Today is my 20th birthday. That sounds so much older than saying nineteen! I am no longer a teenager. However, I’m quite pleased about this as I was never a typical teenager. I don’t consider being out until 4am and throwing up from drinking too much to be a good time which is typically the view people have of teenagers, especially university students. Hopefully I will no longer be slotted into this stereotype now that I have become 20. I must now be considered a mature and sensible young adult, at least, that’s the image I hope to portray.
Anyway, ramblings aside, I made this cake at the weekend as a sort of early birthday cake that I could share with my housemates. I picked up a very cheap bag of desiccated coconut from the shops and wanted to make a cake that incorporated it. However, having never made a coconut cake before, I spent a few hours browsing through many recipes in the search of one that appealed. In the end I had it narrowed down to two. A coconut and lime cake or a coconut and mango cake. I couldn’t decide between the two and so I decided to mix all three components together and create this tropical sounding cake. I ended up substituting the mango for peach as I had a tin of peach slices in the cupboard and decided this would be just as good.
I was a little unsure how this cake would turn out as I ended up just weighing out and adding the ingredients to sight and required consistency, without actually following a recipe. The batter was quite runny which meant it required longer cooking than a standard sponge but was very quick and easy to make as I just threw everything together in one bowl. I was very pleased with the results. It was light and very moist thanks to the addition of the syrup. When you take a bite, the first flavour is of zesty lime and then the flavour of the sweet peach emerges. As you begin to chew your teeth grind down the little coconut strands which then fill your mouth with a burst of creamy coconut.
Peach, Lime and Coconut Cake
For the cake
175g self raising flour
120g caster sugar
75g desiccated coconut
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of half a lime
410g tin of peach slices in natural juice
For the syrup
Juice of half a lime
Juice from tin of peach slices
1 tbsp caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a deep 7 inch circular cake tin.
Open the tin of peach slices and transfer the fruit to a large mixing bowl. Keep the juice for later.
Mash the peach slices into a pulp using a potato masher.
Add the rest of the cake ingredients to the bowl and whisk everything together using an electric whisk until all incorporated.
Pour the cake batter into the tin and place in the oven for 40 minutes.
After this time, remove the cake from the oven, cover in a layer of foil and return to the oven for a further 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the juice from the tin f peach slices into a small saucepan and add the juice of half a lime and the sugar.
Heat the mixture until reduced by half and thickened.
When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and pierce the surface all over with a skewer. Drizzle over the fruit syrup (you will only need half) and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Keep the rest of the fruit syrup in a plastic container in the fridge. Drizzle a little over each slice of cake just before you eat it as this gives the cake a very fresh, moist, zingy flavour even a few days later.