Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake is one of my all-time favourite cookbooks and it is the delightful original source from which I’ve adapted this Coconut and Caramel Slice. Pretty much every recipe in this book is a taste winner and it makes a wonderful gift for those who love to bake. This easy slice is excellent for hospitality because it makes a large quantity in one baking effort (so you can cater for more than one event in one baking session) and the coconutty caramel flavour atop the crumbly vanilla base it so very hard to go past. The quantities below make a very large slice and costs $8 to make (up to 40 pieces), though if you don’t need such a large amount, simply halve all the quantities and you will have a slice that neatly fits into a standard 28x18cm sized lamington tin for around $4. Easily freezable and with a refrigerated shelf-life of over a week, this is a great option to keep ahead of a busy week of hospitality opportunities or for even just a moments quiet rest with a cuppa and a good book.
- 2 1/4 cups/335g plain flour
- 1/2 cup/80g icing sugar
- 250g cold butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 45g butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup/220g firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 1/2 cups/105g shredded coconut
- 50g flaked almonds for topping
- icing sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees, (170 if fan forced) and line a large 32x24cm slice tin with baking paper.
- Combine all the ingredients for the base in a food processor and press evenly into the bottom of the tin. Set food processor aside and don’t wash it up yet. Bake the base for 20-25 mins until slightly golden. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven to 150 degrees, (140 if fan forced).
- While the slice is cooling slightly, put sugars and flour in the already used food processor and process together. Pull out the blade and gently stir in the shredded coconut. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, coconut cream, vanilla extract and melted butter using a whisk. Gently fold dry ingredients from the food processor into this wet mixture. Gently tip the whole topping mixture over the base and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for around 45 minutes, though start checking earlier. Slice is cooked when the topping feels set and the whole thing is evenly golden.
- Cool to room temperature and cut into squares or fingers as desired. This slice cuts especially well when cut with a large, sharp straight-edged knife and after spending some time in the fridge. Enjoy!
Last year, my delightful cousin-in-law Nicola put together a fundraising cookbook with recipes contributed by the parents who attend her church’s playgroup and I’ve just started working through the recipes inside – which has been great fun! The first one I’d like to share with you is this terrific Coconut Impossible Pie because it was so easy, was made on standard pantry items and costs very little to make. During cooking the combined ingredients settle into at least two layers: a dense-ish base and a custardy coconut filling – so yummy, especially for summer. If you choose to make this in a spring-form or loose bottomed tin as I did, please learn from my oven disaster and cook the pie in its tin, inside a large cake tin that can hold the pie during baking (see photo). Once it’s cooked, use a tall glass to remove the base and allow the pie to cool (see photo). If you prefer slightly less fuss, just bake the pie in standard pie dish or cake tin. This lovely dessert costs less than $4 to make and goes down beautifully when served with cream or ice-cream. Thanks for your excellent compilation, Nicola!
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 125g softened butter
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 cup coconut
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees, 160 degrees if fan forced.
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Pour mixture into a greased pie dish and bake for 1 hour – but start checking earlier. Once the top seems ‘set’, pull it out as pie will continue to cook as it cools.
My dear friend Kim contributed this terrific little recipe from taste.com AGES ago – but I only recently noticed it in the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. This is a bonza recipe: the ingredients are ones you’re likely to find in your pantry and freezer and there’s no butter in it at all. If you’re avoiding sugar this recipe works well by simply exchanging sugar for dextrose exactly. If you don’t have raspberries in your freezer but do have tinned ones or berries of another kind, do feel free to exchange as needed. I made this using blueberries (see second photo) and it tasted lovely. This gorgeous little loaf will cost you no more than $4 to make. Enjoy!
- 1 3/4 cups desiccated coconut
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 2/3 cups self-raising flour
- 2 tablespoons flour extra
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- icing sugar, to serve
- Combine coconut and coconut milk in a large bowl. Cover and stand for 30 minutes (or not – I have little patience for steps like these!).
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Line base and sides of a 7cm-deep, 10.5cm x 20.5cm (base) loaf pan with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends.
- Toss frozen berries in extra flour (this will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf as it cooks). Using a metal spoon, stir sugar, egg and vanilla into coconut mixture. Sift flour over coconut mixture. Gently stir until combined. Fold in raspberries.
- Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes. Lift onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and slice. Serve toasted, if desired.
Ages ago, my friend Amy suggested this cake would be perfect here at foodthatserves and yesterday, I finally got around to making this chuck-almost-everything-in-the-food-processor cake. If you follow the recipe below, you’ll end up with a yummy looking cake much like the one above and you’ll love the taste too. For those who are trying to reduce their overall fructose intake, I was so thrilled with the result of this using dextrose instead of sugar. You can buy dextrose from the home brew section of Big W(oop) as it’s affectionately known in our household or from specialty home brew shops and health food stores. Dextrose is actually cheaper than caster sugar to buy and all I did in this case was exchange it directly for the 175g sugar required. The fructose free cake that resulted was yummy and just like a normal cake. Instead of the icing Nigella suggests, I served it with whipped cream and defrosted blueberries from the freezer – so good. Total cost to make is around $3.
- 175g/6oz butter, softened
- 175g/6oz golden caster sugar
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 50g/2oz desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp coconut cream, or single cream
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM FILLING AND TOPPING:
- 280g/10oz icing sugar
- 100g/4oz butter, softened
- 3 tbsp coconut cream, or single cream
- 5 tbsp raspberry jam
- Preheat your oven to 180C (fan oven 160C), Gas 4. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.
- Mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a food processor for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Gently stir in the coconut and cream.
- Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth the tops. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and firm.
- Loosen the edges and leave in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool. Peel off lining paper.
- To make the buttercream: beat together the icing sugar, butter and coconut cream until smooth. Spread one sponge with the jam. Top with just under half the buttercream and sandwich with the other sponge. Swirl the remaining buttercream on top of the cake.