My love of coconut is well-documented on this blog. Whenever I’ve baked with it in the past, though, I’ve tended to pair it with fairly obvious flavours – cherries, raspberries and mangoes, for example. So I was intrigued when I came across this recipe for orange macaroon cake in Dan Lepard’s excellent Short & Sweet recipe book.
I would never have thought of pairing coconut with orange, but it’s a combination that works oh so well in this cake. It probably helps that the orange flavour is incredibly strong – there’s the zest of two oranges in the sponge (as well as a large splash of orange liqueur) and then the zest of one orange plus some juice in the icing. Yum!
The cake was very easy to make. The sponges came out beautifully – I had to leave them in a little longer than the recipe said, but that wasn’t really a problem. The icing was a doddle and the recipe makes just enough for the top and middle of the cake, which is something of a rarity in my experience as I usually end up with far too much! One thing I would say is don’t forget to sift the icing sugar first – I always do this when making icing and it really makes such a difference to the consistency.
The coconut flavour comes from dessicated coconut, but I think next time I would reduce the amount of triple sec and add a splash of Malibu to even things out slightly, and perhaps use some coconut cream in the icing. That’s not to say you can’t taste the coconut – it’s definitely there, but as you all know by now, I can always go for more!
From Short & Sweet by Dan Lepard, and also available online here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/apr/12/foodanddrink.shopping2