I received the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book for my birthday from some incredibly thoughtful friends, and it wasn't until I started flipping through the gorgeous, glossy pages of the book that I realised that I'd never actually owned a cookbook until now. In honour of this little "first" of mine, I've decided to start the Hummingbird Trail - to capture those moments inspired by the book.
I know, I know, the focus should be on the cupcakes but Cake Days has such scrumptious looking non-cupcakey dessert recipes as well and when I spotted the recipe for these bars, I let it jump ahead of a couple of other recipes I'd been thinking of trying out. I loved the little description given in the book:
"A coconuty, crunchy take on a jam sandwich"
Coconut, jam and a crumbly base - enough said.
The bars are made up of a simple shortcrust base, topped of with a layer of jam (I stayed true to the recipe and used strawberry jam) and a final layer made up of coconut, sugar and eggwhites.
The recipe involved warming the coconut-sugar concoction until it became a paste but that didn't quite happen for me for some reason. I decided, after some bits of desiccated coconut started to turn a toasty brown, that I would take my chances and start topping off the bars anyway.
Desiccated coconut smells absolutely devine as it browns slowly in the oven. I watched with glee as the top of the huge bar started to turn that lovely golden brown. I ended up leaving the bars in for about 10 minutes longer than specified in the recipe as they weren't quite the right colour yet after 30 minutes. I reckon the non-pastey texture of the coconut topping had something to do with the slight deviation in cooking time.
Cut into small squares, the bars make for a good teatime treat. The next time I make these, there are a couple of things that I'd probably do a bit differently though: more jam, less coconut and a bit more patience with getting the consistency of the coconut topping right.
If you love all things coconuty too, drop me a message for the recipe!
Previous stop on the trail: Mocha Cupcakes