Thursday, 23 May 2013

Lyndon's Request: Non-Lamington Lamingtons

This recipe has been a while coming. Months ago Lyndon asked for me to cook up and blog about lamingtons. Lyndon may have actually asked for Lamingtons, but given I'm not the biggest fan of coconut, I decided I wanted to do something a little different. So when I discovered the series of posts on Lamington variations by Delicious Delicious Delicious I knew I was heading in the right direction. Although there were almost too many choices....Musk Lamingtons. Cherry Ripe Lamingtons. Sugar and Spice Lamingtons. Oh my! But then I found the Peanut Butter and Salted Peanut Lamingtons and I knew I'd found my kind of lamington. After all, you can't go wrong with salted peanuts.
Having now made lamingtons, I can honestly say they are tricky, not hard but tricky. Well, putting the chocolate and peanuts on way. Messy, tricky and overall not that satisfying. It probably didn't help that I forgot to put the 100g of butter into the chocolate in the last step, which would have made the coating of the cake easier, but still... Would I make these again? To be honest, I'm not sure really. I think there are plenty of cakes and muffins that are just as delicious but not as tricky. But, the cake in this recipe is fantastic, so I know I'll be using that again!

Ingredients (I forgot to include the coating ingredients in the pic. Sorry!)
5 egg yolks (remember, it's easier to separate eggs when they are cold)
200ml milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
250g sugar
3 1/8 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
245g soft butter
1/2 jar crunchy peanut butter
200g milk cooking chocolate
200g dark cooking chocolate
300 - 400g salted peanuts

Start by making the cake...you need to make this a little bit in advance as you'll need it to cool down completely before you coat it with the yummy chocolate.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a 20cm square tin. I also coated the tin in a fine layer of caster sugar to make sure the cake mixture doesn't stick to the tin. Whisk together the 250g plain flour, 250g sugar, 3 1/8 tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt. By mixing these together now, you know that the leavening agent is evenly distributed through the mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix together the 5 egg yolks, 2 tsp vanilla extract and about 1/3 of the 200mls of milk.
Add the rest of the milk to the flour mixture, as well as 145g of the softened butter. Beat the flour mixture on medium with an electric mixer (whisker if you have one) until it's combined nicely. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 90sec on high.
Next, add in half the egg mixture to the butter flour mixture, making sure to give it one last good stir before you pour it in to mix in all the lovely vanilla. Beat for about 30sec. Add in the last of the egg mixture and beat for another 30sec.
Pour the batter into the baking tin and stick it in the oven for about 40 - 45mins, or until it's cooked through.
Mine got a little, ummmm, burnt on the top, but not to worry, it was only skin deep and I wanted to cut the top off anyway to make it more even and pretty.Once it's cooked, leave it in the tin for 10 mins, and the take it out and put it onto a wire wrack to cool completely.
Once the cake is 100% cool, time to cut it in half and spread on the lovely, crunchy peanut butter. I'm not so good at cutting cakes in half horizontally, so I opted for the easy route and divided it into three long pieces, and then cut each piece in half horizontally. After all, it was getting cut into squares at some point. I found that the peanut butter was way too hard to spread, so I stuck it into the microwave for like 15sec to soften it up and then it spread beautifully. Once the peanut butter cools, it sets again anyway. You can always stick it in the fridge if you want it to cool quicker.
Next, get the 300 - 400g salted peanuts and copy them up, or put them into a blender to chop them. I want the automated easy route. Put a nice heap into a shallow bowl and put it aside until we're ready to roll the chocolately lamingtons in it.

Now onto the chocolatey stuff... Melt the 200g of dark and milk chocolate together. The recipe I found said to do it in the microwave, but I don't like doing that. I think it turns out almost dry. Add in the 100g butter and stir it till it melts. I stupidly forgot this step, which I think made coating the lamingtons in chocolate just that much harder.

Now onto the messy part! Coating the lamingtons...Some people do this as one big cake and chop it as the go, coating each new side. I didn't, and I have to admit, I found this step tricky! Put a nice big dollop of the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl. If you're going down the route of coating each individual piece, cut up the lamingtons however big you want them.
Put each piece individually into the chocolate, coating it fully, and then into the peanut pieces and coating it in peanuts. Use forks to turn and scoop and transfer. It's a tiny bit easier. Put the lamington onto a wire wrack and start again with the next piece.
Serve with a cup of tea and an appetite for indulgence.

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