At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

very sticky coconut slices...


These are surely, one of those bakes that really, really have stood the test of time...they are so classic but oh so scrumptious, and have lost absolutely NONE of the appeal that they had years ago I say. There is most certainly a good degree of stickiness involved, eating these. What with that soft buttery pastry, the gorgeously sweet raspberry jam, and that divine layer of dessicated coconut to top it all, you might well need a napkin - or two if you're like me and are inclined to dive back in that tin for more. ;)
I usually cut mine into roughly about 20 slices - 5 cuts across the cooked cake lengthways, and then 4 widthways - or 16 squares if I feel there is a need for them to be larger than usual. Though of course you can cut them as little or as large as you like. :)
  • 2 large eggs and 1 large egg white. (But don't discard the yolk...they are useful for so many things. Put the spare one in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of water. It will keep in the fridge for a few days. See my list of egg yolk recipes (forthcoming ;) ) for ways in which egg yolks can be used. It might be of use to you if you make meringues etc and have a load of egg yolks leftover.
  • 150 caster sugar
  • 100 g butter, diced
  • 150 g dessicated coconut
  • About 8-9 generous tbsp raspberry jam (or blackcurrant and strawberry might be nice...but raspberry is definitely my favourite for these. :) 
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp very cold water
  • Grease a baking tin/roasting tray (a rectangular one is best: mine is about 28 cm x 18 cm.) and line with baking paper as the slices are VERY sticky as already mentioned. ;) Preheat oven to 180c/160 c fan.
  • For the pastry base: Sift the flour into a bowl and add the diced butter. Rub in very lightly using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, with no lumps of fat.
  • Lightly stir in 50 g of caster sugar and make a well in the centre of this dry mixture.
  • Separate the 2 whole eggs, adding the whites to the 1 extra one. Be very careful when you are separating that no trace of egg yolk leaks into the whites.:) (Ganache-Elf tip. I have never been able to separate eggs the way you see the pros do it on the telly. And I am sure most of you have your own way of separating eggs which is far better and more effective than mine. But anyway JUST in case you don't...I like to crack one egg into a small bowl (cracking its shell by tapping it hard on the edge of the bowl). Next, I place an egg cup over the egg yolk and then tip the bowl at an angle over another larger bowl, so that the egg white separates easily from the yolk and slides into the bigger bowl. Then the egg yolk is put into another separate bowl (I know...this way probably does create alot of washing up, but anyway... ;) ) before I move on to separate the next one.
  • Slide two of the egg yolks into the well in the centre of the flour, and then add 2 tbsp very cold water. Mix with a flat bladed knife at first until the mixture starts to come together, then use your hands to gather it together into a soft ball. If it feels a little dry, add a few teaspoons of water. The dough should feel soft and slightly moist, though not overly sticky. 
  • Press the dough out evenly into the baking tin with your hands. Pop it in the fridge to rest for a little bit while you make the coconut topping.
  • For the coconut topping, whip the 3 egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff peaks. If you tip the bowl slightly, the whipped whites should reamin in the bowl, not moving - nothing should run out! Fold in the dessicated coconut and the remaining 100 g sugar. 
  • Take the pastry out of the fridge and generously spread over the jam. Then spread over the coconut topping to evenly cover the jam layer.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. The coconut should be beginning to turn golden, but should not be too dark. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into squares/rectangles using a very sharp knife when cold. They are gorg with a cup of tea, or deliciously decadent splodged with custard for a cheeky pud. ;)

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