Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This week, a short post for a just past long weekend. It’s freezing cold, sleeting rain, and blowing a gale in my neck of the woods, and the only thing for it is to hide out at home, grab a cup of tea, whip up a cake, retreat to the couch, and bury your nose in a book. 
This coconut cake from Lynne Mullins is dead simple, and that’s why it’s great if you want to be super indulgent for almost zero effort.  
Easiest Coconut Cake Ever
125g softened butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 1/2 cups SR flour, sifted
300 g sour cream
1/3 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add the coconut, flour, sour cream, and milk, and stir thoroughly until completely combined. (You can do this in two batches to be sure, but I don’t bother.)
Pour the mixture into a greased, springform cake tin (23cm in diameter) and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Serve with cream.
Or these brownies (sourced from Sunday Life magazine) take about 15 minutes more work. 

Makes 16 - 20
250g softened butter
300g brown sugar
3 eggs
250g dark chocolate, melted
80g plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
65g cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
pinch of table salt
100g toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped 
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 24 by 34cm rectangle slice tin (or a 23cm square tin) with baking paper.
In your food processor combine the butter and sugar and whizz for approx 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Fold eggs in, mixing well. Then fold the melted chocolate into the mixture. 
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Add the chopped nuts. Then fold the dry mixture into the butter mixture.  
Pour the mixture into tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. A cake tester won’t come out clean, but as long as the consistency is crumbly, not runny, the brownies will set on cooling.
Cool in tin, and dust with cocoa, and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Easy. And then it’s all about the book. So people, here are my great Top Rainy Day Reads, in no particular order:

Disgrace, We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Secret History for rendering the shadow side of human nature with chilling accuracy. Breath for its elemental power. High Fidelity and The Corrections for having a sense of humour. And Shantaram, Let the Great World Spin, The Book Thief, and The Great Gatsby for having the power to possess your soul.
And one to watch out for, come September: The Language of Flowers.
I would love to hear what your picks are, because if this wild weather continues I’m parked on the couch indefinitely.


Jennifer Barclay said...

Great book list! I loved One Day except for the last part (trying to avoid a spoiler here), and just finished his previous book Starter For Ten which is very, very good.

Jennifer Barclay said...

PS Also loved The Corrections. Started his new one, Freedom, was hoping to love it, but it's been sitting by my bed for a while now...

Alex said...

Thanks Jennifer, I have FREEDOM on my bedside table as well... will let you know how I go!

Naomi@KitchenConfessional said...

Looks absolutely delicious...and I love your photography!

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