I would like to make an orange and coconut cake and was thinking about using Nigella's basic Victoria Sandwich recipe and adding the flavourings to it. The trouble is I don't know how much orange zest and coconut to use. What would you suggest? I would be most grateful if you could help. Thank you.
It is possible to adapt a Victoria sponge recipe by adding coconut and orange zest and we would very much suggest using Nigella's Coconut Cake (from Domestic Goddess, p23) as a base for the cake. Nigella's cake is similar to a Victoria sponge but has dessicated coconut (unsweetened shredded coconut) added to it. The coconut is soaked before use to help keep the cake moist.
You could add the finely grated zest or 1 large or 2 smaller oranges to this cake batter, or you could add a couple of drops of orange extract (which is available from some cake decorating stores and some supermarkets). However it may be nicer to have a coconut cake and an orange icing. The icing in Nigella's recipe is a buttercream with coconut added and flavoured with Malibu liqueur, but you could chage it to just an orange flavoured buttercream by adding very finely grated orange zest - it is easier to do this to taste as you mix the buttercream.