Autumn has arrived as a chilly blast here in the UK. I've seen glimpses of amber foliage, the jumper collection has been dusted off and so starts the season of cosy comfort baking. But before we totally surrender our summery flavours, I'm sharing my recipe for a zesty lime and coconut traybake with cream cheese icing. Scroll down for the recipe if you fancy bringing a bit of (very) late summer into your kitchen.
September has been a fairly hectic but exceedingly fun month with several big custom cake designs and a bake off wedding... plus the start of new Bake Off!! I'm loving the new series and the bakers seem absolutely lovely. The challenges started off very quirky this year and really showed off their decorating skills, I've got my eye on 3 for the final but my lips are sealed...
Earlier in September, Val and I travelled out to Majorca to see the beautiful Louise tying the knot on the North Coast. Between us we baked the wedding cake (which miraculously arrived intact in hold luggage) and danced the night away over Paella and lots of vino. It was a gorgeous day wish the happy couple all the best in the future!!
After getting back from that relaxing break, it was straight into a new commission working with nPower to drum up support for the Macmillan Coffee Morning, raising money to support people living with cancer. I challenged myself to create a totally edible wind turbine cake. Not just an edible wind turbine, but a rotating wind turbine cake. I was delighted with the results and hope it's encouraged lots of you to bake something to raise money for a worthwhile cause. Click here to see the video.
September rounded off with a visit to the Natural History Museum where I baked a 10th anniversary Oceans-themed cake for the Hall of Famelab event. Famelab is a science communication competition where entrants have 3 minutes to explain their scientific research or a concept of their choosing. They're marked on clarity, content and charisma with NO powerpoint slides in sight: it's incredibly creative and I LOVE it. You can watch the highlights here (I'm on for about 10 minutes from 1hr 15 min). I baked a globe cake and I have to admit for a first time effort, I was pretty chuffed with my fondant continents!
That brings me onto the recipe I promised - a Lime and Coconut Traybake cake with a zesty cream cheese icing. I demoed this at the Great Food and Drink Festival at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire and it went down a treat. It's zesty, it's light, it's a late taste of summer and it's dead easy.
Ingredients - makes one 8" square cake
For the cake
125g unsalted butter
225g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
3 tbsp lime juice
130ml soured cream, at room temperature
140g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g dessicated coconut
For the cream cheese frosting
115g full-fat cream cheese
30g soft unsalted butter
1 tsp lime zest
285g icing sugar
1 tsp cornflour (optional, to thicken if required)
1 tsp lime zest
30g toasted coconut flakes
1 x 8" square tin
Preheat the oven to 180 C / fan 160 C and grease and line an 8" square tin with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 5 minutes until very pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the mix one at a time and beat well after each addition until the mix is smooth and uniform. Scrape down the sides with a spatula regularly.
Stir in the lime zest, juice and soured cream gently. Sieve in the self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda and gently fold in until well incorporated. Add the dessicated coconut and fold in.
Pour the mix into the lined tin and bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes to cool then tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing: in a large bowl, use an electric whisk to beat together the cream cheese, butter and ime zest until well combined. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar and beat together until well combined. Add the lume juice and whisk - you're aiming for a dollop-consistency icing. If the icing is too runny, add a little cornflour and beat into thicken. Chill until needed.
Spread the icing generously over the cooled cake. Sprinkle over the toasted coconut flakes then pop in a cool place to keep the icing firm before serving.