Wednesday, 7 December 2022

cherry, chocolate and coconut trifle

It's mid December, the tree is up, lights are twinkling, it must be trifle time! I received a beautiful Christmas hamper from Snowgoose, filled with cheese, cherries and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. I built a fabulous cheese board with cherries and a few festive treats, then indulged my cherry ripe trifle fantasy. The trifle followed my trusty formula; jelly base, a custard/mousse layer, a mound of softly whipped cream, some crisp meringues, and a tumble of fruit. 

The Christmas 2022 iteration goes like this, cherry and champagne jelly, chocolate bavarois, whipped cream and coconut meringues.  You'll need to pit your cherries, I use a nifty cherry pitter, it takes a while and makes a mess but is not at all difficult. If you don't have a cherry pitter, use a small knife to cut the cherries in half and prise out the pits. Summer in Sydney can be a bit humid, if your meringues are a bit sticky, don't worry, it will just add a little chew, this trifle/pavlova hybrid is always a hit. Have a large trifle bowl sparkling clean, ready to go.

The layers
(serves 16)

cherry jelly, recipe below
chocolate bavarois, recipe below
600ml whipped cream
coconut meringues, recipe below
additional cherries to serve

• follow the instructions for the jelly and bavarois layers, and the meringues below
• when you ready to serve, top the bavarois with roughly half the whipped cream, a handful of cherries, and a tumble meringues. Serve immediately with the additional meringues, cherries and cream on the side

cherry jelly

240g caster sugar
500g cherries, pits removed
350ml water
300ml champagne or sparkling white wine
5 platinum strength gelatine leaves

• tip the sugar and water into a saucepan, stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a boil. Add the cherries and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the champagne, take care it will bubble up, simmer for an addition 5 minutes. 
• while the cherries and champagne are simmering, soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Take the pan off the heat, add the gelatine and stir to dissolve. 
• place a muslin lined sieve over a large bowl, carefully tip the cherry liquid into the sieve, and leave to strain. Do not press the fruit, just leave it to gravity and you should have a nice clear syrup. Pour the syrup into your serving dish, cover and place in the fridge for approximately 6 hours to set. 

chocolate bavarois

250ml milk
4 jumbo egg yolks
225g caster sugar
150g semi dark chocolate, finely choppped
2 platinum strength gelatine leaves
300ml thick cream, whipped to soft peaks

• pop the milk in a medium pan and bring to a simmer, meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, slowly stream in the hot milk, whisking as you go. Return to the pan, over a low heat, stir continually until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, take off the heat
• meanwhile soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes, squeeze out the excess water, then add to the hot custard and stir to dissolve. Pour the custard through a sieve into a clean bowl, tip in the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and the custard is a uniform colour. Sit the bowl on top of a larger bowl filled with ice to cool, stirring every couple of minutes. 
• after 10-15 minutes the custard should feel cool, using your whisk, fold in the whipped cream
• carefully pour the bavarois over your jelly layer, it should level itself, you can help it along with a gentle shake, or smooth with a palette knife or the back of a spoon
• cover and return to the fridge to set, approximately 4 hours

coconut meringues

4 egg whites
220g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
40g coconut flakes

• pre-heat oven to 100ºC, line 2 baking sheets with baking paper
 put the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer, lightly whisk together to break up the sugar
 place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, make sure the bowl does not touch the water, whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved, they have increased in volume and feel hot
 put the bowl on the stand mixer, add the cream of tartar and whisk until the egg whites are marshmallowy and cool
 drop tablespoons of meringue onto the lined trays, sprinkle liberally with the coconut flakes, and bake for approximately an hour, until the meringues feel crisp and dry
 store in an airtight container, the meringues will keep for 2 weeks

Monday, 22 August 2022

Almond and Pistachio Babka

I revisited our old friend the babka to test out the features on the new Kenwood Chef Patissier. A mid winter cold snap seemed the perfect time to try the dough proofing setting, and having a mixer that weighed and heated the dough was such a time saver. I find a stand mixer is indispensable for this style of dough, and the Kenwood was fabulous, the dough was perfectly silky and smooth, and even with a combined 20 minutes of kneading the mixer did not budge and inch. The bowl and attachments are huge, I'm keen to try a triple batch of pizza dough, its ages since we had a pizza night.  

