A fail safe and delicious recipe for the Australian icon, the lamington.
There was a time in high school we did a lamington drive to raise money for some charity. The organisation we were helping has long left my head but the memory of buying six dozen lamingtons under false names and eating them all myself has not. (See also: bulimia.)
I have banned myself from buying the Woolworths lamington fingers purely because I KNOW I could eat the entire packet. In one sitting. I never have, but the knowledge that I COULD is enough.
This recipe comes from my kitchen bible – Allan Campion & Michele Curtis’s In The Kitchen. I refer to this cookbook more than any other and every single thing I’ve made from it has always worked and been delicious. I’m not sure it’s still in print but if you find a copy grab it.
An iconic Australian cake with sponge rolled in chocolate and coconut.
Author: allconsuming via The Cook's Kitchen
For the cake
½ cup caster sugar
⅔ cup plain flour
For the icing
3 cups icing sugar
½ cup cocoa
¾ cup water
4 cups desiccated coconut
Preheat oven to 180C and line a lamington tin with greaseproof paper and then grease it and dust with flour
Beat the eggs and caster sugar together until very thick and really pale in colour then gently fold in the flour (this is a sponge so go lightly, you don't want to knock out all that air you whipped into the eggs and sugar
Pour into tin, smooth the batter and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden on top
Cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift out and peel off the baking paper. Cool completely
For the icing
Put the icing sugar, cocoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking well
Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat and cool a little
Now get ready to get messy.
Set up a workstation with the cake cut into squares, then the chocolate sauce, then a wire rack and then a shallow dish holding the coconut and then another wire rack
Dip the sponge in the chocolate until all covered - I use to forks to turn the cake over in the mixture - then put onto the wire rack to let any excess drip off
Roll the pieces in the coconut then onto the final wire rack to dry
You can all blame Inner Pickle for this one. Or perhaps the people of Mayflower village from where the cookbook containing the recipe came from. It’s called Easy Slice and while it is that, the name totally underplays what this slice is. It’s like a snickers with coconut. It’s addictive. It is outrageously easy to make. And dangerously easy to eat.
Part of me wants to call it Slut Slice because it’s so easy and goes down a treat. What? Too much?
My pictures do not do it justice. In fact, when I took them I thought, ‘man, few could make a slice containing all forms of sugar, chocolate and saturated fat could make it look like a lasagne but I have’. Then Mum saw it and asked if it was a lasagne type dish and then BabyMac said the same thing about the meat and cheesy looking picture in my last post.
1 packet choc chips (mine was 230g as was Inner Pickles)
1 packet walnuts (Inner Pickle’s was 120g, I used unsalted peanuts which I then toasted – I didn’t measure them, instead I just sprinkled them over the top for a good coverage)
2oz (about 3/4 cup) shredded coconut
1 tin (395g) condensed milk
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a slice tin (18cm x 27cm) with baking paper
Pour in the melted butter then spread over the crushed biscuit
Sprinkle over the choc chips, then the nuts and then the coconut
Pour the condensed milk over the top
Bake for 20 minutes.
Let it cool completely before trying to remove from the tin or cutting it as otherwise the base will just crumble into a thousand pieces. I know I know, it’s hard to wait but believe me, it’s totally worth it.
As a kid I could devour a whole packet of these. No wonder there were weight issues. My kids also adore them but several years ago I looked at the ingredients and added them to the list of foods thought of as a healthy snack but in reality offered maximum fat and sugar in as small an item as possible.
Fast forward to a few months back and I saw a homemade recipe for them over at Inner Pickle. Of course, my ‘I have to make that right now’ took a few weeks but what a rollicking success. They come together in a snap, they are tasty, nutritious and not too sweet. Talk about a winner.
The recipe makes about 26-28 balls. Next time going to just double recipe so they last a few days longer than an afternoon (in this house anyway).
Apricot and Peach balls
From Inner Pickle
(who got it from the book Feeding Fussy Kids, Julie Maree Wood where they’re called Iron Booster Balls)
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried peaches
2 tbsp boiling water
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp wheatgerm
1/4 cup skim milk powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut – extra
Pulse the dried fruits in a processor until finely chopped
Add boiling water and soak for 10 minutes
Add the almond meal, coconut, wheatgerm, milk powder and orange juice
Blend until a firm dough forms
Add extra water if needed
Roll into balls and toss in the extra coconut and then store in the fridge.
Pip at Meet me at Mike’s said this was the best banana cake ever. I clicked through and saw the picture of it and just had to make it. Now that is quite a call for me because I despise banana bread, particularly that cake-called-bread you get in nearly every single cafe in Sydney and banana cake is not far behind.
But make it I did and ZOMG, best.cake.ever. When Felix, who is not a cake lover, devoured it, mumbling, ‘this is one of the best cakes you’ve ever made’, you know it has to be good.
So, if any of you are sitting there biting fingernails as the election results come in, go do some baking instead.
Banana and Coconut Cake real living magazine The cake
150g butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
½ cup light sour cream
2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup desiccated coconut
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and line 22cm square cake tin with baking paper.
In a mixer beat the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
Add vanilla, mashed bananas and sour cream and beat to combine
Beat in flour and coconut and mix until well combined
Pour into tin and bake for 60 mins or until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean
Remove from oven and let cool slightly in tin, then turn onto wire rack to cool completely
Coconut cream cheese icing
125g butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar mixture, sieved
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp coconut essence, to taste
2/3 cup shredded coconut
Whip butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy
Add icing sugar, vanilla and coconut essence and beat for a further few minutes
When cake has cooled, cut in half horizontally
Spread one-third of icing over bottom half of cake and top with remaining half
Ice top and sides with remaining icing and cover in shredded coconut.
Store in an airtight container. (I kept it in the fridge as leaving a cream cheese icing at room temperature makes me skeevy.)