I have a confession to make. I only got Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours a couple of months ago. I love to bake more than just about anything and yet I’ve only just now picked up this book? Greenspan has not only coauthored books with culinary legends Julia Child, Daniel Boulud, and Pierre Hermé, but her spectacular cookbooks have inspired bloggers around the world to participate in Tuesdays with Dorie, an online cooking group committed to baking one recipe from her cookbook every week. The group finished baking their way through Baking: From My Home to Yours right about the time that I got the cookbook and have now moved on to Baking with Julia.
I am sorely behind and am going to have to do things at my own slow pace, but I do intend to make as many of the recipes as possible because they are good. Ok, I’ve only made two recipes so far from her cookbook, but they were both phenomenal and Baking is filled with wonderful tips and techniques. Would you expect anything less from a woman who has inspired hundreds of bloggers to bake a recipe from her book once a week?
This particular recipe for coconut lime tea cake made me especially happy. I made it for a small party at work to celebrate two birthdays and the departure of a coworker. The party was at 9:30 in the morning – the only time that worked for everyone – but I was unwilling to let go of a cake. Two birthdays! There had to be a cake! Sure, I could have made coffeecake and it would have been just lovely (I really love coffeecake after all), but I was so excited to make this cake from Greenspan’s book.
When I saw the title coconut tea cake in the index, my first thought was that it had Earl Grey in or Darjeeling or something in it and truth be told, that’s what inspired me to turn to the recipe page. When I got there I saw that it was a cake for tea time, not made of tea, but that seemed just as fitting. It’s light and refreshing, but it’s still a cake. You could sneak it on to a brunch table, slice it up for afternoon tea, or serve it for dessert. It’s the perfect cake for the sudden beautiful warm weather we’ve been having in Boston and would be perfect for Mother’s Day. Oh, and after a day or two when it’s starting to get a little old, it’s wonderful toasted!
For the cake:
- 2 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (stir well before measuring)
- 4 tablespoons butter (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 4 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
- 2 limes (zest of 2 limes plus juice of 1)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons dark rum (optional, but so good)
- 3/4 cup grated coconut (unsweetened or sweetened)
For the glaze:
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk
- 3/4 - 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- extra toasted coconut for topping
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Zest both the limes and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers.
- Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan, add the butter and juice of one lime and heat until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, but keep warm.
- Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with lime zest at medium-high speed until pale, thick and almost doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the rum, if you’re using it. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and stopping just when the flour disappears.
- Keeping the mixer on low, add the grated coconut, mixing only until it is blended, then steadily add the hot milk and butter. When the mixture is smooth, stop mixing and give the batter a couple of turns with a rubber spatula, just to make certain that any dry ingredients that might have fallen to the bottom of the bowl are incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan and give the pan a few back-and-forth shakes to even the batter.
- Bake for 60 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before taking the cake out of the pan and cooling to room temperature on the rack.
For the glaze:
- Combine the juice of half a lime with 1 tablespoon coconut milk. Add powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency and pour over the cake. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the top.