Life would be dull with out cake. I try to eat it only on occasion, and some times I manage, other times I can’t help myself. I need cake in my life. It makes me happy.
A good recipe should be shared and this one already has been. I learnt this recipe from a chef I worked with, at Zinc cafe, many years ago. She was a great baker and engaging mentor and helped set me on the path to understanding the science of baking. This cake has also featured in the magazine I write recipes for because it’s too good to keep to myself. I’ve baked this coconut lime and ginger cake so many times now I’ve lost count. That’s a good thing.
Baking is a learnt skill and one that needs to be practised. When I first started my chef apprenticeship I was terrible at baking. I knew the bare essentials. My cakes often flopped and my pastry always shrunk. There wasn’t the opportunity, in a busy kitchen, to learn on the job. I had to teach myself. I studied Stephanie Alexanders “The cooks companion” in my early days of learning how to bake. Her encyclopaedic book contains many excellent recipes. And over time with some disasters came successes. I discovered the joy of pulling a well-risen cake from the oven and of making pastry that was flaky and buttery and didn’t shrink. So for those out there who don’t bake, have perseverance, it’s a worthy skill to master.
I love the large chunks of ginger, on this cake, they give a burst of pepper flavoured zing. You could grate the ginger instead of slicing it, so it’s finer and less punchy. Thanks to the ginger and lime syrup, the cake keeps moist for several days. I keep it in the fridge and on day two and three give it a quick zap in the microwave to soften it up again. Double cream is optional but not necessary.
Coconut lime and ginger syrup cake
For the cake
190g butter, softened
280g (1 ¼ cups) caster sugar
1 lime zested
3 cups desiccated coconut
150g (1 cup) self raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup sour cream
For the syrup
2 limes, zested and juiced
50g ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
Pre heat oven to 170C or 150C fan forced. Line a 23cm spring form cake tin with baking paper.
Cream butter, sugar and zest of 1 lime till pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating between additions; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl during additions of egg.
Add coconut, flour and sour cream; beat till combined. Spoon cake mix into lined tin and smooth the surface to flatten and level cake. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and set aside whilst making syrup.
Place all ingredients for syrup in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Whilst syrup and cake are still warm, spoon the syrup evenly over the top of entire cake. Allow syrup to soak into cake, and cake to cool before slicing.