When it comes to making a cake based dessert for a special occasion Lamingtons is the first thing that comes to my mind. This Aussie classic is a true comfort food and has a wide margin to be creative with the basic recipe.
This Mini Lamingtons Strawberry Bites is my tiny take on a true classic to make it more indulgent and include everything I love in desserts on a plate without overloading it.
The classic version is made with delicious sponge cake squares coated with chocolate sauce and rolled into desiccated coconut. The chocolate mixture is kept fairly runny so that some of it gets absorbed in the outer layer of the cake cubes, making every bite super moist. The coconut crunch on top gives the outer layer a distinct texture.
Using this basic idea many variations can be created, like Lamington sandwiches with cream cheese and jam between two Lamington halves or long and thin Lamington fingers or Mini Lamingtons.
I decided to thread Mini Lamingtons with chocolate dipped and sprinklers coated strawberries onto skewers and serve them with a smooth and citrusy Lemon Cream cheese Dip. The combination of ingredients worked out really well, it was fun to eat, light and refreshing!
The best thing about making Lamingtons for a special occasion is that you can bake the cake ahead, in fact it is better to use slightly stale cake ( a day or two old) so that it’s firm enough to dip into the chocolate syrup. All that you have to do on the required day is make chocolate syrup and leave the Lamingtons to set till served.
You can play with the idea of coating too. If you don’t like coconut, you can use sprinkles or crushed nuts in their place too. White chocolate or strawberry syrup can replace the chocolate icing. The Cream cheese dip is highly recommended because it’s a natural pairing with all sorts of tea breads and fruit desserts. It has loads of flavor and oodles of pizzazz to it. You will eat this stuff until the bowl is empty. My kids were eating it by the spoonful it was so good!
You know kitchen is place where dreams can actually come true, so put that apron on and make some happy dreams happen!
For Sponge Cake:
1+1/3 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1+1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A few drop vanilla essence
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups desiccated coconut
For Chocolate Icing:
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoon butter
1/4 cocoa cup powder
3 cups icing sugar
A few drops vanilla essence
For Lemon Cream cheese Dip:
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1/2 cup thick yogurt
16 small wooden skewers
1 cup cake sprinkles
Left over chocolate icing
This Is What You Do:
Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.
Prepare the pan. Lightly grease and flour a square 8 x 8 inch pan.
Add egg, sugar and vanilla to a big mixing bowl. Beat with the electric hand mixer till the mixture becomes light yellow in colour and thick (almost 3 minutes).
Add flour and baking powder to the egg batter and mix gently with a spatula.
Melt the butter, let it cool down a bit before adding to the batter.
Gradually add melted butter and keep mixing it with the rest if the batter till everything is combined. Don’t over mix the mixture.
Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cake cool down completely or better bake it a day ahead so that it’s firm enough to be dipped into the chocolate icing.
To make icing, mix icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.
Heat together milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl or in a small sauce pan over stove till the butter is melted.
Pour over the sugar and cocoa, mix with a hand whip till smooth.
The consistency of icing should neither be too thick nor thin. It should be able to coat the cake pieces.
To assemble cut cake into equal sized square pieces. I cut mine into 2 inch mini squares ( made 16 squares).
To save your work tops from getting messy, place everything you need on a serving tray. Pour sauce in one wide deep bowl and add desiccated coconut in another. Using a fork, dip the cake pieces, one at a time, first into chocolate icing on all sides and then toss into coconut. Leave to set for 2 hours or until the coating is set.
To make Lemon Cream Cheese dip, beat together all the ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer till light and fluffy. Keep refrigerated till serving time.
Remove the leaves from strawberries. Dip the fat end into leftover chocolate syrup and roll that part into sprinkles. Thread a strawberry onto a skewer, then a mini Lamington and again another strawberry. Repeat with all the ingredients.
Serve with Lemon Cream Cheese Dip on the side.