Friday, October 5, 2007
This time of year inspires me, because there is beauty all around. It is a kind of epiphany I had a little while ago, that beauty can be found in unexpected places. I need only to open my eyes and find it, because I’m positively surrounded by wonderful and beautiful things. It makes me want to create things; tangible things that I can look back on and smile about. I am contemplating a project to combine my love of food and my love of design, but more about that later.
The weather is warming up beautifully, and summer is just around the corner. It’s a great time of year to be in Sydney, to watch the sun glittering off the water in the harbour, to eat strawberries, and for it to be fully light outside at 6am! I love my morning walk to the train station, noticing my neighbours’ flowers starting to bloom. It is also prime picnic season, the best time to be outdoors – before it gets too hot!
These little cakes would make great spring picnic food. The coconut gives the cakes a dense and almost chewy texture, and would be wonderful for afternoon tea, while their small size makes them perfectly portable. The strawberries can be switched for other fruit of course; raspberries, cherries or even slices of peach or apricot would be great as well. They are easy and quick to make, and a great way to use up leftover egg whites (which was incidentally how I came across the recipe).
Little Strawberry and Coconut Cakes
Recipe adapted from Marie Claire Dining
• 125g unsalted butter
• 1/3 cup almond meal
• ¾ cup desiccated coconut
• 1 2/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
• ½ cup plain flour, sifted
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon lemon rind
• 6 egg whites
• about 6 strawberries, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a 12-hole muffin pan.
2. Place butter in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until it is melted and very light golden in colour.
3. Place almond meal, coconut, icing sugar, flour and baking powder and lemon rind in a bowl and stir to combine.
4. Add egg whites to bowl and mix, then add melted butter and continue to mix until combine.
5. I used an ice cream scoop to divide mixture into the muffin pan. Press the strawberry pieces gently into the tops of the cakes.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cakes are golden, springy to the touch and moist in the centre.