Coconut and cardamom loaf cake
- October 2019
- Serves 10
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 45-50 min
Food writer and cookbook author Niloufer Mavalvala‘s coconut cake recipe was handed down to her through generations of family. It’s fabulously light, scented with cardamom and decorated with lemon icing and dried rose petals.
- 19.3g (10.5g saturated)
- 49.2g (31.4g sugars)
- 180g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50g semolina
- 300g caster sugar
- 120ml coconut water
- 100g fresh shredded coconut (or use frozen, see tips)
- 60g ground almonds
- Seeds from 10 cardamom pods ground in a grinder/pestle & mortar
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest and juice 1 lime
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 125g butter, softened, plus extra to grease
To decorate (optional)
- 300g icing sugar
- Grated zest and juice 1 lemon or lime
- 1 tbsp dried rose petals
You’ll also need…
- 900g loaf tin (23cm x 13cm x 6cm), greased and lined with non-stick baking paper
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and semolina, then set aside.
- Put the sugar and coconut water in a small pan set over a medium heat and heat until dissolved and thickened – 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the shredded coconut, ground almonds, cardamom, a pinch of salt, the rosewater, vanilla extract, lime zest and juice, then stir to combine and leave to cool (see tips).
- With an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and butter in a mixing bowl for 5 minutes. It’ll look like it’s curdled but persevere and it’ll come together. Gradually add the cooled coconut mixture until combined. Don’t be alarmed – it’s quite a runny mixture. Fold in the flour mixture using a large metal spoon until just combined – don’t overwork the batter at this stage.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Put in its tin on a wire rack to cool completely.
- If icing the cake, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and whisk in a little lemon/lime juice to make a thick icing. Spoon over the cooled cake, then sprinkle with rose petals and zest to serve.
Buy fresh shredded coconut from Asian food stores, or use frozen diced coconut (available from larger supermarkets). Defrost overnight in the fridge, then whizz in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.
If you have time, leave the batter for 2 hours at the end of step 2 to allow the coconut to absorb the flavours.
Leave the sponge un-iced if you don’t like very sweet cakes.
Wrap the un-iced cake in cling film and foil, then keep in the freezer for up to a month.
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