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Inspired by, I made this spectacular yet incredibly easy dessert cake to celebrate my brother’s birthday. It requires almost no effort but loads of patience for it takes hours for the ice cream layer to set until it is firm enough to be unmolded safely. I love the tropical combination of flavors which combines coconut flakes, fresh mango and toasted macadamia nuts in this special celebration cake to give it a vibrant summer touch. It does get a tad messy to serve, so be sure to get your cake out of the freezer only when you are ready to blow the birthday candles.



1 cup (90g) desiccated coconut

270ml can coconut cream

1L vanilla frozen yoghurt or ice cream

1 cup (150g) macadamia nuts

90g scotch finger biscuits

60g unsalted butter, melted, cooled

3/8 cup (80g) caster sugar

1 large lime, juiced to give 50ml

2 mangoes, sliced into long thin strips

Coconut flakes, to serve


  • Grease and line the base and sides of one 18-cm spring form cake pan with baking paper.

  • Using a stand mixer, beat the desiccated coconut and coconut cream until well combined.

  • Add the frozen yogurt or ice cream and beat the mixture on low speed until well combined.

  • Immediately cover the pan with plastic wrap, freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight till set.

  • Preheat oven to 200C. Place macadamias on baking tray and roast for 8 minutes till golden.

  • Keep aside 1/4 cup (35g) nuts to garnish the cake, place remaining nuts in a food processor.

  • Add the biscuits and pulse them to fine crumbs. Add butter and whiz until well combined.

  • Spread crumb mixture over the top of the set ice cream cake and press it into an even layer.

  • Cover cakes with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour to set or until ready to assemble.

  • To make syrup, place sugar and 1/4 cup (60ml) water in small saucepan over medium heat.

  • Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a simmer and cook, without stirring, for 8 minutes.

  • Carefully add lime juice to the golden caramel and remove from heat. Allow caramel to cool.

  • Chill until ready to serve. To assemble, remove cake from pan and peel away baking paper.

  • Top the cake with macadamias, mango and coconut flakes and drizzle it with lime caramel.

Tropical Flavours on a Birthday Cake

Ever heard of Jaffa cakes? Well, I won’t blame you if you have not. I myself had no clue as to what they actually were till I saw some pretty pictures in my BBC GoodFood cookbooks. Behind the fancy name and rich chocolate coverture lies a small, biscuit-size sponge cake topped with a good measure of orange flavored jelly. Originally produced and marketed by McVitie’s, the homemade version by Marsha’s Baking Addiction is surprisingly easy to bake and assemble, though I trust you can do a better job with the dark chocolate topping than I did here.



For the Jaffa Sponge Cakes

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup (50g) caster/granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (60g) plain/all-purpose flour

For the Orange Jelly Filling

1/4 cup (50g) caster/granulated sugar

1/2 cup (120ml) orange juice

1 sachet (12g) gelatin or agar agar

For the Dark Chocolate Topping

3/4 cup (130g) dark chocolate, chopped


  • For the filling, place the sugar, and orange juice into a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer.

  • Once sugar has dissolved, sprinkle gelatin or agar agar on top and stir it. Do not boil the mixture.

  • Line a muffin pan with aluminum foil, then pour 1 tablespoon of the orange mixture into each hole.

  • Chill it for 1 to 2 hours until set. For the Jaffa sponge cakes, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  • In a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, add eggs and sugar, beat using a hand mixer.

  • Beat until pale and frothy for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla.

  • Fold in flour. Remove the jelly and foil from the muffin pans. Grease the pan for the cake mixture.

  • Pour batter into prepared pan, about 1 tablespoon of batter per muffin hole. Bake for 10 minutes.

  • Allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes in pans before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Gently remove the orange jellies from the foil. Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth.

  • For assembling Jaffa cakes, place one jelly round over each cake before topping it with chocolate.

  • Gently press the tines of a fork on top of the chocolate and lift up. Leave it to set. Makes 12 cakes.

Genoise Sponge+ Orange Jelly+ Dark Chocolate

After driving a Honda hatchback for years, it was instinctive to opt for the same make when I had to choose the new family car. My new Honda Jazz, freshly delivered from E.A.L Man Hin, has everything we have been used to in my first Honda so it was not difficult to get used to. The titanium colour though less fiery than the red one, gives a glossy finish while the newly designed bodywork has a more aggressive look with “a bold front grille, sculpted bumpers, and strong, sweeping lines”. The spacious interior offers comfort and enough room to carry whatever I need securely.

Honda Jazz

To welcome my new car home, I chose to bake a small celebration cake with these new caramel fudge chips from the Vahiné baking range. This Moelleux au Caramel taken from their website uses a good measure of caramel spread of the same brand along with the pépites for a really intense flavour. The addition of heavy cream to the cake batter gives it the characteristic moelleux texture so do not skimp on this essential ingredient.



3 eggs, room temperature

100g caster sugar

125ml heavy cream

180g all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

100g caramel spread

100g butter, salted

100g Fudge Caramel chips


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Beat sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.

  • Add heavy cream and whip for another minute. Combine flour and baking powder.

  • Carefully fold in the flour mixture, followed by melted butter and caramel spread.

  • Fold in the caramel chips and transfer batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.

  • Reduce oven temperature to 160°C and bake for 30 to 35 minutes till golden brown.

  • Cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out on a rack to cool completely. Serves 8.

Welcoming the new Jazz

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