Thursday, May 28, 2015

Four month streak? Lamingtons

Those of you who have followed our blog for some time know that we don't always have the best luck with daring baker's challenges. Sometimes things take forever and then just aren't worth the effort. Sometimes they taste good, but look atrocious. Sometimes we end up with lasagna gum or gingerbread jails.

We, however, are on a hot streak. Those Siopoa buns were amazing. I still can't stop thinking about the tarte tatin. And that focaccia is going to be a kitchen staple, I can feel it. We were ripe for a failure, especially given that this recipe called for cornstarch instead of flour (uh, what?).

But the lamingtons were surprisingly delicious, and not all that terrible looking!

Erica kindly whipped up the inner cake part overnight (so she braved the cornstarch part).

While we had a bit of trouble cutting some of the middle pieces, the edges were just perfect.

Cake is always improved with 3.5 cups of powdered sugar, mixed with cocoa and butter. :-)

Finally, we coated these little logs in coconut, which we sent through the food processor to get the right texture.

Even though the recipe said to set for 2 hours, we tried right away. They were pretty good.

But, apparently that instruction was in there for a reason, as they turned from good to awesome as they set -- the chocolate sauce absorbed and hardened a bit, making a nice toothy shell around the soft, sweet cake. Delicious!

Think we can go 5/5?

Classic Lamingtons

Sponge Cake
Servings: 24

5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) castor (superfine) sugar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) (200 gm) (7 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
1 ½ teaspoons (8 gm) baking powder
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) butter, melted (optional)
2¾ cups (660 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) unsweetened desiccated coconut, to assemble

Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Prepare a 4 ½ cm (1¾ inch) deep, 23cm x 33cm (9”x 13”) baking pan by lining with non-stick paper.
In a stand mixer bowl place eggs, sugar and salt. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high for 15 minutes.
While the eggs and sugar are beating sift the cornflour and baking powder at least 3 times.
After 15 minutes add vanilla and beat on high for another 5 minutes. The mixture should have at least tripled in size, be light in colour and very foamy.
Sift flour mixture over the egg mixture. I like to use a whisk but you can also use a large metal spoon to lightly fold the flour in. Some people like to use a wooden spoon but I find it too heavy. Heavy handling now will result in a flat tough sponge. If you are using butter, thoroughly fold it in now but lightly.
Spread mixture into your prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Some cooks at this stage drop the pan onto the bench top to even out the air bubbles! I have never had that much courage!
Bake in preheated moderate oven for 22-25 minutes. The sponge will rise quite a lot but then settle back down. Don’t be tempted to open the oven to peak. I also warn the family to walk gently past the oven! When baked the sponge will have shrunk very slightly from the sides and should feel springy when pressed gently.
Turn the sponge out immediately onto a wire rack to cool and reverse sponge so as not to mark the top. Allow to cool. It is best to keep the cake for a day before making the Lamingtons as the cake will be easier to handle.

Chocolate icing
3 ¼ cups (780 ml) (400 gm) (14 oz) icing (powdered) sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) (40 gm) (1-1/3 oz) cocoa powder
1 tablespoon (15 gm) (15 gm) (½ oz) butter, melted
½ to ¾ cup (120 ml to 180 ml) milk

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the butter and ½ cup milk. Set the bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir until icing is smooth adding more milk to thin the icing if needed. I find I need more than ½ cup but not quite ¾ cup of milk.

To assemble the Lamingtons:
Cut the sponge cake into 24 rectangular pieces – 6 across and 4 down. To be particular you can trim the crusts.
Keep the icing over the hot water to keep it melted. Place desiccated coconut in a shallow bowl.
Dip each piece into the chocolate icing
Allow excess to drip off then toss gently into the coconut.
Stand cakes on a wire rack to set, about 2 hours.

For the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons. An Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant.

1 comment:

Marcellina In Cucina said...

Oh wow! I am so glad you enjoyed the challenge and the lamingtons as much as I do! 5 out of 5, well, can't do better than that!