coconut, banana and lime cake with lime syrup and candied carambola

cakesideazIf you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’d be well acquainted with the fact that I’m regularly ‘gifted’ with fresh garden produce by friends, family and acquaintances. Most of the time I view this phenomenon as a huge blessing; for example, I haven’t had to buy fresh limes for over three months.

However, last week’s bounty included four fresh carambola (star fruit), alongside six limes and a whole hand of overripe bananas (the latter were from an overly neglected fruit bowl). Being the headstrong, waste-hating cook that I am, I was determined to use the lot before heading to Margaret River for the weekend.

dropstar2So, early on Saturday morning, I awoke with one task in mind: to create a one-pan, palatable cake incorporating all of the above. As Aaron and I were planning to visit his family on the way to Margaret River, I decided to bake an organic, coconut-based cake for their predominantly healthy taste buds. Below, you’ll find the pleasing end result.

cocbanmontThis cake is dense, fragrant and lime-drenched, gently sweet with coconut sugar and soft, mild banana. I’ve used both coconut and plain flour for a super-moist interior, gently offset by the sweet, tropical candied carambola.

As the cake was topped, dusted and packed for transportation within 30 minutes of leaving the oven, I had little time to take beautiful photographs. It was served immediately in its warm, delicate form, with syrup still dripping from the knife.

Rest assured, there will definitely be a ‘version two’ of this tropical beauty. When that occasion arises, I will take some interior ‘slice’ shots and upload them for your perusal. Until then, please accept my apology… your imagination will have to suffice.

cakesideCoconut, Banana and Lime Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar (substitute brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (270mL) coconut cream
  • 3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup (180g) Nuttelex (substitute Earth Balance or unsalted butter), melted
  • 2 limes, zest and juice (equivalent to 1/2 cup juice)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees f). Grease and line a round 22cm springform tin, then set aside.

Combine dry ingredients and lime zest in a large bowl.

floursugarmontIn a separate bowl, combine your mashed banana, butter, coconut cream, lime juice and lightly beaten eggs. Add your wet ingredients to the dry mixture, then mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture is smooth and no patches of flour remain.

batterPour into the lined cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is slightly risen, golden and firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out with only a few moist crumbs attached.

Set aside to cool slightly whilst you make the syrup.

zestgrnLime Syrup

Makes about 1/2 cup

  • 1/2 cup white caster sugar
  • zest and juice of 2-3 limes (equivalent to 1/2 cup juice)

Combine sugar and lime juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens (about 5-10 minutes).

limemontRemove from the heat and add in the lime zest. Allow to steep for five minutes.

Whilst the cake is still warm, poke holes all over it with a wooden skewer. Slowly pour over the still-warm lime syrup in an even drizzle, allowing time for the liquid to penetrate.

soaktopSet aside to soak whilst you make your candied carambola (place a plate underneath your tin to catch any escaping syrup; pour it back over the cake as required).

crossec1Candied Carambola*

  • 2 firm carambola (star fruit)
  • 1 cup white caster sugar
  • 1 cup cold water

Wash your carambola, then slice off the ‘stalk end’ (the end that has an indent and a black spot. The other end should be pointy). Run your knife down the edge of each ‘rib’ to remove any discoloured or fibrous skin (see picture below, left). Slice the carambola into 0.5cm even slices, then remove any seeds with the tip of your knife.

sfmontAdd the sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then simmer gently until all of the sugar dissolves. Add in the sliced carambola, then allow to simmer for around 20 minutes, or until the liquid reduced and the fruit becomes translucent and glossy. Remove from the heat.

sfpotmontLine a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Using a fork, carefully remove each piece of candied carambola, allowing excess syrup to drip back into the saucepan. Lay each ‘star’ onto the greaseproof paper to dry (this may take a couple of hours; if you’ve just cooked your cake you can place the tray into the still-warm oven [heat turned off] to accelerate the process).

