Jun 26, 2012

Baking :: Coconut Cake with Cherry Syrup :: from the new tea trolley!

"You'll never guess what she's gone and bought this time"
despaired the 19 year old to his 18 year old sister.
"It's a tea trolley. As if we need another piece of furniture..."
his voice trailed off as he nodded his head towards the car boot,
letting his feelings be known to all and sundry.
My daughter looked at me questioningly.

"Well, it was very gorgeous, and I thought it looked unloved,
and that we could have afternoon tea from it" I defensively pointed out,
hoping the promise of dainty cakes 
might justify my spontaneous purchase to the children,
 who spend a lot of time shaking their heads at my antics.

"mmm... well that does sound nice..." she thoughtfully pondered.
"But where are you going to put it?"
"Um, here and there. It has go-fast wheels, you see."

And so, in order to find a valid use for the little brass vintage treasure from the charity shop,
who is of unknown origin, possibly 1950s,
I quickly rattled myself and the tea trolley off to the scullery to produce 
a Coconut Butter Cake, which was then drizzled with cherry syrup.

Made from cherries we picked last summer at Red Hill,
which I cooked in sugar syrup with star anise, cloves & lime zest,
and kept in the freezer for mid winter emergencies.
(Like the one I was in now.
My credibility was at stake.)

It's a classic butter cake recipe,
meaning it is one of those dense, buttery cakes 
which my grandmother used to call "pound cakes"
(I suspect because it stacks on the pounds if you eat too much of it...)
With the addition of coconut it becomes extra moist, 
and the cherry syrup is a delicious twist.
(It's also good made with a citrus syrup.)

And the verdict?
"Maybe it is useful after all," Henrietta declared,
reaching for another slice.
"Yes, as long as you keep it filled up with cake" added Andrew,
with a mouthful of cake crumbs.
Sadly, they only left me one slice of cake to photograph,
sans cherries... 

But, yay, the little tea trolley is loved again. 
A happy ending! 

all images :: blue fruit


  1. The trolley is beautiful and the cake looks delicious (I thought the name Pound Cake was because there was 5 ingredients with each measure 1 pound) I stand corrected and will from now on think of it as an "extra pound" cake. Too funny.

    1. Joy you are absolutely correct and I was being facetious - it is indeed named a Pound Cake for that very reason. But Extra Pound Cake sounds even more apt!

  2. PERFECTION! Love the trolley and love the look of the recipe. Will try it this weekend, but not be able to serve it quite so delicately I suspect. These things are quite wasted on my children who are quite happy to eat directly from the cooling rack if it sits there for too long. Saying that, though, I do usually serve up for special occasions on vintage china plates and absolutely with silver cake forks. The cherubs can perform in polite society when required!! Rx

    1. Then our offspring have much in common - because a "little mouse" always gets to the cake on the cooling rack BEFORE I can get to ice or finish the cakes.

  3. I have been looking for a trolley just like this to use as a bar table but I love it as a tea trolley! Oh I want to have a high tea party now or perhaps just some cake. Yum. xAnastasia

    1. Well you just never know what you may find in your local Salvation Army! (This was from the Mornington store.) I figure it is a tea trolley, rather than a bar cart, because with little castors all the bottles of plonk would tip over - but who knows?

  4. Yay for the Salvation Army!!! I have bought far too many treasures to name from them. Yours is fantastic! How lovely to have a tea trolley. Yes, I do have a bar cart but find a tea trolley to be so much more elegant. If only the Hattatts were around, you know that they would approve!!!

    1. How delightful a thought - to have the Hatatts over for afternoon tea, all served from the tea trolley. I've been trying to work out the difference between a bar cart and a tea trolley, without much success. None of my furniture books define it. But something about this piece just suggests a dainty tea service, perhaps it is the elegance of line, as you say. (I have a 1960s wrought iron patio bar cart too - and put together he looks very bulky, while this one is fine.) Haha - I should line them up as a mother bear/ father bear arrangement.


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