Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Almond and Coconut Cream Sponge Squares

These squares may sound rather unassuming but have received some of the most universally positive feedback of anything I've baked before. Maybe it's the soft and yielding coconut cream sponge, maybe it's the sweet buttercream perfumed with almond and dusted with sweetened, shredded coconut. I suspect though it's the combination of the two, presented in a little bite-sized package and perfect for a mid morning indulgence or afternoon tea treat. I recommend you try them for yourself at the earliest available opportunity!

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 30 Mins
100g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
200g Golden Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs and 1 Yolk
115g Ground Almonds
160ml Coconut Cream
90g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder

For the Almond Buttercream
150g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
300g Icing Sugar (Sifted)
A dash of Almond Extract
A handful of Sweetened, Shredded Coconut

Let us begin! Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a small rectangular baking tin with baking paper. The one I use is around 27 x 22cm. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk, then add the eggs one at time. Continue whisking to combine, before adding the almonds, coconut cream, plain flour and baking powder. Whisk away until you are left with a smooth, consistent batter, then pour into your prepared tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes until light golden and a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the sponge. When you are happy the sponge is baked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for about 30 mins, then (very) carefully remove and leave to cool on a wire rack. Don't worry if the paper comes with it as you can peel this off when cool.

Once the sponge is cool you can prepare the batter. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and icing sugar, before adding the almond extract and mixing until smooth. You can add as little or as much of the almond extract as you like, but I would advise caution, at least initially. Spread the buttercream all over the top of the sponge, sprinkle over the coconut, then slice into little squares and serve. Time to enjoy! 

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