Paleo cherry and coconut cakes
Did you know...?
Lamingtons are a traditional Australian dessert that consists of small squares of white sponge cake, dipped in a chocolate frosting and then covered in desiccated coconut.
Are Lamingtons the first thing that comes to you when seeing these cherry and coconut cakes? If so, you wouldn’t be the only one.
I made these mini cakes to bring to a gathering of friend’s last weekend and guess what the most common question I was asked was: Oh Lau, are they Lamingtons?.
No, they’re not.
I would never venture to call this recipe Lamingtons, but they are Paleo cherry and coconut cakes.
I feel a great respect for the traditional recipes from around the world. I believe we all should to be faithful when following them, and keeping the original ingredients and cooking method as they should be.
I realised how important is this when, a while ago, I came across with a recipe called “Traditional Spanish omelette” in some American food blog. As you know, I’m Spanish so I felt curious to know how she made it. But, to my surprise, the blogger cooked the Spanish omelette in the oven because, according to her, turning the omelette upset down using a plate -which is the proper way to cook a Spanish omelette-, it may cause mess.
I was about to express my disapproval when I noticed that at least a dozen Spaniards had already left comments saying that THAT wasn’t a Spanish omelette, but a frittata, and asked her to change the tittle of her post accordingly with the recipe she had posted.
You may have a point of view different of mine and perhaps, you think I have a strong patriotic feeling for my beloved Spanish omelette. If so, it’s true! haha. But seriously, I bet if I called this post Paleo Lamingtons, my favourite Australian blogger Thalia would leave a comment saying something like: Lau, I like you, but the authentic and original Lamingtons are these,
Nevertheless, Lamingtons inspired me to make these cherry and coconut cakes. To turn the sponge cake to Paleo I used the same recipe for my Catalan sweets for which I have a deep weakness. It’s made from just four ingredients which are, sweet potato, almond flour, maple syrup and an egg. They give a fabulous fluffy texture to the cakes, not to mention the beautiful orange contrast with the cherry and coconut.
When I discovered the Lamingtons, the idea of covering the mini cakes with two ingredients fascinated me but, instead of dipping the cakes in chocolate frosting, I dipped my mini cakes in a handmade smooth cherry jam.
Cherries looked so luscious in my local market that I couldn’t resist but to purchase some of them!
For me, the most outstanding characteristic of each Lamington is the layer covering them in desiccated coconut . I love the texture it gives each cake, although inevitably Christmas comes to mind strangely !
Oh, and if you feel fancy, you can also top each mini cake with a cherry for that extra naughtiness !
With the success of these mini cakes, my brain is already racing to find another combination of tastes. Do you have your own particular flavor-combo?
PALEO CHERRY & COCONUT CAKES
Luscious fluffy mini Paleo cakes, dipped in handmade cherry jam and covered in desiccated coconut.
For the dough:
150 gr. sweet potato
1 cup / 170 gr. almond flour
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 small egg
For the cherry jam and decoration:
6 cups cherries, pitted and chopped
1 cup of honey
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup / 100 gr. desiccated coconut
9 cherries to top the cakes
Place the sweet potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender.
Using a masher, mash the sweets potatoes and let it cool.
In a large bowl, sieve in the almond flour, add the mashed sweet potato and maple syrup.
Mix well using your hands. Add the egg and continue mixing all the ingredients together until you get a consistent dough. If the mixture is too wet, add 1 to 3 tablespoons of almond flour.
Using a tablespoon, scoop to form the dough into a golf-size balls, then, press down gently in the centre of the cake with your knuckle to make the hole for the cherry.
Place the mini cakes leaving about 1 cm / 0.4 in. between them. Bake for about 10 minutes, then grill top for about 3 minutes until golden. Let them cool.
Meanwhile cakes are baking /cooling, make the cherry jam. Place the cherries in a large saucepan. Use the back of a wooden spoon to crush cherries to release their juices. Add the lemon juice and place over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the cherries are tender. Add the honey and cook, stirring, for 10-15 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Then, turn heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Cook for 4 minutes more and remove from heat. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Dip the mini cakes into the cherry jam, then roll in the desiccated coconut. Top with a cherry each cake and enjoy!
By Laura | Lau Sunday cooks