Once again, I have taken on the dark art of gluten free baking, and emerged triumphant. These are soft, sweet cakes with a good coconut hit to the sponge. If anything, though, I’m most pleased with the decoration – little coconut squares that were so quick to make, and have the potential to be great cake toppers with a little more work. I kept them quite rustic this time but I’m sure they could be polished off and maybe even further decorated with icing pens… It’s a project to work on. Here’s a shot of them, so that you know what I’m talking about:
These cakes were for another leaving do (there have been oh, so many of those) and I made a batch of 30 to share around the office. There were a few leftover that got taken to the pub, but they all got snapped up in the end. Everyone seemed pretty taken with them, and some kind words were said. I won’t repeat them, because I am far too modest…
Here’s the recipe:
- 400g margarine
- 400g sugar
- 400g wheat free, self-raising flour (I use Dove’s Farm brand)
- 4 eggs
- 75g toasted coconut
- 400g coconut milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla
If you have read my blog before, you will probably know what I’m about to say. That’s right – use the all in one method. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, and mix with an electric mixer until just combined. Do not over mix them – a few wee lumps of margarine are fine, they’ll sort themselves out in the oven.
Distribute the cake mix between 30 cupcake cases and bake at 170C for twenty minutes, rotating half way through to make sure of an even bake and rise.
Top with your favourite chocolate icing. The one I used was a standard chocolate buttercream, with enough milk whipped through it to make a soft, fudgy frosting. It was very sweet, and stayed soft after icing. You could use a ganache, instead, with either plain or milk chocolate, or you could stick with a nice firm buttercream, or even just a drizzle of melted chocolate over the top would do the trick.
To make the coconut squares:
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g coconut
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 1 tsbp liquid glucose
Mix the coconut and icing sugar in a bowl. Add the water and glucose, and stir well. You should have a very thick, sticky paste. If it is runny, add more icing sugar and coconut. You can also add a pinch of salt if you would like it to be less sweet.
Turn the paste out of the bowl onto a cutting board or square of greaseproof paper, and shape into a six-inch square. Use a spoon to straighten up the edges and smooth down the top. Press down firmly, and try to get the thickness as even as you can. The idea is to compress the coconut as much as you can, so it’s easy to slice up later.
Leave the square to rest for several hours or overnight. It will be firm and dry to the touch. Slice into one-inch squares – you’ll have five left over in case any break or aren’t a great shape. Apply to the top of your cakes while the icing/frosting/topping is still wet.
The glucose helps bind everything together – I might be tempted to add a little more next time, but it is very sweet so I didn’t want to overdo it. If you use dark chocolate in your icing this will balance out the sweetness nicely.