There’s nothing quite like the smell of a cake baking to take you back to your childhood. In particular there is something about the aroma of desiccated coconut that particularly stirs my memories thinking back I can remember a lot of coconut cakes being made in our house. It was one of the few cakes my mum could (be bothered) to make and in particular it was a favourite of the boys at our house. With both my dad and brother being partial to a nice slice of coconut loaf, even so far as my brother would make a loaf now and again. My little brother was never academic, in fact he was a little terror at school, but one day he came home with the most amazing coconut loaf that he had made at home economics. He was dead proud of that cake, and for a small while after we could even coax him into recreating the magic at home.
So it was on this grey and showery Saturday afternoon in June that I fancied a nice slice of coconut loaf. The recipe here is a little bit more decedent than the cakes of my childhood, it would have ben made with stork or margarine, and heaven forbid the addition of coconut milk, we wouldn’t have heard of it anyway! (This was the 1980s). The results are quite a dense, moist and creamy cake, best served with lashings of raspberry jam.
Coconut Loaf Recipe
50g desiccated coconut
150ml coconut milk, full fat or reduced fat (or even ordinary milk)
150g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
150g self raising flour
2 eggs lightly beaten
1. Preheat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Place the desiccated coconut into a bowl and cover with the coconut milk, allowing to soak in for a couple of hours so that the coconut swells and re-hydrates. Grease and line your loaf tin.
2. Cream the sugar and butter until nice and fluffŷ, I always use my trusty Maggie the Magimix. Add the beaten eggs with a little flour to prevent curdling. Sift in the flour into the batter and fold in with a metal spoon. And finally add the coconut mix, liquid and all. Fold I’m all ingredients evenly with a metal spoon.
3. Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin, levelling the surface with the back of the spoon. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for around 40 minutes. If after 40 minutes the cake does not spring back lightly when pressed or mix is visible on a skewer, return to the oven for 5 50 10 mins until baked through.
4. Leave to cool for 10 mins and turn out onto a wire rack to continue to cool completely.
5. Slice and slather with a good raspberry jam. Or even some fresh raspberries should they be ready in your garden or allotment. Relax. Enjoy.