Its hot and I'm not complaining. The hottest summer in the UK in 7 years after the longest winter ever. I'm very happy to see the sun and feel the warmth, but the amount of baking has greatly reduced.
But it does matter what the weather is like, there is a birthday then a cake it required. So I turned to a book that I have been looking forward to using for ages, but haven't got round to it; Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood. A book full of delicious looking recipes, most of them gluten free and containing interesting ingredients to help improve the texture and increase the nutrition of the cakes. Yes, many of the cake contain vegetables! I was not disappointed by my first outing with this book, and I'm already looking forward to the next and the recipe only need slight adaption.
If you are feeding this to vegetable-haters, if you don't tell them they will never know, this may be a bit unethical but it means they will get to enjoy a wonderful cake, that can't be bad, can it?
'Secret Ingredient' Coconut Cake
200g desiccated coconut
3 medium free range eggs
250g topped, tailed, peeled, and finely grated courgette (the secret ingredient, which I grated in the blender)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
120g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 bicarbonate soda
St Dalfour sugar free strawberry jam
100g Billingtons golden (unrefined) icing sugar
2 tbsp non-dairy or lactose free milk (ideally coconut milk)
Two 18cm diameter - 5cm deep loose bottomed cake tins
Preheat the over to 160C (GM3)
Food processor / blender
Electric hand whisk
Lightly brush the tins with a bit of veg oil. Line the base and sides with baking parchment, then oil them again.
Whizz up the coconut in the blender for 2 minutes. This will make it finer, to help the texture. Set aside.
Whisk the eggs and xylitol for about 4 minutes full blast with a hand-held whisk until its pale and fluffy.
Then beat in the grated courgette and vanilla.
Combine coconut, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt. Mix well.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients, again mix well.
Pour the mixture evenly between the two tins.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and the tins. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
When the cakes are cool, spread the jam over one cake and sandwich the two together.
Make the icing, once the cakes are cool and sandwiched together with jam. By sifting the icing sugar and then mixing in the milk.
Pour the icing, covering the top.
Enjoy as soon as possible!