Hairy Old Nuts!

Hello My Cakers Bakers & Beauties!

Sorry for the misleading title, I know a coconut is actually a fruit….

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I have had that mature coconut sitting in my fruit bowl since Bank Holiday Monday 27th May, it was looking at me all…

“what are you going to do with me? “

“you’d better eat me before I go bad!”

“you wouldn’t even know if I have already gone bad would you?”

I was tired of the accusing stares from it’s 3 eyes and so I decided to make a coconut cake, well duh! what else was I going to do with it!?

The trouble was I’ve never had to deal with a mature coconut before, I’m much more familiar with the young green “jelly” coconuts:

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 I read online that you should put it in the oven first @ 180 degrees  for 15 minutes to shrink the flesh from the shell and make it easier to open.

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So after taking the coconut out of the oven with my bare hand (like an idiot) I left it to cool down a bit and then searched for the “eyes” so I could poke a hole in them and drain the “water” out. I feel so ashamed to say I was looking for ages before I had the idea to take some of the hair off to find the eyes:

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Once I’d given the coconut a “big chop” I found the eyes and I proceeded to use anything and everything I could think of (knives, skewers, wine bottle opener, screwdriver, electric screwdriver) to gouge a few holes into the coconut to drain the water out, finally a small paring knife and brute force got me in! After all that effort this is how much coconut water I ended up with:

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It was full of coconut hair and shell too!

Next I decided to tackle the task of separating the flesh from the shell, I knew I could have chucked it in a bag and stomped on it, but I didn’t fancy the idea of picking out loads of  tiny bits of shell, a few massive whacks sharp taps with the hammer and victory was mine!

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I was then able to break the shell into a few smaller bits and the flesh did come away from the shell quite easily.

I grated the flesh with a regular cheese grater and was left with about 6oz of coconut flesh. While I was grating it the pure coconut oil was released so I had the bonus of lovely soft moisturised hands when I finished.

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It doesn’t look like much but I was able to make two cakes with the above water/flesh, I made a coconut loaf cake and a round 9 inch cake, I also added some of the coconut water to the cake mix and spooned it over the top of the cakes while they were still warm.

 I don’t have a photo of the cakes, I’m so sorry but I’m going to make them again and take photos next time I promise.

The difference in using fresh coconut instead of dessicated is huge! The cakes were much more moist and flavoursome plus I left a few of the pieces of coconut whole so throughout the cake there were little crunchy bites of coconutty yumminess!

I used this recipe as a guideline but did my own thing as usual.

http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/entertaining/fresh-coconut-layer-cake.html

If you like coconut try it out for yourself!

Luv

Sian

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Cupcakes for Comic Relief

Friday just gone was Red Nose Day in the UK.

It’s a charity fund raising day,  here’s a link to more information about the charity.

http://www.comicrelief.com/

I enjoy getting involved with charity and doing something rather than only giving money, there’s nothing wrong with donating but I like to give my time as well and try to do volunteer work when I can. In my office we had a “casual Friday” event with a red slant, for a £2.00 donation we could wear casual clothes as long as they were red. I don’t have any bright red clothes so I borrowed my husband’s bright red dress shirt and tie teamed it with black leggings and killer red heels.

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However my main offering was cupcakes, I made three different varieties, Chocolate and Cherry, with natural glace cherries on top to fit in with the red nose theme. I intentionally didn’t ice these ones as I don’t think they need it, they are very moist inside as I use a type of preserved cherry which are preserved in their own natural juice, even after cooking the cherries retain their moisture. Also a lot of people in my office do not like any type of icing.

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The next flavour was coconut and lemon with vanilla butter-cream and fresh lime zest.

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Last but definitely not least was the organic, gluten-free carrot cupcakes, surprisingly these were the first cakes to sell out. Carrot cake is my husband’s favourite but I didn’t know it would be such a popular choice in my office!

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I set up a “trust box” system with a sign explaining the flavours and asking for a suggested donation of £2.00 per cupcake. When I left work at 4pm I had raised £49.00 and some change, it felt good that I could do my little bit for charity and my colleagues really enjoyed them, some people buying more than one cupcake each and taking some home for their loved ones. Friday is a quiet day for my team as most people have Fridays off. All in all it was a nice chilled work day and the office was nice and bright with many people in red.

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This is a photo of how the cake turned out for my nephew, everyone loved it!

sorry about the angle I put it on a mirror, it was the largest thing I had that was suitable.

sorry about the angle I put it on a mirror, it was the largest thing I had that was suitable.

I broke the ‘L’ accidently but stuck it back together with caramel, once it was iced you couldn’t tell, I also didn’t count my E’s properly so I was one E short and had to borrow some batter from a batch of banoffee cupcakes I was making.

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This is a photo of a Gluten-Free, Organic Coconut and Carrot Cake the customer specifically requested no frosting or icing. I have just received a text from the customer and she was very happy with the cake so were her guests.

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