creamy raspberry & coconut

© Lydia,

Happy Mother's Day!
And a stunningly happy birthday to mum for yesterday :)
Also, I'm gonna be an aunty again! Yay! (or, more correctly, "I'm gonna be a 10th person's aunty! yay!")

We had a wonderful family gathering at my parent's last night, and of course there was cake. I meant to make the raspberry-almond petit-four cake that I loved so much last time I made it, but found I was missing some key ingredients. Like the almonds. And marzipan. And raspberry jam. And one of the eggs.

Cue substitutions of the likes of dessicated coconut, more buttercream, strawberry and nectarine jam, and a 3/4 amount of batter recipe. I didn't let the ganache cool enough before pouring it on, and so when the big reveal came, it was suitably messy. Between mouthfuls of not-at-all piss-taking "oh wow, looks... lovely" from my delectable siblings, and the beautifully sincere yet clenched-jaw-sounding "mmmmmmm, delicious!" from dad, there was enough material to taunt me with, but as it happens, it was delicious, and the family mentioned I should upload a photo anyway ("looks real home-made!").

So here it is, another variation on the pistachio petit-four cake, and a slightly simpler one at that,

© Lydia,

Lydia's creamy raspberry-coconut cake
170g (6 oz, 3/4 cup) butter
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
3 eggs
225g (1½ cups) plain flour
75g (3/4 cup) dessicated coconut
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp almond extract or essence

100g (3.6ozbutter, at room temperature
200g (generous 2 cup confectioner's) icing sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract

220g (7½ oz) white chocolate
145ml (2/3 cup) heavy cream (I used Elmlea double light)

Bits and Bobs
scant 1 cup frozen raspberries - sorry, I don't know the grammage, about 1½ good handfulls!
6 tbsp red fruit jam (I had strawberry and nectarine jam, but any mild-tasting red-fruit jam will work well, e.g. raspberry, strawberry)
Icing sugar, edible sprinkles/sparkles/glitter, to dust (optional)

© Lydia,
Preheat the oven to 160°C (300-325°F, Gas mark 2-3), line or grease (with butter) and flour an 8 inch cake pan.
Mix together the flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set to one side.
Break up the eggs lightly and set aside.
Beat together the butter and the sugar.
Add the eggs in two goes, alternating with the flour / almond mixture, and mix until everything is fully incorporated.
Finally add the almond essence, give one final mix, and transfer to your patiently waiting cake tin.
Bake for 1hr and 10-15 minutes. If your cake starts to burn, decrease the heat a little (about 10-20°C) and place on a lower shelf. Bake until golden brown, the middle is firm and springy (certainly not wobbly), and you can hear a fizzing sound. To be sure, you can stick a sharp knife / knitting needle / thermometer probe in the centre - if it comes out not covered in gloop then your cake is baked.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool, upside-down.

Once cooled, cut into 2 layers. When you rebuild the cake, the top piece will be that which was the bottom of the cake when it was the oven, with the crust side facing up.

While the cake is baking you can make the buttercream and ganache.

For the buttercream, ensure your butter is soft - if not, cut unto small chunks and beat. Once softened, add the sugar and mix on slow, or with a fork or spoon, until incorporated, then beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and slowly add the water and vanilla extract. Beat until just incorporated. Set aside, but don't refrigerate.

Make the ganache by chopping the chocolate and melt in a bain marie (or a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, just make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water).

Heat the cream until it's just simmering, and stir into the melted chocolate until combined. If you make the ganache while the cake is baking then leave it at room temperature to thicken up. If you make it while the cake is cooling, put the ganache in the fridge.

To assemble the cake, spread a layer of buttercream over the bottom layer of cake, chop up the raspberries and place them on top of that layer, reserving a small handful for the very top of the cake, and pour a little (no more than about 1/4 cup) of the ganache over the top.
Spread the jam on the underside of the top layer and place on the raspberries so that the middle of your cake has buttercream-raspberies-ganache-jam going from the bottom up.
Cover the top of the cake, and smooth the edges (Particularly any gap between the layers) with buttercream, you'll get raspberry juice and ganache seeping down the sides, don't worry about this.
Finish by pouring on your slightly thickened ganache (hoping it's not still so thin that you lose all of it off the bottom of the cake!), and allow it to run down the sides.
Top with your reserved raspberries, and optionally sprinkle on some edible sparkles or icing sugar to serve.

Hopefully it'll look better than mine!

Also, because I love it so much and I'm in the mood for it, here's some Turkey Dubstep for you:

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