I adore overcast days, where the sky is grey and the sun is hidden behind thick, heavy clouds. Seldom have these days recently arisen, but when they do, they are always celebrated. The depressing gloom seems to be Mother Nature’s way of communicating a message. Slow down, unwind and embrace the peace of a quiet day.
On days like these, it’s rare that I cannot find an excuse to bake. The miserable weather makes it a necessity. An oven filled with the promise of sweet baked goods warms the house and elevates any mood.
Recently, I have become taken with the idea of simplistic cooking – mainly basic, traditional and comforting baking. I love to pursue the no fuss and no flair aspect of wholesome food. The focus is solely on divine flavour.
There is a simple beauty in a lamington. And these Dark Mocha and Raspberry Lamingtons fall squarely under simple, traditional and comforting food. The ingredients are common and the flavours pure, but somehow the taste is unforgettable.
These lamingtons are my selfish pleasure. A tender, brownie like mocha sponge is halved, smothered in sweet raspberry jam, dipped in a thick layer of rich dark chocolate and then encased in coconut.
The dark chocolate brownie sponge is unbelievably moist, decadent and rich. A bite melts in your mouth and turns into a soft, gooey chocolate mess that sticks to the roof of your mouth and lingers long after being consumed. They are incredibly moorish, taste just as delightful as they sound and are satisfying in the way that only an old fashioned, traditional home baked treat can be.
I love to munch on them while they are still warm and the chocolate coating is slightly melted. They are perfect to be accompanied alongside a good cup of tea or tall glass of warm milk and just seem to taste that little bit better on a particularly miserable day.
- For the sponge:
- 120g butter, softened
- 120g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 120g self raising flour, sifted
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa, sifted
- 1tsp baking powder
- 25ml espresso
- 80g dark chocolate, melted
- For assembly:
- 250g raspberry jam
- 400g dark chocolate, melted
- 4 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 500g shredded coconut
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
- Grease and line 2 x rectangle slice tins that are 6 cm high. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream/beat the butter and sugar until light, thick and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the sifted flour, baking powder and dark cocoa and stir to combine.
- Add the melted chocolate to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Lastly, add the espresso shot and combine.
- Divide the batter evenly between the slice tins and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean and the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed.
- Remove the cakes from the tins to cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cakes are cool, trim the edges to make 2 perfect rectangles.
- Spread the jam oven the top of one of the rectangles and then sandwich with the other. Place in the freezer while preparing the coating.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, sift the icing sugar and milk. Stir well to combine and set aside.
- Place the coconut in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- Remove the mocha sponge from the freezer and carefully cut into 4-5 cm squares.
- Very carefully dip each square into the dark chocolate and then roll each side in the coconut. (To avoid messy fingers this can be done using a skewer).
- Set aside on a baking tray and let sit to harden at room temperature.