Thursday, 20 February 2014

Real Berry Jellies and Weak- at- the -Knees Lamingtons

What do you do when you can't eat anything at all because everything tastes like metal and your mouth's ulcerated and you can't keep anything down anyway? My husband's been really very ill for the last 5 months, and completely lost his appetite at times. Finding things to tempt him has been a real mission; but just when I was out of ideas he phoned me one day (from hospital) and asked for - of all things- a pink lamington, complete with whipped cream!! I guess when you're ill you elevate memories of old comforts - especially true when it comes to food, I think.

In any case, I went searching but could only find them filled with truly awful  'mock cream'. As it turned out he couldn't eat it in the end in any case - it was a feed tube for him, unfortunately.
This whole episode got me thinking, though, about how I might be able to make really good lamingtons with real fruit, so out came the pinny. ..
I'd invented some lovely raspberry jelly moulds for a Xmas feature a couple of years ago, so I revisited that recipe and simply used the jelly base to dip squares of bought sponge in - and they turned out to be such a triumph I decided to include them in my new book (for which I just sent the manuscript away last week - Yay!!!). A friend, who's been making them ever since, says her husband literally goes weak at the knees over them, hence the name.

Real Berry Jellies and Weak- at- the -Knees Lamingtons

A photo like this will be in the new book, but as you can see this one is hardly a professional image!, just snapped over Carolyn (Robertson's) shoulder as she was setting up the shot.

                                 Real Berry Jellies and Weak- at- the- Knees Lamingtons

It must be the child in all of us; jellies never go out of favour, especially when served with fresh berries and boutique ice cream. Or, dip squares of sponge in the jelly before it sets and roll in coconut for some frivolous real fruit lamingtons.
Makes 16-18 lamingtons

500g fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed)
½ cup sugar
2½ cups cranberry, pomegranate or blackcurrant juice
2 Tbsp gelatine

Jelly moulds
Place the fresh or thawed raspberries with their juice, the sugar and 2 cups of the cranberry juice in a large saucepan. Soak the gelatine in the remaining ½ cup of cranberry juice.
Heat the raspberry mixture over a medium heat and simmer 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately strain through a sieve into a bowl. Discard the seeds.
Whisk in the soaked gelatine and stir until the gelatine is completely dissolved. Pour into six ½ cup moulds.
Cover and chill for 3-4 hours until set.
Unmould the jellies onto serving plates and garnish with fresh raspberries or berries of choice and crème fraiche or homemade ice cream. 

Real Fruit Lamingtons
Grown men have been known to go weak at the knees when these are produced - honestly!

Berry jelly, as for berry jelly moulds
300g plain sponge, bought or home made
2-3 cups desiccated coconut
200ml softly whipped cream

Make the berry jelly as outlined above, and set aside to cool. Refrigerate to hasten the process once it has cooled sufficiently, but don’t allow  to set; try to catch it just as the setting process begins.
Cut the sponge into approximately 5cm squares, and dip all sides into the cold jelly.
Roll in the coconut, then either slash the top or halve through the equator of each lamington.

Fill with the softly whipped cream and serve with or without fresh berries.