sfcandiedmontWhen your carambola is ready, it should be slightly dry and sticky to the touch. To finish your cake, dust it gently with icing sugar then lay over your carambola ‘stars’ in a circular pattern, from the centre to the outer rim. If desired, add some extra lime zest or mint to serve.sfsimplesyrup

Notes:

  • This cake is beautiful served at room temperature with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt or double cream.
  • For a vegan version, subtract the eggs and add in two flax eggs (1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed simmered in 3 tbsp water) or use an egg replacer such as Ener-G gluten-free egg replacer. Bear in mind that your finished cake may not rise as successfully, leading to a denser result.
  • *Keep the remaining carambola syrup for cocktails… I ended up with about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of residual syrup. It has a fresh, slightly sweet melon flavour and would be wonderful with mint, vodka (or gin), soda water and some extra sliced carambola (with a squeeze of lime if desired).
  • This cake can be frozen, wrapped or stored in an airtight container, for up to two months. I’d recommend storing it after soaking, without the candied carambola (the freezing and thawing process will remove some of its chewy texture).

closeuptexture

124 responses

    • Oh, I have one left in the fridge! I can bring it to you on Thursday night if you like? It’s a very tropical, difficult-to-describe flavour when eaten fresh. The green ones are really refreshing, almost like green grapes but not as sweet. The ‘yellower’ ones taste a bit like melon crossed with apple crossed with grape, if that makes sense. Delicious, however you describe them! We’ll have a bake off together again soon. Love you xxx

  1. The perils of being a food blogger… taking photos of every step of the making and eating of your food. I think my family are going to need therapy for the amount of time they have had to wait for me to take my shots before they can eat. Your cake looks sub”lime”.

    • Hahahaa, thanks so much Jen. YES. I think I’ve driven my husband mad on a few occasions… I try not to take photos of main meals but I’m sure that’s going to change with time! Thanks for the kind words. Oh, and re your photo process: completely worth it. I love every one of your posts!! xxx

    • Hi lovely! Wow, how did I miss the fact that you’re from Western Australia? Do you live in Perth? We had a fantastic time in Margs… perfect weather, sunny but cool for the most part. We’ve accumulated enough wine to last until Christmas! Thanks for the kind words :) x

      • We live in Sydney but my partner is from Perth and his family are there (never left) – sooo we do a duty trip every couple of years quickly and then head down to Mt Barker where we have friends and then to sunny Denmark. The great southern/porongorups have great wine too and all the wineries have excellent food now. So different to 10 years ago. Went to Leuwin Estate at xmas and saw John Butler trio – just fab. Love margarets…

      • Ah, that explains it! Glad that you have an opportunity to travel down South when you visit here (ah, duty trips… I feel you sister!). We stopped off at Leeuwin this time around actually. I’ve never been to one of their concerts though. John Butler! So jealous! We’ll have to make a trip to your part of the country one of these days (soon I hope!). I haven’t been to Sydney since I was 13. No joke!

  2. I never had carambola, or even ate one, but the idea of so much free fruits, I love that, especially if it´s limes! I can use limes on a daily basis. I never added it to bananas, but I will soon Laura. So many flavors in this cake, it sounds amazing! The candied star fruit is just the carambola on the cake…ja

    • Aw, thanks so much beautiful Paula. I appreciate your kind words! I love limes also…. strangely enough, I had way too many at the beginning of this year (I had about 20 in the fridge, all gifted from family and friends!) but now it’s just a steady supply :) I love using them in cakes. The banana and lime actually worked really well. This was my first lime and banana combination but my head, they were both tropical fruits so I thought ‘…why not!’. The lime is definitely more dominant in flavour. The coconut and banana are a soft presence in the background. I was really happy with the result! xx

    • Thanks Ally! Ah, I have a habit of reading delicious posts at ungodly hours also. For example, it’s 6:30am here at the moment and I’m looking at a fudgy blondie post whilst eating a bowl of Sultana Bran (decidedly boring). Hugs xx

  3. Laura, that’s so lucky and awesome so you keep getting gifted with produce. I’m once-in-awhile gifted – most recently a truly gorgeous bouquet of garden grown mints that were just spectacular and put all store-bought varieties to utter shame. Anyhow, such a beautiful cake and I don’t think I’ve ever seen star fruit used in this manner which is quite enchanting to look at.

