These past months I’ve been discovering the gluten free trend due to some stomach problems I’ve been having. I did a one-month trial without gluten in my diet, and I must say I felt overall better. Who knows if I’m really intolerant to gluten, that’s a whole other topic, but as long as I feel good that’s enough for me! I’m one of those girls with bloating tummies after a delicious meal, which isn’t great for your looks 🙂 and goodness we all know how much I love my food!
Anyway, off I go to my local organic supermarket “La Vie Claire” to chat with the sales girl about alternative flour and nutriments for a gluten free diet, and even for vegan diets. I ended up home with 3 kinds of flours, chia seeds (seeds that I had never eaten nor cooked in my life before, but I’ll get back to that in a another article..), coconut oil – which is apparently great to cook with but can also be used in your hair or as a face mask for healthy skin – and desiccated coconut…. I was on a mission to make something yummy, healthy, comforting and gluten free!
With the gloomy weather we’ve been having in Paris lately, I decided to make a coconut cake with my favorite fruit: raspberries. Alright, cost me a leg at the farmer’s market since it’s not the season for raspberries, but who’s counting ? 😉
This recipe calls for desiccated coconut as a major ingredient. What is desiccated coconut you ask ?
Desiccated coconut is coconut meat which has been shredded or flaked and then dried to remove as much moisture as possible. If desiccated coconut is not available, regular dried coconut can be used as a replacement, although dried content tends to have a higher moisture content, despite the “dried” in the name.
I even found a tutorial on youtube explaining how to make it yourself if you cannot find it in a store (not the easiest to find in Paris but I did find it at Marks & Spencer’s): How to make desiccated coconut
In order to make this cake gluten free, some will just buy gluten free cake mix at the store (once again if you can find it). If not as it was the case for me, no worries, you can use a mixture of corn flour and whole rice flour (50/50). It is important to also add a good portion of baking powder because the gluten free flour is not self-rising so it needs a little help 😉
I was afraid of one thing in this recipe, that there was way too much coconut in it: coconut oil, desiccated coconut, coconut milk…. Honestly, what a good surprise it turned out to be. It’s not the kind of cake where you have two helpings, but the taste of coconut is dosed perfectly and with the raspberry it creates a great combo.
Great for breakfast, dessert, mid-day snack, and a healthy choice.
It didn’t last more than a few days at home 🙂 will be making this again.
FOR ONE LOAF CAKE :
• 175g desiccated coconut (not sweetened shredded coconut)
• 330ml full fat coconut milk
• 225g caster sugar
• 1.5 eggs, beaten
• 230g gluten free flour (50% maize 50% whole rice flour)
• 1 sachet of baking soda (about 7g)
• 130g whole raspberries
• 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste / vanilla extract / the seeds from 2 pods
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• 3 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut for finishing
• A handful of fresh raspberries for finishing
• Icing sugar for dusting
1. In a mixing bowl combine the desiccated coconut and coconut milk, then leave for an hour covered.
2. Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan oven).
3. Line a loaf tin measuring around 10cm x 20cm, grease with coconut oil, then lay a 2 to 3inch wide sheet of baking paper across the middle and up and out of the sides — this is to lift the cake out with later.
4. To the coconut mixture, add the sugar, egg and vanilla and stir in with a metal spoon. Then sift over the flour and stir in, and finally fold in the raspberries, the mixture will be thick, almost porridge-like.
5. Spoon the mixture in to the loaf tin and place in to the centre of the preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in to the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake in its tin for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it and carefully lift it out using the baking paper, and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
6. Once it’s completely cold, heat the raspberry jam and water in a small pan and cook for around 10 minutes, then brush the jam over the top of the loaf and scatter with more desiccated coconut. Apply some more of the hot jam glaze to the centre of the loaf and add the fresh raspberries to it. Dust the raspberries with a little icing sugar and serve.