On my 16th birthday my mother bought me a lovely gift. A simple chain with my name “Meeta” hanging in free letters. My mother is a gorgeous woman and has all the grooming of an aristocratic Sikh Indian family.
Like many Indians she believes only in India one can buy the purest gold and perfect diamonds.
Her gift to me on my 16th birthday was bought in Delhi from our trusted family jewelers, who had served my mother’s family for years. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, gold – whatever was desired was always via this family jeweler. So, when my mum came with me on that particular day, I am sure the jeweler was thankful to see yet another generation who would be buying precious gems from him.
I was not told to choose anything I wanted as many may have expected. My mother had something very particular in her mind. She gave the order and the jeweler looked rather surprised at the mediocre order my mother had just given him. I suppose he was expecting something flashier in diamonds, in comparison a 22 carat gold chain seemed almost insufficient to him.
My mother knows me well. When we picked up the chain, she opened the box and I was ecstatic at the contents. It was her way of welcoming me into sweet “almost” adulthood! A secret family ritual apparently, that was passed down from generation to generation – the mother gives her 16 year daughter a gift to remember her by.
Twenty years later I still wear that chain! It’s how I keep my mum close to my heart. She is all the way in Dubai and I often miss her. Our talks, our shopping sprees, our eating binges, our laughs, her kisses and hugs and yes even our arguments! I love her because she knows exactly how I tick. She knew back then that I was not the one for gaudy, big, flashy jewelry. She knew I would always be the one for elegant but exquisite things. She knows I like to make my statement with an understatement. She knew exactly how I would cherish this gift. I do!
There are so many great memories I have of my mum and me – the ones I adore the most are definitely the times I used to spend baking with her. One such memory is from not so long ago as a matter of fact. Last April when we were in Dubai I had asked my mum to give me a recipe of her luscious coconut and lemon cake. It was one of the cakes I grew up on.
Many of you will remember her wonderful refreshing orange cake. The cake was extremely popular with many of you too. So many of you left comments and sent me wonderful emails regarding the cake that I had to show my mother some of the feedback you sent. She certainly was blushing with pride LOL!
Instead of giving me the recipe for this cake via telephone or email, she made me wait till I made my trip to Dubai! Once again she hit the nail on the head. Because the time I spent with her in the kitchen that afternoon was unforgettable.
Just like her gift twenty years ago, she knew what I would cherish the most. Time! Time with her because it’s what I miss out on the most.
To my mum – you mean the world to me!
Printable version of recipe here.
For the cake
185g all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
45g shredded dried coconut
1 tablespoon lemon zest
125g butter + more for brushing the cake form, melted
For the Coconut Frosting
185g icing sugar, sieved
90g shredded dried coconut
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, coarsely grated
60ml lemon juice
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Brush a round cake pan (20 cm in diameter) with some of the melted butter, then line with baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl sieve the flour and baking powder. Then add the shredded coconut, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, butter and the milk. Using a wooden spoon mix into a smooth creamy mixture.
Fill the dough into the cake pan and bake for 40 minutes, until a slight crust forms on the surface. Take the cake out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Finally, take out of pan and allow to cool completely on a rack.
For the Coconut Frosting
In a smaller bowl, mix the icing sugar and the shredded coconut. Add the lemon zest and pour in enough of the lemon juice to make a stiff, but still spreadable mixture.
Spread the frosting over the surface and the edges of the cake using a metal spatula.
Storing: Stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator this cake will last for 4 to 5 days.
This cake brings back a lot of childhood memories for me. I made this for my birthday earlier in June. It was just another way for me to be a little closer to my mum. My friends and colleagues simply loved the flavors of this cake. The lemon juices are soaked up by the coconut, keeping the entire cake moist and luscious. The aroma of this simple but flavorful cake is incredible. Each bite is utterly delicious so much so that I have to reveal a little trick. Make two smaller sized cakes with this recipe. This way you can indulge in smaller slices without feeling the big guilt.
I was looking forward to enter this cake to A Fruit A Month, which is being hosted this month by Sug at Tasty Palettes. The fruit she has chosen is the great coconut. However, I believe I have missed the deadline. Sug I had all the good intentions as you see. You can read all about the coconut and get detailed information on selecting and storing in my Food Know-How section: coconut.
You might enjoy these cakes from WFLH too:
Other coconut recipes from around the blog:
Closet Cooking's spectacular Mango Coconut Rice Pudding
Taste & Tell's creamy Coconut Cream Flan
Dhanggit's Kitchen's moist Almond, Coconut, Honey Brioche
Simply Recipe's fruity and nutty Berry Cobbler with Coconut Walnut Topping
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