I also tested out the nut chopper, a very handy little accessory that attaches to the high speed outlet. It was the perfect size for a handful nuts and came with 3 additional storage jars which made me disproportionally happy! It's the little things...

There are 3 parts to this babka, the dough, the filling, and the syrup. There are also 3 parts to the dough. It's a little fiddly but not difficult, and definitely worthwhile. There's a sponge, a portion of the flour and milk are mixed to a stiff paste with the yeast then left to ferment before the dough is mixed, the dough proofing feature was great here too. Using a sponge reduces the amount of yeast required, keeping the babka fresher for longer. Another portion of flour and milk are cooked on the stove until gelatinous and thick; this is the tangzhong method, a traditional asian technique that gives soft, fluffy airy bread. The third part combines the dough ingredients for kneading. Still with me? I hope so, it makes the softest dough, my son convinced me to make doughnuts with the last batch and they were incredible sugary pillows of joy! Back to the babka, if pistachios aren't your thing, try a chocolate hazelnut version. Replace the almond spread with your favourite chocolate hazelnut spread, and add a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts in place of the pistachios, definitely my kids babka of choice.

Almond and Pistachio Babka


65g plain flour
60g milk
5g instant dry yeast


80g milk
20g plain flour


265g plain flour
60g milk
60g sugar
2 large eggs, approximately 100g
5g salt
60g butter, cut into 8 pieces, squidgy at room temperature


150g almond or pistachio spread
50g shelled pistachios


75g caster sugar
85g water

• combine the sponge ingredients in the warming bowl of the Kenwood Chef Patissier, run the dough proofing preset for 20 minutes
• while the sponge is proofing, put the tangzhong ingredients in a small pan, whisk until smooth, then continue to whisk over medium heat until smooth and thick, set aside to cool
• once the sponge is bubbly and puffed, add the tangzhong and the remaining dough ingredients, except the butter, to the warming bowl. Run the dough proofing preset for 10 minutes, until silky and smooth. Turn the speed back to low, add the butter a piece at a time, waiting until the butter has been completely incorporated before adding the next piece. Once all the butter has been added, run the dough proofing program for a further 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic
• turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, pat into a rectangle, cover and place in the fridge for an hour to firm up, the dough is very soft, chilling will make it easier to handle
• while the dough is chilling, use the nut chopper to finely chop 35g of the pistachios, roughly chop the remaining 15g and keep for later
• lightly flour your bench, remove the dough from the fridge, slide it onto the floured bench and roll to form a rectangle approximately 30cmm by 40cm
• spread the almond spread over the dough rectangle, leaving a 1cm border clear at the top of the 30cm edge, strew with the finely chopped pistachios
• using a pastry brush, lightly bush the 1cm border with water
• with the 30 cm edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough away from you, into a log shape, as if you are making a roulade or swiss roll 
• gently press along the damp edge to seal, trim the uneven ends, carefully lift onto a lined baking tray and put into the fridge for an hour to firm up, again this will make it easier to cut and shape
• while your babka is chilling, grease your loaf tin and line with baking paper
• once firm, using a sharp knife, cut the log in half lengthways to give you two long strips, see image above, turn the strips cut side up, place one over the other to form an X, then make a couple of twists with each end, try to keep the cut edge facing upwards
• lift your babka into the loaf tin, tucking the ends under, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to proof, you want the babka to almost double in size, it's ready when the dough springs back when gently pressed
• pre-heat your oven to 180ºC, bake the babka in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes; test with a skewer at 30 minutes, if the skewer can be pushed in and removed easily, and comes out clean the babka is ready, if not pop it back in the oven and re- test at approximately 3-5 minute intervals
• while the babka is baking, put the syrup ingredients into a small pan, stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened slightly
• remove the babka from the oven, place the tin on a wire rack, then brush all over with the syrup. It may seem like a lot of syrup, but that babka will soak it up
• allow to cool slightly, sprinkle the roughly chopped pistachios over top and enjoy, it's never better than warm from the oven
• leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

apple charlotte

If you love apples and the crisp yet soft paradox of hot buttered toast, this is the dessert for you!  A charlotte is the autumn/winter edition of another English classic, the summer pudding, both feature fruit and fluffy white bread, but for me the charlotte has the edge with its crispy, buttery exterior and undeniable affinity with custard. 

