Girl Having a Ball by Rhoda Baxter is now available to purchase from all eBook platforms and, to celebrate, Rhoda is sharing an extract from the book and a Sri Lankan recipe for delicious coconut pancakes. You won’t want to miss this 🙂
Extract from Girl Having a Ball
In the kitchen, Evelyn and Priya were having tea and eating Sri Lankan sweets. ‘Here, try one.’ Evelyn gave her what looked like a rolled up pancake.
Stevie bit into it. Warm, sweet, coconut filling flowed into her mouth. She chewed, letting the flavours mix. ‘That is heavenly. What is it?’
‘Pancakes with cinnamon, coconut and treacle,’ said Priya. ‘One of my favourite things ever. They’re best served warm so we’ll pop them in the oven before we set them out.’
‘Mmmm.’ Stevie was barely listening as she took another bite.
‘How are the boards doing?’ Evelyn poured the tea.
‘All done. We’ve fitted the bottom ones. We’re going to need Tom’s help with the top ones.’
‘I’m glad Tom’s been here this week,’ said Evelyn. She absent-mindedly stirred a tea bag round and round a mug. ‘It’s nice to have a man around the house again. There are some jobs that are just more suited to the male of the species.’ She blinked, as though surprised she’d said anything out loud. She fished out the tea bag and flicked it into the bin. ‘I daresay he’s been enjoying himself. Could you be a dear and take a mug of tea for Tom. And one of those pancake things?’
Recipe for pancakes with sweet coconut filling (poi pani pancakes)
Rhoda: I love, love, love these pancakes. I dream about them sometimes. Once, when I was living in the house in Norham Gardens which I used as the setting for Girl Having a Ball, my mum brought me some of these pancakes. My Ghanaian housemate offered to cook me dinner for a whole week in exchange for a single one. That, my friends, is how delicious these pancakes are.
They are usually made using Kitul treacle – this is a fairly specific type of treacle. The closest thing I’ve found in taste is very dark muscovado sugar with a touch of molasses. I’ve used golden syrup, which works quite well – it tastes different to the real thing, but it’s still delicious.
Pancakes (I’m assuming you know how to make/buy these already)
100g Freshly grated coconut (alternatively, use fine desiccated coconut)
Half a cinnamon stick
300g Golden syrup
2 cardamom pods
To make the filling, heat the syrup, cardamom pods and cinnamon gently. Then add the coconut, stir until the syrup is all absorbed by the coconut. Leave to cool. Put a dollop of the coconut (which should now be oozing syrup) in the middle of a pancake and roll it up. You’ll need a saucer under it as you eat it to catch the drips of treacle.
To find out more about Rhoda, follow her on Twitter: @RhodaBaxter
Girl Having a Ball is available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.