Sunday 24 March 2013

Dan Lepard's Chocolate Lamingtons

Lamingtons with successful glaze - mark 2

Well, sort of. Last year, Dan's recipe for double chocolate lamingtons was published in the Guardian, ahead of ANZAC day. I made them at the time, and used the glaze that he recommended for coating them. However, since I avoid coconut (as one of those things to which I might be allergic but don't fancy finding out about) I didn't want to actually coat the lamingtons and dip them in desiccated coconut, I just wanted to glaze the cakes. 

Lamingtons the first time round - with a rather runny glaze used in the middle and on the top

I rather fancied Suelle's take on the cake, which you can find here Chocolate and Coconut Layer Cake. She had the rather brilliant idea of halving the coating quantities and splitting the cake in half, sandwiching it together with the glaze and spreading it across the top. I decided to go for this too but unfortunately I was in a bit of a hurry to get the cake iced and my glaze was steadfastly refusing to thicken, which as a coating I think you'd probably expect. My lamingtons were good, but rather messy to eat and the glaze wasn't really what I wanted. I think I possibly used a different chocolate to Suelle and that's why my glaze took so long to set. I refrigerated a little of it and it did eventually thicken up. 

As with many cakes I make that end up turning out not quite right, I intended to remake the cake (very successful) and ice it with a different icing. But as usual, time slides and I didn't get round to remaking the cake. Then as part of the step-by-step baking series that Dan is now doing for the Guardian, he published a more conventional lamington recipe recently, for Australia Day (26th January) and also a twist on this recipe,  Macadamia Ginger cake with lamington icing. These two recipes reminded me of how successful the chocolate lamington cake had been and how I had intended to give it another go. And so I did.

I used the double chocolate lamington cake recipe, as stated here and then taking inspiration from the macadamia ginger cake with lamington icing, used an approximation of the lamington icing from that cake to ice mine with. As with my first attempt, the cake was successful. I did note that it took longer to bake than stated (about 10-15 minutes longer) and the top surface seemed a little darker than I would have liked. However, once the icing was on not only was this not noticeable, there was no hint in the taste of the cake that it had caught at all, so the dark surface was obviously just in my mind.

Dan states for the lamington icing that you need a half batch of the lamington icing, plus 75g dark chocolate. I used the quantities stated below (which are approximately 1/3 of the amount stated, plus 30g dark chocolate) , which gave a generous covering for an 8" (20cm) square cake, as you can see in the pictures. 

Lamington icing
130g dark chocolate (I used G&B 72% cooking chocolate)
10g cocoa powder
100g caster sugar
65ml milk

- Bring the milk, caster sugar and cocoa powder to the boil in a small pan, whisking.
- Add the chocolate, stir until melted, allow to thicken if necessary and then use to spread over your cake.

* I found that it was difficult to beat all of the small lumps of cocoa out of the icing, therefore I would recommend sifting it first. I also ended up transferring the sugar/cocoa/milk mixture to a small bowl to try and beat some of the lumps out of it before adding the chocolate. The mixture thickened quickly when I added the chocolate and was easily spreadable - I could happily spread the mixture right to the edge of the cake without fear that it was going to run off.

The actual cake was lighter than I expected and as you might expect from the ingredients, really quite sweet. I'm not sure why, but the top 1/3 of the cake seemed to be more aerated than the lower portion - you can see this in the picture above. The icing was very successful - it was less sweet than I was expecting and I would definitely use it again (I'm not that keen on super sweet icings as a rule). The icing doesn't dry to a gloss, but to a matt finish. I also decorated my cake with hundreds and thousands, and these needed to be added quickly while the icing was still wet enough to hold them, otherwise they just rolled off....

I'm entering this into We Should Cocoa, the monthly chocolate blogging challenge set up by Choclette of Choc Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot. The host this month is Lucy of The Kitchen Maid and she has chosen 'Fame' as the theme. Lamingtons are a famous Antipodean treat and Dan Lepard is a famous baker so I think these qualify!


Johanna GGG said...

I've never seen white 100s and 1000s before - they are very elegant and just right for lamingtons without coconut (though I love coconut and would miss it if I was allergic). Good on you for doing the recipe again and getting it right - I've got so many that just slide into the mists of time. Sounds just lovely

Katie said...

They look lovely, both the cakey chocolatey kind and the gooey icing kind.
I remember my mum making a very simialr icing for steamed chocolate puddings with milk and chocolate. I'll have to try it.

Unknown said...

oooh god that second picture is almost pornographic... what an amazing chocolate heaven picture... love it!

The Caked Crusader said...

Very nice tweak...although as a coconut fiend I could never leave it off!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I don't care if they are messy to eat, just pass me one now please!

Choclette said...

Well your lamingtons look delightful C- both lots. Dan comes up with such interesting icings - I haven't seen anything quite like this one before. And as I don't like really sweet icings either, this sounds like a good one.

underthebluegumtree said...

De-licious! Gosh they look so good. Which reminds me, I haven't made a Dan recipe for ages.....

Unknown said...

This is such a great post - I love it when people go into detail about what works and what doesn't in a recipe!
Thanks for entering this month x

celia said...

Caroline, do you think you might be allergic to coconut because it's a nut? If so, that's worth checking, as I don't believe it's a true nut as such. (As you know, we have nut allergies here too, but different ones to yours!)

Your lamington slice looks lovely! Like Johanna, I've never seen white 100s and 1000s here either - they're always garishly coloured!

Unknown said...

These look great - I read the step by step thing in the Guardian and once again told myself that I had to make Lamingtons but I still haven't got round to it. I would have to use coconut, though, and do the coating I'm afraid

Rosita Vargas said...

Me encanta se ve irresistible muy muy rico te ha quedado perfecto,abrazos y abrazos.


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