Thursday, October 20, 2011
Yesterday my lovely friend Michele came over for lunch and a catch up. She also came to photograph Harry in ballet-action so watch for some of those in a later post. Michele is probably my oldest friend as we were best friends at school together...good old St Mary's College. Although we lost contact for awhile after school we reconnected some years later and pretty much picked up where we left off. Michele is an AMAZING photographer and artist. She just has 'that' eye. Harry was thrilled to be the subject of a 'photo-shoot' and did not hold back offering various ballet poses and suggestions. I know the photos will look fantastic.
Anyway I wanted to make something yummy for lunch and our catch up. As I have said before in other posts, I have a bit of a cookbook addiction. Unfortunately, (or luckily depending on how you look at it), at this time of year loads of cookbooks are released obviously to catch the pre-Christmas rush. Because of this I have happened to get the new Annabel Langbein book 'The Free Range Cook in the City' as well as Julie Le Clerc's new book 'Favourite Cakes'. I'm almost embarrassed to also admit to a few purchases from Amazon too.... anyway I digress! Annabel Langbein is my most favoutite cook. As such I have all of her books (except the basic 'Anyone Can Cook/Bake' books) so was really excited when this one was finally released. It does not disappoint. I have already made quite a few recipes from it and ended up choosing the Salmon Noodle Bowl for our lunch which was easy, fast and really yummy. Of course I had to follow it up with some baking and after looking through some of my books, ended up choosing a retro theme of Lamingtons and Custard Squares. I have made Lamingtons once before but have never made the humble Custard Square.
I ended up going to a lovely book I have called 'Ladies, A Plate' for the Lamington recipe thinking that as it is a book based on all the old-fashioned things it would have a good recipe for these. I made the cake from this book then found the chocolate icing recipe elsewhere as I didn't quite like the sound of the one in the book. The cake was less like a light sponge which is what we would expect from a lamington but it still tasted good. They are a pretty messy thing to dip then coat in coconut, but still they are pretty easy to make. I made the cake the day before and stored it in the fridge overnight so it would be less crumbly for coating the next day. I think it definitely made it easier and the cake then softens again once it is at room temperature and coated.
115g butter, at room temp
150g caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temp
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
Cream the butter until smooth then gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time beating for a good minute after each addition. Sift the flour and baking powder and to the mixture alternately with the milk.
Bake about 20 mins until golden and cooked. Cool on a rack.
Put in the fridge overnight.
3c icing sugar
1/2 c cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
about a 1/2 c milk
Warm all ingredients in a pot over a low heat until at coating consistency (you may need to add more milk).
Skewer the lamington and dip into the milk then coat in coconut (I used thread coconut but you can use dessiccated which is more traditional).
Split and fill with cream and put a dollop of raspberry jam,