memories ...

memories ...

woensdag 27 mei 2015

Daring Bakers' May challenge: Lamingtons

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.

This is my very first challenge as I only joined Daring Bakers' last month. I was attracted to the idea of trying new things, trying things that might be out of my comfort zone. I never followed any classes, I am a self taught cook and baker and I manage okay even with the few handicaps I have: I don't own scales so I always measure my amounts in spoonfuls. On top of that I live with my critical family that' liked to stick with their favourites. Daring Bakers will hopefully help me in taking up challenges I wouldn't normally try.

This month's challenge is Lamingtons. They are in essence bite sized sponges soaked in chocolate frosting and then tossed in dessicated coconut.
This is what they normally look like:

This is what I made:

The challenge stated that we had to make Lamingtons by making bite sized pieces of sponge or butter cake, soaked in a frosting and rolled in any kind of outer layer 'as to avoid messy fingers'. The cake could be scented or flavoured any way we liked and also for the frosting and the outer layer, we were free to choose whatever we liked.

As much as I liked the classic flavour combination, I decided to make something different too. With so much freedom, I thought about which flavours combined well and my mind was set on the flavours of a classic frangipane. Frangipane is a very popular tart that is made of an outer crust on which (usually apricot) jam is spread and which is then filled with a mixture of ground almonds, sugar, butter and eggs. The sweet filling combines well with the tanginess of the jam and that's what I wanted to recreate with my Lamingtons.

I scented the cake with almond extract to have that typical frangipane flavour. I then used strawberry jam to coat the pieces of cake and next I rolled them in ground almonds. I also decided to half the cake recipe as 12 Lamingtons would be enough for us to eat so I made 6 classic ones and 6 frangipane-inspired ones. 

the frangipane inspired ones with almond and jam

the classic Lamingtons with coconut and chocolate 

I made the cake the evening before and the cake looked very good, fresh from the oven, which was promising. As the recipe stated, I let the cake stand overnight to be able to cut it nicely the following day.

I invited a friend over and his verdict was very positive. He called them delicious. He tried both of the variations and loved them equally. He took home some other Lamingtons fo his girl friend to try as well. Hope she likes them just as much!
My mum came home and was in love with the frangipane inspired Lamingtons so I dare say they were a hit. And my own opinion: I loved the classic ones but that's no surprise because I'm a big lover of chocolate and coconut anyways.

With these kind of reviews and the ease to make this for the first time, I will make these again :D

Ingredients for cake:

- 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk
- 112,5 grams of sugar
- pinch of salt
- 100 grams corn starch (Maizena)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Ingredients for icing:
- apricot/strawberry/... jam (about 4 tablespoons)
- 30 ml milk
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 100 grams confectioner's sugar
Ingredients to coat the Lamingtons:
- 75 grams ground almonds (I ground whole almonds in the food processor)/dessicated coconut
- 75 grams dessicated coconut
How to:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Butter an ovenproof dish (15 x 20 cm) and line the dish with parchment paper so that the cake won't stick to the dish later on.

Mix the eggs and the sugar for at least 5 to 10 minutes with a hand mixer on high. The mixture should be whitish and frothy.
Add the almond extract and mix another couple of minutes.
With a regular spoon, fold in the corn starch, the salt and the baking powder.
Put the batter in the lined dish and make sure that the batter is evenly distributed.

Put in the oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Don't open the oven during baking. When ready, the cake should feel light and springy.
Let cool overnight in the dish. 

the cake will flatten while cooling

The next day, cut the cake in 12 pieces (I used a bread knife which cut clean pieces without crumbling the cake down). 

Warm the apricot/strawberry jam slightly to make it more pourable. Cut the cake pieces you're going to use in half and spread some jam in between so you get a little sandwich. Dip the 6 pieces of cake in the jam. Then roll them in the ground almonds one by one.
Warm the milk, cocoa and confectioner's sugar au bain marie (put a bowl into a pot of warm water to heat indirectly) until all is warm and dissolved. Dip the 6 other pieces of cake in this icing and roll them in the dessicated coconut.
Put them on a wire rack or on parchment paper for at least half an hour and up to 2 hours.

don't they look pretty on the inside as well?

from every angle ...
Ready to serve :)


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