I've been testing recipes for Lamingtons all week. In fact, I'm pretty much on a cake baking rampage.
Mr. P over at Delicious, Delicious, Delicious is hosting a Lamington contest. The prize? A Cookie Cutter that can only be described as freaking-awesome. Having serious cookie cutter collecting OCD, I knew I had to enter... often.
Ms. Humble plays to win.
So I settled into my Lamington-War-Room and worked out my ideas. I started baking cakes early this week and went through numerous recipes. Having been on the receiving end of a book store gift card for christmas I picked up Rose's Heavenly Cakes and now I finally have a chance to start testing recipes.
(I've been getting consistently fantastic cakes from Rose's newest book; if I wasn't in love with her for the Cake Bible I am totally smitten now.)
Anyway, I decided to try one of Rose's coconut butter cakes for the base of this Lamington. The result is an incredibly moist, tender cake flavored with coconut milk and extract.
Rose's Heavenly Southern Manhattan Coconut Cake:
180 grams egg whites at room temperature
1 1/3 cup canned coconut milk, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
400 grams all-purpose flour (or cake flour) sifted
400 grams super fine sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
Rose's book gives the measurements in both weight and volume but I always get better results when baking cakes by weight. Also, I tend to lose count when measuring by volume. Did I just add three cups of flour... or four? You know you've been there, too. If you bake a lot, pick up a small digital kitchen scale, they are wonderful.
Anyway, the cake...
Grease a 9x13 pan or two 9" rounds and line with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven.
Mix the eggs, 1/3 cup of the coconut milk and the extracts together in a bowl and set aside.
Combine the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds on low speed and then add the butter and remaining coconut milk. Mix on low speed until the mixture comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat on medium speed for a minute and a half.
Reduce speed to medium low and, working in thirds, add the egg mixture to the batter. Mix for 20 seconds on medium speed after each addition.
Pour the batter into the pans and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center and a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Slip an offset spatula around the sides of the cake and remove the cake and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
Cut three-inch cubes from the cake and split down the middle. They are now ready to coat with the following:
White Chocolate Ganache
8 oz good quality white chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for a minute and then mix until smooth.
Coat the Lamingtons with the white chocolate, warming the ganache briefly in the microwave if it gets too firm. Then press each side into a plate of desiccated coconut. Set aside on a wire rack to dry and begin work on the raspberry filling.
White Chocolate Raspberry Cream Filling
1/3 cup good quality raspberry jam (I'm using homemade)
9 oz good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup cream
Heat the cream over medium heat to a bare simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the white chocolate until melted. Add the raspberry jam and mix well. Chill the mixture for 30-60 minutes. By the time the cream is cool, the Lamingtons will be ready to sandwich.
There you have it, a moist coconut Lamington with a white chocolate raspberry cream. A slightly different but yummy take on the traditional Lamington.
Wait... maybe serving in crumpled wax paper isn't enough. What if I add a little raspberry and Chambord puree and a white chocolate... flourish thing? How is that?!
With my next Lamington, I plan on breaking out the ol' kitchen butane torch... that should be fun.