Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone

A visit from my mum’s penpal from Mumbai in 2008 started the ball rolling that finds me living today in Delhi, IN. Now after thirty-two years and two children, I find myself helping my youngest step out of her comfort zone and make the arrangements to spend a year studying in Australia. How awesome is that!!!

As a baker, I have stepped out of my comfort zone in the kitchen many times this past five years and each time I grow a little more. There is always much to learn through trial and error and invariably an end-product that is simply amazing.

One delicacy from home that I enjoy baking and offering my customers is the Lamington, a simple light cake dipped in a rich chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut. A boring vanilla cake turns into the most divine afternoon dessert. If you like lamingtons but can’t find a bakery close by that sells them, you can make them yourself with little effort. If you’ve never tried them, you too can bake them up in no time and savor this Aussie favorite with family and friends.

Lamington Cake Recipe

Stepping Out Of The Comfort ZoneIngredients For Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup milk (or buttermilk – this gives a nicer flavor and texture)

 

Ingredients for Chocolate Icing
1 cup (240ml) milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) (60g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 cups (960g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup (90g) cocoa powder, sifted
1 pound desiccated coconut

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray a 9″x13″ baking pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and respray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  • Beat in the vanilla and then the eggs, one egg at a time until incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly, and then bake for approximately 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a thin knife or cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake. Cool slightly in the pan before removing to a cooling rack. Cut cooled cake into 24 two-inch pieces.
  • While the cake is cooling make the icing. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and milk, heating until butter is melted. Stir until combined. Pour the icing into a metal bowl and then place over the top of a saucepan filled with at least 2-inches of gently simmering water. I find it easier to just use a crock pot for the icing.
  • Put the coconut in a bowl and set aside. Dip a cake square into the bowl of chocolate icing, using forks to turn the square, coating all sides. Place the coated cake on a wire rack and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes to set. Repeat with all of the remaining squares.
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