Jam Drops

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Jam drops, sweet old fashioned jam drops have been in my biscuit making rotation for what seems like a long long time.  I know I’ve been making them since having children as page in the recipe book the recipe comes from has been drawn on (several times) by small children wielding pens.  

They’re a particular favourite in our house and everyone even our autistic son who’s super fussy about the food he eats, loves them.

They are so simple to make and have never let me down. This is my my tired and true recipe which I add coconut too, but that optional and you can leave it out if coconut isn’t your thing.

 

Jam drops – recipe adapted from The Country Women’s Association of Australia Country Classics

125g softened butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups self raising flour

2/3 cup desiccated coconut

Strawberry jam (or whatever other jam you fancy)

 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs one at time and beat them in well.  Mix in sifted flour, then coconut.

Roll into balls about the size of a walnut and flatten slightly.  Using  end of a wooden spoon dipped in flour make a hole in each biscuit (its best if you kind of move the end of the wooden spoon around to make the hole a bit bigger then the size of the wooden spoon handle).

Fill holes with jam

Bake for 10 to 15 mins, then cool for a bit on trays before moving to cooling rack.

Enjoy

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Vanilla Slice

Next in my adventures in baking the great Australian classics – Vanilla Slice

confession until I made vanilla slice I’d only eaten it once and wasn’t overly impressed.

From what my friend Wikipedia tells me it’s based on a Mille Feuille. This is alternating layers of puff pastry and cream patisserie. A vanilla slice is a simplistic version of this – puff pastry on the bottom, a layer of delicious custard, topped with puff pastry and covered in delicious icing/

This recipes also for those who claim they can’t make custard, because its super easy and you can make custard.

puff pastry action

simple ingrediants for custard

all coming together in

Vanilla Slice

2 sheets puff pastry defrosted

2eggs

5 tbls corn flour

3 cups of milk

3 tbls sugar

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup passionfruit pulp

2 cups icing mixture

preheat oven to 180 degrees

Prick puff pastry with a fork and place in oven. Bake until golden.

cut to size to fit in tin (in this case I used a square cake tin). line tin with a strip of foil or baking paper longer than width of tin (you need it over hang edges of tin). place one sheet of puff pastry on bottom of tin

Whisk eggs cornflour and milk in saucepan. heat over medium heat until it starts to become thick, then whisk in sugar and vanilla. You need the custard to be pretty thick so keep whisking until I gets there.

Pour custard into puff pastry lined tin. {Place second sheet of puff pastry on top.

Put passionfruit pulp into a bowl then mix in 1 cup of icing mixture, keep adding icing mmixture4 a little bit at a time till you get a thick icing, Spread icing over puff pastry. Place in fridge to set

Cut up, eat enjoy

*** if you want to make a pouring custard follow directions above but only use 3 tbls cornflour & 1 tsp vanilla, and heat till it coats back of spoon

*** you can replace passionfruit icing with icing of choice if passionfruit is not your thing

Lamingtons

When I first thought of the idea of baking all the classic Australian baked goods the first thing that came to mind was Lamingtons. Almost everyone else suggested pavlova but not me. Come Australia day everyone’s serving pavlova but I’m handing out Lamingtons.

I mean what’s not to love, it’s perfect cake covered in chocolate icing then rolled in coconut. I like them so much I’ll even eat the ones you get pre-packaged from the supermarket. But we all know homemade is best.

I won’t lie they can be fiddly and a bit messy to make . You also need 24 hours to make them. This is because you need to freeze the cake. What’s that skip, why freeze the cake? Well you can ice the outside of a cake pretty well as soon as its cooled from the oven, but cut the cake and icing is not a fan of sticking to the crumbly insides. However freeze the cake and voilà the cut sides aren’t crumbly when frozen.

So righty O let’s make lamingtons

You’re going to need cake which is going to need butter and sugar

we’re adding the usual eggs, vanilla, milk and flour and mxing with our butter and sugar

an assitant in the form of a child is good and enhances the whole messy factor

chocolate icing!!

Lamingtons – recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas April 2002

Butter cake

125g butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs (room temp is best)

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups SR flour

1/2 cup milk

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees C

cream butter and sugar together

add eggs one at time beating well after each egg. Beat in Vanilla

add 1/2 the flour, then 1/2 the milk. The repeat with remaining flour and milk. Mix until all combined.

pour batter into baking paper lined 18 x28 cm slab tin

Bake for about 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean

Turn out onto a wire rack. Once cool wrap in cling wrap and freeze

Just before you need to ice them, take cake out of freezer and chop into desired sizes (usually square)

Chocolate icing

500 g icing sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 cup milk

15 g butter chopped

4 cups desiccated coconut

sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a heat proof bowl. Add milk and butter

stand bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Stir until all combined and nice and smooth

Holding each piece of cake on a fork one at a time dip them in the icing until completely covered in icing. Let excess drip off then roll in coconut.

place on rack to let icing harden slightly (essentially you need to be able pick the lamingtons up without getting totally covered in chocolate icing).

You can vary it by cutting pieces of the un iced cake into 2 spreading jam or cream (or both) between the 2 halves then sandwiching back together and ice as above

Store in an air tight container.