South Africa's Best Bakes, no.3! You won't believe me if I told you that I made these within half an hour. To be honest though, I took a generous short cut or two! Cake Mamas like me obviously love our baking, but when there's washing to be done, ironing to be packed away, floors to be mopped and toddlers to be scolded at for continually drawing on the walls (!) we welcome short cuts when needed! It's like having a little kitchen elf help you along the way!
In my case, I paid my kitchen elf R45 to bake me half a sheet of plain cake. His name is Marco and he's incredibly cheap, but his bakes are always excellent quality. Yes, I can bring myself to order from others...I'll occasionally even indulge in baking from a box.
My needs over the weekend were completely justified though. On Saturday we went to visit a poor lady whose husband had recently passed away. Now in Cape Town, there's a beautiful tradition that's kept after a death, known as the '7 nights'. Every night for 7 nights after someone has passed on, visitors and sympathisers come to the house of the bereaved to pray for the deceased soul. It's customary to bring something along, and people usually bring large quantities so that the family (in this case, the widow) is not burdened with having to make or buy in food for her guests. I needed something that would go a long way, that would keep if kept in the fridge for a few days, and that would be really quick to make. My husband's sister in law Rezia (and my saviour that day) immediately phoned Marco (my knight in shining armour and kitchen elf) and in an hour I went to pick up my half sheet of plain sponge.
By the way, half a sheet is still huge. It made about 50 lamingtons.
But what is a lamington? It's simply a sponge, cut into a square, dipped in lamington dip mix ( shortcut no. 2, using instant mix as shown above) and rolled in coconut. I'm told that if you can't get your hands on lamington instant mix, you can even dip the sponge in a crazily coloured fizzy drink (in South Africa, Creme Soda is Green and we also have crazy red Raspberry flavoured soft drinks). If that doesn't float your boat, use warmed up smooth jam mixed with some boiling water, add a little colouring if you wish. You just need some sweet liquid to for the sponge to be dipped into. And the great thing is that since you've dipped the sponge, it won't dry up, even if you keep it in the fridge.
Oh, and did I mention that you can dress these coconut gems up with a little cream and fresh fruit?