Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pretty Pink Coconut Ice & an Afternoon Tea Giveaway

Do you love cake as much as I do? Yes, I am aware that if you are reading this then then you're probably like 'well, duh, that's a silly question!' Although I don't think there is anyone out there that loves it as much as I do, but I'm willing to debate that so how about joining me at a high tea celebration in Cape Town next week so we can sit and chat about all things cake and sweet? Sound yummy? Yay!

Since October is breast cancer awareness month, one of you beautiful readers will get the chance to join me at a Cuppa for CANSA tea party at the Table Bay Hotel next week Thursday 23 October 2014 at 14h30 hosted by Vicki Sleet of  Le Creuset have sponsored a variety of their gorgeous goodies to give away on the day as well.

TO ENTER: Tell me, in the comments below, if you were a sweet treat, what would you be and why? 
*The winner will be announced on Friday 17 October 2014

Cuppa for CANSA is a lovely cause - you basically host a tea party, your guests make a donation and the proceeds go to CANSA where the funds are used to support those fighting cancer. Take pictures of your tea party, upload them to Le Creuset's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts using the hashtag #cuppaforcansa and you're automatically entered into a R10 000 draw to win a Le Creuset hamper! What a fun and delicious way to help others! If you're keen to host your own, then visit the Cuppa for CANSA website for details. 

If all this talk of afternoon tea has given you a craving, then here's a recipe for my favourite pink sweet treat, coconut ice. It's an oldie but a goodie!

Coconut Ice
Makes 20

500ml (2 cups) white sugar
pinch of salt 
150ml milk
1ml pinch of cream tartar
12,5ml golden syrup or glucose syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
500ml (2 cups) desiccated coconut
Pink food colouring

Line a 20cm square baking dish with nonstick paper. Combine the sugar, salt, milk, cream of tartar and syrup and stir over a low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer until the syrup reaches soft ball stage or 118 degrees celcius. If you don't have a thermometer, drop a little syrup into a teacup of cold water. It should immediately form a soft, pliable ball. Remove the syrup from the heat and add the vanilla and coconut. Press half the mixture into the lined baking tray then colour the rest of the mixture pink and place on top of the white layer. Gently mark with a knife and allow to cool and set completely. Once set, cut into blocks then store in an airtight container. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dark Chocolate and Coconut Ganache cake (Gluten and Dairy-free)

 Gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free... these are not terms that you will often find me using. In my opinion, anything that ends in '-free' might as well begin with 'fun'. Fun-free desserts just don't do it for me, but, with that said, I think everyone deserves the right to eat a slice of chocolate cake. And if your body has issues with dairy and gluten, then that should not stop you! 

This recipe was given to me by my much-better-half who is a supremely better pastry chef than I am. It is the darkest, richest, moistest chocolate cake you will ever have the pleasure of tasting. It's also low on sugar (excuse me swearing like this, but you could even use ahem... xylitol which would make it Paleo or banting or whatever diet people are going on these days). But because there is no place for sugar-free desserts on this blog, my version will feature in all it's sugary glory. 

If you're not a fan of coconut, then swop out the coconut flour and milk for extra ground almonds and almond milk, although you'll need to add some more oil as almond milk isn't nearly as fatty as coconut milk. If you want a sweeter cake, simply add more sugar or honey but the bitter chocolate is really quite delicious!

Dark chocolate coconut ganache cake

For the cake:
75g coconut flour
30g ground almonds
120g cocoa powder
14g baking powder
250g muscovado sugar
800ml tinned coconut milk
7 large eggs

For the ganache:
200ml tinned coconut milk
60g brown sugar
120g cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate, chopped

Coconut shavings, toasted, to garnish

Combine the flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder and sugar.
Mix together the coconut milk and eggs and add to the dry ingredients.
Whisk well to combine then pour into a 2 greased and lined 15cm cake tins.
Bake in a preheated oven at 175C for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
For the frosting, combine the coconut milk, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth then allow to cool.
Assemble the cake by sandwiching with the ganache then topping with remaining ganache. Sprinkle with the coconut shavings to decorate.

For imperial measurements, find my handy conversion chart HERE