Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lamingtons - May Daring Baker

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.  I was immediately excited about this recipe, because it is already gluten free.  I'm all for any conversion-free challenges!!!  However, I let this one sneak up on me.  In fact, I had almost decided that I wouldn't participate until Kate decided that we should make David a "chocolate cake" this weekend.  My only "problem" was what to dip the lamingtons in.  You see, David doesn't like coconut; so, that wasn't going to work for the coating.  I settled on a few options: rice krispies, crushed chex, almonds, and cookie decorations (for Kate!).
 Kate did a great job of cracking eggs and even had fun guessing and then seeing what color eggs turn when you beat them.  She also thought it was fun to dip the cakes.
 I ended up not dipping them all completely.  The cakes were falling apart when they had that much chocolate icing on them.  I think David has enjoyed them...he had one two nights in a row.  :-)

Traditional Lamingtons
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. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Prepare a 4 ½ cm (1¾ inch) deep, 23cm x 33cm (9”x 13”) baking pan by lining with non-stick paper.
  3. 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.  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.
Spread mixture into your prepared pan and smooth out evenly.  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.  Dip each piece in the chocolate and then dip in your chosen topping.  Place back on wire rack and allow to harden for 2 hours.

No comments: