Sunny Days, Parties and a Wonderful Coconut Chiffon Bundt Cake.
The sun peeked out a couple of times last week in Milan - literally, twice, briefly. And here's what's been going on on my side in the last few days: I made this wonderful coconut chiffon cake, roasted a whole chicken for the first time for a dinner at mine for my mates, made hummus without a blender, met a few amazing musicians from Belgium including the very talented Charlotte Adigéry, got to squeeze in a good chat sesh with 2ManyDJs at a party, ate KFC (an event since we rarely eat it) and took a few too many naps.
Here's a couple of impromptu KFC pics in case you missed me, credits to 🐸 from the phone:
So first of all, the cake came out fantastic. You know when you make something either for the first time, or you go back to retry an old recipe, and just nail it? Well that's this coconut bundt cake, it came out perfect, and I was so stoked so I'm sharing it with you now. This coconut chiffon cake, is really worth the three mixing bowls you are going to have to dirty and wash up. Trust me. And if you want to skip straight to the recipe now, do it, I won't know you did and, no grudges.
I totally slayed it with the first-time chicken as well.
I am on a culinary roll and I'm feeling like Drake (because he always wins).
Or maybe this is what my horoscope at Refinery29 was talking about, with Mercury and Jupiter both in retrograde last week. I did get some interesting work proposals as well. I'll jinx myself if I talk about it now, so 🤘🤘 I'll let you know in due course (for why oh why, is there no 'fingers crossed' emoji on my keyboard?)
As for the rest, I went to a party that was organised by 🐸 and his team; he'd been running around looking after like a dozen gals and dudes coming in from all over Europe to Milan as part of a label launch party. (🐸 is a DJ and promoter in case you didn't know.) I don't always go to all the club nights he organises or plays at, but I'm glad I went last week.
Peeps from outside of Italy with fresh views get me excited, and there were a ton of them.
Girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, sometimes. Even though it often crosses my mind that I think my clubbing days may quite be over. Seeing my performance on the weekend, it's clearly ain't.
I missed out going to the first-of-its-kind all-nighter event at my favourite museum, the La Trienniale di Milano, which was on the same night, but that's ok. Apparently it was way too full and people were way too excited about it, so that's fine for me since I can't stand places that get too full, even if its supposed to be a party. I suppose large scale events like these don't happen so often in Milan and when it does, the city kinda doesn't know how to look after itself.
Maybe they have a thing or two to learn from Sydney. From NYE to Mardi Gras, Sydney really has mastered the skill of managing large citywide events, let alone a single museum event. Just IMHO.
Oh there always seems to be so many things to do, how are we supposed to keep up?
So lets just get back to this coconut chiffon cake.
I mean, can you SEE how squishy and soft it is? You will just have to take my word for it.
I know people love to talk about how difficult it is to take a bundt cake out of its tin, so I did a bit of research to find the best tips on using a bundt tin:
- first of all, I used a silicone mould, which was a total breeze to peel off. No crumbs lost. The butter + flour lining was more than ideal.
- apart from making sure you get all the nooks and crannies of the tin with butter and dust it all over with flour (and tap out the excess), key is to wait 30mins - 1 hour after you take the cake out of the oven before trying to weasel it out. The steam and heat from the cake will help it fall out much easily, granted you wait.
- of course you can nudge it a bit with a sharp knife around the edges before trying to get it out. But be careful not to chop off the beautiful corners of the cake.
With 7 eggs in the recipe (‼️) you're probably thinking it's too much. But it's from these eggs that the cake gets the lift and richness that feels light at the same time. As I said, this is a super squishy, soft cake that literally melts in your mouth with the perfect hint of coconut goodness.
Violet colouring for the icing is totally unnecessary but for me it was (it's Pantone's colour of the year, so maybe just get with it guys).
Of course you can always write to me if you have any questions.
Try it, and let me know. You know I've got your back.
P.s. yes, the chicken was freaking good and it was gobbled up even by the most reluctant chicken-eater. I stuffed it with lemon, garlic and thyme, rubbed with oil and I found out about the weight / time calculator for roasting chicken on The Guardian. You can do it, anyone can do it!
COCONUT CHIFFON BUNDT CAKE
Makes a 25cm bundt cake
225 g plain flour (Italian: farina 00)
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
150 + 100 g sugar
50 g desiccated coconut
7 eggs, separated, room temperature
180 ml unsweetened Thai coconut milk
120 ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
150 g icing sugar, sifted (Italian: zucchero a velo, get the 250g packs from Lidl, it's so much cheaper than the regular Zefiro 50g packs!)
30-50 ml unsweetened Thai coconut milk
violet gel food colouring (optional)
Set the oven to 180C. Butter the bundt pan and dust with flour, making sure not to miss any crevices.
Mix the dry ingredients: in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, 150 g sugar and coconut.
Mix the wet ingredients: in another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, coconut milk, oil and vanilla until light and frothy.
Now you make the meringue: grab another large bowl that is squeaky clean, as any traces of fat will inhibit the egg whites from stiffing up. Add the egg whites and beat at low-medium speed until frothy. Beating at medium speed, gradually add 100 g of sugar. Continue beating at medium-high until glossy and stiff peaks form.
So take the large bowl with the dry ingredients and add the wet mix to this. Stir around with a rubber spatula until just combined, try not to overmix it. Take a big dollop (about a quarter) of the whipped egg whites and stir it all in to the mixture. With the rest of the egg whites, work carefully: using your spatula, take about a third each time and gently fold it into the batter, trying to keep as much air mixed into the egg whites as possible. Fold well until no white streaks are visible.
Carefully pour and scrape the batter into the bundt tin.
Bake for 45 minutes, until golden and the edges of the cake start pulling away from the pan. The top will puff up a bit as well, don't worry, it's part of the charm. Let the cake cool inside the tin for at least 30 mins before trying to take it out. This will make it easier for it to come out, all intact.
MAKE THE ICING
Tip: Always wait a few hours before adding the icing to the cake. Any remaining warmth from the cake will warm up the icing which will make it just drip everywhere!
Whisk together the icing sugar and coconut milk, adding the coconut milk little at a time to get the right consistency. Less liquid = thicker icing = cuter cake.
At this point you can add a couple of teeny weeny drops of the food colouring, but of course that's optional. Mine was a lilac colour - I'm dreaming of spring.