    • Thanks so much Azita. Oh, I do love garden herbs! I’m growing a few small pots on our balcony at present but there’s hardly enough mint for a cocktail at present. I agree that store-bought herbs are nothing in comparison. Thanks for the lovely words. The star fruit was delicious, I was so happy with the result! xx

  4. Quite a mouthful of a dessert but looks amazing. Your fruit gifts make me insanely jealous. Fresh limes and star fruit make my gift of the occasional tomato or some herbs look terribly boring. The only exotics I can really get here in Brooklyn are figs and I’m still trying to find people that have fig trees. My new approach is to find the tree, knock on the person’s door and charm them enough so we’ll become best friends and they’ll hand over all their figs. Hey, it could work…

    • Hahaaa! Yes, I was wondering about the wordiness of the ‘title’! I almost cut it down to simplify things but then thought ‘what the heck, I’ll run with it!’. So I did. A mouthful indeed!

      I had no idea that star fruit even grew in Western Australia prior to last week. My generous friend advised that it’s not supposed to be fruiting at this time of year (as it’s winter here) but bucket loads of mature fruit are currently falling onto the ground. I think it’s something to do with the strange weather we’re getting here… it’s hot and cold intermittently. Oh well, it’s been a nice change from boring apples and oranges!

      Oh, and good luck with the fig hunt! I adore fresh figs, I hardly ever get a chance to eat them but when I do, it’s a celebration. I also think your tomato and herb bounty is definitely gift-worthy. Much easier to use than star fruit (I stared at these ones for about half an hour before figuring out what to do with them!) xx

    • It’s freaking beautiful in Margs. Wine, food, beach, chocolate factory… plus, there are lots of sheep and cows. We spent about two hours running around meeting cows over barbed wire fences on Monday, trying to get them to respond to our poorly delivered ‘moo’ conversation. Such cute animals. A couple of them urinated in tandem whilst we were watching though. I had no idea that cow bladders could hold so much fluid… must’ve been over two litres. Anyway, I digress. Yes, go to Margs! Do it!!

  5. This looks so delicious Laura! I love that you used all the fruit you had on hand – it’s almost like a mystery box on Top Chef! And the star fruit looks incredible on top – I have never cooked with it before but am inspired to try! Beautiful post love! xoxo

    • Thanks Lindsay love! Haha, yes it was a bit of a gamble. I had no idea whether the combination would actually result in something palatable but luckily for me, it did! I had lots of fun with the star fruit. Definitely try the candied version if you can track down some fresh carambola in SF… I could’ve eaten it just on its own. Hugs, hoping you’re well beautiful! xx

    • Thanks for the kind words Corvidae. I hate wasting food (or anything, for that matter) so there’s always some sort of ‘combination cake’ floating around! I was a little uncertain of the flavour pairing in this cake, but our family loved it. My husband’s uncle returned the serving platter yesterday with a request for a ‘refill’, haha! That’s the spirit! I have more overripe bananas so maybe I’ll oblige! :)

  6. Another gorgeous cake by Laura! It must of been so fun and whimsical to use the star fruit on top. Love the shot of the “aged” banana peels! :) I have two of those calling out to me every time I walk past the fruit basket. I am STILL looking for First Drop or Sandleford. I have checked 5 different stores. (not exaggerating) I did find and purchase a shiraz cabernet from Inkberry, Central Ranges. Heard of it? Haven’t corked it yet. I saw, and did not purchase a shiraz from Bulletin?? Feedback? These both are in my price range of $15 usd. (that’s what I usually spend for an everyday wine).

