Every couple of weeks the Book Club come into work and leave a heap of kiddies books, boxes of greetings cards and without fail, at least 3 baking or cookbooks. I SERIOUSLY can’t keep buying these books, my apartment has no space for them and there’s not enough days in the year to get through all the recipes I earmark in each new book.
So this week I said NO – enough is enough, and instead of buying the book I just robbed a few recipes from it instead 🙂 I’m low on baking supplies at home at the moment so decided to make something simple enough and came across the recipe for Lammingtons. I had never heard of them before so read up a little bit and am now fully informed – they’re an Australian dessert of sponge cake, coated in chocolate icing then dipped in desiccated coconut. They got their name from Lord Lammington…….Zzzzzzzz – Ok they did really but seriously I don’t think any of us care so onwards with the recipe!!
For the Sponge:
150g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g melted butter
For the Icing:
175g milk chocolate
200g icing sugar
50g cocoa powder
200g desiccated coconut
You’ll need a square or rectangle baking tin, either a normal cake tin or a brownie tin or something.
I have to warn you…. the cake part is fine, nice and easy. But be ready for it all to get a bit messy when it comes to the icing and coating part! I’m talking chocolate all over the place (including my face) & bits of coconut all over the counter top and floor…. but maybe that’s just me being a messy cow!
Anyway let’s start with the sponge.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, slightly lower if using fan oven… I put mine on about 160°.
Grease your tin and line with baking / parchment paper.
2. Using a large mixing bowl, put the eggs, sugar and salt in and whisk with an electric whisk. Or else you can use a fork but be sure to beat it for a while till it’s quite light. Sieve in the flour and fold it in using a spoon.
3. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Then add to the egg and sugar mix along with the vanilla extract and stir in again.
Now, this mix is more like a batter than your normal cake mix. I love raw cake mix but believe me – don’t even bother licking the spoon on this one! It looks lumpy and yuk but as far as I’m aware it’s definitely meant to be more of a batter than nice normal cake mix. See pic below of my lumpy mess.
4. Pour it into the baking tin and throw it in the oven for about 30 mins. It’ll be nice and firm to touch and browning a bit at the top.
After the half hour, take the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 mins then make your icing. There’s no point in making the icing too soon as the cake will be too hot and soft to properly cut up and then the icing mix will start going hard while you wait for the cake to cool. So do the right thing and wait for the cake to cool before making the icing! 🙂
Can you tell that I’m REALLY impatient and I never usually wait – hence me always telling you guys to BE PATIENT!
5. When the cake has cooled, cut it up into squares. These are meant to be nice even squares but listen, sometimes that doesn’t happen…. Yep I’m trying to make myself feel better about all my “squares”!! 🙂
6. In a bowl, sieve together the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Now time to melt the chocolate and butter. On a medium heat, break up the chocolate and put it into the pan with the butter. Once it starts melting, mix it together with a spoon.
Then pour in the milk bit by bit, stirring it each time. Once the mixture is all nice and melty and properly combined you can add in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Keep mixing it all in as you go. Around about this time I can be found licking the spoon…. Bad habit – I must stop!
WARNING WARNING – THIS IS WHERE IT GETS MESSY!
7. Now it’s time to dip all the squares in the chocolate and coconut. Get a bowl and pour in the coconut and put aside. Dip each square into the chocolate icing. I used a skewer stick to do this but I think it may be easier to use a fork or something that gives you a bit more control, The cake was swinging all over the place on my skewer! You obviously just don’t want to be doing this with your hands, messy messy messy!
So dip the cake into the chocolate mix, allow any excess to drip off and then dip in the coconut and ensure all sides are coated. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool and set.
This all sounds simple, and it is a simple thing to do but when panicking about the icing mix starting to set and trying to get all sides of the cake covered in chocolate and rolled around the coconut it can get a bit stressful!
So this is what mine looked like. Leave to set for a while and then monch away! 🙂
I took these into work for them to sample and was told that they are sometimes made with jam sandwiched in the middle… I may try that next time!
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