It's hard to know what to write after an (unusally long and unforseen) break. The first and most natural things are something like "I'm so sorry for the big long silent abyss I left you in" or "sweet zombie Jesus I can't believe I've been gone for like 4 months", or "please forgive me because I'll never do it again". And I would be wholehearted in saying at least two of them, because I can't promise it will never happen again - but I can promise "I will try harder next time, marm. Please give me another chance".
To write the details of what's been going on over the last four months would take another four months and a heft of emotional strength I just don't possess today or for the foreseeable future. But what I can say is that man, I have missed writing about stuff that is meaningful to ME. I spend a lot of time writing for other people these days and I done forgot how much I like writing about our little corner of the earth. I have missed writing about the perfectly ordinary things that happen in our life. Like how right now as I write this my husband is a few feet away making Pumpkin Date Nut bars on a rainy Sunday afternoon in July because that's about the extent of what we do for fun around here these days. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't actually think of anything I would like to be doing more. (Apart from maybe drinking apple martinis in Miami or supping on freshly caught fish in Greece - which BTW I will be doing in a few short months, ohmygodicantwaitineedavacationsobad). But I am here right now and soon I will be eating Pumpkin Date Nut bars.
How did I get on the subject of Pumpkin Date Nut Bars when this post is actually about Lemony Almond Coconut Cake?? Please send help.
This cake came about in a bit of a lazy, can't be bothered to go to the store so figure out what you can make to impress the guests with stuff that's in the cuboards kind of way.
My good pals Clare and (the lives too far away) Kirsty were coming for a visit last weekend and we planned to kick hubs out of the room and drool over the nearly naked Cam Gigandet in Burlesque. Cher who? Christina who? Bring on the Famous Amos. Anyway, it was pretty obvious that cake would be required for this visit, and so we arrive at the gorgeously squidgy buttery sweet but not too sweet Lemony Almond Coconut cake. Jamie made us lasagne for dinner, so I made the dessert. Doesn't lasagne made by someone else always taste better? After a hearty meal I thought we could use something sweet but not sickly, and definitely not (gasp) chocolate - it would've all just been a bit too much, even for the likes of me.
So this cake is a great option for after any meal, but then I love lemon-y desserts anytime. The coconut and almonds are nutty but not overpowering, they live in perfect balance, unlike the rest of us mentalists. The middle of the cake stays lovely and squishy where the edges go a bit golden and crunchy, more macaroon-like than cake. And hello gluten free! Bonus! Before baking I wasn't sure of the finished texture or level of sweetness so I made a lemony simple syrup to go with the cake, but I ended up eating it without. Make syrup if you feel you need something to present with the cake, but I think its beautiful enough to present, unapologetically, alone.
Make this for your guests, they'll never know you had everything in the cupboard already. Unless you tell them on your blog.