Ummm… so I think it’s about time I told you about the best cake on the face of the planet. And I don’t mean that lightly people. I take my cake VERY seriously. This perfect cake just happens to also be birthed from one of the most perfect places on the face of the planet, Cowichan Bay, BC. More specifically, Fairburn Farm.
Fairburn Farm is situated in the stunning hills of Duncan, BC. It’s tucked away from just about everything in it’s own private little paradise complete with a herd of water buffalo, some very playful goats and a garden that made me want to move in and become her house keeper. Culinary activist and cooking instructor (my idol) Mara Jernigan runs the Fairburn Farm retreat and every Sunday during the summer months she hosts a formal sit down six course lunch paired with wine on the verandah of the farm. It may seem silly to plan an entire vacation around a Sunday lunch – but I did – and it was worth it.
There is something very soul cleansing about sitting in a chair listening to the birds sing, feeling the cool breeze rustle your hair and in the background hearing the hustle and bustle off a kitchen getting ready to explode with a meal of unbelievable magnitude. My mouth watered and my stomach growled and I was as giddy as a girl on her first date.
Needless the say, the meal was extravagant, yet simple. Every ingredient was grown locally and each dish was paired with a locally produced wine. If I had to pick my two favorite dishes it would be the swiss chard ravioli – I am going to try my hardest to recreate those little pockets of green, earthy deliciousness – and the raspberry coconut cake which Mara was kind enough the share the recipe for.
This cake is so good that I made it 3 times in less than 10 days and I would have made it again if I hadn’t already put on 8 pounds (not just from the cake, I promise). The ingredient list is simple and other than having to use a few bowls it is a cinch to whip up. By the third time I already had the recipe memorized. The finished product has the consistency of a coffee cake, which makes an excellent pairing with coffee first thing in the morning 🙂
I really hope you run out and buy yourselves some raspberries this weekend and cook this cake up for you, your friends, your family or all three (I’m talking to you Sheri!) I promise it will be a hit.
And Mara, if you are reading this – Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I’ll let you know how the ravioli turns out!
Raspberry Coconut Cake
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups raspberries
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter – 1 stick softened
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a spring form or 9″ square cake pan. Mix the topping ingredients by hand in a small bowl until chunky but well incorporated. Set aside.
2. Wash the raspberries and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the white sugar to macerate.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the remaining sugar and butter and beat with the paddle attachment on medium high speed for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and buttermilk and mix on slow speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix on slow speed just until incorporated. Add the raspberries along with any juices and mix in with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the topping over of the batter.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.