Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Coconut and Raspberry Fairy Cakes


When I was little my mum used to make some delicious mini tarts consisting of a pastry base, a blob of raspberry jam, and a golden dome of coconut sponge on top. They didn't look massively appealing - brown sponge plus brown pastry was never going to be a looker - but they tasted absolutely delicious and I still remember them fondly.




These fairy cakes are the dressed-up, flighty younger sister of those tarts, the one who ran away from home to go on the stage and came back ten years later covered in diamonds and furs. Without the pastry these are much lighter than the tarts, very fluffy with the beautiful soft dampness of real raspberries lurking at the bottom of each cake. Also, I don't know what it is about those raspberries, and the snowy drift of coconut, but I think they look adorable. I'm sure they'd look even more amazing if I had individually removed each hair from the raspberry with tweezers like posh patisseries apparently do, but COME ON. That is crazy talk. 




Either way, these looked and tasted like a real treat. I should point out that Peyton and Byrne (from whose beautiful cookbook these come) scatter their cakes with long flakes of coconut, which looks even more elegant and stylish in their photos. But the whole point of this baking extravaganza was to use up what we had without buying anything new, so posh flaked coconut was out. Besides, dessicated coconut is old-school and classic! Be prepared to be hoovering it up for about a week, though.  Lucky for us we're moving home anyway so a bit of desiccated coconut on the floor is the least of our worries.




Coconut and Raspberry Cupcakes
From my new Peyton and Byrne British Baking recipe book, which is incredibly beautifully designed and photographed - you've got to see it
Makes 12


- 100g soft unsalted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 30g desiccated coconut (plus more to decorate)
- 60g natural yoghurt
- 200g raspberries - put aside 12 to decorate


Preheat the oven to 170C and line a fairy cake tin with paper cases. Drop a couple of raspberries in the bottom of each paper case. Remember that these raspberries will turn to mush anyway, so preserve 12 beautiful ones for later and drop the broken, squished ones in here. Ahem, not that I did that.


Unlike the crazy Hummingbird Bakery method, this is a classic fairy cake. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the sieved flour. Add the coconut and yoghurt and mix quickly until just incorporated.


Divide among the paper cases so that each one is about three-quarters full, then bake for 15 minutes or until risen, golden and springy. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To ice these beautiful creatures, I used the Vanilla Icing from the Hummingbird Bakery, recipe in my previous post here. I'm sure that the Peyton and Byrne Coconut Cream icing is amazing, but it required separating eggs and heating sugar and all sorts of nonsense that I really couldn't be doing with at that stage of the day. Besides, I didn't have any coconut cream.


So if you're lazy like me, just swirl on whichever icing you want, then scatter each cake with dessicated coconut, and top with a raspberry. 

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