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Happy Birthday Mark-Musashi and Bounty Cake

March 17, 2010 · 32 comments

in Baking,Sweets

Coconut and chocolate cake

I forget who said (and I paraphrase, clumsily) that one’s family is like a country no-one else comes from.

During life I have met and continue to meet people who shape me, people for whom I have great love and respect and people without whom I cannot imagine living but my brother, he is my countryman.

And what a countryman he is. He has grown to be a person who, even were he a stranger, I would admire. He is smart without being stuffy, funny, handsome, gentle and loving.

He treats others well, with tolerance and respect and has a personal discipline I cannot begin to fathom.

Our young lives were so entwined that I can’t remember life without him, but a few stories stand out in particular. When we were at primary school, we used to walk home together after school. There was a big “stranger danger” campaign on, I think based on the fact that sleepy little New Zealand had just had its first well-publicised kidnapping case, that of Teresa McCormack, and fear was in the air.

All the way home, we would lay careful plans about what action we would take if anyone tried to steal off with us. “You kick him in the balls and I’ll jump on his back” was one of our better plans.

One time, a bichon frise came up behind Mark and bit him. He didn’t seem too upset – in fact, there are some pictures of him in his pyjamas, displaying the bite whilst grinning rather inanely but I felt crushed that I had failed in my duty to protect him and to this day, I am a little afraid of dogs.

We made up many a strange and mystifying rhyme too, some to annoy each other – nothing could get me going like him saying “eeeh eeh” with a rising intonation for some reason – the funniest was probably “hari mari poo-chan” an odd mix of gibberish, English and Japanese, and the most bizarre a ditty we used to sing while we were sitting in the bath.

We were the king and queen of some snowy country and would die if the snow melted but naturally, the “snow” being bubbles, it eventually would disappear. To prevent this we would chant “snow, snow, stay with us, stay with us or we will die.” I know, weird.

Through all the difficult times and the scary times I never questioned he would be there. When we went to stay in Japan with our grandparents for two and then later four months at a time to go to school in Japan, we were together so it was okay. When we had to go to a Japanese after school programme that we both hated because of all the kids, we were the only ones who found reading Japanese almost impossible to master, we had an ally in each other.

With my brother, I never have to ask where I stand because I already know.

He even still speaks to me despite the fact that I used to brandish a hairbrush and yell “Sara and her trusty hairbrush SAVE THE DAY!” and then whack him with the business end of it.

He’s the only one who can call me “bumface” and make it sound like an endearment.

Happy Birthday Mark-Musashi, I’ll always be in your corner.

Whole chocolate and coconut cake

Bounty Cake adapted barely from Nigella Lawson

For the cake

220 grams (about 4 rings) of pineapple in juice, drained (save 2 tablespoons of the juice)

75 grams (1/4 cup) of cream cheese

200 grams (1 and 3/5 cup) all purpose flour

125 grams (generous half cup) caster sugar

75 grams (generous 1/3 cup) light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

200 grams (9/10 cup) butter

40 grams (1/2 cup) of cocoa, sieved

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 fahrenheit) and butter and line a 22 cm cake tin.

Put the pineapple into a food processor and whizz until crushed.

Add the cream cheese and whizz again until well mixed.

Add the other ingredients and whizz one more time until it forms a smooth batter.

Pour into the tin and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out to cool on a rack.

For the icing

2 egg whites

100 grams caster sugar

4 tablespoons golden syrup (I thought this seemed excessive and just used 3)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar if you have it (I don’t and it was fine)

2 teaspoons coconut essence

40 grams dessicated coconut

Make a double boiler – arrange a very clean bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water.

Put all but the last 2 ingredients into the bowl and whisk with a handmixer with very clean attachments (if there is any fat or yolk in the whites they won’t whip) until it holds peaks. This will take about 5 minutes and is probably the most taxing part of making the cake which isn’t saying much – it’s a pretty “money for nothing” kind of cake.

Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Please be careful here, steam burns are the worst burns of all.

Whisk in the coconut essence.

Making sure the cake is stone cold, slice it in half and sandwich the 2 pieces with a third of the icing.

Use the rest to ice the top (again I found the amount excessive and only used about 2/3 of the icing) and sprinkle the dessicated coconut over.

Print this recipe

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chiquita March 17, 2010 at 2:46 am

Happy B’day to Mark :)
(MiniB’s b’day too…gotta think of something special for tomorrow, FAST…ack.)

