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The thought of not being able to travel during the Covid lockdown brings on inevitable feelings of frustration and sadness. I’ve discovered that cooking dishes from around the world, at least evokes the smells, tastes, and feelings of travel. This is the latest of my creations, a moist, fragrant and evocatively delicious Caribbean Cake with the wonderful combined flavours of coconut, lime and rum cake. It’s also very quick and easy to make.

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Origins Of My Caribbean Cake Recipe

I discovered this recipe whilst travelling in the Caribbean. I stayed at a wonderfully authentic resort on the East coast called Hawksbill, a slightly dog-eared collection of beach bungalows that could do with a lick of paint. I slept in a cabin right on one of the resort’s three sandy beaches and each night the sound of the clear blue Caribbean Sea lapping against the shore to a background rhythm of the chirping tree frogs, lulling me into a blissful, rum punch induced sleep.

Hawksbill-Antigua

Despite its slightly neglected appearance, Hawksbill was such a friendly, laid back resort that it will always have a special place in my travel memory banks. 

Every afternoon, the catering team would serve Afternoon tea under the welcome shade of an open-sided wooden pergola by the pool. Their cakes were so moist and tasty, especially on particular coconut cake, that I decided to seek out a recipe on my return home. I tried a few and by far the easiest, and best tasting, was the one by Levi Roots. I’ve adapted the recipe to make it as close to the Teegan variation as possible.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do when I kick back in my office chair, take a bite and I am taken back to visions of enormous Resplendent Frigate Birds silently gliding their circular patterns high in a bright blue Caribbean sky. 

Now here’s the easy to follow recipe.

Caribbean Coconut, Rum & Lime Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g Self raising flour (sieved)
  • 175g Unsalted butter – cubed
  • 175g Light or golden caster sugar
  • 75g Desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • A double shot (two fingers) of light or coconut rum (ideally Antiguan  rum)
  • A couple of drops of vanilla essence
  • Grated peel of 1 unwaxed lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 small eggs

Method

Caribbean-Coconut-Cake-AntiguaPreheat the oven to 190 degrees C (or about 180 degrees C if it’s fan-assisted).

In a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour and mix in the baking powder and desiccated coconut.

In a smaller bowl, soften the butter (just 10 seconds in the microwave will be sufficient) then add the caster sugar and mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Add a couple of drops of vanilla essence, the rum and mix together into a creamy paste.

Gently beat the eggs and add them to the creamy mixture, then add the lime zest and juice and mix again.

Form a well in the flour mixture, then carefully pour in the creamy mixture. Mix it all together with a mixer or good old fashioned elbow power until light and fluffy.

Line a medium or large rectangular bread tin with grease proof paper then spoon in the mixture.  Tap the sides of the tin to ensure the creamy mixture settles into all the corners.

Place into the oven for 45-50 minutes, keeping an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t burn, you want it to be nicely browned on top, not baked to a crisp. If it does burn, turn the oven down a notch or gently lay a piece of foil over the top.

Don’t worry if the cakes starts to split as it bakes, that just adds to the rustic charm.

Check that it’s cooked through using a skewer and if there’s no cream sticking to the skewer and it comes out clean barring a crumb or two, then it’s done.

Take it out of the oven and leave it to rest and cool down for 15 minutes or so, then carefully remove it from the in (if it’s cooked it should just lift out on the grease proof paper).

Serve with tea, coffee or, if you want the true Caribbean afternoon tea experience, a generous slug of fruit punch.

Please click on FOOD in the menu car for more travel-inspired International cooking recipes.

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