Coconut pancakes and a book extract from Rhoda Baxter!


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. 

Kindle UK  Kindle US  Kindle AU  Kindle CA

Luscious Lily’s Southern Fried Chicken Recipe!

Clingy pink T-shirt with plunging neckline – check. Pink mini-skirt with flirty pleats – check. Large sparkling earrings – check. Kissable bright pink lip gloss – check. Ankle threatening pink stilettos – check. One last spray of perfume and Luscious Lily is at work.

In case y’all don’t know me I’m Lily Redman, better known these days as my alter ego Luscious Lily. These days being a good cook isn’t enough to get the sort of ratings a TV 9781781890837celebrity chef needs, and so my sleazeball ex-fiance and former business manager, Patrick O’Brian had the bright idea to make me stand out by crafting an image no one would forget.

The only problem now is that I’m stuck with her. Most people don’t see past the glossy in-your-face image to the ordinary Tennessee girl underneath. Cooking is everything to me and it’s what I have the least time for now. Give me a fresh chicken and my grandmother’s cast iron skillet and I’ll turn it into love on a plate. I’ll make you smile when you bite through the crispy outside to savour the juicy meat, and in turn that will put a happy grin on my face. Nurturing people through food is all I ever wanted to do but nowadays it’s all publicity shots, guest appearances on daytime chat shows and cookbook tours.

But recently I met a man who’s thrown me for a loop and I sure don’t know what to do about him. I’ve always believed the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but this one couldn’t care less about food so I’m stumped. Oh, his eyes lit up when he saw me in full Luscious Lily mode the first time, but now the darn man stares at me as though he sees right through the glitz and is trying to work out who I really am. His name’s Kenan, and yeah it’s a weird name something to do with a Cornish king, but he’s beyond hot and I don’t know what the heck to do about him.

I guess I’m goin’ to have to work out a different way to his heart and see what happens to me along the way. If you want to find out how successful I am you’re goin’ to have to read our story in ‘Sugar and Spice’. You can’t miss the cute cover – it’s totally Luscious Lily all the way!


I cut up a whole chicken into eight pieces to get 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs and 2 wings. Don’t even think of using boneless chicken breasts! About 8 hours before you want to eat you need to marinate the meat to make it even more tender and delicious. My grandmother always did it in good Southern buttermilk so I do the same because I don’t want her to come back and haunt me. If you can’t buy buttermilk just take regular milk, add a dash of lemon juice or vinegar and leave it sit a while so it gets a little thicker and has a tang to it. Cover your chicken with this and set it in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to start cooking pat your chicken pieces dry and set them to one side. In one bowl mix up 3 eggs and about 1/3 cup water (80 ml). In another bowl mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g plain flour), 1 teaspoon of paprika (5 ml) and salt and pepper to taste. Dip your chicken first in the egg/water mix and then into the flour mixture.

Put enough canola oil into a cast iron skillet (every Southern lady inherits one of these) or a Dutch oven so it will about half cover your chicken and heat to 350 degrees F (180 C). Gently lower your chicken into the hot oil and don’t crowd the pan – it’s better to do it in 2 batches. Remember the smaller pieces won’t take as long. Cook about 6-8 minutes on the first side and then turn it over and do about another 6 minutes. Take out and set on absorbent paper to soak up some of the oil.

Round up the people you love and enjoy with fresh biscuits, sliced tomatoes, green beans and potato salad. As soon as you take a bite you’ll think you’ve died and gone to Southern heaven!


Scott’s melting heart pudding


60g sugar – he’d hate you to tell him this, but Scott is sweet.  Of course he prefers hunky, but then he Too Charmingwould.  He’s a guy.

70g dark chocolate – chocolate because like Scott, it’s irresistible.  Once you’ve had a taste, you have to have another.  And another.  Dark chocolate because it has an edge, a bite that makes you sit up and take notice.  Just as Megan notices Scott, though she’s trying hard not to.

1 tablespoons of cocoa powder – because it’s what we use to make a night time drink.  And Scott is a man you’d want to take to bed.

60g butter (not margarine) – it’s smooth, like Scott, but has a rich, robust flavour.  A naughty indulgence.  We might not think it’s good for us, but it’s far more desirable than healthy, but insipid, margarine.

30g plain flour – he might be a flirt, but Scott isn’t full of puff or hot air.  When he tells Megan he finds her sexy, it’s not a line.  It’s the truth.

2 eggs + 1 yolk – eggs give the pudding substance.  An inner strength, which Scott has to rely on when his life is thrown into chaos.

A dash of vanilla essence – because it adds richness and depth.

Raspberries/blueberries/anything striking to serve – because Scott dazzles the eye.

Too Tempting?

Too Tempting?

Melt the butter and dark chocolate and mix to a paste.  Blend in the sugar.  Slowly add the beaten eggs until the mixture is uniform and smooth.  Fold in the flour and cocoa powder carefully and then pour/spoon evenly into greased muffin tins/ramekins.  It will make about 4-6.  Chill in the fridge if you don’t want to use straight away.

To cook:  200oC for 8 minutes or until the outside is firm but the middle soft.

When it’s cooked, the Scott pudding looks dark and smoothly attractive on the outside.  If, like Megan, you’ve burnt your hands on a similar good-looking dish, you might decide not to delve into it.  But imagine the pudding follows you around, tempting you with its delicious looks and decadent smell?  It might not be so hard to ignore, then.  Especially when, after one sneaky but delicious taste, you find there’s far more to the fancy dark pudding than you first imagined.

And voila! Scott's melting heart pudding.

And voila! Scott’s melting heart pudding.

Follow Kathryn on Twitter: @KathrynFreeman1

Too Charming is available on Kindle UK and Kindle US