It pays to have your eyes tested before reading a recipe. Lesson learned after I delivered these with a third of the amount of raspberry jam filling required. That was after checking the recipe twice (I'm blaming the ratio of distance from eye to cookbook!) and not following my own intuition when it spread as a thin layer on the base. Luckily, after they'd cooled I was able to slice the base horizontally and add more jam to each individual slice. It made all the difference to the balance of tastes.
These slices are based on the Louise slice - a base layer of cake topped with raspberry jam and coconut meringue - and given a twist for chocoholics with a chocolate cake base and coconut and chocolate meringue.
If the thought of three layers troubles you, don't worry, this was a breeze to make. The only strenuous chore was grating the chocolate. I thought there must be a better way but didn't find anything worthwhile on Google - so if you have any tips, let me know. At least it was cold and didn't melt in my hand as it did in summer.
I added a dusting of freeze-dried powder to give a tart burst of raspberry flavour in contrast to the sweetness, plus it looks rather vibrant.
The recipe comes from Fiona Smith in the Treasury of New Zealand Baking (edited by Lauraine Jacobs). It's a keeper of a cookbook full of delicious and reliable recipes.
Chocolate, Raspberry & Coconut Slice125g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups standard flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup raspberry jam
100g dark chocolate, grated
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Optional: freeze-dried raspberry powder
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease and line a 18x28 cm baking tin.
Cream the butter and half the sugar in a cake mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time until incorporated.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together and mix into the creamed butter and sugar. As it's quite crumbly, I found the easiest way to do this was to do a short burst on slow whisk to incorporate everything. Press the mix into the prepared tray. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the base.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly (about a tablespoonful at a time) beat in the remaining sugar until stiff. Fold in the grated chocolate and coconut. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the meringue mixture evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until meringue is golden and firm to touch.
Cool in the tin. Remove from the tin carefully and cut into squares or slices. Dust a little freeze-dried raspberry powder over the top of the cakes.
Makes about 16 squares. Keeps for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
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