Pandas (especially those made of plastic, and in miniature) love popcorn. Fact.
(In which Mr. P makes crap up about the diet of pandas.)
I am not a panda, obviously. (Well, I hope that's obvious. Do pandas wear Ray-Bans?) But I do love toffee popcorn, the type that comes in foil bags. I don't really eat it very often, because, well, frankly, with all the cake that I find myself in possession of most of the time, buying sweet things to eat seems a little stupid. But I love it nonetheless and often gaze longingly at it in the snack aisle of my local Co-Op, wishing I could spare the calories and that everything wasn't so over-priced.
I indulged recently at my friend Al's while watching 'The Killing', and could barely concentrate on what Sarah Lundt was doing, so much was I enjoying those buttery morsels. I know that to some this is disgusting - Mr. Other P really hates sweet popcorn - but I care not. Good TV and a bag of Butterkist = ace. Even if it means you lose the plot line a little. I am happy to report, though, that the sacrifice was worth it. I had my own little 'Eureka!' moment right there in crime ridden Denmark: I was going to make a Toffee Popcorn Lamington.
Ostensibly for the pandas, but also for me. Let's be honest.
You know, I can't believe that I didn't think to do this for Re-Inventing the Lamington 2010 or 2011. These lams are amazing! Sweet white chocolate ganache, soft, vanilla scented sponge cake and a buttery, crunchy toffee popcorn coating. They are to be remade. And soon! Though perhaps in a layer cake incarnation, because as some of you are hopefully discovering right now with your entries for Re-Inventing the Lamington 2012, lamington making can be a true labour of love.
Incidentally, if I'm not doing enough to glamorise popcorn, and you also think it's more for the bin and less for the mouth, check this out. Admittedly, not the toffee variety, but still... Maybe if I limit myself to a dollar a day popcorn and cranberry juice diet, I'll become a rich, famous pop icon? You never know...
White Chocolate Toffee Popcorn Lamingtons
You will need:
175g plain flour
175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
400g white chocolate
200g crème fraïche (or sour cream) at room temperature
200g bag toffee popcorn, crushed
- First, make the butter cake. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin, and pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk, baking powder and vanilla together until you have a smooth batter. Scrape this into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes or until the cake tests done. That means that when you stick a cocktail stick (or a piece of spaghetti!) into the centre of the cake, it will come out clean, without any uncooked batter clinging to it.
- Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack, and when completely cold, turn out and slice into 16 squares.
- Make the ganache: Melt the chocolate, cool slightly and mix together with the crème fraïche until you have a smooth icing. I always use crème fraïche for ganache now by the way; you can use it instantly, unlike double cream-based ganache which takes thirty seven years to cool and thicken.
- Make the lamingtons: working quickly, dip the cake cubes into the ganache coating evenly. Immediately roll them in the crushed popcorn pieces and set on a sheet of greaseproof paper to dry.