Sunday, March 29, 2015

Orange coconut poppy seed cake and how important photos are to me

Orange coconut poppy cake / Bolo de laranja, coco e sementes de papoula

When I read cookbook reviews at Amazon I notice that one of the things people most complain about is the lack of photographs, and I tend to agree with them: I own books that I know are really great, but I tend to ignore them because they have no or close to none photos – I guess that when I need inspiration I need to look at great images that will make my mouth water.

It is also really good to know how the food is going to look like once you’re finished cooking it.

I saw a recipe for a citrus coconut cake on Taste magazine days ago and it immediately caught my attention: the cake slices looked so tender I couldn’t resist it! And I wasn’t even thinking of baking a cake – I was searching for something savory – but that photo made me wish for a slice of that super tender cake, so I had to make it (if you ask me what I was looking for in the first place I don't really remember). :D

The result was a very tender cake indeed, even difficult to slice, and it tasted delicious – inspiration came in the form of a tempting photo and I’m glad I gave it a go.

Orange coconut poppy seed cake
slightly adapted from Taste magazine

1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
¾ cup (75g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) coconut milk*

Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly butter a 20x10cm (8x4in) loaf pan, line it with baking paper and butter it as well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. Whisk in the coconut.
Place sugar and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add butter and beat with the electric mixer until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition until the mixture is well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add flour mixture in three additions alternating with coconut milk and mix just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 25 minutes, then carefully lift cake from the pan using the paper and transfer to the rack. Cool completely, then carefully peel off the paper.

* to avoid opening a second bottle of coconut milk, I used a whole bottle (200ml) + 40ml of whole milk

Serves 6-8


June Burns said...

That looks amazing! Love the use of coconut milk. I agree too that good photos in cookbooks always help, most of my cookbooks are full of delicious photos like that :)

Marise said...

This cake is a must do, Pat. All the perfect ingredients, must be wonderful!

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