Chocolate buttercream 125g butter, at room temperature 185g (1½ cups) icing sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a square 20cm cake tin with melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the butter, sugar and milk in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves and mixture is combined (see Baker's Tips). Remove from heat and use a fork to whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the coconut. Add the butter mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about 1½ hours).
To make the Chocolate buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until pale and creamy and it is a smooth spreadable consistency. Spread the cooled cake with the buttercream and cut into portions to serve.
Don’t overheat the butter mixture – as soon as the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved, remove it from the heat.
This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool spot for up to 3 days.
These melt-in-the-mouth buttery biscuits, sandwiched with a creamy, sweet buttercream, are an all-time favourite. This version has the addition of orange zest in the filling, which adds a subtle citrus tang. They're the perfect accompaniment to a cuppa.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Use an electric mixer on medium to beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy, scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary.
Sift the flour and cornflour together over the butter mixture. Mix on low speed (or use your hands to mix) until just combined and a soft dough forms.
Use lightly floured hands to roll heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays, about 5cm apart (you should have about 36 balls). Dip a fork in flour and use it to flatten the balls to about 1cm thick and 4cm in diameter.
Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, swapping the trays after 8 minutes, or until the biscuits are a pale golden colour. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays.
While the biscuits are cooling, make the orange buttercream filling. Put the butter and orange zest in a small mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat on low speed, scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary, until well combined and smooth.
To join the biscuits, spread a little buttercream on the base of a cooled biscuit and sandwich with another biscuit. Repeat with the remaining biscuits and filling.
These biscuits will keep in an airtight jar or container in a cool place (not the fridge) for up to 4 days.