coconut almond cake with chocolate ganache

30 Apr 2018

I made this cake at least 4 weeks ago and it's been lurking in the freezer ever since. It seemed criminal to leave the cake in my freezer for another 6 weeks while I go on holidays so on Sunday, I defrosted the cake and topped it with some chocolate ganache.

This is not a new cake recipe. It's Belinda Jeffery's recipe for a buttery flourless almond coconut cake baked in a loaf tin then topped with a water chocolate ganache recipe I found in 'Sweet' by Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. My only contribution to the recipe was the sprinkle of toasted almond flakes.

This is the third time I've made the cake and it's really easy to make. Although I've written the recipe as it appears in 'Sweet' I used the melt and mix method from Belinda's book, 'Mix and Bake'.

I had a few problems with the water ganache seizing up on me. While it looks glossy I'm not sure I'd use the chocolate ganache recipe again. My own chocolate glaze is way easier to make and maybe if I add a little glucose syrup to my own recipe, the glaze will stay glossy as well.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a small loaf tin or 18cm cake. If you'd like to make a larger loaf cake or 23cm cake, then just double all the ingredients but keep the cooking time the same. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 gm and my oven is a conventional oven, not fan forced. If your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the cooking temperature by 20°C. 

Belinda’s Flourless Coconut and Chocolate Cake by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, inspired by Belinda Jeffery.

100g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
30g desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
2x 60g eggs
90g almond meal
2 tablespoons toasted flaked almonds

Water ganache
60g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
25g caster sugar
25g glucose or corn syrup
45mls water
Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
25g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease the base and sides of a small loaf pan or a 18cm round springform pan and line with parchment paper, then set aside.

Place butter, sugar, coconut, vanilla extract and salt in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed on low, add the almond meal and mix until just combined.

Scrape the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 minutes if using the loaf pan or 50 minutes if using the round pan, or until the cake is golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan before inverting onto a serving plate. Set aside until completely cool.

To make the water ganache
Just before serving, place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Put the sugar and glucose syrup in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir to combine and, when the sugar has melted, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring gently from time to time. Continue to boil for about 7 minutes, until the colour is a pale amber. Remove from the heat and carefully pour in the water. Don’t worry if the mix seizes; just return the pan to the heat, add the vanilla seeds and stir gently and continuously until it returns to a boil and the sugar has melted again. Remove from the heat and wait for a minute before pouring the water-caramel over the chocolate. Allow to stand for about 3 minutes, and then whisk to combine. Add the butter, a couple of cubes at a time, whisking after each addition. Continue until all the butter has been added, whisking to combine until the consistency is that of golden syrup. Spread the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides a little. If liked, decorate the top of the cake with a few toasted almond cakes.

The cake cuts easily and it's lovely and moist and it will keep well for up to 5 days in an airtight container. 

I'm flying to Paris on Friday so hopefully I'll have some images of Paris to share with you next week.

Bye for now,



ANZAC biscuits 2018

23 Apr 2018

I was planning to share a cake with you that's been lurking in the freezer waiting to be iced for the past few weeks but when I realised ANZAC day was just around the corner what else could I do but whip up a batch of ANZAC biscuits.

These biscuits are so easy to make that just about any-one can make a batch. I had everything I needed in the fridge or cupboard and once measured, the biscuits take about 5 minutes to put together. I used the recipe from Belinda Jeffery's book, Mix and Bake but I added a bit of grated lemon rind to the mixture for extra flavour and a macadamia half for good measure.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 24-30 Anzac biscuits. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Anzac Biscuits - make 24-30
cup regular rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
2/3 cup shredded or desiccated coconut 
1 cup plain flour 
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water 
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
handful macadamia nuts, halved

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and set them aside. 

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the oats, coconut, flour, caster sugar and grated lemon rind.

Put the chopped butter and golden syrup into a small saucepan over low heat (or you can do this step in the microwave) and stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Mix the boiling water and bicarb soda in a cup and add to the butter mixture. Ad the vanilla extract the pour the butter mix into the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. 

Scoop out tablespoons of the mixture onto the lined oven trays, leaving about 2 inches as the mixture spreads. Flatten the biscuits a little. 

Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for 16-20 minutes, or until they're a deep golden brown but still soft. I always rotate the biscuit tray halfway through the cooking time so the biscuits cook evenly. Leave the biscuits to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then carefully transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. The biscuits keep well in an airtight container for up to a week and I think they're at their best served with a nice cup of tea.

The countdown is on. Just 12 more sleeps until I fly to Paris and so much that needs to be done before hand!

See you all again next week with what will be my last baking post for a little while.

Bye for now,


banana cake with rum caramel

16 Apr 2018

As soon as I knew Ottolenghi's new cookbook Sweet had been published, I ordered it. Life has been busy and until now I haven't had time to bake many items from the book. When I returned home from my Easter break I had 2 over ripe bananas in my fruit bowl, so I turned to Sweet to see if there was anything banana flavoured hiding in the book.