    • Aw, you are the sweetest. Yeah, I thought the aged (very, very geriatric!) banana peels were interesting, though my husband remarked that they look like ‘meat’. Ha! Sorry to hear that you haven’t found any of the Aussie wines I mentioned! Darn it, I thought they imported to the USA. We have wine ‘warehouses’ over here, like Dan Murphys, and I can generally find anything I want in there. Do you have any similar warehouse importers for beer, wine and spirits? Re the Inkberry, I’ve never heard of it before. I’m not a huge fan of wines from the Central Ranges or anywhere in Victoria. They have a completely different style of red to South Australia and Western Australia. Hopefully you’ll like it though, let me know if Inkberry is a label to look out for! In terms of price range, I tend to budget around AU$25-30 for an everyday drinking wine. Not sure what that is in American dollars at present, I need to calculate… I’ll make some more wine notes and flip a few more labels your way soon xxx

      • We do have wine warehouses over here! I’ll check there too. I don’t frequent them nearly as much as I should. I took a look at a $ conversion and you are spending more than I usually do, by $10. That’s ok though! :) I’ll look a little higher up on the shelf! Totally take your time on the notes! :)

  7. Laura, this looks amazing! I love the star-fruit caramelized on top of the cake; aesthetically phenomenal, and it sounds like it would taste great too. I’ve heard coconut flour can be a by drying – that seems not to be true here, though. I guess with a can of coconut cream AND a syrup soaking into the warm finished product there’s no danger of anything but moist perfection.

    • Thanks Chelsea! You’re so beautiful, I appreciate the kind words! Re coconut flour, you are entirely right – it’s a very thirsty flour to work with. It can also add a bit of a ‘grainy’ texture if there’s not enough liquid in the batter, hence the addition of the coconut cream, banana, eggs, Nuttelex (vegan margarine) and lime syrup! I was actually considering a note about the ‘dry nature of coconut flour’ in the end notes but I didn’t follow through. Thanks for picking it up (but yes, this cake was decidedly moist and beautiful!) xx

  8. What a pretty, summery cake! That glossy exterior has barely left room in my imagination about its taste. Don’t do the internal shots Laura…it’s potentially dangerous for people like me who are on a sugar high just just kooking at your photographs:-)

    • Thanks so much Sonali! I appreciate the feedback and kind words :) Haha, yes… maybe I should just leave the post ‘as is’? I do agree, photographs of cross-sections often leave me drooling (particularly over your posts!) xx

    • Aw, thanks so much Nicole! The star fruit was lovely. As Australia is so close to Malaysia we usually get it imported or grown locally in Queensland. I actually didn’t realize it was possible to grow star fruit in metropolitan West Aust until last week! Hope you manage to track some down where you are xx

    • Thanks so much lovely. Haha, it was a spur of the moment decision but I was very happy with the result! Syrup cakes are definitely a favourite of mine. Particularly citrus, like lemon drizzle cakes, flourless orange cakes and lime syrup cakes, mmm! xx

  9. Fabulous cake, Laura!!! I want to ask Francesca if she is willing to give it a shot as I love everything in it… except coconut, which I have never been a fan of, but I think it can easily be replaced with something else.
    Beautiful, delicious and summery cake!
    BTW – just in case: for years now I have been obsessed by Key Lime Pie. I had a slice of a divine one at a restaurant in Miami several years ago and I have never been able to find another one anywhere else that would match (or even come close to) that one. Just in case you had a wonderful KLP recipe, here I am selflessly giving you an idea for a post… ;-) ;-) ;-)
    Take care!

    • Thanks Stefano! Haha, I love key lime pie and I’m definitely keen to keep using up my collection of limes! The closest thing I’ve created so far is this recipe: https://laurasmess.me/2013/03/20/lime-and-burnt-sugar-meringue-tart-with-coconut-pastry/ but I am definitely keen perfect a classic recipe. I’ve made several so I’ll get working on a post! :) :)
      Re this recipe, I definitely think it could work without coconut. Just increase the plain flour to 2 cups, use brown sugar instead of coconut sugar and substitute the coconut cream for yoghurt or sour cream. I haven’t tested it yet but with Francesca’s baking skills and general cooking experience, I know it’d work out beautifully!

