Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Baking Sunday: Lamingtons

The lamington is another classic Australian cake. In it's traditional form it involves day old sponge covered in thin chocolate icing and covered in dessicated coconut. The main way to jazz this up would be to slice the cake and fill with jam and cream but the blog Delicious Delicious Delicious has taken re-inventing the lamington to a new art form, with the second annual competition for bloggers taking place just after Australia Day coming up with some truly inventive and decandent lamington options. They're very adaptable, you basically just have to enjoy sponge and coconut and whichever combination you come up with can work.  A friend on Twitter mentioned them which gave me a craving for the traditional chocolate coconut version, which in my humble opinon can't be beat.


Traditional Lamingtons
 
Ingredients for Cake:
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
pinch salt
tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sr flour
1/2 cup milk
Chocolate Icing (recipe follows below)
3 cups dessicated coconut

1) Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale
2) Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well mixed and add vanilla.
3) Mix in a third of the flour until well mixed, and then half the milk. Repeat this until all the flour and milk is added.
4) Pour into a greased lamington/square cake tin and bake for approx 30 mins on 180 C.
5) When cool cut into squares. Lamingtons are best made with day-old sponge as they should not crumble. If you wish to make the lamingtons on the same day, wait until the sponge is cooled and then wrap into cling film and put into the freezer for at least 2 hours before use.
6) Optional step: Slice lamington sponge in half and spread with jam, curd, whipped cream or whichever filling you desire
7) Put coconut into a shallow dish. Dip sponges into chocolate icing until completely covered and then roll into the dessicated coconut.  Note: You can use two forks to do this, knitting needles are also used traditionally! I prefer to use a pair of tongs.
8) Place onto a wire rack with kitchen paper towel underneath to catch any drips until set.

Chocolate icing:

3 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon golden syrup
boiling water

Method:
Mix  all ingredients except boiling water into the top of a double boiler (or a metal bowl which can be balanced over a saucepan). Add the boiling water in very small quantities, a dash at a time, to mix to a running consistency, but not too runny.

Variations:

Basics: Omit the cocoa and add a few drops of food colouring or flavouring
Lemon: Add light yellow food colouring flavoured with lemon juice to the icing. Use lemon curd to sandwich the sponge together
Rose: Add light pink food colouring flavoured with rosewater essence to the icing. Use rose petal jam to sandwich the sponge together
Coffee: Add a tablespoon of instant coffee to the icing. Use coffee buttercream to sandwich the sponge together

For more ideas for variations, visit the Delicious Delicious Delicious blog.