Today's recipe is not that exciting, but it is a bit of a Kiwi classic, and as unbeatable now as it was when I was four and thought it was named after my friend Louise, or 'wees', as I rather unfortunately pronounced her name back then.
The recipe I used was from the Edmonds cookbook, and was called macaroon cake. The recipe didn't include jam but once the jam is added it is pretty much exactly what I'd call Louise cake - a thick, cakey base, jam centre, and coconut topping.
As with any recipe that begins with the instruction "cream butter and sugar" electric beaters make life easier, but so long as you're equipped either with an appliance or some good muscles it's pretty easy. The base is similar to sponge, but cooks up denser so that it's closer to what I'd identify as slice.
The topping is very simple, egg whites, sugar and coconut, and the egg whites just need to be a bit stiff before you mix the rest in. The oil in the coconut will deflate the egg whites a bit but that's fine.
I made mine round, though more often this is made as a slice and served in squares (I just didn't have a square tin big enough). I don't think having it in wedges detracted anything from the flavour - it was still really yummy. How is it that jam (which is pretty good on its own) becomes somehow magical when baked into the middle of things?
Louise Cake (adapted from the Edmonds cookbook)
125g butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp jam (traditionally raspberry but whatever you like will work)
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut
Preheat oven to 180 C. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat well. Mixed flour and baking powder together, and add alternately with milk. Spread into a greased and lined tin - 23cm square or 25cm round. Spread jam over cake batter.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold in sugar and coconut. Spread over cake. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to stand in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out.