      • Thank you so much, Laura! I loved your lime-merengue tart – minus the coconut, you know me by now! ;-) I will be on the lookout for your key lime pie recipe, drooling! Also, thanks much for the tips regarding how to replace coconut in this pie: much appreciated! :-)

      • Haha, yep I’ve noted the coconut avoidance Stefano! It’s definitely fair enough, I have a friend who feels exactly the same :) I’ll be experimenting with the Key Lime Pie soon (I’m in the middle of my wine email also, quite excited but very distracted at the moment. Watch this space!)

  10. Laura this looks fabulous. Love those glistening star-fruit. So lovely looking at such a Summery creation – I’m getting tired of all my brown slow-cooked meats. Bring on Spring!

    • I know exactly what you mean Saskia! It was fun to play around with a tropical fruit on a cold, wintry Saturday morning! I have no idea why my friend’s tree is fruiting at this time of year but it was a wonderful change from apples and oranges. One month til spring! xx

    • Whitney my lovely! I’ll swap you a whole cake for some of your home-fried paneer. Or even better, if you come visit me I promise to cook for the duration of your stay. Plus, I’ll share my box of Cheerios. Yes?!

      • Aw, I’d love to come to Alabama. It’s been ages since I last visited the US (I’ve been to MASS, NYC, LA, Hawaii so far. Lots more to explore!). I need to start saving, sigh! But as for you, hm… let me know when you’re tickets are booked. Next week is fine :)

  11. Margaret River! Only been there once, but we loved it. A few friends have moved to Perth in the past two years, so we will probably be doing a friendship duty trip at some point, I’ve always wanted to drive across the Nullabor, maybe in a Fiat 500… The cake looks gorgeous, I love star fruit but have never tried it with banana, lime and coconut all at once, what a creative combination!

    • I drove across the Nullarbor with some school friends when I was 12 (in a bus driven by an adult, obviously!). It was spectacular… amazing red dirt, rock formations, expansive desert…. but the food at the roadhouses was TERRIBLE. I’ve never forgotten some toast that I ate somewhere in central Australia. The butter was rancid and I was sick for a few days. Ugh! I hope that you get back to Margs soon. It’s one of my favourite places in the world and I feel blessed to live so close! Thanks for the beautiful comment lovely! xx

      • Yep, spoken like a true Aussie! Definitely take an esky if you have one, as the central region gets darn hot. But you’ll have a great time, I still had fun despite the dodgy breakfast. It’s an amazing trip xx

  12. And there are the limes! Have they made it into the coleslaw yet??
    What a gorgeous looking cake. Whoop whoop – super yum. Not a combination I’d ever have thought of, but that’s not so unusual – people in the blogosphere seem to be stuffed with random yet delectable mixtures of ingredients that my little brain could never dream up.
    I’m like you – lots of cooking things that I never get to see the inside of, or can’t take photos of because there’s a room full of people and who amongst them wants a camera lens stuck to the side of their cake?
    Love it.

    • They did indeed Trixie! Haha… they’re making it into everything at the moment. I loved the combination of the creamy dressing and the tangy lime. Much better than lemon – you are a genius of gigantor proportions (I mean brain capacity, of course, rather than head or body size. Just for clarification).
      Re the strange combo of ingredients, yes… I put experimental things together all the time. I have the ability to imagine the taste of a recipe in my head before I make it, which definitely helps with combinations like this.
      It frustrates me that I can’t blog about half of the things I cook. In some ways I wish I was more of a blatant, confident food blogger who felt no embarrassment at sticking a camera lens into people’s plates. I do think that food gifts and meal times need to be respected though. Food is first and foremost for nourishment and meals are to be shared in relationship. I think that over-emphasis on food photography can ruin that. Thanks hon xxx

