Lamingtons | Čupavci

I don’t know how a sponge dessert invented in the great state of Queensland made it across the pond to Croatia, but it did. That they made it so far across the world is one thing, but the strangest thing is that these squares of sponge, dipped in a chocolate saucy icing and rolled in coconut have somehow become a staple of the dessert selection in Croatia. Weird.

Even Wikipedia’s entry under Lamington has this to say about Croatia…”Croatia has the biggest connection with this Australian dessert out of all the countries in the world. The origins and connection are not quite clear, but it has become a staple in Croatian cuisine and a traditional dessert. In Croatia they are called Čupavci. Croatians are possibly the biggest consumers and makers of this dessert.”

The literal translation of Čupavci in Croatian are “the dishevelled bunch” and I’ve made these in the “traditional” basic Australian way. No filling and very dishevelled. Whereas, if you google these babies, you can find hundreds of modern, fancy variations on how to make them – cream filled, jam filled, jam AND cream filled, custard filled, fruit filled, matcha flavoured coating sauce, strawberry flavoured coating sauce. It’s really up to your own imagination on how you want to improve upon this basic recipe. The world is your oyster! Sorry Lamington!

I’ve used this recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly which is simple. It really is just a few simple ingredients, no need for any baking powder, or vanilla just three types of flour, some eggs and sugar. I think the country women of Queensland who invented this recipe would be pleased with this list of basic ingredients, I assume that’s it’s as close to the original as you can get. So let’s trawl through the back of the pantry for the desiccated coconut, you know there’s half a packet rolling around back there, here we go…lamingtons!

Ingredients:

CAKE

~ Six eggs

~ 150 grams of caster (superfine) sugar

~ 75 grams of plain (all-purpose) flour

~ 50 grams of self-raising flour

~ 50 grams of corn flour (cornstarch)

~ 250 grams of desiccated coconut

CHOCOLATE SAUCE/ICING

~ 640 grams of icing (confectioners’) sugar

~ 50 grams of cocoa powder

~ 15 grams unsalted butter, melted

~ 250mls of whole milk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 20cm by 30cm (8x12in) rectangular slice pan. (I used a 35cm by 24cm pan so mine were a bit flatter and I had a few more). Line the base and along the sides with baking paper, extending the paper up the sides.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is really thick and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until dissolved between additions. Sift flours twice onto a piece of baking paper. And then sift flour mixture a third time into the egg mixture. Fold the flour mixture through the egg mixture. Spread mixture into the pan.

3. Bake the cake the 35 minutes. Turn cake immediately onto a baking-paper-covered wire rack to cool.

4. Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a medium heatproof bowl. Stir in the melted butter and milk. Place the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water and stir until icing is of a coating consistency.

5. Cut into rectangles. The recipe says 16. I had about 24 because I prefer them smaller and bite-size. Place the coconut in a medium bowl. Dip each piece of cake into icing, drain off excess. Toss in coconut. Place lamingtons on a wire rack to set.

Let me know if you tried these dishevelled treats and what you thought?

Dobar Tek! Zivjeli! (Bon Appetit! Cheers and let’s live!)

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