Monday, 3 May 2010


If you have ever visited Australia you have probably come across the Lamington, a square sponge cake cut into cubes, with a chocolate coating which has been dipped into dessicated coconut.  Most café's, lunch bars, bakeries and supermarkets sell them.
The history of the Lamington is a bit ambiguous, one account claims Lamingtons are named after Baron Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901.  The Lamington's chef  Armand Gallad, was called upon at short notice to provide something to feed unexpected guests. According to the Melbourne Age newspaper, Gallad cut up some left over French vanilla sponge cake baked the day before, dipped the slices in chocolate and set them in coconut (an ingredient not widely used in European cooking at that time). Lady Lamington's guests then asked for the recipe. Another account claims the dessert resembled the homburg hats favoured by Lord Lamington. 
Try them for yourself you will love them.

For the sponge
3 large eggs
75g caster sugar
125g self raising flour
25g cornflour
25g soft butter
For the chocolate icing
500g icing sugar
75g cocoa
10g soft butter
120 ml milk
315g dessicated coconut
You will need a 7" square cake tin at least 2 1/2" deep, lined with parchment paper.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C / gas 4
Beat the eggs and sugar together with a hand held electric mixer until doubled in volume.  Gradually sieve in the flour and cornflour, add 3 tbsp hot water and the butter and stir until the mixture is smooth.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the tin, with the lining paper still on and place on a wire rack to cool.
In a bowl, sieve together the icing sugar and cocoa.  Mix in the butter and milk and beat until smooth.  Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir until the icing is glossy.  If it seems stiff add a little milk.  Remove from the heat.
Remove the paper from the cake and cut into 16 cubes.  Using a fork dip each square into the chocolate icing then roll them in the coconut and on to a plate to allow the icing to set.
They are best eaten fresh but any leftover can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  

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