Saturday, 22 January 2011

Baking days

It was my birthday again, so I made myself a chocolate cake:

I decorated it by sprinkling chopped hazlenuts over the chocolate icing (not in the instructions! they said to use hand-made chocolate leaves). As you'll probably have guessed by now, the visual side of cake-making is not my strong point. I really ought to take a sugarcraft class or similar.

This cake recipe was in the chocolate lovers' treats section in the Feb 2011 issue of Country Kitchen magazine, which I've bought sporadically over the last few months.

The magazine also has a section entitled "nutrition" which contains wholesome recipes. Last week, I made this very "healthy" cake out of the October issue, with wholemeal flour and chopped prunes:

This cake contains no sugar or butter at all.  I found it best spread with butter, though, which negated some of the healthiness!

The fat in the cake was coconut oil - a solid oil sold in jars, which I found rather difficult to source - they don't sell it in mainstream UK supermarkets. When I asked in a health food shop, they tried to sell me a version used to keep skin supple. Er, no. You need edible grade coconut oil. It looks like this:

After extensive research, I can now reveal this is best sought in ethnic food shops. Mine came from the caribbean food stall on the Vicky Centre market in Nottingham. It says made in Sri Lanka on the label, and I am credibly informed that Asian and Thai food specialists may also stock it.


  1. Happy Birthday! You are like me - I am not a visual cake maker. My son was three on Boxing Day and wanted an Iron Man cake. Iron Man ended up looking like a red and yellow chinese alien! Tasted alright though - as long as it tastes OK you don't need good looks!! (I thought your cake looked great anyway!)

  2. Your cake looks lovely. Though I have to point out that coconut oil is very high in cholesterol as it as a very high saturated fat level (which does mean that it keeps for about 2 years without going rancid) - thanks Wikipedia for that info!

  3. Thanks for that. I don't really think of cake as "healthy" food - despite what I wrote in my blog post! I guess the main issue will be, how does coconut oil compare to, say, butter, which I would ordinarily expect to use in a cake recipe. I'll have to do a little Internet research (avoiding the vested interests!)