Sunday, May 20, 2012

Coconut Ice Cakes

What story do I tell you that doesn't begin with some experience I had as a kid? Coconut Ice is no different - it was "some kind of wonderful" that would turn up on the tables of school fetes, usually costing 20 cents for a few pieces. I was always charmed by the beauty of the delicate pink hue next to the pure white, and the way the two were layered to form a dreamy coconut partnership.

When we got our first food processor in the 80s, the book that came with it included a recipe for coconut ice based on condensed milk. This was a good flavour, but it wasn't quite like the coconut ice of my childhood. Around this time Darrell

Lea, the chocolatiers, began making slabs of coconut ice. Also not like the coconut ice of my childhood, but since it was readily available, I didn't care.

Skip forward to circa 2000 and I was having a pre-Christmas cup of tea at a friend's mum's place, who had just taken delivery of some Christmas treats. And there it was sitting on the plate - coconut ice just like I used to get at the school fete. I begged for the recipe and was very fortunate to be given it. Imagine my surprise when I found it contained one raw egg white? I'll share that recipe with you some time, but for now, I want to show you what I've made for World Baking Day.

Coconut Ice Cakes. I was dreaming of a gorgeous loaf cake with swirls of icing along the top, trimmed with shredded coconut and little pieces of coconut ice marooned on the icing mounds. But my cake stuck to the tin and I just couldn't bake another. So I decided to put my inventor's cap on and came up with these little morsels, which would sit perfectly on any high tea menu. Enjoy!

250g butter
2 cups caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup desicated coconut
1/3 cups butter milk

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celcius. Grease and line a deep bar tin.
2. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of your Kitchenaid. Combine on first gear then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to sixth gear and beat for three minutes.
3. Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin. Colour the remaining mixture with 1/4 teaspoon of pink food colouring. It needs to be quite dark to come out pink after cooking.
4. Bake in the oven for one hour. Test with a skewer if you are not sure it's cooked through. If the skewer comes out of the cake clean, it's cooked.
5. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
6. At this point, if you want my original idea, go to the icing instructions. If you want the little morsels in the photo, continue from here!
7. Slice the cake into 1.5cm thick slices. Use a bread knife for this task and be very careful to catch each slice before it breaks.
8. Lay each slice flat on a chopping board and use a 4cm heart cutter to cut a heart shape out of the middle of the cake. You should get about 14 hearts. Set the off cuts aside (and scoff them plain with coffee later).

100g butter
500g pure icing sugar
4 tblsp full cream milk
a good squeeze of Wilton icing white
1/4 cup shredded coconut
14 pieces of store bought coconut ice

1. Combine all the ingredients in the large bowl of your Kitchenaid. Mix on first gear to combine, then increase speed to sixth gear and beat until white and fluffy. Make sure there are no butter lumps.
2. Fit a piping bag with a closed star piping tube then fill the bage with the icing.
3. Pipe a strip of icing around the heart shape, finishing with a squeeze in the middle.
4. Sprinkle with shredded coconut then decorate with a small piece of coconut ice.

1 comment:

Nash Nordin said...

I've never had coconut ice cakes. But yours looks really, really good!