I found a recipe for banana cakes with rum caramel but having battled with my little bundt tins just last week I wasn't in the right frame of mind to do battle again so I opted to make one larger cake. I didn't have any malted milk powder (the original recipe includes two 15ml tablespoons) so I left it out. I also played around a little with the technique and reduced the quantity of rum caramel as I knew I wouldn't need as much with only 1 cake to ice. I took a punt that the cake would need about 45 minutes to cook and I was right on the money.

The kitchen smelt wonderful as the cake baked, redolent of bananas and rum, a match made in heaven. The caramel quantity was still generous so after the cake was iced I ate spoonfuls of the leftovers. Thankfully I'd skipped breakfast so I didn't feel too guilty.

If you'd like to make the cake here's the recipe for you, which makes one small cake or 6 individual bundt cakes. The smaller cakes require less baking time ~ 25 minutes in total but you'll need to double the quantity of rum caramel topping. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs and the UK measurements in the book have been adapted accordingly. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Banana cake with rum caramel, adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into small cubes
70g caster sugar
70g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
110g self raising flour
Pinch salt
¾ tsp bicarbonate soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
30mls malted milk powder (optional)
100g ground almonds
225g mashed ripe banana
100g sour cream
30ml dark rum

Rum caramel
100g caster sugar
65mls water
65g double cream
10mls dark rum

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a small bundt tin and set to one side. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon (and malted milk powder if using it) into a large bowl and stir through the almond meal until all the lumps are removed. In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, sour cream and rum. Mix well. Starting with the dry ingredients add a quarter to the butter mixture beating on low speed to incorporate. Add a quarter of the banana mix continuing to beat until combined then  add the remaining wet and dry ingredients in batches until everything is combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the batter comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside until completely cold. When cool invert the cake onto a wire rack with a tray or piece of baking paper underneath.

While the cake is in the oven combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the caramel is amber brown. Try not to stir the mixture while it’s cooking but just gently swirl the pan from time to time to distribute the heat. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and rum. If the mixture seizes return the pan to a low heat and stir the mix until smooth. Set aside for about 15 minutes in the pan then drizzle liberally over the cake, allowing the icing to drip unevenly down the sides.

The uniced cake will keep for 5 days in an airtight container. Once iced the cake should be eaten within 24 hours, though I can't see that being any kind of problem.

Not long until my overseas trip, so come May there will be a lot less baking and a lot more travel photos coming to the blog. As I'm going to London, I may just pop into the nearest Ottolenghi to pick up a sweet treat for myself.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


little lime olive oil bundt cakes

9 Apr 2018

Work has been very busy the past month and I've been away 2 of the past 3 weekends. With my overseas trip less than 4 weeks away now, I'm a bit time poor at the moment. I had some errands to run on Saturday morning so when I came home I was looking for something easy to put together for the blog. I looked through a few of my recipe books; checked what I had in the fridge and decided to make a lime olive oil cake. 

I was going to make a larger cake before remembering I was meeting a friend for dinner Sunday night. I always like to bring along something sweet to share, so at the last moment I decided to make some little bundt cakes.

Despite greasing and flouring the moulds, I find cakes made with olive oil instead of butter tend to stick to the tin. They didn't release easily so I had to do a bit of digging to encourage them onto the cooling rack. Thankfully the lime glacé icing covers a multitude of sins!

Here's the recipe for you which makes either 4 small bundt cakes or an 18 cm cake. The larger cake will take 10-15 minutes longer to cook. If your limes aren't very juicy you can top up the liquid volume with some lemon juice. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Little Lime Olive Oil Bundt Cakes - makes 4
Cake Ingredients 
cup caster sugar 
2 limes, zest grated and juiced
2 eggs 
100ml extra virgin olive oil 
1¼ cups self-raising flour 
½ tsp baking powder 
Pinch salt 
¼ cup lime juice  

For the icing 
½ tsp softened butter 
½ cup icing sugar, sifted 
½ tbs lemon/lime juice
½ tsp reserved grated rind 

Preheat oven to 180°C (conventional). Grease and flour 4 small bundt tins. 

In a large bowl, combine the caster sugar, the grated lime rind and the eggs. Gradually add the oil and mix thoroughly. Sift the flour with the baking powder and the pinch of salt and stir into the egg mixture in thirds, alternately with the lime juice. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be golden and when tested, a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins before turning out onto a rack. 

In a bowl cream the butter with the sifted icing sugar. Stir in the icing sugar. Mix well and using a palette knife, drizzle the icing over the cakes. Allow the icing to set before serving.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


passover week 2018 - fig, orange and almond cake

3 Apr 2018

The last bake for Passover week 2018 was originally going to be an upside down rhubarb, orange and almond cake but last week rhubarb was really expensive in the fruit shop so then I was going to make raspberry frangipane tarts until the tart shells I baked inexplicably crumbled. Saturday at 5.00 p.m. I raced back to the shops to buy some figs so at the last moment, the cake became a fig, orange and almond cake. 

