Did I ever mention how much I love desiccated coconut? Well, I do and when I went to an Asian store a couple of months back, I bought a large packet, which was much cheaper than the ones we get in supermarkets, so I have been using it in a lot of my recipes, which I will be posting in the future.
Making a cake from scratch is fairly simple and I usually make it from ingredients that I usually have at home. Personally I’ve never made a cake from a box mix before, neither did my mother, who didn’t even have a hand mixer but maybe she did, as she would use her «hand» to beat the ingredients, so may be that made it a hand mixer :) She didn’t write down her recipes and I don’t know if she remembered everything by heart but her cakes were always successful and delicious. She would use 3 – 4 eggs, about 1 glass* butter or margarine, about 1 glass of sugar, 1 glass milk or orange juice, baking powder, something for flavour e.g. orange or lemon zest, vanilla, etc and she would add the flour in the end until the batter was of the right consistency which was neither too watery nor too thick. When the batter was right she would add almonds, raisins, walnuts etc., depending what she had to use. This is how I learned to make cakes, by experience and only after I started blogging I began to measure the ingredients.
* They would measure ingredients using a glass in which we drink water which is just a bit more than a cup.
Since then I have played with the ingredients making different combinations. In this recipe for instance, instead of using 1 cup sugar I substituted with 3/4 cane sugar and 1/4 honey. Instead of using butter, I used olive oil and since I added full fat Greek yoghurt, I reduced the amount of olive oil used. I did not have self raising flour, so I used all purpose flour and corn flour which makes cake flour, plus baking powder and soda. The lemon juice I added is for the soda to react and buddble. Everything was measured as I was going ahead with the recipe. You may be wondering how did I know that I used 300 grams flour? Well, I always weigh the flour before using it and then sift it. In the end I put back the remaining flour and weigh it again, so I know exactly what I have been using.
This was the first time I made a strawberry cake and although I have been seeing lots of recipes from friends, I still wanted to make my own recipe. The only problem I had with the cake was the time of baking. After 50 minutes of baking, I started checking it with a toothpick and it was very wet in the middle. I tested it 3 – 4 times and after 1 hour and 10 minutes of baking, it was beginning to brown and it cracked in the middle but it was still wet. I immediately cut a piece of aluminum foil and covered it. It took around 20 more minutes until the tooth pick came out clean.
I didn’t like that crack, so what I did was I pureed some strawberries and added icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and made a glaze. I poured it over the crack and let it fall on the sides. Some of this glaze was absorbed by the cake adding more flavour to it. I sprinkled some coconut on top and decorated it with fresh strawberries.
The cake without the glaze was not very sweet but for my taste it was perfect. The amount of sugar to be used would also depend on the tartness of the strawberries but this time of the year they are quite sweet, so if you will be adding the glaze on top, no more sugar or honey is necessary unless you want your cakes to be very sweet. The cake was moist but not too heavy as I used a mild extra virgin olive oil and its flavor shines through, and doesn’t overpower, the sweet-tart layer of strawberries. The combination of the smooth and fruity olive oil, the juicy strawberries and lemon zest was unbelievable, «out of this world» good. It was so addictive that you wanted to eat more and more.
If you want a Vegan Strawberry Cake, you can follow the recipe for the Cherry Olive Oil Cake I made last year.
Strawberry Coconut Olive Oil Cake, recipe by Ivy
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup honey
120 grams yoghurt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
300 grams all purpose flour
30 grams corn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
200 grams strawberries, hulled
3 – 4 strawberries, hulled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Grease and flour a 25 x 10 cm (4 x 10 inches) loaf pan.
Whisk eggs and sugar. Add honey and yoghurt and olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Sift flour, corn flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add, together with salt and coconut.
Cut the strawberries in the middle. Pour the batter in the prepared pan (the batter should not exceed 2/3 of the pan) and add the strawberries on top. Bake until golden, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool for 20-30 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack.
In a food processor add the strawberries, a few tsps icing sugar, zest and lemon juice and puree. Taste and if needed add more sugar. Pour over cake while it is still warm.
This is my entry for Creative Concoctions #5: Cakes with Olive Oil, created and hosted by me here in Kopiaste to Greek Hospitality. If you wish to win some Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you still have until the 12th June to send your entries, so hope to see some of your creations.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!