Tuesday 27 January 2015


For Australia Day this year I thought it might be fun to make lamingtons as one of our activities. They are an Australian sponge cake that's coated in chocolate and coconut. I took inspiration for the Australian shape from my friend Belinda Graham of The Happy Home blog. The kids loved the activity element of the process - dare I say more so than eating them. The Classic Lamington recipe we used from the Australian Women's Weekly was perhaps a little too sweet. Next time I might seek out a sugar-free version, or cut the amount of icing sugar used. Below is a slightly amended version of the recipe, but still using the original icing sugar quantities.

4 eggs
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (35g) cornflour
25g soft butter, chopped
1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
3 cups (270g) dessicated coconut

4 2/3 cups (750g) icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder
20g soft butter
3/4 cup (180ml) milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan with baking paper.
2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light in colour. Gradually add the sugar; beat for about 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Mixture should form thick ribbons when the beaters are lifted.
3. Meanwhile, sift the flour and the cornflour together three times. Combine butter and boiling water in a small heatproof bowl.
4. Sift the flour over the egg mixture; using a balloon whisk or a large metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the egg mixture, then fold in the butter mixture.
5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer comes away clean when inserted in the centre. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool.
6. For square lamingtons cut into about 20 even pieces. For the Australia-shaped version, use a cookie cutter to create the shape. Use a knife to cut Tasmania from leftover sponge. This recipe made 6 large Australias.
7. CHOCOLATE ICING: Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a large heatproof bowl; add the butter and milk; stir over a medium saucepan of simmering water until icing is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
8. Place coconut in a shallow bowl.
9. Using a large fork, dip each piece of cake briefly into icing until cake is coated. Alternatively turn in the chocolate mixture. Hold over bowl to drain off any excess. If the icing becomes too thick stand it over hot water while dipping, or reheat gently with a little more milk.
10. Toss cake gently in coconut. Transfer to wire rack and stand until set.

* Make the sponge cake the night before so it has time to cool.
* If making square lamingtons consider halving the chocolate icing into 2 separate bowls to prevent crumbs thickening the mixture.
* You can buy and use pre-made/packaged sponge cake and just do the chocolate decorating.
* You can freeze the lamingtons

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