This must be one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made … Or at least it would have been, had the morning not been a comedy of errors.
First up the butter I was melting in the oven (no I don’t have a microwave) tipped and spilled as I went to get it out. Interesting upside is that melted butter apparently makes a great cleaner when wiped off the bottom of a hot oven. Who knew. Of course my oven now smells like butter every time it’s turned on.
Then I completely forgot to put said butter (the second batch) into the mix, remembering only when the batter was already in the prepared tin. So back out the batter came, the butter was whisked in, and the pan was washed, re-greased, re-floured and re-filled.
At this stage, as much as I hopped all would be ok, I’m a bit too superstitious not to expect a third incident…
If only to prove me right the cake decided that it liked being in the pan more than it wanted to be on a rack — and no amount of encouragement or threatening would convince it to drop out in once piece.
Luckily however, the pieces puzzled back together and no one was the wiser — but to tell you the truth, by that point I’d decided that it could be broken up into a perfect rustic trifle if all else failed.
It’s only cake after all, and so long as it tastes good who really cares what it looks like? How’s that for a mantra.
So after all the unnecessary drama I know you’re dying to know what the cake was like in the end.
Well based on the second and third pieces (plus a few sneaky take home slices) devoured by mates at our regular Sunday evening sunset beach session, I’d say it was a hit.
Sally is a biochemist (!) who grew up in Brazil, and as a result of her background there are plenty of South American recipes that pop up on her site. While combing through her recipe index — including an enormous number of gorgeous sounding breads — I kept coming back to her Brazilian dishes.
Of course I changed a few things, but I did stay more true to the recipe than usual!
The main alteration was substituting fresh ricotta from the deli for the farmer’s cheese, this was a necessary step as the latter isn’t readily available in Sydney. Then I reduced the milk a bit to accommodate for the extra moisture in the cheese.
Knowing how sticky South American deserts can be I must admit that I reduced the sugar pretty significantly — first taking it down by a third, then using panela instead of white sugar, and finally replacing the sweetened coconut with unsweetened. But the result was still sweet enough for everyone who tasted it, even with a slightly bitter chocolate topping, and made it quite a bit more acceptable as a breakfast alternative, ahem.
See how I just slid in a mention of that topping? Well this one is totally me, because coconut plus chocolate equals heaven. And besides, I’m a big believer that every cake can benefit from drizzled chocolate sauce — I hope that Sally agrees!
Coconut, Ricotta & Cornmeal Tea Cake (Bolo de Fuba)
Slightly sweet, and rich without being heavy, this really is the perfect cake to pair with a cup of tea or coffee — whether for breakfast, as an afternoon treat, or for a late night snack || Adapted from Bewitching Kitchen for SRC
Serves 8 – 12
- 4 large eggs
- 2 ½ c milk (600 ml)
- 1 c rapadura/panela/coconut sugar, lightly packed (140 g)
- 2 Tbsp butter, softened (30 g)
- 2 Tbsp flour (20 g)
- 1 c cornmeal (155 g)
- 100g shredded coconut, unsweetened (approx 1 ½ c)
- 1 c ricotta, packed (225 g)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder (12 g)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
for the topping
- ¼ c coconut oil
- 1 – 2 Tbsp rice or maple syrup
- ¼ c cacao or cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease and flour a ring or bundt pan.
Combine all cake ingredients (eggs through salt) in a large bowl and puree with an immersion blender until well mixed (alternatively, combine in blender jug and pulse).
Pour into prepared pan and bake 45 – 50 mins until a skewer come out clean. Cool in pan 15 mins, loosen edges (outside and inner tube) with a knife and turn onto a rack to cool completely.
To make chocolate topping, gently warm coconut oil and syrup in a pan or over a bowl of hot water. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth then drizzle over cooled cake. You can double the topping if you wish to serve extra sauce with the cake.
- Cornmeal: sold as polenta in Australia.
- Weights: I use cup measures for everything but weighed them as I went for the above conversions. The shredded coconut was the only weight in the original recipe, the one I use is relatively dry so 100 g was just under 1 ½ c, if you have a scale go for weight over volume on this ingredient, otherwise the cups should be fine.
- Flour: as the structure of the cake comes mainly from the other ingredients you can sub the flour on the pan and in the batter with a good gluten-free blend to make the cake gluten free.
vegetarian // soy-free // nut-free // refined sugar-free // gluten-free with gf flour