It’s Australia Day today (Saturday 26th of January). I have a few foodie friends whom live all over the world but hail originally from Oz – the home of the lamington and funnily enough, Dan Lepard – a baker I get to like more and more with each bake I make of his. I love to read his book Short & Sweet over and over just for the wealth of scientific cake bakery info he generously imparts – like what a difference protein content makes to different flours and a treasure trove of bread making wisdom like adding fat such as clotted cream to a white loaf gives the most perfectly soft sandwich loaf you could imagine and how you don’t actually need to knead dough as all traditionalist bakers will tell you too, just be patient and give it time to do its thing. That is a story for another day though… This post will be drawing all of these Antipodean elements together as I shall be sharing a cake recipe of Dan’s I happened to come across on his Facebook feed a couple of days ago. Macadamia ginger cake with lamington icing. Having never had not baked an archetypical lamington in my life, yet year after year heard Aussie buddies wax lyrical over these cubes of sponge covered in a chocolate icing and coconut when I saw the fantastic looking photo of this tweak on a classic (lol – tweak on a classic – you know that had my attention first didn’t you?!) I knew I had to bake it. Especially as it is a cake whose fat quotient is primarily derived from sour cream – how can that ever be less than celestial to eat?
In case the sight of this large cake covered in choccie and coconut left you in doubt of its country (well country of the recipe’s author’s) origin, Gum Gum the Koala and Mo the Kangaroo have come out to play ;). After nearly a week of several inches of snow here in Merseyside, we seem to be having a freak heat wave today – the only evidence of the snow is a pile of twigs, carrots, a hat and a scarf from a Mr & Mrs Snowman built outside out flat on the grass. The sun has been blazing and we’ve had to disable the central heating and open all the windows! Clearly, global warming is telling me today is the day to bake this excitingly different cake whilst the sun lasts and I can close my eyes and pretend whilst I eat, I’m actually in Oz myself…
Hungry Hubby eyed this creation with suspicion – he tells me today he is not much of a coconut fan. Hence the one plate two forks scenario in this sunny afternoon tea scenario. Whereas I am sold – ginger and dark chocolate is one of those adult tastes I have happily (and greedily) acquired. Chocolate and coconut is a more child friendly combo which when balanced right (the nut being sweet you don’t want lots of milk chocolate or added sugar which would produce sweetness overload) I and equally happy to indulge in (remember my chocococonut raspberry cream cake?). Macadamia nuts immediately make me think of sweet white chocolate chewy cookies which I’d crawl over hot coals for so you can see, this cake floats my boat big time. Oh well Hopalong Hubby, you can content yourself with the last four pink lemonade bars I made a few days ago (see my Facebook page for the recipe – link at the very bottom of is web page) – I’m going back to cut a second piece whilst my tea is still piping hot.
So if you’d like to make a spiced, dark brown sugar cake studded with toasted nuts and drenched in a chocolate coconut glaze, head over to the Guardian website (or click here) for the recipe. My only note is I made a third of the icing recipe, not a half as Dan advises – I had an ample amount and as I made this actually around midnight last night, I did not wait for the glaze to be spreadable rather than pourable so most ran off the cake over night! My advice? Make the glaze before you even weigh out the ingredients for the cake – leave to stand at room temp then spatula it on so you have a lovely thick coating rather than the drizzle I have here.