Donnerstag, 26. September 2013

Very juicy coconut cake

I named the cake Pina Colada cake, guess why: lots of limes and coconut involved.

Pina colada cake
This cake is easy to prepare. I "invented" it recently, which means I did not follow any recipe, but it turned out so good, that everyone who tasted it asked for the recipe.
How to invent a cake recipe - I visited the Youtube channel Cooking with dog and watched the video Castella cake. I thought: ok this is a nice sponge cake but a bit boring to my taste.
So I took the cooking with dog-recipe as a mere base and just added lots of something...

This is a type of cake we call "Blechkuchen" (tin cake) which means baking sheet cake. To put it simlpy, it is a cake sized as a baking sheet: square sized and flat. Blechkuchen are typically home made granny's cakes in Germany, nothing fancy but well liked.
By the way you will need a medium sized baking sheet:

Basic cake:
6 eggs (medium sized) room temperature
250 ml coconut milk - not coconut cream just creamy coconut milk!!!
150 ml honey
250 g butter, soft
250 g flour
100 g dried unsweetend coconut flakes (finely grated coconut, dried)
1 lime, zestes
1 lemon, zestes
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 good pinch salt
1 bag baking powder


Topping
1 lime, zestes
1 lemon, zestes
2 limes, juice
2 lemons, juice
3/4 cup sugar
100 g dried unsweetend coconut flakes (finely grated coconut, dried)

Beat the eggs for 8-10 minutes until creamy white and super fluffy. Add lukewarm honey, zestes, vanilla and butter and beat again for 1 minute. Sieve flour and baking powder. Add coconut milk to the creamy egg batter and beat in. Fold in the flour-baking powder mix and coconut flakes.

Pour batter onto a medium baking sheet (3 cm rim) layered with parchment paper, make sure batter is spread even. Sprinkle with 100 g coconut flakes and bake at 170 C for 30 minutes. Meanwhile cook lime sirup:
Add juice and sugar to a pot and 1/4 cup water. Boil mixture until it turns into a sirup state: clear but sticky: just before turning amber.
Concerning the cake:
Make a tooth pick probe: sticky = no good bake longer, nearly clean perfect. Let cake rest in oven for about 5 minutes.
Poke holes all over the cake with a bamboo skrewer or tooth pick.

Pour sirup all over the cake. Let soak and sit over night covered by cling film.
Cut cake into squares and serve. It is not as sticky sweet as you may think. All the limes and lemons add a more adult tangy flavor.

I had a office meeting today - during the afternoon coffee break I served this cake :-) one guy asked if I could marry him - sadly no.

Samstag, 7. September 2013

Tart Yellow-Plum-Jam

At the moment the plum tree is providing us with tons of small yellow wild plums.

yellow wild plums and a small cherry tomato

They look a lot like Mirabelle plums (same size) but sadly they don't taste that nice, just a little lemony sweet and sour, bland. Though bland some neigbours always like to eat some while walking by and picking 1 or 2, having a healthy snack right away. But they do never come by and pick a few kilograms - which is kind of vexing because I always tell them to please have lots: I really don't know what to do with those plums.  The lower branches are nearly cleared (thanks to the neigbors) but there are still so many left at the upper branches who bothers me. Whenever they will fall down I have to deal with the mess. So today I picked about 3 kg to make a least a good use of a smaller amount. I decided on preparing jam. The years before I made plum wine but we still have some left in storage so jam was it.

In my former garden I once had a huge blue plum tree  and always made a delicious jam which is really easy to prepare and just the best thing to do whenever there is a huge harvest on plums. For a few jars you need 2.5 kg blue plums (pitted) and 500 g sugar, spices (cinnamon, gloves, star anise, ginger).  I decided to try to take the yellow plums instead.
First I steamed the yellow plums with a small cup of water for about 5 minutes until they were soft. I mashed the plumes with a laddle, separated the stones from the fruit mash and put the mash into a deep baking dish (blue plums don't need steaming: just cut into halves, remove the stones, add sugar to plums and let sit for a few hours). I added 500g sugar, stirred and put it into the oven at 175C for nearly 2.5-3 hours... stirring once in a while.

The plum mash will caramelize and be reduced to a rather firm jam. I tasted the jam first at 3/4 of baking time and decided to add much more sugar (400 g) - nasty tartness, kind of harsh, and sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon french 4-spice and stirred in 1 tablespoon grated ginger root.
Using the baking method the plum jam will be ready to be filled into jars when you are able to draw a street with the help of a spoon into it and the street stays visible. This is the sign that the jam is not runny anymore. I managed to fill 5 jars with jam, not much if you think about the amount of fruit and sugar. Reduced to mere nothingness there is still some lemony flavor left and a bit of tartness but the jam tastes surprisingly good, according to my husband - I am not so fond of it:

spoonful of jam