Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Sticky Date and Coconut Cake

So as I said in my previous post one of my new cookbooks is the new one by last years Masterchef winner Brett McGregor called 'Taste of a Traveller'. I wouldn't normally buy a book like this as I think they can be a little too 'forced' and maybe a bit contrived but after reading a couple of good reviews about it, I thought I should at least have a little look to decide for myself. Clearly I was pretty impressed so made the purchase. I really like how it is set out with easily achievable, yet not too simple, recipes. I love Asian food and that aspect really appealed, as did the Kiwi component. I did try the Steamed Fish Parcels but I have to say I wasn't that enthralled with the flavour combinations at all finding it far too salty and unbalanced. The second thing I have made from it (even though I have lots of recipes bookmarked to try), was this cake. 

This was very easy to make but there were a couple of things I would do differently next time...like not putting the topping on too soon as it did get a little overcooked. Even though it tastes delicious, I think it is bit too much like toffee and it did make it hard to get out of the tin. It is meant to cook on the cake for an extra 25 minutes but I think 15 minutes would be plenty to get the toffee texture without it being too sticky and firm as it is now. 

Of course I have had to taste it...purely in the interests of this blog and I can tell you it had a lovely light texture and although the cake itself tastes like a pretty plain date cake, once you eat with the coconut topping, it all makes sense and the whole cake is lifted. So to Brett so far 1 win and 1 loss...keep an eye on this blog for more recipe attempts from this book...next up is the Marrakesh Chicken.

Sticky Date and Coconut Cake

1c dates, chopped
1c water
1 tsp baking soda
120gm butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 c shredded coconut
1 c brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk

Oven to 170 C and grease and line the base of a 20 cm cake tin.

Put the dates, water and soda into a small pot on a low heat and boil until the dates are soft. Set aside to cool.

Beat 60g of the butter and the sugar together until pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour and baking powder together then combine with the butter mixture. Add the date mixture and stir to combine.

Bake about 35 mins (but see above and bake about 45mins).

Make the topping by putting the other 60g of butter into a small pot with the coconut, brown sugar and milk and warming it until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. 

Pour over the cake and bake another 25 mins (or about 15 mins if you are going by my times). Wait until a skewer comes out clean then cool on a cake rack. I took my cake out while it was still a bit warm and I don't think it would have moved had I waited for it to get cold.

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