Must have been sixth or seventh grade, a classmate who's name I have conveniently forgotten but the taste of her mom's tender pound cake, the one we used to get the thinnest slice of considering it had to cater to a class of twenty five, still lingers on in my fondest memories. The sight of the glossy aluminium foil loaf pan would get us all excited and I would for an otherwise timid child be a part of all the hullabaloo the class created.
Coming home, I would talk endlessly about the lightly scented orange cake or the intensely coloured but mildly chocolatey pound cake. My favourite though was the lemon cake. Under a perfectly domed cracked crispy top was the egg-yellow crumb, enthralling fresh citrus scent and a sticky topping of gritty sugar icing sealed it as the best cake throughout those years.
Sometime around this time last year, with my bundle of joy in hands, looking at her little fingers and toes, I asked Ammi, so what do you remember about me as a child? Considering she had me while she was really young and had three children after me, I wouldn't be surprised if time just flew by her. But Ammi confessed that she felt a little guilty about not baking when I came home raving so much about those cakes. I convinced her that I had only beautiful food memories and a cake was never missed.
I couldn't help but bake this loaf cake thinking about her. She loves it, and every time I bake it when she is around she gets as excited as I'm about her legendary biryani being made side by side on the stove!
This is the sturdiest cake ever. It travels and freezes extremely well so I always make an extra loaf. I bake this in two mini 4 inch loaf pans which saves exactly one muffin worth of batter which I bake in a muffin pan. One loaf for mamma, one loaf for pappa and a muffin for my muffin - the rhyme I sing!
But yes, a 9inch loaf pan works perfectly. All it requires is a cup of coffee but if you are feeling luxurious, a dash of whipped coconut cream or fresh thick cream and some raspberries are a sweet contrast.
Coconut And Lime Olive Oil Cake
(Recipe adapted from Poires au Chocolat, originally from Alice Medrich's Olive Oil Pound Cake in Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts)
200g caster sugar (I used organic golden caster)
125ml olive oil
5g lime zest, or zest of 4 big limes (or zest of 2 lemons or 1 orange)
3 eggs, cold from the fridge
200g all purpose flour
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
100g sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a 9x4" loaf tin with baking paper.
In a mixing bowl rub the zest into the sugar until the oils are realised.
Add the olive oil and beat until well combined.
Add the eggs one by one, mixing well between each addition. Beat the eggs at medium high for 5 minutes. Beating the eggs is important step so I time it and wait till the mixture is pale and thicker. Don't get impatient!
Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder together. Add third of the flour to the mixer, stirring on low until combined. Add half the milk, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour, mixing until uniform in between each addition. Fold in the shredded coconut. The mixture will be pretty liquid.
Pour the mixture in the prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minute until well risen. The top should be golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes and remove from tin.
Serve with dollop of cream and some raspberries.