Fragrant fruit and nut make perfect match

It is hard to resist the lure of these baby cakes. This is the most irresistible baking that I’ve done for a while.

The tart-sweet juiciness and fragrant flavour of the pineapple combines perfectly with the creamy nuttiness of coconut and the liveliness of these two tropical fruits is offset by almond’s soft rounded flavour.

Even with cooking, the fresh flavour of the fruit remains.

These little cakes are lovely with morning tea or coffee and one wrapped in greaseproof paper is perfect in the lunchbox.

I often serve these for pudding with cream or yoghurt but you can turn this into a totally delectable special occasion pud by drizzling with the orange Cointreau syrup.



Photo: Linda Robertson
Photo: Linda Robertson

Pineapple and coconut baby cakes

These little cakes are quick and easy to mix and bake and freeze like a dream.

Makes 12

160g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
70g ground almonds
50g thread coconut
140g dark cane sugar
2 large eggs, size 7
80g melted butter, cooled a little
⅓ cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt
2 tsp orange flower water
227g can crushed pineapple in juice, drained well through a sieve, juice retained

¼ cup pineapple juice
3 Tbsp raw sugar
1 tsp orange flower water

Orange Cointreau syrup - Makes 1 cup
2 cups orange juice
2/3 cup raw sugar
2 Tbsp Cointreau, or other citrus-based liqueur

Heat the oven to 180degC. Lightly oil 12 standard-size muffin cups. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the ground almonds, coconut and dark cane sugar. If the sugar is a bit lumpy, you may need to rub it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, yoghurt and orange flower water. When thoroughly mixed, stir in the drained pineapple.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients all at once to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. The batter will be a little lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.

Bake until lightly golden and the centres spring back when lightly pressed, 20-25 minutes.

While the baby cakes are baking, prepare the topping. Mix the pineapple juice, sugar and orange flower water together without dissolving the sugar.

As soon as the baby cakes are out of the oven, brush their tops with the pineapple and sugar mixture. Wait about 5 minutes and remove cakes from the muffin cups and invert on to a rack. (The tops become the bottoms). Brush the remaining topping over the top and sides of each little cake. Cool on a rack.

Orange Cointreau syrup

For a ‘‘special occasion pudding’’, drizzle baby cakes with this syrup.

In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice and sugar and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Boil briskly for approximately 20 minutes.

The colour darkens, the liquid becomes lightly syrupy and the quantity is reduced to about half. Cool a little, then stir in the Cointreau. Once completely cool, pour into a serving bowl or jug.


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