  13. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Dear Laura,
    Your photography is always breath-taking. You have a special way of capturing food naturally. I love it! My husband LOVES anything with coconut, so I may have to give this recipe a try over the weekend :o)
    Thanks for always sharing such beautiful and unique recipes!
    Suzanne

    • Aw, thank you so much Suzanne. I am so happy that my intention with the photography translated onto the screen. I love being able to photograph the organic cooking process, the food speaks for itself rather than lots of fancy plating and props (not that the latter are bad things, I do adore props and I have huge admiration for those who do gorgeous photo sessions, but I’m just different!). I do hope that you like this cake. We loved it. Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to write xx

    • Aw, thanks Kiran! It was so delicious. I love the name ‘starfruit’, as it’s a perfect description of the fruit itself. My mother’s friend taught me how to prepare it (she’s from Malaysia) but I made up the candied version myself. So pretty! xx

    • Thanks so much Julia! Beautiful idea to use the star fruit with fish, I’ve never tried that particular combination. Did you stir fry it? Thanks for taking the time to comment xx

    • Aw, thanks sweet Soph! I appreciate the thought. I’m no longer accepting awards but I’m really grateful that such a talented blogger like you would mention me! Thanks hon xx

  14. Laura – as Renée Zellweger so eloquently put it in ‘Jerry Maguire,’…. “You had me at hello.” I have to make this for so may reasons. Among them: an excuse to find coconut flour (never heard of it till today), finally a preparation for star fruit, the combination of lime and coconut (okay, and banana)… This is a real winner.

    • Aw, David you are so kind! Thanks for the lovely words, despite the fact that this cake (yet again!) includes the much-detested banana! In this specific recipe, the banana works more as a ‘moistening’ agent rather than adding specific banana flavour. I promise… my husband didn’t even pick the banana until I told him it was in there (he predominantly tasted lime and coconut, yay!). Coconut flour is fantastic. It’s a rather ‘thirsty’ flour so you need to ensure that the cake batter has enough liquid in it… but the finished result is moist, tender and lightly flavoured with sweet coconut. I love it :)

    • Aw, Celeste you’re the sweetest! Thanks for the kind words. It was both delicious and beautiful to look at! I got given more star fruit today so I’m looking forward to experimenting with more recipes :) xx

  15. I just love every component you’ve infused into this cake – all together they make for one delectable cake! And the candied fruit – so gorgeous and such a treat!

    • Hello lovely! Thanks so much for the kind words. I love candying fruit… the glossy pieces always beautify the simplest of cakes. Definitely try this if you love coconut and lime. It was such a treat xx

    • Thank you Susan! It was definitely a beautiful cake, I loved every bite! I had eaten star fruit before but I’d never actually cooked with it. I’ve just been given another bag so I’m going to have another play around this weekend. It’s such a pretty fruit! :)

  16. Wow–amazing! I applaud your creativity in coming up with such a wonderful-sounding cake in order to not waste any of your lovely produce (which I am totally jealous of!)! The candied star fruit on top is SO PRETTY! If they’re available in the U.S., I need to find them. I suppose they must be–I’ve just never seen them.

    Can’t wait to see version two!! :)

    • Hi lovely Erika! Haha, I can’t always save leftover produce but I do try! This cake worked out really well. The candied star fruit was both delicious and aesthetically pleasing… I would imagine that star fruit are available in the US? Not sure. The ones we get are normally imported from Malaysia (though these ones were grown locally by a friend, in WINTER! Go figure) so they’re a little bit expensive. I hope that you get to try a star fruit soon. They’re quite unique and delicious. Will keep you posted on the next version! Hugs xx

    • Thanks so much Yvonne. You’re wonderful. I love experimenting and coming up with new flavour pairings, recipes and concepts. It’s my little patch of creativity on weekends :) Thanks again for your lovely words xx

  17. Oh Laura!! What a beautiful cake!! You impress me always and limes are one of my favorite fruits…I love to use them in both savory and sweet. I’m just sitting here imaginig how it tastes. Amazing I know!! I love your photos too :)

