Lamingtons

LamingtonsWhen I grew up in South Africa, I loved ystervarkies (roughly translated into small porcupines), it was only much later that I learned that they actually have an English name, lamingtons. I haven’t seen then anywhere in the UK and they seem to be a brilliant little winter treat, so I found a recipe, which seemed reasonable, but it needed quite a bit of work to make it just right. 

I’m going to say this a bunch of time throughout the method, but you really have to be very careful with the sponge. It doesn’t use any baking powder so be very gentle with the mixture to not lose any of the air. 

Ingredients

For the Sponge

  • 3 eggs
  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar (250ml)
  • 2 cups flour (500ml)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Icing

  • 2 cups icing sugar (500ml)
  • 3 tablespoons coco powder
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups coconut (500ml)

Method

For the Sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  • Grease and line a square baking tin (20cm x 20cm) with greaseproof paper.
  • Mix eggs, softened butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 8 minutes.
  • Add one cup of flour and vanilla extract at a time and mix with a cold metal spoon.
  • Place mixture into a square greased baking dish and place into the oven.
  • Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.
  • Once done, remove from the oven and let it stand until cooled.

For the Icing

  • Mix the cocoa and icing sugar together and add 1 tablespoon of water at a time – this needs to form a liquid approximately the consistency of melted chocolate.
  • Cut the sponge into cubes and place the coconut in a separate dish.
  • Dip the sponge cubes in the icing mixture and then into the coconut until it is completely covered with the coconut.
  • Let the squares stand until the icing is dry before serving.

Original recipe Reader’s Digest

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Condensed Milk Fudge

FudgeI’ve started getting a little bored of baking (and eating) muffins, cakes, biscuits etc. So I’ve decided to try my hand at making sweets. Admittedly, it is also that Xmas is coming so I can make these and hand then out as simple gifts. I have started with the simplest sweet I could think of,  fudge. Be careful with the cooking time, its a bit tricky at first but try it a few times and you’ll get there. The fudge in the picture was a little overcooked, but you get the idea. 

Ingredients

  • 400g tin condensed milk
  • 450g brown sugar
  • 150ml milk
  • 115g butter

Method

  1. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin.
  2. Heat together the milk, condensed milk, butter and sugar over a low heat in a non-stick saucepan for 10-15 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan often, until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into a glass of cold water.
  3. Once the mixture reaches this stage, remove it from the heat and beat it for ten minutes until it becomes thick and grainy.
  4. Pour it into the baking tin and leave it to cool completely before serving.
  5. Once the fudge is cooled, either cut it into small squares or break it apart with your hands. This recipe will yield around 20 portions of fudge.

Recipe source: Fudge Recipes UK

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

I am not a cookie baker, but these looked to yummy to pass up. I just loved the way they look! The recipe is from BBC Good Food. I changed it slightly, and also found that they weren’t crunchy enough, so if you like biscuits that aren’t gooey, you may want to double bake them. 

Ingredients

  • 225g plain chocolate , chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g icing sugar

Method

  • Heat the oven to 160ºC/fan 140ºC/gas 3.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a small pan of simmering water or in a microwave until smooth. Cool slightly.
  • In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk until pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed and add the chocolate mix and vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture until blended together.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1½ hours or even up to 2 days.
  • Put the icing sugar in a small bowl.
  • Shape the dough into 4cm balls, flatten and roll in the sugar.
  • Put them on baking sheets lined with baking paper.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes for soft centres and set edges.
  • For more crunchy cookies, turn the heat down a little (to around 140ºC/120ºC fan) and bake for a further 10 minutes. 
  • Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then put on a rack to cool.

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