Lamingtons. A classic Australian icon…they remind me of my childhood where the daycare centre my parents used to enrol me in, had bake sales, and enormous trays of lamingtons would be carted home in the back of the car, with me desperately trying to get my little fingers into them!
Recently, our office hosted a Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea to raise money for the Cancer Council. Our morning tea was “Aussie” themed and included competitions for best Aussie bush tucker, best food/baked item (I think) and best Aussie hat…I discovered that one of my colleagues, being English, had never tried a lamington! I couldn’t believe it! “Not even a bought packet one?” I wasn’t going to bake at all, but then on discovering this I had to do it, and be the one who introduced her to this classic Australian.
First things first, I had to go buy a lamington pan to make the sponge. I’m glad I did this as it made sure that the pieces that were cut were uniform, especially as the sponge rose so much..Now I’ve never made a sponge before, and I was super excited at giving this a go. I perused all the lamington recipes on Taste and choose this one as it looked most straightforward.
I’m glad I have an electric beater as it would have been impossible without it.
Ingredients (serves 15)
- Spray oil to grease tin
- 75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
- 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
- 70g (1/2 cup) cornflour
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbs boiling water
- 170g (2 cups) desiccated coconut
- 300g (2 cups) icing sugar mixture
- 35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
- 60ml (1/4 cup) milk
- 60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly spray a 19 x 29cm (base measurement) lamington pan with oil to lightly grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang slightly.
- Sift the combined flours together into a large bowl. Repeat twice. *do this, it helps aerate & mix the flours*
- Use an electric beater to whisk the eggs in a large clean, dry bowl until thick and pale. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbs at a time, whisking well after each addition until mixture is thick and sugar dissolves.
- Sift the combined flours over the egg mixture. Pour the boiling water down the side of the bowl. Use a large metal spoon to gently fold until just combined. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn cake onto a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside overnight to cool. *I didn’t leave it overnight, though the dryer the outside, the better for the icing, apparently*
- Trim the edges of the cake and cut into 15 squares. Spread the coconut over a plate.
- To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the milk and water and stir until smooth.
- Use 2 forks to dip 1 cake square into the warm icing to evenly coat. Allow any excess icing to drip off. Use your fingers to roll the cake in the coconut to evenly coat, then place on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining cake squares, icing and coconut. Set aside for 1 hour or until icing sets.
Recipe courtesy of http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/3352/lamingtons
The sponge was gorgeous, but you might find little clumps of unmixed flour as you need to be quite gentle when you mix it through the egg mixture so as not to mix the air out. But don’t worry, you don’t notice it at all in the end result…
During the course of the evening we had a surprise visitor, one of my boyfriend’s best friends on a flying trip home from the U.K. unannounced. So the boyfriend and his mates headed out for some beers and left me to the lamington baking. When they returned, it was nearing midnight and the boys watched fascinated as I iced the lamingtons…but quelle horreur! It appeared as though I had run out of icing sugar and I was only half way through! What to do! I scoured the net and came up with jelly crystals. That’s right, jelly! I had jelly, but didn’t have the patience to wait until the jelly was at the right consistency as by this stage it was quite late. I dipped my sponge squares into the pink raspberry jelly, but it just didn’t quite work due to my impatience.
So how were they? The chocolate ones were delicious! The jelly ones were prettily coloured, but didn’t taste as good as the chocolate…And how did I go in the competition? I won! Yippee! All for the glory of course, as the prize of a bottle of wine is still on my desk! And how did my colleague enjoy her first taste of lamingtons? She liked them, a lot :-)