Sometimes I get this strong feeling to bake something. It usually strikes over the weekend (although, we’re off full time work at the moment so every day is a weekend day ;)), on those lazy days when you’ve not done anything too productive and feel like filling the afternoon hours with some kitchen activity.
This last weekend was one such time and when we were in the supermarket, I stood in the baking products aisle for a good few minutes wandering up and down without much inspiration. This is when Peter suggested what about making a simple sponge cake maybe flavoured with lemon and cardamom? Not a bad idea I thought. Later at home, I found an unused bag of dessicated coconut in the kitchen cupboard and decided to throw that in too. I’ve always liked the flavour of coconut in both sweet and savoury dishes, maybe it’s got to do with the coconut rich food I grew up with but it instantly comforts me.
So that’s how I baked a cake, similar to a sponge cake, but made robust with the addition of cardamom and coconut along with a light lemony tinge. It was ready just in time for an afternoon treat but it can very well serve as dessert too I think accompanied maybe by some poached fruit or whipped vanilla flavoured cream.
I used a 20cm cake tin and in hindsight, if I’d used a bigger tin, say a 24cm one, I think it would have significantly cut down the time in the oven but then again, baking for me has never been a rushed activity 🙂
Coconut Cardamom Lemon Cake
225g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
few drops of vanilla essence/extract
125g self raising flour/cake flour
100g dessicated coconut
8-10 cardamom pods – outer skins removed and discarded, seeds crushed
zest of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 180C (conventional oven). Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter with an electric whisk until quite pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract/essence.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, coconut, cardamom seeds and zest of lemon. Add this mixture to the sugar-butter-egg mix slowly in stages incorporating each batch of flour completely before adding more. I had to add a little milk to loosen up the mix a bit.
Transfer the cake batter to the prepared cake tin. Smooth the top and place in the oven. Bake until it’s nice and golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the top has browned and is turning too dark, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminium foil. It took me about 50 minutes to an hour but as I mentioned earlier, maybe a larger cake tin will do it in half the time.
Once done, remove tin from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Cut into generous slices and enjoy the warm flavours of cardamom and nutty coconut with zingy lemon, there’s nothing to not like about this cake!