The cake is an adaptation of last year's lemon and almond cake with white chocolate ganache, with just a few tweaks and I kept my fingers crossed it would turn out just as well.

Once it came out of the oven I doused the cake with some orange flavoured and scented syrup and once cool, I glazed the fruit with some warmed apricot jam. I can't tell you how wonderful the cake smelt. As the recipe has such a small quantity of flour, making this cake Passover friendly was way too easy.

Here’s the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 gm and my oven is a conventional oven, not fan forced. If your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the cooking temperature by 20°C. 

Fig Orange and Almond Cake  
4-5 small figs, sliced 
Handful of raspberries 
1 tbs caster sugar 
1-2 tbs sieved warmed apricot jam 

2 oranges 
100g unsalted butter 
100g caster sugar 
140 g ground almonds 
2 large eggs, beaten 
25g potato starch or flour 
25g superfine matzo meal 
pinch salt 
1 tbs orange juice

40 g caster sugar 
60mls orange juice 
1 tsp shredded orange rind 

Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Lightly grease a 18cm round tin and line the sides and base with baking parchment.  

Finely grate the rind of one of the oranges before juicing. Reserve the juice. Put the butter, the sugar and the orange rind into a bowl and mix. Do not work the mix too much or incorporate much air. Add half the ground almonds and continue mixing to fold through. Add the eggs gradually, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go. Add the remaining almonds, the potato starch, matzo meal and salt, and work until the mix is smooth. If the cake batter is looking a bit dry, then add a tbs of the orange juice. Gently spoon the cake batter into the tin. Decorate the top of the cake with the sliced figs and raspberries then generously sprinkle the fruit with the caster sugar. Bake for 60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. 

While the cake is in the oven, shred about a tsp of rind from the remaining orange and if necessary, juice as well. Combine the sugar with the reserved juice and shredded rind and stir until the sugar has dissolved. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour all the syrup over the cake and leave to cool. Once cool, remove the baking paper and serve the cake as it is or glazed with some apricot jam and topped with a dollop of cream. 

For such a last minute change I think the cake turned out really well and best of all, the rest of the cake is in the deep freeze just waiting to be defrosted and consumed.

I hope you all enjoy your Passover/Easter break. I'll be back again next week.

See you all again soon,


passover week 2018 - pistachio and lemon shortbreads

2 Apr 2018

Whilst looking through my bakes for Passover 2018, they all looked a bit fancy and time consuming so I thought I should throw in a simple cookie recipe, one that you could make in a stand mixer or even a food processor. This shortbread recipe is adapted from the Ottolenghi cookbook recipe for pistachio shortbreads, which were flavoured with cardamom. Cardamom isn’t allowed during Passover so I added grated lemon rind instead and needed to add more Passover baking mix to make a workable dough.

This a throw everything in recipe which takes no time to make, but you have to chill the dough before baking because it’s very soft. Once the dough is chilled you brush the roll with egg before coating with pistachios then refrigerating again before slicing. I managed to forget to top the cookies with the vanilla sugar before I baked them - I do seem to be getting increasingly forgetful in my old age. The cookies are lovely but they’re very fragile so let them cool completely before removing the tray or they will shatter. They keep for ages in an airtight tin.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams; I use unsalted butter and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C. Passover baking mix is equal quantities of superfine matzo meal and potato flour (starch).

Pistachio and lemon shortbread - makes about 30
200g unsalted butter
330g Passover baking mix
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
½ tsp salt
50g caster sugar
60g pistachio kernels
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbs vanilla sugar

Place the butter, baking mix flour, salt, lemon rind and sugar into an electric mixer or food processor and mix at a low speed until the mixture just comes together into a paste. Remove the dough from the machine and shape into a log, about 3-4cm in diameter. Wrap the log in cling film and place into the fridge to firm up for about 1-2 hours.

Chop up the pistachios fairly finely and scatter over a flat plate or tray, ready for when the dough comes out of the fridge. Using a pastry brush, brush the log with the beaten egg and then roll it in the finely chopped pistachios. Wrap the log back up in cling film and refrigerate once again for about 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (conventional) and line a baking tray with parchment/baking paper. Remove the log from the cling film and slice into 5 mm-1 cm rounds. Place on the baking tray, allowing about 2 cm between each shortbread to allow for spreading. Dust the tops of the shortbread with a little vanilla sugar and place into the oven for about 20-30 mins until lightly golden. These biscuits are very fragile, so allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before storing. These cookies are very nice served with a cup of tea or coffee.

See you all again tomorrow with the final Passover baking recipe from my kitchen for 2018.

Bye for now,


© DELICIOUS BITES • Theme by Maira G.