Firstly, sorry. To say I have been absent from my own blog is putting it mildly. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, or any readers still out there in the ether, but life got in the way. Rather, a change to my life.
You see, I’ve lost 3.5 stone (49lbs), dropped 4 dress sizes and from starting c25k in April, am preparing for my first half marathon in three week’s time.
Yeah. Crazy. I’m a running fool. Love it. Can’t be without it. Even better? Now that I have the thyroxine at the right level and do all this running, I can eat cake. And bread. And pasta.
I. Love. Running.
I can eat cake without gaining weight.
Also, our computer monitor went majorly up the creek and getting the colour right has been a mission. If the photos look very dreadfully wrong, do let me know.
So enough about me, let’s talk about this here cake. I got the magazine – Country Homes and Interiors (October 2011) – fourth-hand. I’ll be honest, it was a bit depressing looking at these spectacular places in the countryside with their achingly cool interiors and shabby chicness flung around, so I turned to the recipe bit. You know where you are with recipes. Doesn’t require a lottery win either. Or a grubby fling with a millionaire.
I chose it because it looked easy, simple and, well, filling. Nourishing. Not airy-fairy or full of cool, but solid and hole-filling.
Turned out to be one of the most flavoursome and delightful cakes I’ve made. Can’t recommend it enough.
Isn’t it just lovely when that happens?
Start by mixing 2 peeled, cored and diced apples with the chopped dates, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 200 ml boiling water. Leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven now and grease and line either a rectangular tin of 24x14cm or a 19-20cm square tin. I opted for the square tin. Now, if I were to stumble across a rectangular one with those dimensions, I could justify buying that. Feed that baking tin habit. Feeeeeeeeeeed it.
Beat the butter and sugar together til pale and fluffy/creamy/whatever
Beat in the eggs and vanilla then stir in the flour gently
Followed by the date/apple/water mixture (including any liquid left in the bowl)
Level the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.
Towards the end of the cooking time, make the topping. Put light muscovado sugar, butter and coconut cream (or coconut milk) in a small saucepan and heat until the butter melts.
Bring to the boil and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes
Remove from the heat and stir in 115g dessicated coconut then spoon over the cake
and smooth to an even layer
Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the topping is golden.
Cool in the tin before revealing its beauty
and slicing into delicious, moist, flavour-packed slices.
Date, Apple and Coconut Cake
(Country Homes and Interiors October 2011)
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200g dates, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml boiling water
125g lightly salted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
75g light muscovado sugar
50g lightly salted butter
100ml coconut cream or coconut milk (the cream gave it a really rich flavour)
115g dessicated coconut
Mix the dates, apple, bicarb and boiling water in a bowl then leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to GM4/180C/350F.
Grease and line a square tin of 19-20 cm or a rectangular tin measuring 24x14cm.
Beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy/creamy.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Stir in the flour then tip in the apple/date mixture – including any liquid left in the bowl. Stir to combine.
Put into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake for 1 hour.
Towards the end of the cooking time, make the topping.
Put the muscovado, butter and coconut cream in a small saucepan and heat until the butter melts.
Bring to the boil and let it bubble for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the dessicated coconut.
Spoon over the baked cake evenly, then smooth to an even layer.
Return the cake to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tin before slicing.
Store in an airtight container.
It won’t last long.
The Borrowers eat it.