I love dessert. I love love love dessert. One of the ways I punish myself is to omit sweets for a week (aka diet week). It turns me into a cantankerous grumpy unreasonable b++++. I found out about The Sweet Swap through Fakebooo. In return for baking one sweet and swapping it around, I get three sweets! What a deal! I know, there’s also the fun bit of getting to know more bloggers and getting creative in the kitchen and blah blah blah… I shall emphasise the main point: THREE sweets!! I was sold. I wrecked my brain a little to think of something to bake. I had to post it out so it couldn’t be something that needed refrigeration. I also wanted it to be something a little more exciting than typical ubiquitous biscuits, brownies or slices.
A sudden thought occurred: why not combine two different sweets? I have always liked the pairing of chocolate with orange so I devised a cunning plan to juxtapose a lamington with a sachertorte. When I discovered that sachertortes normally have apricot jam, my heart sank. There was no way I was going to be able to find fresh apricots in winter to make the jam. I gave it some thought and nevertheless proceeded by making an orange marmalade and sandwiching it in the lamingtons. I dubbed them “Sacher Tortingtons”. It is a pretty fun name to say.
I made my test batch of Sacher Tortingtons in 1 sitting on a Saturday afternoon. It took me three hours: making the marmalade, baking the lamingtons, sandwiching the jam between the sponge cake, coating it with chocolate and sprinkling on the coconut. I recommend making the marmalade in advance, as it gives you more space to breathe later. Most lamingtons are coated with dessicated coconut but I decided to use coconut flakes instead. I was inspired by the lamingtons that IMHO are the best in the world: those from Flour and Stone in Sydney. It’s best to sprinkle the coconut flakes onto the cakes. If you try to roll the cakes in coconut flakes, it will result in the bowl of flakes being sticky with chocolate icing. By the 3rd or 4th cake, the flakes would be too gluggy to stick onto fresh cakes. Lastly, resting the final products (ie coconut-flaked-chocolate-coated jam-sandwiched lamingtons) overnight allows the chocolate to set properly.
My guinea pigs comprised of a bunch of true-blue lamington-loving Aussies and ‘lamingtons-are-alright’ non-locals. Fakebooo snapped a lovely picture of my tortington in exchange for the cake. My tortingtons received the thumbs up and a second batch was speedily whipped up.
Orange Marmalade Recipe
(adapted from SBS Food, by Allan Campion and Michele Curtis)
1kg navel oranges
700g caster sugar
- Place the oranges in a large saucepan and cover with water. I used 3 large organic navel oranges.
- Bring to the boil then simmer for an hour.
- Set the oranges aside to cool and continue to simmer the cooking liquid until it has reduced to approximately ½ cup.
- Peel the cooled oranges and remove the pips. Puree the flesh, strain it and add it to the cooking liquid.
- Finely julienne approximately 100g of the orange peel.
- Add the julienned peel and the caster sugar to the cooking liquid.
- Bring to the boil, reduce heat and while stirring frequently, cook until a syrup consistency is achieved.
- Test by putting a teaspoon of marmalade on a chilled plate. Tip the plate and if the marmalade runs, cook a little further and try again. Keep going until the marmalade does not run when placed on the plate.
- Pour into a sterilised glass jar and set aside to cool.
(adapted from Super Food Ideas April 2010, by Katrina Woodman)
125g butter, softened
½ cup caster sugar
1 ¾ cups self-raising flour, sifted
½ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and lightly flour a 20cm x 20cm pan.
- Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract with an electic mixer until light and fluffly.
- Beat the eggs in, 1 at a time.
- Sift half the flour into the butter mixture and stir in. Add half of the milk and stir to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave the cake to stand in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.
Chocolate Icing Recipe
(adapted from Ms I-Hua)
15g cocoa powder, sifted (Dutch processed)
50ml cold milk
175ml boiling water
200g dark chocolate, chopped
170g icing sugar, sifted
- In a large deep bowl, mix the cocoa powder and milk until a fine consistency is achieved.
- Whisk the boiling water into the milk mixture and stir in the dark chocolate until melted.
- Stir in the icing sugar until smooth.
Assembling the Sacher Tortingtons
Slice the sponge cake into squares approximately 4cm x 4cm. Slice each sponge cube in half.
Spread a small amount of marmalade on one side of a half cube. Top the marmarlade-cube with its other half.
(I find it helps to cut into the cube without fully separating it, leaving one side intact for when it comes to dipping it into chocolate).
Dip into the chocolate coating then set aside onto a large wide tray, lined with baking paper. Repeat until all the lamingtons are coated in chocolate.
Sprinkle the coconut flakes (I used 100g) over the lamingtons and toss some onto the vertical sides as well.
Leave to stand overnight.
My babies were packaged the next morning. To pretty them up, I had them boxed in coloured little cardboard boxes, nestled in delicate wrapping paper and then into the post satchels they went! I had the honour of gifting them to Belinda (The Hungry Mum), Alex (Eating Adelaide) and Christine (Cooking Crusade). I pray hope they were well-received.
Three days later, my reward arrived. I received Twix Tartlets from Mary (Beyond Jelly), Macadamia Toffee Crisps from Marian (Apricot Tart) and Chocolate Honeycomb Snaps from Muppy. Needless to say, they were all delicious and pretty much ravaged that day (afterwhich I had to subject myself to diet week).
The Sweet Swap has been truly a great experience. It was a little nerve-wrecking to decide what to make and the packaging that followed but hey, I get to know 6 foodies and devour 3 yummilicious sweets in return. Pretty worth it, if I may say so myself. Thanks Amanda (Chew Town) and Sara(Belly Rumbles) for hosting the event!