Makes 18–20

¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ⅔ cups self-raising flour
pinch of salt
½ cup milk
desiccated coconut, for decorating
Thin chocolate icing
3 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4–6 tablespoons boiling water
½ teaspoon butter
a few drops of vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease a 12x8 pan and line the base with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar with the vanilla, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the beaten eggs. If using an electric mixer, add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each.

Sift the flour and salt, then fold into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour (don’t overwork it). Add a little more milk if necessary so that the mixture drops easily from the spoon.

Spread the mix evenly in the pan and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into small oblong shapes or cubes.

For the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add the boiling water, butter, and vanilla, then stir until smooth and shiny.

Spread some of the desiccated coconut on a large plate. Dip the cake shapes in the chocolate icing then immediately roll in the coconut. Leave on a wire rack to set.

Recipe courtesy of Margaret Fulton, THE queen of Australian baking
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