Tis awesome you two have that special bond. My sister and I share some really weird things, but oftentimes weird in a negative way…still, she’s the only one who truly *gets* the weirdness, so it’s good. I often feel sorry for MiniB not having a sibling to bond with. He doesn’t even have a single cousin.

sasa March 17, 2010 at 10:26 am

Yup, lots of hard stuff too, but don’t wanna overshare on t’internet ;P So good to have someone you don’t have to explain your childhood to.

AML March 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I’m not much of a chocolate dude, but the pineapple, cocoa, and cream cheese combo, sounds awesome. That meringue icing looks so light, and sweet. I think the coconut is an awesome addition. I always have this stuff sittin’ around. Definitely a dessert special in the works. I may add a splash of rum, and put them into cute little round molds, for more of a single serve thing in the restaurant. This is a great recipe, especially for those quick, -oh shit, I forgot I committed to bring a dessert to that party- situations.

sasa March 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Yeah, I love me all-in-one-bowl cake. ‘specially when it doesn’t look or taste like one.

Jessica March 17, 2010 at 4:58 am

You’ve managed to make me miss my brother! Thank goodness he is coming to visit just this weekend!

sasa March 17, 2010 at 10:26 am

Have fun!

peasepudding March 17, 2010 at 7:59 am

What lovely stories and so nice to hear that you get on so well. We do miss our family when they are far away.

sasa March 17, 2010 at 10:26 am

Oh yes, we do. Sob.

Marietta March 17, 2010 at 8:44 am

Happy Birthday for Mark (and MiniB!!)

Lovely lovely LOVELY story… it so nice to see you both turned out to be 2 of the smartest and nicest people…

Beebsie “Happy Birthday” for your beau!

sasa March 17, 2010 at 10:28 am

I know you mean 2 of the nicest and smartest people *in the world* ;P

Marietta March 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

Hahaha ma bien sure! i forgot to add the little detail!!

Alison March 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

A good brother is a special thing. Mine used to call me “gourd-head” when we were teenagers (long story) and I have to admit I kind of miss that.

sasa March 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

He *still* calls me bumface!

Beebs March 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

damn…my eyes feel a little wet and squishy now.
i love you guys.

…but i do think it is amusingly weird that bums still make you both giggle like 4 year olds.

sasa March 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Hehehe. Bum.

cozydelicious March 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Oh that is so true! I often feel like my brother is the only other person in the whole wide word who really thinks like I do and always gets what I mean. And your cake looks awesome! Love pineapple!

sasa March 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Me too – it’s great how it makes cakes so moist too, though you don’t taste it here.
I once went to the pineapple farm of my then boyfriend’s aunt in Thailand and she cut us a fresh one, hot from the noon day sun and it was like warm honey.

Vanessa March 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Wow, I’ve had this recipe in mind for some time and you’ve really inspired me to try it. Your cake looks amazing. A beautiful, touching post! I always wanted a brother or sister my own age for companionship, even though I know we would have fallen out sometimes and think it’s great you appreciate that.

sasa March 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I really do; cannot imagine feeling like some people who don’t like or are indifferent to their sibs, but then, I did get lucky with M.

catty March 17, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Awwwww what a sweet story about your brother! And you know what’s creepy? I HAVE ONE BROTHER ALSO!! OMGGGGGG… he’s older though. but *still*.

sasa March 18, 2010 at 12:10 am

OMG that is SUCH a co*INC*idence! ;P

mumumanukku March 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Stay with us, or we will SURELY die!

sasa March 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Heh, that’s right, I forgot. Also: Mark is a fart in a BOTtle, Mark is a fart in a BOTTLE bottle.

Katie March 19, 2010 at 12:19 am

Hee, I was about to chime in with “Mark is a fart in a BOTtle…” etc, but you beat me to it :D Glad I was there for some of the stuff you describe x Happy birthday Mark, I am so making your cake, it looks like something even I can’t eff up, woohoo x

sasa March 19, 2010 at 8:37 am

Tee hee! Well it was always more effective when done by both of us.

Madhura Manoj March 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Cake looks yummy…

cakes March 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

Aww what a gorgeous post and I love how you stick up for each other! Hehe it’s so like a boy to proudly display the scar isn’t it! :P

sasa March 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Chicks dig scars ;P

molly May 4, 2010 at 11:37 pm

oh, my, can i tell you how how HOW much i love this? i missed it the first pass, but caught and adore it now. what a tribute. so fond, so fabulous!

sasa May 7, 2010 at 8:00 am

Thanks Molly, I’m glad you like it, I am very fond of him :)

Injins July 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Aww, you capture that unique, un-dying sibling relationship so well.

My sister and I had a similar experience to you and your brother when faced with going to school in Thailand and not being able to read Thai. We hated it but we bonded and were united in our shared hatred for Thai school and its mean kids. LOL.

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