Coconut and Orange Cake

Coconut and Orange Cake combines the exotic flavours of coconut and anise. I made it for a friend's birthday it was moist and dense, moreover the recipe worked; always a surprise when it comes to cakes, as at Pebble Soup HQ's most sweet bakes come out of the oven looking like pancakes.
It worked to a certain extent, it should have looked like this:

But sadly it didn't, the end result was far more crooked only due to my lack of decorating skills. But apart for this small decoration mishap, the cake was a great success.
The recipe is straight out of Particular Delights: Cooking for All the Senses, an unusual book by Nathalie Hambro, first published in 1981. It was reissued in march this year. It's packed with unexpected flavour combos and inventiveness, wacky but friendly, no need to hunt the Himalayas to find crab spit, all the ingredients are your usual ones. Divided in sections such as cheese dishes, fruits and flowers, fish, it is the kind of book which has not disappointed yet when looking for inspiration.  
To create the spherical shape I used Lakeland semi-spherical cake pans and doubled the ingredients. Tea-pot cakes are leading a new trend of novelty cakes which appear to be very popular with home-bakers and supermarkets alike. In fact the top picture was taken at a Waitrose 's Spring Collection press-event.
Coconut and Orange Cake
175g flaked coconut (desiccated) 
1tbsp water
Grated rind of 1 large orange
175g flour all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
125 g sugar
1 large egg
125ml milk
1 tablespoon aniseeds
1 tsp vanilla essence
Wet the coconut with water. Add the orange rind. Leave to stand while you
Preheat the oven to 190C/gaz 5.
Butter and lightly dust with flour your tin which would normally be a 20cm round cake tin
In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla essence together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and beat until combined. Slowly beat in the aniseeds and the coconut with orange rind
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool cake 5 minutes before turning it out onto a rack. Let cool completely on the rack.


Susan said...

Well you tried! I don't think folks realise how tough it is to decorate cakes (an expensive too).

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

I wondered for a long time if I should post this photo but as you say I tried and not everything we do is a success though the cake was a delight. I agree buying the sugar-craft material was a real shock, it cost over £5.00 hence I didn't get the marzipan which was a mistake.



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