Sunday, 31 January 2010
Esther and I spent Survival/Invasion/Australia Day watching this video and watching the Gilmore Girls and doing much-needed washing. My one patriotic thing (apart from ignoring this ridiculous holiday which, I think, is a fairly patriotic stance to take) was to make lamingtons because they involve coconut, jam, cake and chocolate.
There's lots of talk about lamingtons being too much hassle to bother about that I've heard but I think they're fun to make. I mean, if I had to make 70 once a week or some such, then yes, it would blow. But as a once in a while thing - totally worth it!
I have made lamingtons in the past - gluten-free lamingtons no less - and had a whale of time doing so. That time, I simply made a gluten-free butter cake (from a cake mix) and then did the whole chocolate/coconut business. This time, I started from scratch.
for the sponge (based on Nigella's Victoria Sponge recipe):
225g soft unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp milk
Prehear oven to 180C and line whatever tin you wish to use. I went with a deep brownie pan which meant my cake was quite thin and I needed to do a double layer of cake on some of my lamingtons.
Crack out your food processor (you can do it without one but it is so simple with one).
Put all the ingredients bar the milk and process until it is a smooth batter. Then pulse as you slowly add the milk.
Pour into your pan and bake for around 25 minutes (or until the cake is coming away from the edges of the pan).
I leave the cake in the pan to cool for about half an hour or so and then flip out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
If you aren't using a food processor, cream the buter and sugar, add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour between each egg. Fold in the rest of the flour and cornflour and don't add the baking powder. When it is all mixed in, add as much or little milk as you need.
NOW FOR THE COCONUTATION!
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup of boiling water
Jam of your choice (I used strawberry)
A whole lot of coconut (I used shredded but dessicated is more traditional)
Cut the edges off your cake, as well as slicing off all the delicious brown bits, leaving it all exposed white sponge that is ready to suck up the chocolate icing. (You can keep all the bits for trifle or similar). Cut your cake into your preferred shape - I ended up with rectangles but squares, stars, circles - it is up to you! I then halved them and put a bit of jam in to stick them back together.
Mix the boiling water and butter in a largeish bowl. When the butter has melted, sift in the cocoa and the icing sugar. Stir it around into a a delicious chocolate soup. Pour your coconut into relatively shallow bowl, good for rolling things in and set up a little assembly line - jammified cake, chocolate soup, coconut, final plate.
Let me level with you, peeps - I use my hands for this bit. It is messy but totally easier.
Dip the cake into the chocolate, making sure your coat all of the outside. Then roll in the coconut and plop on the plate. They are pretty delicate so it is best to leave them for a little bit to set (if you can stop yourself).