Traditional Aussie cake with French twist


Popular lamingtons can be made in a variety of flavours

LAMINGTON cakes are a peculiarly Australian confection, made with sponge cake coated with chocolate sauce and a dusting of dessicated coconut.

It is believed to have been named after Lord Lamington, who served as governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1902 and was credited to his French chef, Armand Galland.

The story of its creation, as written in Lady Lamington’s memoirs, was that Lord Lamington had unexpected guests and Galland served some leftover vanilla cakes. The chef had dipped the slices in chocolate and set them in coconut.

Lamingtons can be served on their own or filled with strawberry jam and cream between the halves. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The StarLamingtons can be served on their own or filled with strawberry jam and cream between the halves. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The Star

Since the European guests were not familiar with coconut, unlike Galland, who had a Tahitian wife, they were impressed by the creation and later asked for the recipe.

These “bloody poofy woolly biscuits”, as Lord Lamington described them, are today just called lamingtons or lammos. They remain a popular treat across Australia and New Zealand.

They are usually served on their own, but they are also commonly filled with strawberry jam and cream between two lamington halves.

My first encounter with lamingtons was when Australian exchange students studied at my school and they introduced these confectioneries to our culinary club.

We were astounded by the simplicity of the recipe, as she got a store-bought sponge cake, dipped it in chocolate sauce and rolled it in coconut.

While it is traditional to use a vanilla sponge, she also bought a chocolate sponge to show that it is quite versatile and lamingtons can be made with a variety of flavours.

You must freeze the freshly baked cakes until they are firm.

After freezing the cake for an hour, dip them in chocolate sauce and then roll them in dessicated coconut.After freezing the cake for an hour, dip them in chocolate sauce and then roll them in dessicated coconut.

This ensures that the cake doesn’t crumble when dipped in chocolate.

Although the chocolate sauce may appear runny, it gets absorbed into the outside of the cake cubes and becomes easier to handle after they are rolled in coconut.

In our humid climate, it is advisable to start with less water when making the sauce, to achieve the desired syrup consistency.

Alternatively, you can make a ganache with melted dark chocolate and butter or cream, omitting the water and cocoa powder for a richer frosting that solidifies into a firmer shell.

Regardless of the chocolate coating chosen, chilling the lamingtons in the refrigerator before serving helps them firm up.

Though optional, filling them with jam and cream elevates the cakes into a more indulgent dessert, fitting for celebrating Anzac Day on April 25.

Lamington cake

Sponge cake

125g unsalted butter, softened

220g castor sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs

260g all-purpose flour, sifted

3½ tsp baking powder, sifted

½ cup milk

Frosting

200g icing sugar, sifted

20g cocoa powder, sifted

50-75ml boiling water

15g unsalted butter

120g desiccated coconut

Optional filling

strawberry jam

200ml whipping cream

1 tbsp icing sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

Line a 20x30cm cake pan with baking parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides for easy removal.

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold in the flour and milk in three batches until combined.

For an optional serving suggestion, split the lamingtons in half horizontallyFor an optional serving suggestion, split the lamingtons in half horizontally

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Lift the cake out onto a wire rack and freeze for 1 hour until firm.

When fully chilled, cut the cake into 24 squares of 5x5-cm each.

Place coconut in a shallow pan.

Combine the remaining frosting ingredients and mix until smooth in a syrup consistency, but not watery.

Spread the lamingtons with strawberry jam and a piping of whipped cream, then sandwich with top half of the cake.Spread the lamingtons with strawberry jam and a piping of whipped cream, then sandwich with top half of the cake.

Coat a piece of cake in the frosting then transfer into the coconut and roll until coated.

Transfer to a serving dish and chill for 1-2 hours until set.

Serve cold with tea or coffee.

For the optional filling, beat the cream and sugar to firm peaks.

Split coated Lamington in half horizontally.

Spread with jam then pipe on cream and sandwich with top half of the cake.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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retro recipe , cake , dessert

   

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