My little sister loves a good coconut cake. So the last time she was coming for tea with the boys I thought it would be a nice surprise for her if I baked a coconut cake of some description for afters. You know what it’s like when you look for a recipe online. You pop coconut cake into the search engine and you are overwhelmed with choice. There are literally millions to choose from. Sometimes, the artfulness in finding recipes online lies not so much in finding the good recipes. The real trick is knowing which ones are not exactly going to set your soul on fire, and casting them aside. I knew I had a couple of bags of mini marshmallows going spare so this coconut marshmallow slice was a shoo-in. On the face of it this tray bake seemed simple enough. Perfect for spending a lazy Sunday mallowing out with family.
The recipe was an American find so I had to convert the recipe from cups to grams. Easy enough to do. The first layer was a simple all-in-one coconut cake. Just throw the ingredients into a mixing bowl, beat them together until smooth and Bob’s your uncle. No alarms and no surprises. A quick bake and you are done. The second layer was what I imagined would be a simple marshmallow topping. The marshmallows were to be melted in a pan with a little bit of milk. Spread over the cooled cake with a spatula and scatter with desiccated coconut. Quick and simple. Except when it came to the marshmallows they were two different sizes. As they were going to be melted together they really needed to be of an equal size. Sitting there cutting 200g of marshmallows into pieces with a small pair of scissors was mind-numbingly and hand-achingly awful. I felt as though I was on jankers. But there was worse to come.
Stirring up trouble.
I have never melted marshmallows before so I didn’t know what to expect. It turns out that it is very much like playing cat’s-cradle with chewing gum. Messy with a capital mess. The first thing I should mention is that it took an age. You have to stand there stirring even when they haven’t started melting yet, just in case they do start melting and catch on the pan. Then when they do start melting, they all melt at different times. You have some that are quickly liquified and some that are stubbornly clumping together in a tight ball. Then no matter how furiously you stir, the damnable stuff sticks to the pan anyway. When it has finally melted to a smooth consistency you have a battle on your hands to pour, scrape and tease it onto the cooled cake. Spreading it out to an even layer is TRICKY. It pings about like rubber bands and every time it touches anything – it sticks. There are viscous strands of gluey mallow connecting the cake to pans, spoons, spatulas, clothes, plates and fingers. If you would like to recreate the experience of making this melted marshmallow frosting, simply allow six of your friends to festoon you and your kitchen with silly string. The clean up will be much easier.
A tin to bake it in.
This is another recipe for the pan that can. The 23cm by 33cm tray bake tin. I am aware that I have given you several recipes for that size of tin in a short period of time, but that is the idea. If you spend your hard-earned Pounds Sterling on a cake tin then you will want a good few recipes to make in that tin. Speaking of which. I know I haven’t exactly painted this Coconut Marshmallow Slice in a favourable light, but please don’t give up on it altogether. If you would prefer to top the cake off with a coconut frosting instead, be my guest. It’s most likely what I will do if ever I make this again. If you do have the bravery and/or patience to make this as written below, then you will reap the rewards. I can honestly say that I had nothing but compliments for this bake. The cake layer is a very good layer of coconut cake. And when you DO finally manage to get the marshmallow frosting on there it looks pretty as a picture. And this traybake is plenty big enough too. If anybody wants a second helping, just tell them they don’t need to be coconut shy. Now here’s that recipe… Enjoy.
Coconut Marshmallow Slice.
- 250g Self Raising Flour.
- 1 tsp Baking Powder.
- 250g Margarine.
- 250g Granulated Sugar.
- 4 Eggs.
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract.
- 130g Greek Yoghurt.
- 70g Desiccated Coconut.
- 250g Mini Marshmallows.
- 30ml Whole Milk.
- 50g Desiccated Coconut.
- Position a shelf in the centre of the oven, no tray. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm so the paper overhangs on the two long sides.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the first eight ingredients on a low speed until just combined.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. No more than two minutes.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface, leaving a dip in the middle to help the cake rise evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently pressed with a finger and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool completely in the tin, then remove to a serving tray.
- To make the topping, place the marshmallows and milk in a large saucepan.
- Melt over a very low heat, stirring continuously until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and quickly pour onto the cooled cake.
- Spread the marshmallow out to the edges as best as you can using a palette knife.
- Scatter the desiccated coconut evenly over the surface.
- Cut into squares or bars just before serving.