cornmeal and coconut rose water cakes

cornmeal and coconut rose water cakes | A Brown Table

Easter and Christmas were the two big family meals that I looked forward to every year. The food, it was all about the food. A large oval dining table filled with way too many dishes for one person to cook (the tasks were wisely divided between my aunts and mom by my grandma, I think this is also one of the wisest ways to use your children, as soon as they come of age make them help you in the kitchen. I eagerly await the day, I have mine and they come of age to help me clean peas from their pods).

This Easter, I decided to take my favorite Goan cake, yup y'all know how much I love this Ba'ath cake because I've done different versions of it...this time it's a cornmeal cake that's got the sweet and delicate flavor of rosewater with coconut. I made little individual cakes in my mini-cocottes but you can even make them cakes in a lined muffin pan just like you would cupcakes. Just make a note that the number of cakes will change depending on how big/small the muffin pans are.

Instead of using milk, I've used Califia Farm's unsweetened creamer. The results are pretty amazing, I find that it adds to the flavor of the cake, the coconut flavor pops out. The cornmeal gives this cake a granular yet soft texture, there's the sweetness of the corn mixed in with the coconut flakes and rosewater. I mean honestly, this couldn't get any better and even if you don't celebrate Easter, you should still make this cake to welcome spring!

cornmeal and coconut rose water cakes | A Brown Table
cornmeal and coconut rose water cakes | A Brown Table
cornmeal and coconut rose water cakes | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing the cakes;

  • I'm using coconut oil instead of butter in this cake batter. I amplifies the fragrance of the coconut in the cake but coconut oil's shelf life decreases after baking so I wrap and refrigerate the individual cakes in clingfilm for up to 4 days. You can warm these cakes up at 30 seconds on low power in the microwave if you prefer them warm.
  • I use cast iron mini-cocottes but as I mention above, muffin pans will work too, just remember the number of cakes will change depending on the size of the muffin pan. 
  • Don't use rosewater that's too old, it loses it's intensity and always store it tight in the refrigerator once you open it. 
cornmeal and coconut rose water cakes | A Brown Table

cornmeal and coconut rosewater cakes

yields: 6 individual cakes

ingredients

150gm coconut oil + a little extra for greasing the cake pan

1 cup califia creamer unsweetened almond milk

1 cup(81g) cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used desiccated)

2 cups(282gm) cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1cup (200g) superfine sugar

3 large eggs, cold

1/4 cup coconut cream

1 tablespoon rose water

1. Place a wire rack at midlevel and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease 6 mini-cocottes with a little coconut oil and keep aside. Place the creamer in small thick bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat until warm for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from stove and add the coconut, stir with a silicone spatula and allow to steep for 20 minutes. 

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, dry whisk the cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Keep aside.

3. Attach the whisk to the stand mixer and in the bowl of a standmixer whisk the sugar and eggs for about 4 to 5 minutes until pale yellow on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and add the coconut oil, cream and rose water and mix for about 1 minute until combined. Remove the whisk and replace with the paddle attachment.  Combine the ingredients on medium-low speed until completely combined. Divide the batter equally between the 6 greased mini-cocottes and place them on lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. The cakes will be lightly golden brown in color when done and firm to touch, a skewer should come out clean when inserted through the center of the cake. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 60 minutes before serving. Serve the cakes lukewarm in the min-cocottes or un-mold the cooled cakes using a blunt knife by running it between the edges of the cake and the mini-cocottes. The cakes can also be served cool at room temperature.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.

sesame tahini baath cake (Goan coconut cake)

Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake |A Brown Table
  • I had a little interview at Food and Wine magazine this week, talking about my blog and food. Please do check it out! 
  • My sweet and wonderful friend Alanna shares some of the fun moments she captured when we made Masala Chai this past weekend. Her photography and recipes are a treat, you won't be disappointed! 
Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake | A Brown Table

Here's a little twist to one of my favorite coconut cakes, the Baath, it's a delicious, rustic Goan coconut cake made with semolina that has a little bit of rose water. I've shared a lightened version of the regular Baath cake before but I've been aching to make it again and wanted to try something new this time. This version uses nutty tahini and toasty black sesame seeds, imagine all of that nestled in a semolina cake with the light fragrance of rose water and a gentle hint of vanilla. 

Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake | A Brown Table

I cut back on the sugar in this version but you can certainly increase the amount of sugar (as suggested in the recipe instructions below). This cake would be perfect with that cup of masala chai or coffee. 

Here are some of my tips for working with semolina cakes and this cake in particular,

  • The trick to a good moist and soft semolina cake, soak it in the batter for a few hours to overnight and then bake it. 
  • I prefer to store this cake wrapped in the refrigerator (or freeze the excess in airtight bags). I'm always worried that the coconut could get rancid and the cake keeps well. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving. Refrigeration also helps to lock in the aromatic floral scents in this cake.
Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake | A Brown Table

sesame tahini baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake

yields: one 9 inch cake

ingredients 

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature + a little more for greasing a 9 inch circular pan

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (if you like it sweeter, you can go up to 2 cups)

1 tablespoon tahini

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut flavored rum (optional)

1/4 cup rose water

3 cups (1 lb + 1 2/4 ounces) semolina

1 cup (2 3/4 ounces) shredded unsweetened coconut (I used the Bob's Red Mill brand, I was really pleased with its scent and taste)

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups reduced fat coconut milk 

1/4 cup black sesame seeds 

1. Line the base of springform or regular circular 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the sides with butter and keep aside until ready to use.

2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment cream until light and fluffy on medium high speed for about 5 minutes. Add the tahini and beat for another minute until combined.

3. Add one egg at a time to the creamed butter and sugar mixture and mix on medium-high speed until completely combined. 

4. Add the vanilla extract and coconut rum (if using). Beat for 30 seconds until completely mixed. 

5. In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk, the semolina, coconut, salt, baking powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the black sesame seeds. Pour half of this mixture into the creamed butter-sugar-egg mixture and combine using the paddle attachment. Pour in the rose water and coconut milk. Add the rest of the semolina mixture and combine on medium speed until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with an offset spatula (wet the spatula with a little cold water, to prevent the batter from sticking). Sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on the surface of the cake batter. Cover the cake with cling film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight before baking.

6. To bake the cake, place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Remove the cling film and bake for 45-50 minutes turning the cake half way through baking. The cake is done with the top is slightly golden and the center is firm to touch or when a knife or skewer when passed through the center of the cake comes out clean from the center. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes in the cake pan. Run a knife around the edges of the baked cake, remove and allow to cool to room temperature before serving. To store, I recommend refrigerating in an airtight container or freezing the extra (bring to room temperature before serving).