Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Raspberry and Coconut Sponge Cake

One of my favourite Irish brands, Brodericks, make the most delicious raspberry and coconut slice.  It's so good that I have to stay away from the local shop in work otherwise I'd be eating one every day, and although that would be great for their profits, it wouldn't be so great for me!  As it's coming to the end of the soft fruit season, I decided to bake a cake as an homage to Barry and Bernie bringing together juicy fresh raspberries and a mixture of dessicated and toasted coconut to create a truly amazing cake.

If you don't have fresh raspberries, feel free to use frozen ones (it's what I usually do, but I was lured by reduced to clear stickers!).  Toasting coconut is a doddle too.  Use a heavy large pan on a low heat and keep moving the coconut around so it doesn't catch and burn.  Once it's golden and fragrant, it's done.  Keep it in an airtight container and it will last for a few weeks.

Raspberry and Coconut Sponge Cake

175g very soft Butter
175g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
175g Self Raising Flour
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
70g Coconut
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
125g Raspberries

Preheat your oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4.  Line two 8 inch or one 9 inch square tin with baking parchment.

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder together until well combined.

Add the coconut, vanilla and half of the raspberries and mix well.  The raspberries will break down into a puree which will flavour the cake mix.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin, level out and sprinkle with the remaining raspberries. Don't bother pushing them down, they'll sink into the cake batter and be completely invisible, as you can see from the photo below!

Bake for about 35 minutes (25 if using two round tins) until golden and firm.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cook.  I leave the cake in the paper until it's completely cold.

You can delve into this cake just as it is, or with a fork and a plate, if you're feeling very elegant.

I gilded the lily somewhat and added a layer of vanilla buttercream and some toasted coconut just to ramp up the taste.

Vanilla Buttercream
280g Icing Sugar
100g Butter, very soft
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1-2 tbsp Milk

Using a whisk, very gingerly beat the icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract together until it's smooth and fluffy.  It's probably going to be a little bit too thick, so thin it down by adding the milk, a tablespoon at a time.  Stop when you're happy with the consistency.

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