconut cakes. They're moist and almost creamy and they taste, err, coconutty. In fact, I love almost anything coconut.

Candy, sweets, ice cream, bread .... and of course, the coconut liqueur, Malibu too.

Now, the first coconut cake I ever wanted to try was Ina Garten's gorgeous six-layer coconut cake with a delicious frosting and coconut shavings atop that. It's visually stunning and I'm quite sure a treat to devour. But, because my goal here was to make use of my pretty moulds, I settled on a plain but rich coconut cake that didn't need any frosting. The crystallised ginger added some chewiness to the cake but you can add mixed fruits too if you like.

See the three flowers all sitting pretty?

The flower cake needed no frosting but I decided to frost the muffins with coconut-flavoured cream cheese topping. Yum. Yum. Yum. 

I was going to bring these to work so I thought that I would leave some of the muffins unfrosted for the diet conscious folks at work. I got a shelling from my colleagues who, I hadn't realised earlier, were coconut lovers too. Mostly, they were dessert fiends who didn't mind the extra calories from the topping.

I bet they'll love Ina Garten's six-layer monstrosity.

So anyway, here's the recipe for my Coconut-Ginger Cake

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
11/3 cups castor sugar
4 eggs
11/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
11/3 cups plain flour, sifted
2/3 cup coconut milk 
1 cup crystallised ginger cubes

For the frosting
180g unsalted butter
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp milk

Start with the cake. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the moulds and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined well. Stir in the sifted flours and coconut milk until well incorporated. 

Stir in the ginger.

Spoon the batter into the moulds and bake for about 35 to 40 mins till a tester comes out clean. 

Let the cake cool while you make the icing.

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the sugar (sifted) and milk and mix until pale and creamy.

Ice the muffins when they've completely cooled.


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