Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Hands up if you went to a Catholic Primary School?
2 Hands up (and a Hail Mary) if you went to a Catholic Secondary School too?
So as I write this with my arms waving around above my head, I want to tell you a story about how Church, Iced Vo Vo Biscuits and Jesus collectible cards are forever connected in the back regions of my mind.
I went to a very small Catholic Primary School in Melbourne (hello OLW peeps!!) and each Friday the whole school trotted off to attend Church, which was on the school grounds so it wasn’t too far to go. Actually, having the Church on the grounds was a blessing (no pun intended there!) as the walls provided a great place to play down ball.
After Church the Priest would be waiting at the doors to wave us off and give us an Iced VoVo Biscuit and a prayer or Saint Card. These cards were like gold; the catholic school equivalent of NBA or VFL (as it was back then) collectable cards. You could keep them or swap them for one you didn’t have. And the biscuits; well looking back now I know it was bribery (or reward??) but they were the special fancy biscuits we weren’t allowed at home.
So now whenever I think of Iced VoVo Biscuits I automatically go to my days at the little primary school in Kingsbury with the hand rung school bell and my first nemesis, an Irish girl named Thelma (another story for another day).
I have tried several time to re-invent the memory for myself; I’ve made Iced VoVo Icy poles, an Iced VoVo Pie and now this Iced VoVo Poke Cake but still…flash backs to blue check uniforms and reciting the Our Father!
Oh well, if I’m going to get all religious I might as well make my own Cake Cult and share with you this Iced VoVo Poke Cake recipe!
You may have noticed my recent fascination with Poke Cakes. There was a Chocolate, a Lemon and Blueberry, a Banana Split and most recently a Black Forest version. I love making Poke Cakes because they look so damn impressive for really not much effort at all. You get 3 layers of flavour all in one delicious bite.
This Iced VoVo Poke Cake is a Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Sauce which is topped with Raspberry Cream and shards of coconut. The flavours are reminiscent of the Iced VoVo Biscuit, but if you aren’t Australian maybe just call it a Raspberry Coconut Poke Cake.
The Vanilla Cake is my basic cake recipe. Easy to make; just make sure you don’t over whisk the egg whites.
The Raspberry Sauce needs to be made before anything else. Why? It needs time to cool and thicken before being spread over the cake and being used in the Raspberry Cream. ½ Cup of the Raspberry Sauce will be used to turn the Whipped Cream into Raspberry Cream and the cream will need time in the fridge to thicken enough to be piped.
The Raspberry Cream is made from whisking thickened Coconut Cream with Raspberry Sauce. If you are finding that the cream is too runny it can be stabilised with gelatine. Just stir through 1 ½ teaspoons of gelatine in 2 Tablespoons of cold water. After the gelatine has set, place it over a bowl of boiling water (a double boiler method) and stir until it dissolves, and the mixture becomes a thick liquid. Whisk this into the Raspberry Cream and leave it in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. This will thicken the cream and make it easier to pipe, however it may need to be whisked before piping to help make it more pliable. Gelatine or not, the cream will need to thicken in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I piped the cream onto the cake in rows using a wide single hole piping attachment (I’m sure it has a proper name but I have no idea!) to resemble the icing on the Iced VoVo Biscuits. You don’t have to do this; the cream can be spread on top like in this Poke Cake.
There are a few more Aussie themed desserts coming to you over the next week so keep an eye out in your inbox for them.
- 3/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- Dash Salt
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 7 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup or Rice Malt Syrup
- 3/4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Milk (of choice)
- 2 teaspoons Vinegar
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 packed Cups Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 2 Cups Coconut Cream/Milk (2 400ml cans, lid removed and placed in the fridge over night. Use the thickened cream and discard the watery remains)
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1/3 Cup of Raspberry Sauce
- If cream is too runny add 1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin disolved in 2 Tablespoons of water (see notes above)
- Shaved or desicatted Coconut for decorating
- The Raspberry Sauce needs to be made first.
- The Raspberry Cream will need time in the fridge to thicken before piping.
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Take an 8 inch (20cm) Square cake tin and line it with baking paper. Make sure the paper is long on 2 of the sides to help remove the cake once the sauce has been added.
- Place the egg whites into the clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Whisk the egg whites on medium/high until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until large peaks have formed,
- Continue whisking on medium/high and add the vanilla extract.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Only add the next yolk when the previous one has been fully incorporated. Whilst still whisking, add the milk and vinegar into the egg mixture.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the coconut flour and baking powder together. Ensure that the coconut flour has no lumps in it.
- Turn the whisk to low and add the flour mixture. (If you keep it on high then you will most likely end up wearing the flour). Once incorporated, return the whisk speed to medium/high to fully mix all the ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the tin and smooth out the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes take the end of a wooden spoon and 'poke' holes in the cake at regular intervals (I did 4 or 5 rows of 5 holes; so 16-20 'pokes'). Do not make the holes too close together and do not push too far down; about 1/2 way is right.
- Reserve 1/2 Cup of Raspberry sauce (this is for the Raspberry Cream which should already be made) and pour the rest over the Cake and spread it over the top and into the holes. Allow the cake to sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Remove the cake from the tin using the longer edges of baking paper and place on a serving tray.
- Pipe the Raspberry Cream in lines over the top of the cake. Top with coconut.
- Serve and devour!
- The cake needs to be kept in the fridge.
- Place the raspberries, sweetener and lemon juice in a saucepan. In a small bowl blend the water and the arrowroot into a smooth paste. Add to the saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium/high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Stir regulary to prevent sticking or burning.
- Place the Raspberry Sauce in a bowl and place in the frdige to cool until needed.
- 1/2 Cup of Raspberry Sauce will be not used on the poke cake; 1/3 Cup will be used in the Raspberry Cream, and the remainder of the reserved sauce will be used for serving.
- Spoon the thickened cream out of the cans, discarding the watery remains. The cream should measure 2 cups.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and whisk on high until thickened. Whisk in the Raspberry Sauce.
- If a darker red is desired add the extra reserved sauce or 1/4 cup of mashed raspberries.
- Place the whipped cream back in the fridge to thicken before using.