Use your favourite apples, I went for a mixture of Granny Smith and Pink Lady. The apples are cooked down very slowly, intensifying their flavour, I don't add much sugar so the result can be quite tart, increase the sugar if you prefer, but not too much as you'll dull that wonderful apple-iness. 

This is an ideal recipe for a chilly day when you've no reason to leave the house, it's not particularly taxing, but does take time. Serve the charlotte hot from the oven with custard, cream, or ice cream, maybe all three, a hit of caramel sauce was a winner with a sweet toothed member of our house. Store leftovers covered in the fridge, they won't be pretty, but will reheat beautifully. 

Developed for Harris Farm Markets this recipe uses fruit from their Imperfect Picks range, bargain produce that saves fruit from landfill and supports our local farmers.

You'll need a 1 litre pudding basin.

apple charlotte

1.2kg apples
25ml lemon juice
50g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste, or seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
175g butter, divided into 60g and 115g
1 egg, separated
8-10 slices white bread

• add the lemon juice to a medium/large saucepan
• peel, core and dice the apples, add to the pan and toss in the lemon juice as you go. Once all the apples are in the pan add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon stick, star anise, and the 60g of butter. Cook very slowly on a low heat, stirring often, until the apples have broken down and the liquid has evaporated. Keep the heat low and take your time, you don't want the apples to brown; this took 40 minutes for me but could be more/less depending on the size of your pan and the juiciness of your apples. Take off the heat and leave to cool
• while the apples are cooking put the remaining 115g butter into a small pan. Melt the butter over a medium heat. The butter will bubble and a layer of foam should appear on the surface, keep boiling, the foam will form into clumps of milk solids that will sink to the bottom of the pan, keep heating, the butter stops bubbling once the water content has boiled off, this is the point we are aiming for. Take the pan off the heat and pour the clarified butter into a shallow bowl through a muslin lined sieve or coffee filter. Set aside while you prep the bread.
• use a serrated knife to cut the crusts from the bread slices. Cut a circle from one of the bread slices to fit the bottom of your pudding basin, you could eyeball this, but I gently pressed the base of the pudding basin into the slice of bread to leave an outline for me to cut around. Dip the bread round into the clarified butter, place it in the bottom of the basin, butter side down. Take 6 slices of bread and cut into thirds, dip the strips, one at a time, into the butter and place them vertically with the buttered side pressed to the pudding basin, overlap the slices as you work your way around, you may not need all of the strips. When the basin is fully lined with bread strips, lightly beat the egg white and use it to brush over the joins in the strips, lightly pressing them to seal.
• remove the cinnamon stick and star anise from the cooled apples, break the egg yolk with a fork, then beat it through the apples. Tip the apples into the bread lined basin, the use the remaining bread slices to form a lid, this time placing them butter side up. Fold the ends of the bread strips over the base, brush with egg white and press to seal.
• heat your oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan)
• find a plate/saucer that fits snuggly over the top of the pudding basin, cover with foil, brush the side that will touch the charlotte with clarified butter and sit it on top. Fill an oven safe bowl with pastry weights (I use dried red lentils!) and put that on top of the plate. Transfer the pudding/plate/bowl situation onto a baking tray and place in the oven. After 40 minutes remove the weighted bowl and plate, continue to cook the charlotte uncovered for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
• Remove the charlotte from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes then invert it onto a plate and serve. I topped mine with a spoon of super thick cream and a couple of blackberries, simple but glorious!

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Chocolate Orange Swiss Roll Wreath

Merry Christmas! Hope this festive season is kind, what a couple of years it's been. Christmas baking is in full swing here; I started out making a Yule log, but took a detour along the way, and here we are with a wreath, I'm not disappointed. It's a terrific dessert for a celebration; it's pre-portioned, you can make it ahead, and takes up little of the highly contested, very precious fridge space.

The chiffon sponge is very light and flexible, and rolls really well. I made 2 rolls, one filled with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, the other filled with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. You'll need some berries for decoration, I used a punnet each of raspberries, strawberries, red currants and some very festive dried orange slices.


