Sunday, May 1, 2022

Orange and Barley Salad followed by Coconut Lime Syrup Cake, it's a citrussy kind of day

This grain salad has citrussy hints of Spring cooking with orange and lemon, however in Sunny Queensland even in Autumn it is a beautiful Autumnal salad. If it's warm weather where you live, and you feel like eating a nutritious and delicious salad this is the one for you. It can be paired with any meat or poultry easily cooked on the barbecue for dinner, however we have enjoyed it just with a green salad for lunch, delicious. It's easy to go vegetarian or vegan with this salad if you wish, it's up to you. The servings are perfect for two people, so just increase the ingredient amounts accordingly if catering for more people.

Just throwing a different light on this salad


Serves 2

1/2 (100 g) cup pearl barley

1 1/3 cups (375 ml) of water, or chicken or vegetable stock

3 tablespoons currants

1/2 cup (125 ml) verjuice or water

1/3 cup (55 g) slivered almonds

1 orange, in thin slices, with seeds removed and each slice cut into 8 pieces

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon almond oil 

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons chopped mint

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup crumbled Persian fetta


Place the little currants in a small bowl, cover with the verjuice or water and stand to rehydrate while the barley is cooking.

Cover the barley well with the stock or water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce to a simmer, and cover and cook gently for 40 - 50 minutes until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Strain the barley, and place in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients, and combine well.

Serve with crumbled fetta on top,  more chopped herbs, or fish or grilled chicken or just serve on it's own with a salad. It will be delicious with any of these options.

Cooks notes:

The almonds bring a lovely nuttiness to this salad. You might prefer more crunch by using whole almonds,lightly toasted and coarsely chopped. I used what I had on hand.

It's well worth using the verjuice to soak the currants for extra flavour.

I added mint to this recipe as well as parsley, because I have it growing in a pot, never the garden, and the more fresh herbs the better I say. However don't stress if you don't have mint, it will still be very tasty.

I love the fruitiness of this salad, however if you don;t like fruit in salads like a close member of our family, leave out the orange.

After eating salad for lunch we needed some afternoon tea, which means cake. Continuing with the light and summery fruity theme, this Coconut Lime Syrup cake was perfect. To be honest, I had made it for my Mahjong ladies the day before, delivered a few slices to the door of a lovely friend and her husband who had Covid, and still had a couple of slices left for us to enjoy.

This is a refresh of a previous post I wrote about this cake a few years ago, new photos, but I make this cake quite often when in a hurry, and it never disappoints. 

Coconut Lime Syrup Cake

This cake has become such a firm favourite of ours and is timeless. We first tasted it at the Groove CafĂ© on Ipswich Road in Annerley, Brisbane, Queensland, when we were out having coffee quite a few years ago. I really hope this cafe has survived the Covid restrictions. We wanted to try out the Groove, as it had won numerous awards, had an excellent menu, and was unpretentious but served good food.

I searched and found this recipe which is pretty close to the original, and is such an easy cake to make, with no appliances needed except a saucepan on the stove to concoct the sensational sweet lime syrup. It is moist, light and citrussy, perfect for our hot summers and for any time of year really. Have I got you thinking about cake?



125g butter, chopped
3 eggs, beaten at room temperature
3/4 cup milk at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self raising flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1 1/4 cups desiccated coconut

Delectable Lime syrup ingredients:

3 limes (1/2 cup lime juice)
Grated lime rind
1/2 cup white sugar

Let's cook:
Preheat oven to 180 deg. C. Lightly grease and line a 6cm deep, 22cm (base) springform cake pan with baking paper.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat or heat uncovered in the microwave on MEDIUM (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes until almost melted. Transfer to a bowl and stand for 1 minute to sightly cool. Add eggs and milk. Stir until combined.

Combine sifted flour, sugar, and coconut in a bowl. Add milk and egg mixture. Stir to combine. Spread mixture into pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Lime Syrup: 

Combine 1/2 cup lime juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Stir in grated lime rind.

Pour hot lime syrup over hot cake. Allow cake to cool in pan before releasing the sides of the cake pan. Cut into slices and serve. 

I read somewhere as well that for a special occasion and perhaps for dessert, a nip of gin can be added to the Lime syrup, which sounds perfect to me. I think the next time I make this cake I will try this, and enjoy a Gin and Tonic with a slice of lime at the same time. After 4 pm of course.

Warm wishes


  1. The barley salad looks terrific, but I love that beautiful golden coconut syrup cake even more!

  2. Both recipes sound quite wonderful, Pauline, and I will eventually make both. But that cake comes first! Is the coconut sweetened?

    1. David the coconut is just plain desiccated coconut, there is enough sugar in the batter already I think. It is a great cake. Thankyou for your interest.

  3. Your salad looks interesting but your cake looks like I would like a bite right now. so good!

    1. Judee, I would like a slice of this cake right now too, I'll just have to make another one. Thanks for your comment

  4. both the salad and the cake look wonderful. I love all the lime in the cake because our lime tree is producing a lot of fruit just now

    1. Johanna, how wonderful to have limes on your tree, I'm on the verge of buying another lime tree. I use them all the time.

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  6. the gin sounds like a great addition! Anything with lime works for me :)

    1. Tandy, lime is such a winning ingredient isn't it? The gin works really well too.Thanks for your comment.

  7. We love citrus, so both of these recipes would delight us. That cake looks particularly good (can never resist sweets!). Thanks!

    1. This cake never disappoints. And the salad is healthy and delicious. Thanks for your comment KR

  8. Mmm, that salad looks exactly like my kind of thing ... but so does the cake! What a nice all around combination!

    1. Thanks Jeff, I really enjoyed both of these recipes.

  9. Ohhhh! I love limes and our tree bears so many. Definitely going to make this lime cake. Looks amazing and simple. Don't mind a gin and tonic either so that'd be the way to go!

    1. Marcellina how wonderful to have a prolific yielding lime tree. Can never have too many, thanks so much for your comment, great to hear from you.

  10. i love citrus! the salad and the dessert sound marvellous. and pearl barley is a fave too. Lime syrup with a bit of gin? Mmm i like a bit of vodka in mine - tee hee.

    1. Thanks Sherry, lime is such a winning ingredient it seems, lime syrup is so versatile and yummy.

  11. ooh blogger!! so hard to comment isn't it? i know i miss out on many many comments cos it is too hard. hope one of these goes thru!

    1. Thanks Sherry I received both of them, and I know I miss quite a lot of comments as well. Thanks for persisting.


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