Your kitchen’s my kitchen

As much as I adore travel, I’m a home body when it comes to Christmas. I’m an accidental resident of Wellington – not that it’s a bad thing. It’s a great thing. It just wasn’t a planned thing. So for me, going ‘home’ in December and doing the family thing is crucial – it sort of levels me. Luckily, the husband and little guy are happy to come along to what is always a big crazy Croatian food gig.

After an inauspicious a start to the festive season – yes, I know, never fly Jetstar when you need to be somewhere important – our little family has just had the best staycation. Ever.

When I say staycation, I don’t mean at home – but at my sister’s home in Auckland (being Croatian, her home is my home, her food is my food etc etc). It only occurred to me as we sat at the airport for over six hours the day before Christmas that we should commandeer her house while she was commandeering my other sister’s house, while yet another sister was staying at our house.

In case you didn’t get that:

  • Sister 1 to Sister 3’s
  • Sister 3 to Sister 2’s bach (the primo score)
  • Sister 4 to Sister 1’s
  • Sister 2 to the in-law’s

The only downside of this sort of arrangement is that you don’t actually holiday together – which, if the New Zealand New Year weather is anything to go by, isn’t always a bad thing. Nothing good can come of 15 people holed up in a 60 square metre bach with the wind and rain hammering.

Genius idea – why have we not done this before I ask myself?

The great thing about staying at your sister’s is having run of the place, especially the kitchen. So, I’ve been able to cook to my heart’s content. And, I’m quite pleased with what I’m calling my tropical cake that I whipped up last weekend.

I had mangoes that needed using up, but you could use other soft summer fruits. This cake was deliciously spongy and reminds me of a slice mum used to make (with sultanas) when I was a kid. Come to think of it, you could easily halve the recipe and make in a slice tin.

I’ll finish by thanking the sis for her home – yes, I may have mocked the installation of the pool but am now very thankful for it. Bring on summer 2018/19.

What you’ll need

180 grams soft butter

200 grams sugar

4 eggs

1-2 teaspoons vanilla essence/extract

300 grams self-raising flour (or 290 grams plain flour and 4 teaspoons baking powder)

80-100 grams thread coconut

125ml milk

Flesh of 1-2 ripe mangoes, chopped into small pieces

Icing

100 grams soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract

3-400 grams icing sugar (give or take)

4 tablespoons milk

60 grams thread coconut (I toast this and set aside to cool)

How to make it

20180101_130928.jpgLine two 22cm round tins with baking paper (or grease with butter and shake flour around the tins) – or you can use one tin if you prefer.

Turn oven to 175°C.

20180101_125717_002Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together, with an electric beater, until creamy (or, for you baker types, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together).

Beat in the eggs, one at a time until each is incorporated into the mixture (it may curdle a little, but don’t let this worry you).

20180101_130456Fold in the sifted flour, then add the milk.

20180101_130654Fold in the coconut and mango.

20180101_131316Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin/s and pop into the hot oven. If using two tins, cook for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. If using one tin, it will take 50-60 minutes (half way through cooking, you may need to cover with foil to stop the top going too dark).

20180101_143503When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven. Stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Sandwich together with butter cream icing when completely cold and ice the top, then sprinkle with toasted coconut (I usually make loads of icing).

I keep this in the fridge due to the summer heat (pre-storm!) and remove half an hour before serving.

While my food styling isn’t what it should be for this one (we were in too much of a hurry to eat it), take my word for it that it tastes amazing if coconut is your thing.

To make butter cream icing:

Use a hand-held electric beater to cream the butter. Add in the vanilla and beat, before adding the icing sugar large spoonfuls at a time. Once about half of the icing sugar has been incorporated, add in a couple of tablespoons of milk to loosen the consistency. Then beat in the rest of the icing sugar in the same fashion as previously. Add more milk if necessary.

Tropical coconut cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

180 grams soft butter

200 grams sugar

4 eggs

1-2 teaspoons vanilla essence/extract

300 grams self-raising flour (or 290 grams plain flour and 4 teaspoons baking powder)

80-100 grams thread coconut

125ml milk

Flesh of 1-2 ripe mangoes, chopped into small pieces

Icing

100 grams soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract

3-400 grams icing sugar (give or take)

4 tablespoons milk

60 grams thread coconut (I toast this and set aside to cool)

Directions

Line two 22cm round tins with baking paper (or grease with butter and shake flour around the tin) or you can use one tin.

Turn oven to 175°C.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together, with an electric beater, until creamy (or, for you baker types, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together).

Beat in the eggs, one at a time until each is incorporated into the mixture (it may curdle a little, but don’t let this worry you).

Fold in the sifted flour, then add the milk.

Fold in the coconut and mango.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin/s and pop into the hot oven. If using two tins, cook for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. If using one tin, it will take 50-60 minutes (half way through cooking, you may need to cover with foil to stop the top going too dark).

When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven. Stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Sandwich together with butter cream icing when completely cold and ice the top, then sprinkle with toasted coconut (I usually make loads of icing).

I keep this in the fridge due to the summer hear and remove half an hour before serving.

To make butter cream icing:

Use a hand held electric beater to cream the butter. Add in the vanilla and beat, before adding the icing sugar large spoonfuls at a time. Once about half of the icing sugar has been incorporated, add in a couple of tablespoons of milk to loosen the consistency. Then beat in the rest of the icing sugar in the same fashion as previously. Add more milk if necessary.

 

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