pina colada cake

How not to throw a Sunday afternoon tea:

Imagine gorgeous afternoon soiree with delicious home-baked treats, finally getting the espresso machine going and impressing guests with with your wit and casual domestic genius. Spend the latter part of the work week daydreaming endlessly about sunshine on broderie anglais tablecloths and insouciant arrangements of wildflowers. Choose one of Trotski & Ash’s gorgeous recipes full of organic-type ingredients you’ll struggle to find in your home town.

Forget to write the recipe down properly and that you don’t have the internet at home. Spend your Sunday bleary-eyed and weepy, wait until the supermarket is about to close to do your shopping for ingredients. Walk supermarket aisles puffy behind sunglasses, muttering vague curses at unaccompanied small children. Mentally tally the cost incorrectly so you end up having to pay with your credit card instead of the dregs of your savings account, thus negating the rest of the weekend’s frugality. Start cooking and then realise all the measurements are by weight and you have no scales. Have meltdown and disinvite long-lost primary school pal you were preparing afternoon tea for in the first place. Guesstimate all quantities and substitute fresh coconut because it looked cool in the shop. Realise it is almost impossible to divorce coconut flesh from its shell, and that said flesh is uncomfortably chewy and not that delicious.

Bake in the wrong size cake pan, have another fight with your mother while waiting for the top to brown. Get cranky when you go to cut it and she says she doesn’t want any. Take cake home and eat half of it for dinner, washing down the crumbly still-warm slabs with cups of milky earl grey tea. Realise that even when made with misery, a cake is a cake and therefore cancels out sadness. Wish you’d started baking earlier.

Piña colada cake

  • 1 & 2/3 cups self raising flour
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • about 100g butter melted
  • splash of milk
  • 3 tbsp almond meal
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon rind finely grated
  • quarter of a small pineapple sliced into 5mm thick rounds

(NB these are my made-up proportions; see Trotski & Ash’s real recipe here for better results)

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a cake tin.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, coconut and almond meal in a large bowl.
  3. Add butter, eggs, lemon juice and rind, mix together with a hand mixer or just use a fork and your simmering aggression.
  4. Pour the mixture into your greased tin, arrange the pineapple on top in a pretty pattern. I sprinkled on some fresh coconut too because I don’t know what else to do with the half shell I have left. Fill it with cocktails? Buy another and run away and join the pantomimes doing horse-hoof noises? Coconut shell bra??
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife/skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool a while in the tin, then turn out and cool completely before cutting.

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