Thursday, 22 January 2015

Lazy Lamington Sponge with Muddled Raspberries


It feels odd to have been working these past few weeks. Usually I manage to convince Mr LP and my cafes to let me flit off to the beach with the kids and Mum for a while each January. 

But in what may be a sign of the year ahead, we were straight back to business after New Year's, and I feel a bit smug and serious, like I have a jump start on the sandy crowd.

We have a busy year ahead. We are scouting for commercial sites, taking on more corporate work and I am very excited to be designing more wedding cakes in the coming months - including for one of my besties. 

Bring it 2015!

Now, to matters of the upcoming long weekend. Straya Day (Australia Day to our northern friends) is nearly here. This means lamingtons are in my immediate future.

You could make these but they're fiddly. So for anyone pressed for time or motivation, I have a lazy version, in the form of a sponge cake with a thick layer of chocolate ganache on top and muddled raspberries with whipped vanilla bean cream in the middle.


I'll concede that the sponge concept is not so lazy that it involves going to the shops and buying a packet of lamingtons. You'll still have to turn the oven on, but you won't have to deal with a coconut bomb exploding in your kitchen, which is the deal whenever I make lamingtons.


In the spirit of this lazy cake, this is a lazy post in that said sponge was knocked up in 90 minutes from start to finish and the photos were quickly snapped at my sister's table before the family fell on it like the animals they are. This, however, does demonstrate the point of just how easy it is. And doesn't she have a lovely parquet floor?

Happy Straya Day, whatever you are up to. May there be blue skies and water involved. And lamingtons in any delicious form.

Larissa x

***

Lamington Sponge Cake with Muddled Raspberries and Vanilla Cream
(Serves 10-12)

Sponge Cake:
6 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75g butter, melted

Ganache:
100g dark couverture chocolate
120ml single pouring cream

Vanilla Cream:
180ml single pouring cream extra
1 teaspoon icing sugar
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

The rest:
1 punnet fresh raspberries 
Shredded coconut for top

Preheat oven to 170C.
Grease and line two 20cm round cake pans with non-stick baking paper.
Triple sift the flour and baking powder.
Place the eggs in bowl of electric mixer and begin whisking on low speed. Gradually add the caster sugar then turn to high speed for 10-12 minutes until the mixture has tripled in volume.
Sift over half the flour and baking powder and fold in gently with a metal spoon, followed by remaining flour. Add the melted butter and carefully fold in until all incorporated.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the two prepared cake pans.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove sponges from cake pans immediately and leave to cool completely on wire racks.
For the ganache, break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl.
Heat the cream in a saucepan until just boiling then pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2-3 minutes then gently stir until the mixture is glossy and smooth. Set aside at room temperature to thicken a little before it is needed.
For the whipped cream, place the extra cream in bowl of electric mixer with the icing sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk on high until soft peaks form. Place in the fridge until needed.
When the sponge is completely cool and you are ready to assemble, place the raspberries in a bowl and use a cocktail muddler or a fork to muddle or mash the raspberries to a lumpy paste.
Place one half of the cake on a cake stand or plate. Top with the raspberries, spreading to the edges. 
Spoon the whipped vanilla cream over the raspberries and top with the remaining sponge layer.
Pour the thickened ganache over the top of the cake, guiding it with a pallet knife so that it drips ever so slightly over the edges, like a cake in a Disney picnic. Sprinkle the top with shredded coconut and serve. If you are making it ahead of time, store it in the fridge and get it out an hour before you are ready to serve, to allow the ganache and cake to soften.