I had the loveliest cake in Starbucks the other week. It was a lemon and coconut slice; a thin pastry-ish biscuit base topped with lemon curd and a layer of coconutty ooh. As I sat there eating it I was trying to think if I'd ever had a lemon and coconut baked good before and I honestly could not recall one. Like some kind of cake addict I went in to Starbucks again this weekend, with the sole intention of grabbing a piece of the lemon and coconut slice, but they had none. It was 'limited edition' apparently. Whatever.
A quick Google told me that lemon and coconut slice seems to be an Australian thing. Well done, Australians - I salute your wondrous cake-making skills! A lot of the recipes I found were for no-bake slices made with condensed milk but none of them seemed to have the base bit. I eventually found a couple of baked ones and I kind of melded the recipes together. The measurements were all in cups so I've converted them to good old metric which should make life a bit easier. Well, it does for me. (Cup measurements annoy me, you see.) The resulting cake has a sightly different base to the Starbucks one but it doesn't matter because it's flipping delicious.
Before I list the ingredients and give you the recipe, yes I'm aware this contains a fair amount of sugar. I know that sugar is considered heinous and toxic these days but nobody is suggesting that you make cakes every single day and eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Michaela Strachan would not be happy with this recipe (she had a benny about The Great British Bake Off last week) but that's fine because I'm not inviting Michaela Strachan round for tea and cake any time soon. Or ever, actually.
If you're feeling fancy you could make your own lemon curd for this recipe but I just used the stuff in a jar from the shop.
Lemon & Coconut Slice
For the base125g unsalted butter
160g caster sugar
220g self raising flour
1 large free range egg, beaten
For the coconut topping125g dessicated coconut
160g caster sugar
1 large free range egg white
MethodPreheat your oven to 180°C (160°C for fan assisted ovens) or gas mark 4. Line a 20cm x 20cm tin with baking paper.
Base: Melt the butter in a saucepan. In a bowl, combine the sifted flour and the caster sugar. Add the melted butter and mix. Add the beaten egg and mix again. You'll end up with a fudge-like loose dough. Tip it into the lined tin and press down and level. You can use the back of a spoon or a spatula but I found it easier to use my (clean) hands. Bake the base in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is a light golden brown.
Topping: In a clean bowl, lightly beat the egg white with a whisk until it is thick and foamy. You're not making a meringue here so you're not looking for glossy stiff peaks of egg white; just whisk it until it is like dense, lathery soap. Add the dessicated coconut and caster sugar and stir it all together with a metal spoon. You should end up with a kind of crumbly mixture.
Spread the cake base with lemon curd. Two or three tablespoons of lemon curd should do the job but use as much as you fancy. Sprinkle the coconut mixture over the top. Again, I used my hands and kind of crumbled it on all over. You don't need to press it down; just make sure there's a nice even covering.
Return the tin to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until the coconut topping is golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin (are there three more annoying words in baking than "leave to cool"?) and then remove the slice from the tin and cut it into as many squares or bars as you like.
I guess you could use whatever flavour jam or curd you fancy. I think raspberry or cherry would be very lovely but there's something ever so summery about the lemon and coconut combination.