35g cocoa powder
50g caster sugar
95g plain flour
5g baking powder (just over a teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of an orange
110ml freshly squeezed orange juice
7 jumbo egg yolks
80g canola oil
1tsp vanilla paste
8 jumbo egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
butter for greasing

 preheat your oven to 150ºC, grease and line 2 swiss roll pans with baking paper, then lightly butter the paper
• combine the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt, sift into a the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one, and with the paddle attachment mix through the 50g caster sugar 
• make a well in the centre of your flour mixture, add the orange zest and juice, egg yolks, oil and vanilla paste, mix until smooth
• in another, really large bowl whisk the 8 egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar then mix until you have soft peaks, gradually add the additional 50g caster sugar, whisking until you have firm peaks and the sugar has dissolved
• fold the egg whites into the batter in three stages
• divide the batter between the tins and bake for 12-15 minutes; check after 12 minutes, the cake should spring back when gently pressed, if not, put it back in for the extra few minutes
• leave the cakes in their tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks, remove the paper and leave for a further 5 minutes
• take a clean piece of baking paper, approximately 20cm longer than the cake, and place it on top of tone of the warm cakes, flip the cake and lay it on the paper on your bench, roll up the sponge from the short end with the paper inside, and leave to cool completely. Repeat with the other sponge.
• while the sponges cool, prepare the fillings
• carefully unwrap the cake rolls, spread one with the vanilla buttercream, roll the sponge into a log then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to firm up. Repeat the process with the other cake roll and chocolate orange filling.
• give the rolls an hour in the fridge then make the ganache. Sit a wire rack over a tray, unwrap the cake rolls and place seam side down on the rack. Pour the ganache over the rolls and leave to set, the tray will catch the excess making clean up a little easier.  Once the ganache has firmed up, slice the rolls, place on your serving board in a wreath pattern, decorate with red berries, red currants and dried orange slices. Enjoy!!

Vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream

3 large egg whites
180g granulated sugar
230g butter, at room temperature, cubed
pinch salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

• combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, place over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 72ºC 
• return the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on medium high until the mixtures cools, has doubled in size and forms stiff peaks (if you don't have a stand mixer, a hand held electric mixer will be fine, I wouldn't attempt by hand)
 add the butter a piece at a time, mixing to incorporate each piece, the mixture may look alarmingly curdled but keep mixing and it will magically come back together
• once all the butter is incorporated add the salt and vanilla bean seeds, mixing on slow until combined

Chocolate Orange Swiss meringue buttercream

3 large egg whites
180g granulated sugar
230g butter, at room temperature, cubed
pinch salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
85g chocolate (I used 60%), melted
1 tbsp finely zested orange zest 

• combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, place over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 72ºC 
• return the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on medium high until the mixtures cools, has doubled in size and forms stiff peaks (if you don't have a stand mixer, a hand held electric mixer will be fine, I wouldn't attempt by hand)
 add the butter a piece at a time, mixing to incorporate each piece, the mixture may look alarmingly curdled but keep mixing and it will magically come back together
• once all the butter is incorporated add the salt, vanilla bean seeds, melted chocolate, and orange zest mixing on slow until combined

Ganache Coat

150g chocolate, finely chopped (again I used 60%)
110ml cream (approximately35% fat)

• tip the chopped chocolate into a heat proof jug
• pour the cream into a small pan and bring to the boil.
• pour the hot cream over the chocolate, stir to ensure all the chocolate is submerged, leave for 5 minutes then stir until smooth

Sunday, 22 May 2022

simple vanilla and orange no-bake cheesecake

I've been slow to embrace the cheesecake, but now I'm a convert. Baked or not, Basque style, made in a tray and cut into bars, I'm a fan. This is a really easy no bake cheesecake, wonderfully light, and so easy to adapt, a fabulous start for a cheesecake journey.

