Tea is sort of my thing, a kind of Jungian response to my first initial, I suppose. I try not to get carried away (so often) with buying tea paraphernalia and I’m also trying to work my way through the loose tea that I have before I buy any more. One of my favourite methods of avoiding these impulses is to go out for tea, whether it’s a formal high tea or an afternoon break at a local tea shop. I can enjoy the cups, pots, and teas without bringing more home to fill my already jam-packed cupboards. What I don’t do often enough is have people over for tea. Cakes and sandwiches are as fun to make as to eat and I certainly have enough pots and cups to accommodate a respectable gathering.
I have a few recipes that would fit right in and now I have one more. These delicate coconut cakes are perfect for tea. Friands are usually made with ground nuts, but in this recipe, shredded coconut is used, instead. This is an easy recipe, as long as you have a light hand with the whisk. I had only sweetened coconut on hand, so I reduced the sugar by two-thirds and it seemed to work just as well. Dorie suggests putting a bit of fresh or candied fruit in the centre, but I decided to put a small square of chocolate in each. I love coconut and chocolate together. Next time, I might try a tropical fruit like mango or papaya – I wonder if passionfruit seeds would work? They’d certainly look pretty.
The cakes were both light and dense at once, a property of the coconut, I think. The chocolate worked nicely and neither flavour overwhelmed the other. There’s only a small quantity of flour, so I think they could easily be converted to gluten-free, too. Once the weather gets warmer, these might find themselves on the menu for a garden party or two.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Coconut Friands