Hey guys and girls,
Hope you’re having a marvellous weekend!
Spring is in the aiiiirrr! Definitely noticing a change in the weather and I’m loving it! And no, I’m not sat here campaigning for McD’s. It’s funny how a little bit of sunshine can put so much positivity into my day. Not enough to forgo the coat though, yet. One of the highlights of my year (sad, I know) is when the clocks go forward at the end of the month, meaning I won’t be leaving work in the dark – just makes your day feel longer and somehow leads to more productivity… This weekend, as usual, has flown past, but before it’s over, myself, Mr Man and our chum are popping out to grab a burger for dinner. Diet starts tomorrow, yeah? Maybe…
This week I’m sharing with you a recipe for an Italian Cream cake – full of coconut and pecans, OBVIOUSLY, this makes it a healthy treat – right?! Jokes aside, whilst it may not be the prettiest cake in the world, it tastes incredible! The coconut lends a lovely moisture to the cake batter, that, paired with buttermilk is a match made in heaven! Add to the equation a cream cheese based icing and pecan nuts – what’s not to love?!
- 100g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 100g Trex (room temperature)
- 375g caster sugar
- 275g plain flour
- 5 large eggs, separated (room temperature)
- 235ml buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 125g coconut flakes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 300g cream cheese, I used Philidelphia
- 450g icing sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- Coconut flakes
- Pecan nuts
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of coconut extract
- Line and grease three 9 inch baking pans. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and trex until fluffy with an electric whisk. Add half the sugar and whisk to combine. Repeat with the other half of the sugar.
- One by one, add the egg yolks and whisk between each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract and whisk again.
- Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Measure out the buttermilk in a measuring jug.
- Add a third of the buttermilk to the butter mix, and whisk well to combine. Add half of your flour and whisk to mix again. Repeat, ending with the buttermilk.
- Stir in coconut flakes and mix to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold peaks then carefully fold into the batter mix.
- Divide the batter into the three prepared tins and cook for about 25mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Let them cool in the baking tin for five minutes before carefully removing them and placing them on wire racks to cool off.
- In the meantime, start on your icing by creaming together the butter and cream cheese.
- Add vanilla and coconut extracts and whisk to combine.
- A heaped tablespoon at a time, add the icing sugar, whisking between each addition. (I had some spare pecan nuts so I just chopped these up and stirred through the icing…)
- Add three tablespoons of coconut flakes and three tablespoons of chopped pecan nuts to a non-stick frying pan. Turn the gas on to medium and gradually heat until the coconut turns golden brown. (Stir regularly to avoid burning!)
- To assemble place the first layer of your cake on a cake board. Top with around four spoons of icing, spread with a palette knife and repeat with the final two layers.
- Carefully spread icing around the top and sides of the cake and press the toasted coconut flakes and pecan nuts into the icing all the way around the side. Decorate the border with whole pecans before digging in!