Vanilla and Orange no-bake Cheesecake
serves 12

250g scotch finger biscuits
100g butter, melted
zest of 1 orange, divided in 2
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2g gelatin
30ml boiling water
300ml thickened cream (approx 36% fat)
500g strawberries
250g raspberries
25g caster sugar
50ml orange liqueur
juice half an orange

• line the base of a 20cm springform cake pan with baking paper, lightly grease the inside
• break the biscuits into a food processor, blitz to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and half of the orange zest, pulse until combined 
• tip the crumbs into the cake pan, give the pan a shake to level them out, use the base of a flat glass or similar to press the crumbs into the base and up the side of the pan, then pop in the fridge while you prepare the filling
• in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the boiling water, mix until evenly dissolved, set aside
• add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and remaining orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer (a hand held electric mixer will work well too) use the paddle attachment to beat until smooth, then add the gelatin and beat until combined
• whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold 1/3 through the cream cheese mixture to loosen, gently fold in the remaining cream, then pour over the crust. Use an off set palette knife or the back of a spoon to smooth the top, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
• half an hour before you want to serve the cheesecake, take it out of the fridge and prepare the berries
• remove the stalks and cut the strawberries in half. Combine half of the strawberries, and half of the raspberries in a bowl with the caster sugar, orange liqueur and orange juice, keep at room temperature, lightly tossing every five minutes or so. When you are ready to serve, add the remaining berries to the bowl, stir briefly to combine
• heap some berries on top of the cheesecake, and serve with the extra berries on the side
• store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge; the cheesecake will keep for 4 days, provided the use by dates on the cream and cream cheese do not expire before

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

coconut custard scrolls

Coconut custard scrolls, made from a soft pillowy dough, swirled with sweet coconut custard, then shaped like bunnies for a fun Easter treat! The dough is super soft thanks to the tangzhong method, and can be tricky to handle, so while you could skip the chilling stage, I don't recommend it!

coconut custard

320 ml milk
30g desiccated coconut
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
25g cornflour
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
25g butter

• tip the milk and coconut into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and leave to steep for an hour. Strain into a measuring jug, you'll need 270ml of milk, discard any excess, if your coconut was super thirsty you may need to top up with a little extra milk. Give the pan a quick clean, then bring the 270ml milk to a simmer
• meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla; set the bowl on a damp cloth to stop it dancing around, gradually add the hot milk, whisking enthusiastically
• tip the custard mixture back into the pan, and with the heat on low, whisk continuously. The custard will thicken quickly, once it starts to bubble, whisk for another minute then take off the heat. Add the butter, whisking until smooth
• push the custard through a sieve into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the custard, then place in the fridge to cool.


for the tangzhong:
30g bread flour
130 ml milk

240ml milk
25g sugar
6g yeast
360g bread flour
5g salt
60g butter, at room temperature

coconut custard icing, recipe below
icing sugar, for decoration
20g shredded coconut

• thangzhong: combine the flour and water in a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk until the mixture forms a thick paste
• transfer the flour paste to the bowl of a stand mixture, leave to cool for 10 minutes. Add the milk, sugar, yeast, flour and salt, using the dough hook, mix on the lowest setting for a couple of minutes. Increase the speed slightly and continue mixing for an additional 10 minutes.  Add the butter and mix for a further 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic 
• transfer the dough to a greased container, cover and place in the fridge to proof overnight, it should double in size
• line two baking trays with baking paper
• take the coconut custard of the fridge, give it a quick whisk to smooth it out, put 100g of custard in a medium sized bowl, cover and return to the fridge
• tip the chilled dough onto a floured bench, divide in half, return one half to the fridge
• roll the half portion of dough into a rectangle approximately 24cmx40cm
• spread half of the remaining custard over the dough rectangle, leaving a 1cm gap at the top edge, roll the dough away from you to form a 24cm log, keep the roll as tight as possible. Carefully lift the log onto a baking tray or chopping board, lightly cover and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes or so
• meanwhile, take the remaining portion of dough, roll on a lightly floured sheet of baking paper into a 32cmx24cm rectangle, spread the other half of the custard over the bottom half of the rectangle, fold the top over the custardy half, giving you a 32cmx12cm custard/dough sandwich. Use the baking paper to lift the dough onto a board or tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes
• remove the log from the fridge, and divide into 8 equal pieces, use a sharp serrated knife or dental floss for the neatest cuts. Place 4 scrolls on each lined baking tray, give them lots of space
• remove the dough rectangle from the fridge, use a pizza wheel to cut into 16 2cmx12cm strips, these are the bunny ears. Give each scroll 2 ears, dabbing the scroll with a little water to stick the ears in place. Cover each tray with plastic wrap and leave to proof in a warm spot for 30-40 minutes
• heat your oven to 180ºC fan and bake the scrolls for 25 minutes. 
• remove the scrolls from the oven, cool on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
• dust your bunny scrolls with icing sugar, then pipe a blob of icing in the centre of each scroll, top with shredded coconut to form the fluffy bunny tails
• scrolls are best eaten as soon as possible, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, allow to come to room temperature before eating

