When we’re in Åsen, we like to stay in the small cabin. The one by the big house, which I’ll have to show you more of when I (finally!) post the recipe for kanelbullar.
There is a small kitchen and a fireplace. A cosy bed nook, with curtains dimming the morning light, and a star by the window.
Today, I walked on a path we made through the snow, to get eggs and butter from the big house. Milk too. And a large bowl. Back and forth. At times, I stopped on our front steps and sat in the sun. With my gum boots on.
Yes, I’ve made a coconut cake while Kalle and his dad – Svante – were fishing on the lake.
I mixed flour and baking powder. And whisked butter, coconut oil and sugar until almost fluffy. Egg yolks got added. One after the other. Dessicated coconut and a glass of milk. And I whipped egg whites just so. The batter tasted delicious. And really, while the cake was in the oven, it smelled all sorts of wonderful in here; coconut and butter, crust getting golden. And I think it will last until the firewood takes over; not without its beautiful spitting and burning sounds – a music to which we fell asleep last night.
When they came back from their little expedition, K. told me they took the canoe for a ride. And although I love my quiet moments here, I couldn’t help but wish I was there too. With them. On the lake, which I’m told, was mirroring the immobile sky. But I’m sure it will happen. Sooner rather than later.
In fact, K. bought me my very first fishing license earlier this morning. Here is to days by the river and coffee cooked over a bonfire.
Coconut drizzle cake
One thing that I love about cake – and when I say cake, I mean unassumingly plain: the way my mother made it, and my grand-mère too, the kind that’s eaten piping-hot from the oven, then sliced in little morsels and served with a fresh pot of coffee for dinner, the kind that’s wrapped in clingfilm and makes a mean breakast with a fat dollop of yoghurt – is that no matter how basic it looks, it is – most often than not – one of the best things in life.
This coconut cake is just that.
Light with a moist yet delicate crumb. It will keep for a week in an airtight container. More than enough time for you to have it: for breakfast, dessert, and nibble.
I decided to make it when I saw dessicated coconut at the store this morning. And really, I couldn’t have hoped for a better cake.
It’s very simple to make. You could even forget the icing. Or bake it in a loaf tin. I’ve used whole milk here, but I’m pretty certain – although I haven’t tried – that coconut milk would make an excellent substitute. Let me know how it goes if you ever want to turn your week into a better version of itself.
Coconut drizzle cake
260 g plain flour
10 g baking powder
100 g butter
50 g coconut oil
225 g caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt
3 eggs, separated
140 g dessicated coconut
220 g whole milk
for the icing
a handful of dessicated coconut
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper.
In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and set aside.
Cream the butter, coconut oil, sugar and salt for 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition, around 1 minute or so. Add the dessicated coconut.
Then, alternatively mix in the flour and the milk, in three times, until barely smooth.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then add a third to your batter and mix well. And finally, fold in the remaining egg whites gently using a silicon spatula.
Transfer the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden-brown and a knife inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool down slightly, then unmould onto a rack and leave the cake cool down to room temperature.
Make the icing by mixing icing sugar and boiling water to a smooth paste consistency. Drizzle over the cake, then immediately sprinkle with coconut.