This past week has been surreal really. We are in the thrust of the first world-wide pandemic in 100 years, and it’s hard not to feel as though you are living in a movie. My children all came down with the flu (not COVID-19, I don’t think!) and were asked by their school to remain home for a minimum of 7 days. My two eldest went back the following week, but only for one day as they felt unwell again. Even though we’re not in official lockdown, by the end of the week, the general feeling in our community was that everyone should stay at home as much as is possible. So, we decided to withdraw our children from school until it’s safe for our community that they return.
Consequently, I now have four children at home (the youngest being one) and we’re going nowhere. Slowly we’ve shut the doors on the outside world as we try to sit tight till the storm passes. I’m an extrovert who loves interacting with all the people I usually come into contact with, so when I finally asked my neighbours’ children (who are like family to us) not to play on our front yard anymore the severity of what we were entering into hit me. I felt exhausted from a week of trying to make a host of adjustments to our daily life (as well as keep our small business afloat) and I ended up in tears. Financial pressures and the newly evolved hustle required to find some grocery staples aside, saying goodbye to seeing loved ones in person for who knows long is what hits me the most.
So here we are at home with a whole host of pressures encroaching, what better time to bake a cake! Seriously, though, isn’t the whole process of measuring, mixing, baking and the beautiful aromas that result in such an enjoyable pastime? Each child can do an aspect of the bake, according to their age and skill level and at the end, they can all lick a bowl or spoon—winning!
We also wanted to get back on to baking and publishing more of my Grandma’s recipes to encourage you all. At this uncertain time, many of you are like us: stuck at home with your children, not wanting to spend a lot of money but with a pantry stocked with plenty of staples like sugar and flour. Grandma’s recipes are perfect for this season as they are from the post-war era when people were used to budgeting and are generally made from economical, basic ingredients. Nothing fancy here! Just simple ingredients and delicious flavours. Fan of lemon and coconut? Then this one’s for you.
Also, if you love coconut flavour in your cakes, the banana coconut cake is my recommended recipe after you are done with this one.
The steps are pretty straight forward, apart from I’d like to give you a few extra tips. First up, when the recipe asks for you to cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind until light and fluffy this didn’t really happen for us. The consistency of the mixture was still quite gritty and I wouldn’t say fluffy. We got sick of creaming it and just moved on, and the recipe turned out fine.
Another thing is I took our cake out of the oven after only 35 minutes. The top couldn’t afford to go any more brown, but a small part in the centre was still a little doughy. I think a good solution for this would be to place the cake tin at the lowest part of the oven, not in the middle as we did. I stumbled upon this baking hack a little while ago when I was cooking multiple things in the oven and could only fit my brownies at the very bottom rack. They turned out to be the best brownies we’d ever made! Upon mentioning it to my husband’s grandma I discovered this a well-known hack in baking but it was news to me. Hopefully, this information assists you also if are ignorant as I was. Unfortunately, I forgot to do that with our Lemon and Coconut Cake. Even so, it was generally perfect but if you remember to place yours at the lowest tray check your cake after 45mins. Depending on your oven, it might be ready.
That’s it. Simple, quarantine-suited baking. What better time than now to get your bake on? Enjoy!
Serves: 8 Slices
- ½ cup coconut
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup milk
- 4oz. (110 grams ) butter or substitute
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 2¼ cups self-rising flour
- Combine coconut, lemon juice and ½ cup milk in a bowl (mixture will curdle at this point but this is correct).
- Cream butter, sugar and lemon rind until light and fluffy, add well-beaten eggs gradually, beating well after addition.
- Fold in sifted flour, coconut mixture and remaining milk alternatively.
- Pour in greased and lined deep 8in. round cake tin.
- Bake in moderate oven 65 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.