It may be a little strange to some, but I like to make my own birthday cake each year. The reason being that I always have a long list of cakes and desserts I’m desperate to try and my own birthday seems the perfect excuse to tick one off the list! Those who are familiar with my recipes will know that coconut is just about my favourite ingredient so it’s common for it to feature heavily in my birthday gift to myself! I usually create some extravagant centre piece but this year wanted something simple yet indulgent and thought I’d try and create the taste and texture of a steamed jam sponge in a quick, easy, coconut inspired pudding. The result was a moist, jammy mound of deliciousness that was awesome with huge lashings of custard. I bet it would also go astonishingly well with coconut ice cream (which gives me a good excuse to try it again!).
- 7 ounces / 200g seedless raspberry jam
- 8¾ ounces / 250g plain flour
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 12 ounces / 340g golden caster sugar
- 4½ ounces / 125g desiccated coconut
- 3 large eggs
- 12 fluid ounces / 340ml whole milk
- 5 ounces / 140g unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
- ½ teaspoon of coconut essence
Preheat your oven to 170°C (150°C fan) 338°F (302°F fan).
Line the base of a 9 x 9 inch / 23 x 23cm Pyrex dish with your jam.
Sieve your flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
Add your caster sugar and coconut and give a stir to combine.
In a separate large jug, beat your eggs and then add your milk, melted butter (make sure to add the butter after your milk so that it doesn’t scramble the eggs if it’s still warm), vanilla essence and coconut essence and give a good stir to combine.
Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and with a large wooden spoon combine well.
Pour your batter over your jam into your Pyrex dish and place directly onto the oven shelf for 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cover with foil and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Serve hot with copious amounts of custard or ice cream.
The humble raspberry is also deeply symbolic in art and culture generally. In some Christian art the raspberry is symbolic of kindness. The red juice was thought to resemble blood coming from the heart, where kindness originates. In the Philippines, however, hanging a raspberry cane outside your house is thought to deter evil spirits. And in Germany, raspberry canes tied to its body was thought to calm a horse. You can also just eat them, of course.