    • Thank you Brandi! You are such a sweetheart. It was a beautiful cake. I loved the syrupy, tropical fruit goodness and the dense coconut flour. Mmm, goodness in cake form! I think I need to make another! xx

    • Thanks Anne. Definitely agree, moist tropical flavours are a gorgeous splash of summertime, whatever time of the year it is (it’s still winter over here, grey and dreary… I need all the tropical desserts I can get!) xx

    • Aw, thank you Kate! It was definitely fragrant, sticky, moist and delicious… all of my favorite cake qualities in one :) Thanks for taking the time to comment. I adore your blog… I’ve just been refreshing myself on your dessert creations and each is more beautiful than the next! xx

    • Thanks so much Colleen! I appreciate your kind words… and yep, I definitely agree! It’s refreshment and summer on a plate (even though it’s winter over here, haha. Nature is a bit confused at the moment!) xx

    • Naw, thanks so much Erin! Haha, I’d happily give you some of the tropical fruit. It’s rather strange getting tropical fruit at the moment though, as we’re in the middle of winter! It’s been raining for the past 24 hours and I’m staring out at a grey sky right now (I think nature must be a bit confused!). Thanks for the lovely comment xx

    • Hi Ruby! Thanks so much for the lovely words. I definitely agree… I am one blessed woman. I got another whole bag of kumquats and star fruit the other day, so I get to do more experimenting over the weekend! Wish that I could gift you some of my exotic carambola… they’re definitely worth trying. So fresh, juicy and tropical xx

  18. Seriously jealous of your garden gifts, and the fact that star fruit would be included amongst them! That’s an exotic treat for me, which can still be hard to find at times. They’re so beautiful candied like this, I don’t think they’d ever make it on the cake!

    • Naw, thanks so much Hannah! Haha… I just got given another huge bag of about ten star fruit and about 3kg of kumquats the other day! I had no idea that blogging would make me an automatic magnet for garden produce (loving it!). Wish I could send you some of my star fruit. You’re right, they’re delicious candied… Aaron and I ate quite a few as soon as they became tacky. He was fascinated by the flavour (he wasn’t familiar with star fruit). Thanks for the lovely comment Han xx

    • It’s really difficult to describe. I think the fresh green ones taste a little bit like a super juicy nashi pear or green apple, whereas the yellowing, riper fruit taste a bit like… melon crossed with grape crossed with apple? They’re really fresh and juicy. The flesh is more like eating a grape as the skins are really thin. I had fun candying the slices. I just got given another bag of fruit so I might do some more experimenting this weekend! xx

    • Thanks so much lovely. It took a bit of thinking to decide what to do with the carambola! I’ve only eaten them fresh a few times (a long time ago!) but the candied version worked out so well. It was a beautiful textural variance as well as adding a delicate melon flavour. Thanks again for the kind words xx

  19. ooo yum!! this cake is a combo of all things good! :D
    just love how you used the carambola – so creative! :)
    xxo

    • Naw, you are the sweetest! It was kinda difficult deciding what to do with the carambola. I’m not very familiar with it as a cooking ingredient but the caramelised ‘candy’ turned out well! Hugs xx

  20. you’re such an angel, managing to use up all those ingredients. This looks like such a yummy cake. and I know that you felt you had to apologise for the photos, but scrolling down I was like: she’s nuts – the images are great. Perhaps I was thankful that there weren’t too many of the cake interior as I know it would have made me cry! I’m a sucker when it comes to moist, syrupy cake. Yum, Laura – you are yum!!

    • Gabriela! Thanks so much lovely. Haha… yes, you’re right, maybe I was sparing everyone the pain of having to stare at the moist, unattainable cake interior! I’ll tell myself that, anyway ;) It was lovely. I also adore any kind of syrupy, moist cake… this one definitely hit the spot (whilst being thrifty, too!). Hugs to you lovely xx

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