Well, we have had thunder this afternoon and pretty heavy showers too. Perfect baking weather. I just love being indoors and baking on a rainy afternoon! there's something really comforting about being here warm and dry, while the smell of something scrummy in the oven wafts through the air! mmmmm . . .
Today I baked a Coconut & Lime Cake. It's a recipe that I clipped from the Good To Know Recipes magazine the other day when I was going through my cooking mags. I couldn't begin to tell you what month it was from . . . but it must have been recently as the article is entitled Perk Up Your Picnic!
It's not exactly picnic weather today, but I have to say that some of my most favourite picnics have been held on a blanket in front of the electric fire on a rainy day.
It's fun to do that sometimes . . . just have a picnic where you are! You don't have to worry about bad weather . . . wasps or ants! And the company is always perfect.
This cake is rather scrummy . . . I think you would enjoy it even if you weren't on a picnic . . . but a picnic would make it even tastier . . . just sayin . . .
*Coconut & Lime Cake*
Makes one large loaf cake
Perfect picnic food. Moist and delicious with the flavours of lime and coconut!
175g butter, softened (3/4 cup)
3 large free range eggs, beaten
250g of sweetened condensed milk (scant 200ml or scant 3/5 cup)
(This is not evaporated milk, it's the sweet thick stuff)
40g of desiccated coconut (generous 1/2 cup)
the finely grated zest and juice of one lime
175g of self raising flour (generous 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
For the drizzle icing:
the juice and zest of 1 lime
100g of icing sugar sifted (3/4 cup)
toasted flaked coconut to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170*C/ 325*F/ gas mark 3. Butter and base line a 2 pound loaf tin with wax or parchment paper. Set aside.
Place all of the cake ingredients in a bowl. Beat with a hand held electric whisk for several minutes, just until the batter is smooth and pale. Don't overdo it.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top over.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tin, then lift out to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once cold, whisk together the icing sugar, zest and lime juice to give you a smooth drizzable icin Drizzle this over the cake with a spoon and toss on the toasted coconut flakes. (To toast the coconut flakes, spread it onto a baking sheet and leave in the heat of the oven after you have removed the cake for about 5 to 8 minutes)
The Twinings people recently sent me some lovely herbal teas, which are perfect for afternoon tea, and rug picnics. Their site is really quite nice, there is even a page of Tea Gifts on it, perfect for your tea loving friends. They have a wonderful assortment of black teas, herbal infusions and even Jasmine Pearls Green Tea. Most unusual!
I was sent two of their herbal teas . . . their Lemon & Ginger and their Blueberry & Apple. I was already quite familiar with the Lemon & Ginger one as we already use that one a lot. Especially when we are feeling a bit low and wanting a pick me up. It's a real favourite of ours. We don't drink regular teas in our house for religious reasons, but we do enjoy herbal teas and the Twinings ones are the best. They're made with natural ingredients and I have found them to have lovely flavours without any aftertaste like some of these herbal teas can have.
Actually they also make really lovely chilled drinks as well. You just add about 6 of them to a jub and pour boiling water in. Cover and chill for a few hours, then strain into a clean jug and you have something that's quite delicious and refreshing, not to mention good for you, as well as sugar and additive free!
This was my first time trying the Blueberry & Apple one and it was really lovely . . . very fresh and fruity! It went really well with the cake for our rug picnic! I can't wait to try it chilled!
Many thanks to Orly and the people at Twinings for sending me these lovely teas!