The times we get together with my family are fabulous. They are always guaranteed to be full of gorgeous noise, way too much food, kids running around frantically (they seem to only have one speed when on mass), lots of wine, Mum’s beautiful home cooking and then there’s my Pop (my Dad’s father) – almost completely void of sight but ALWAYS sitting back in his chair smiling (& occasionally crying) at all the sounds that fill the room. It was Pop’s birthday last Friday.
Watching Pop get old is sad & yet such a privilege. I know we are lucky to have him around. He hasn’t been in great health for many years now and yet there he is, year after year, at all the family get together’s. This time it was his turn to blow out the candles!
As much as it is a rush & sometimes a struggle to catch up on a Friday night after a busy week with the kids and work, how great is life when you burst through your parents door and a glass of champagne and a ‘little something to eat’ is thrust in to your hands, along with a kiss and a “it’s so good to see you” embrace! Whilst the kids ran around the house to find their cousins and pick up where they left off, Mum cooked up a gorgeously simply Moroccan stew which we all later enjoyed with lashings of bread and way too much wine (it was a party after all!). Then came the cake! This cake was fabulous a) because of the short amount of time Mum had to throw it together after her own busy day at work and b) it was such a surprise. It looked so simple because it was so simple. It was a coconut and lime syrup cake which was poured on hot when served. Mmmmmmmmm! This humble piece of cake and getting to sit next to the birthday boy and listen to one of his yarns, was well, one amazing Friday night.
Try this cake the next time you feel like something a little lighter, are short on time or simply want to impress a gorgeous old fella who has sampled more Birthday cakes than he cares to remember!
Happy Birthday ‘ol man’ – We love you so! xx
Coconut and lime syrup Birthday cake
125g butter, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup whole milk
1 ½ cups self raising flour, sifted
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
1 ¼ cups desiccated coconut
3-4 limes, rind finely shredded, juiced
¼ cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and line a 22cm springform cake pan. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Transfer to a bowl. Add eggs and milk and stir until combined.
Combine flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl. Add milk mixture. Stir to combine. Pour cake mixture into cake tin. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
To make the lime syrup, combine lime juice, water and sugar in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Bring to the boil. Quickly reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Stir in lime rind.
Allow cake to cool in pan before releasing the sides of the cake tin. Place the cake on a platter, add some pretty candles & flowers, light candles, sing “for he’s a jolly good fellow”, birthday boy blows out candles, slice and serve. When serving, pour the hot lime syrup over warm cake.
Delicious with cream, yoghurt, ice cream or coconut sorbet.