I was in a cafe the other day, and was confronted with an array of different cakes - Coffee, Chocolate, Madeira, Victoria, Carrot and even Cup Cakes.
But as I normally, and boringly do, I plumped for the ubiquitous Lemon Drizzle cake.
I don’t know, but there is something about it’s simple, buttery, yet sweet and sour sharpness (and the fact that it involves fruit) that makes it seem a more virtuous choice to have with my coffee than any of the others.
Obviously, that is completely incorrect (don’t mention the sugar!), but at that crucial decision-making moment, I always panic and go for the Lemon Drizzle.
And I’m nearly always disappointed.
Most lemon drizzles I try from cafes just aren’t lemony enough. I don’t want a Victoria sponge cake with a mild lemon taste, I want a sharp mouth-tingling citrus hit, balanced with the sweetness of a little sugar.
So as per normal, I went off to make my own, but somewhere along the way it transformed into a drizzle cake with attitude.
Lime replaced the lemon, and the addition of passionfruit and coconut gave it a real tropical flavour.
The basic cake stayed the same, that is equal amounts of butter, flour and sugar (classic Victoria sponge mix) whisked together with the same weight of eggs.
I weighed 3 eggs (in their shells) which came to 175g in total (they were medium eggs) and I used the same amount of butter, sugar and flour.
If your eggs weigh a few grams less or more than 175g, then just match with the same butter, sugar and flour. As long as the weights are the same you can’t go wrong.
I made the cake in the photographs in a 2lb loaf tin measuring 19cm length x 12cm high x 8cm deep. Not all 2lb loaf tins will be the same so these measurements may differ slightly from yours.
I still have a place in my heart - and stomach - for a good lemon drizzle cake, but this typically tropical version is a tasty change.
175g butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
175g self raising flour, plus a pinch of salt
3 eggs (roughly weighing 175g), beaten
1 tsp baking powder
50g desiccated coconut
150ml coconut milk (the creamy bit)
Zest of 2 limes
6 passion fruit
2 tbs icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, lime zest and desiccated coconut into a food processor, and pulse until combined.
Now add the eggs and coconut milk, and pulse again until you have a smooth batter.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 50 minutes, and test with a wooden skewer.
It should come out with no wet mix sticking to it, but a few crumbs are okay. Leave in the tin on a cooling rack while you make a glaze from the juice of 6 passion fruit, the pulp pressed through a sieve, the juice of the 2 limes, and 2 tbs of icing sugar.
While the cake is still warm, poke holes over the top and drizzle the glaze all over, letting it absorb into the cake. Take care not to pour any of the glaze down the sides, you don’t want a soggy bottom or sides.
Sprinkle over some toasted desiccated coconut and coconut flakes (optional), and leave to cool completely before turning out the tin.
Thickly slice and have with a nice cup of tea, imagining you’re on your own private tropical beach.