Thursday, October 21, 2010

thursday baking - chocolate, raspberry & coconut slice

As we bake our way through A Treasury of New Zealand Baking

This post comes from our newest Thursday Baker - Jessica.

As a long-time fan of Louise Cake, I was keen to try this version of the traditional slice which has the addition of cocoa in the shortcake base, and grated chocolate in the meringue mixture. Unlike Miriam, I am also a lover of all things coconutty, especially when paired with chocolate (I've been known to eat a disgustingly-large amount of Whittakers coconut rough in one sitting) so was interested to see if this was a baking revelation.

I found the lay-out of this recipe a little confusing and almost misread it and put an entire cup of sugar in the base mixture. I have amended it below to have sugar listed twice, with the first measure to be added to the base and the second to the meringue topping. The original recipe also suggested using 3/4 of a cup of raspberry jam. I thought this sounded a little excessive given the sweetness of the other parts of the slice and so reduced it to 1/2 cup, which I thought was more than ample, and in fact would probably reduce it even further in future.

Chocolate, Raspberry & Coconut Slice, Fiona Smith Week 27
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs separated
1 1/2 cups standard flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup sugar
100g chocolate, grated
1/2 cup long-thread coconut (I toasted this in a pan first as I always think it makes it taste nicer, especially if it's been in your cupboard for a while)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Grease an 18 x 28cm tin and line with baking paper. Cream the butter and first measure of sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together and mix into the creamed mixture. Spread into a prepared tin. Top with raspberry jam.Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly beat in the second measure of sugar and then beat until stiff. Fold in the grated chocolate and coconut. Spread this mixture over the jam. Bake for 30minutes, or until the meringue is golden and firm. Cool and slice in the tin. Store in an airtight container for 3 days.

I decided to compare this recipe to my trusty old Louise Cake recipe, courtesy of the Edmonds cookbook. The basic recipe was actually identical other than having 1/2 a cup more flour in the base and 3/4 of a cup more coconut in the meringue. I think if I was to make this recipe again I would use the Edmonds quantities of flour and coconut, as I think this would have resulted in a less crumbly base and a more prominent coconut flavour. Also, I'm not sure the additional hassle of grating chocolate for the meringue was worth the effort, however I did like the chocolatey taste of the base. All in all, I'm not sure I'm a convert to this new recipe. Although quite delicious, I think I'll be sticking to the traditional Louise Cake in the future.

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