Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Australia – the Food Icons – Lamingtons

Unfortunately, AUSTRALIA the movie has not been faring well in the box office. Friends who have seen it absolutely loved it but the film has been bagged by critics contributing to its further demise.

But over a month ago I’ve started, supposedly, a series of Australian food icons to coincide with the release of the film. I was a little bit disheartened to continue because of the film’s fate but as promised here’s the second instalment. Please follow the link to read the first about Aussie Meat Pies.

Lamingtons came as the second most popular Aussie food icon in a 2007 poll (affectionately titled “Top Taste Lamington Aussie Poll”).

There are many reports as to the origin and the name of this cake but most of them are hearsay. The most plausible, in my opinion, was the story that says this concoction was brought about as a means to use up stale cake.

Lamingtons, to describe simply, are sponge cake squares dipped in chocolate then rolled in desiccated coconut. Variations to this include cutting the cake in half and filling it with either strawberry conserve or fresh whipped cream.

They have been and still are popular as fund raisers (commonly called “Lamington drives”) for clubs and charities.

The recipe below comes from my book Lamingtons to Lemongrass by Maeve O’Meara and Joanna Savill.


3 eggs
4 tablespoons castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
125g Fielders cornflour (wheaten cornflour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g butter

200 g icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Boiling water
Desiccated coconut

For the sponge

1. Beat eggs until frothy - this recipe is much easier if you use an electric mixer. Add the sugar slowly, continuing to beat the mixture. Add vanilla essence.

2. Sift flour and baking powder three times. Add to egg mixture then add the butter which has been melted and just brought to the boil.

3. Pour the mixture into a greased, lined lamington tray (27 x 20 cm)

4. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

For the icing

1. Combine icing sugar, cocoa and butter together in an enamel bowl, adding a little boiling water to make mixture runny. Stand over bowl of boiling water to keep icing mixture liquid.

2. Cut cake into 5 centimetre squares, skewer each with a fork and with a knife coat with icing mixture. Roll in coconut, coating evenly. Sit on waxed paper to dry.

3. Serve on large platters on paper doilies.

Note:Tip: a tea towel over the rack stops marking. Also put cooled cake into freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting - it makes slicing so much easier).


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The Beancounter said...

thanks aretha...but this blog's raison d'être is less about making dough...more like cooking it... ;)