coconut custard icing

100g coconut custard, reserved earlier, at room temperature
60g cream cheese, at room temperature
20g icing sugar

• combine the ingredients in a medium, beat until smooth

Recipe developed for Harris Farm Markets

Sunday, 13 March 2022

coconut tres leches cake

Tres leches cake is a Latin American delight, an airy sponge cake soaked with a mixture of 3 milks; condensed, evaporated and regular. The cake is essentially a chiffon sponge, be still my beating heart, and requires a little babying to achieve its airy lightness. A plain aluminium 8 by 2 inch sandwich pan is ideal, you want the cake to stick to the pan; once cooked the cake is inverted to cool, then cut from the pan. It's worth the fiddling, after its overnight in the fridge you'll have a cake that's wonderfully soft and light, creamy and moist, so moist it sometimes sits in a puddle, yet slices like a dream. It's a conundrum, and I'm happily confounded.

I used to steer well clear of "soggy sponge" but this, like tiramisu and the famed flour and stone lamington is not wet, but more damp, with a beautifully soft texture equally suited to a fork or spoon. This version is flavoured with coconut extract and vanilla, swaps the evaporated milk for coconut milk, and is topped with whipped cream and crisp toasted coconut flakes, tres leches, tres coco! 

Take care with the milk mixture, the thickness of both the coconut and condensed milk can vary. You are looking for the consistency of regular pouring (single) cream, adjust as you go, thinning with regular milk where necessary, but remember to use a maximum of 210ml for the soak.

This cake was developed for Harris Farm Markets all the ingredients can be found in store, and home delivered, which is fabulous if like us you are stuck in covid isolation...



3 eggs, separated
120g caster, halved
80g plain flour
3/4 tsp (3g) baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp coconut extract
55ml full fat milk
200ml thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 tbsp (10g) coconut flakes
2 tbsp (10g) desiccated coconut


90ml coconut milk
90ml condensed milk
30ml milk

• preheat oven to 170ºC fan, cut a circle of baking paper to fit a not non stick 8 inch sandwich cake pan, set aside
• whisk egg whites on medium high to soft peaks, slowly add 60g caster sugar and whisk to firm peaks
• tip the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl, whisk briefly to combine
• in another bowl, use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 60g of sugar until pale, thick and creamy. Add the vanilla paste, coconut extract, and milk, mix to combine, then sift in the flour mixture, and mix until smooth
• add 1/3 egg whites to the batter, fold through, add the remaining egg whites, gently folding until there are no streaks of white
• drop a heaped teaspoon of cake batter into the cake pan, use a pastry brush to spread almost to the edge, then press the baking paper on top. Tip the cake batter into the pan, bake in the centre of your oven for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out cleanly
• remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert the pan onto a wire rack to cool. Cooling the cake upside down helps prevent it shrinking, keeping the cake super light and moist
• while the cake cools, make the soak. Whisk the 3 milks together until smooth, set aside
• when the cake has cooled completely, run a sharp knife around the inside of the cake tin, then ease a palette knife down the side of the cake and between the baking paper and the base of the tin, gently wiggling to lever the cake out
• set the cake aside while you wash and dry the cake tin, then return the cake to the tin and carefully poke all over with a skewer. Pour half of the milk mix over the cake, leave to soak for 5 minutes, then pour the remaining milk over. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight is ideal.
• half and hour or so before you want to serve the cake, spread the coconut flakes and desiccated coconut onto a lined baking tray, toast in a 180ºC fan oven for 5-10 minutes until lightly golden, watch like a hawk as it colours very quickly, leave to cool 
• when you ready to serve, top the cake with the whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut
• keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days