flourless almond, coconut and vanilla cake

belinda jeffery's recipes

My recipes are easy. They’re for the food I like to eat. Simple, fresh, full of flavour and just a bit different. You certainly don't need any great cooking skills for them, you just need to like food and like eating – just like me. The rest is simple.

flourless almond, coconut and vanilla cake

This is from the secret cache of recipes I turn to when I have to whip up something special at very short notice - and it’s just fabulous. Although it’s an unassuming slim little cake and somewhat wet inside, don’t let looks fool you; it has the best flavour, and there’s a lovely contrast between the slightly chewy crust and buttery crumb. What’s also appealing is that it only takes about 15 minutes to make and is wonderfully versatile – perfect for afternoon tea, but serve it with poached plums, quince or tamarillos and a dollop of rich cream and it’s like waving a magic wand that transforms it into a very elegant dessert.

180g almond meal
2/3 cup (60g) desiccated coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
250g castor sugar
4 x 60g eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond essence
200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
icing sugar, (optional), for dusting

Preheat your oven to 180C. Butter a 23 or 24cm shallow spring form cake tin and line the base and sides with buttered baking paper. Dust the tin lightly with flour (or rice flour if you’re avoiding wheat) and set it aside.

Put the almond meal, desiccated coconut, salt and sugar into a medium-sized bowl and whisk them briskly together with a balloon whisk for 1 minute. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and almond essence until they’re thoroughly mixed, then mix in the cooled butter until it is incorporated. Tip the butter mixture into the almond mixture and stir them together (you’ll find that it’s quite a loose batter). Scrape this into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly, then scatter the flaked almonds over the top.

Put the tin in the oven and bake the cake for about 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back slowly when you press it gently. Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool, invert it onto the rack, remove the tin and paper and invert it again onto a serving plate. Dust the top lightly with icing sugar, if liked, and serve. Serves 8-10.

it’s handy to know that this freezes very well…
I usually slice it before I freeze it and defrost (or microwave) it as I need it (frequently in my case!). It also keeps well in the fridge for a week or so. Warm it gently or bring it to room temperature before eating it - although it has a rather fabulous ‘chewy’ almost candy-like texture when it’s cold too.

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