Monday, August 27, 2007

Moist Coconut Cake

Even though I am still not posting at the pace that I want to, I am glad that I have managed to post at least one recipe a week. Baby steps I suppose. This week I will post twice as Wednesday will bring a surprise post in this blog.

I have become very interested in the history of Brazilian cookery, the baking aspect to be more precise. Every time I go home to Brazil I buy a book and read, make notes. Our baking tradition has been highly influenced by our colonizers, the portuguese. And a lot of the ingredients we use in baking have either an European influence, an African influence – mostly West Africa, or influence from the Portuguese travels. Obviously there is a lot of local produce such as corn flour, manioc flour - hopefully I will be able to talk about that in future posts.

When it comes to coconut, I read that when the colonizers arrived in our continent they already found coconut trees along the Brazilian coast, but our native people did not use it in cooking. It was used mostly for drinking the water – which is very good for you and a habit highly cultivate up to this day, as well as for eating the coconut flesh. The cooking aspect, the use of coconut milk to be more precise, is an indirect influence of the Indian cooking. It was later adapted to baking.

We have loads of versions of coconut cake but this one in particular takes my fancy because it is not very sweet despite the fact that it uses condensed milk. The cake becomes really moist because it is drizzled with a mixture of coconut milk & sugar once baked. The end result is a lovely cake which can be consumed cold – if you have a fridge that is big enough you can leave the cake in there for a couple of hours before serving.

Moist coconut cake – brazilian style

4 eggs

¾ cup condensed milk – I used a 180ml ¾ cup

165g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

240g plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

To drizzle the cake:

240ml coconut milk

45g caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven – 180oC/160oC fan assisted. Grease and dust with flour a 25cm round baking tray and reserve.

Beat the eggs for 5 minutes – they will double in volume. Then add the condensed milk, the melted butter, the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix with a spatula until the mixture is even, without any lumps. Be gentle when mixing. Pour the mixture in the reserved baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes. As soon as you get it out of the oven use a fork/skewer to make tiny holes in the dough and pour the mixture of coconut milk and sugar on it. Let it cool in the tray for about 5 min and then transfer it to a cooling rack. Sprinkle it with grated coconut before serving. Use fresh grated coconut if available;if not dessicated will do fine.


Pille said...

Valentina - with so much condensed milk, the cake has to be good! I am very glad that you're blogging again - even if still not as much as before..

Meeta said...

Oh my that looks too good! Moist is right - it's one of those recipes that I can straight away taste in my mouth!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

What a beautiful cake Valentina! I've also started marking my cookbooks with measurements like I see you marked the condense milk 180ml as 3/4 cup. Flour measurements sometimes leave me speechless how much difference it can be.
Really like this cake.

Patricia Scarpin said...

this cake is just superb! I love baking with coconut and paired with sweetened condensed milk it gets even better.

Deborah said...

I love coconut - this recipe looks like a winner!

Cynthia said...

Valentina, I love that deep rich colour and the shower of coconut that bathes it.

That's some interesting info about Brazil and the use/no-use of coconuts in the beginning. In the other parts of the Caribbean the coconut water is loved as well the jelly.

We use it a lot in savoury and sweet dishes.

Nora B. said...

I enjoy learning more about the history of foods, so it's great that you write about Brazilian cooking/baking. These coconut cake does look so wonderfully moist.

I am very curious about what will be on your blog on Wed!

valentina said...

Pille, back home people are so mad about condensed milk. ; 0 )

Meeta, it was a lovely suprise. I wasn't sure about the taste of the coconut milk as it was added only to moisten it and not in the batter. All came good in the end.

Tanna, I decided that precision is the best way to go.

Pat, this present of yours has given me so many wonderful recipes. Can never thank you enough.

Deborah, it is really lovely!

Cynthia,I love learning about our cultural similarities. In many ways we have such similar wonderful habits.

Nora, I will always try to bring brazilian facts here. I am very keen on making them known. ; o ) the wednesday surprise didn't happen. It was meant to be the monthly challenge of the Daring Bakers. Unfortunatelly I didn't have enough time to make it. Only the base got prepared. Sorry about the post - or lack of .

ആഷ | Asha said...

first of all thanks for sharing this recipe. i made this cake. As u said it was not so sweet and crack appeared on top the cake while baking. mayb i made some mistake on the measurement of ingrdients.

i'm from kerala, India. Our state is well known for coconuts and coconut trees. We use coconut in almost all dishes.
thanks once again
happy blogging!

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