Happy Australia Day Everyone!!....well, for yesterday.
I decided to get into the spirit of the day by baking up a batch of lamingtons. But, after I ate nearly all of them, I didn't know what to write about so hence this post is coming a day late....but better late then never.
As many of you know the Lamington is a very treasured sweet to we Aussie's and without fail is always made on, or around Australia Day. For me, they should be made more of often but who wants to deal with copious amounts of coconut getting everywhere. And no matter how hard you try you can never wipe all of it up and you're still finding coconut days later in the most random places (I found some in my bathroom).
But, do you know the actual origin of the lamington? I didn't. So I decided to bust out the 'google it' and delve into the history of lamingtons.
Named after Lord Lamington, the 8th governor of Queensland, this culinary icon came about from an accident. Apparently, one of the maids working at Government House in Brisbane dropped the Lord's sponge cake into some melted chocolate. The Lord, was not one for wasteful habits, decided to roll the cake in some coconut as to not dirty his fingers. The maid's 'error' was much loved by all and in particular Lord Lamington.
Thus, lamingtons were born and to this day remain an Australian staple for Australia Day. Here is my interpretation that I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
250g Morello Cherries
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Self-raising Flour
1/3 cup Corn Flour
185g Butter, softened
1 cup Castor Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 cup Milk
4 cups Icing Sugar
1/3 cup Cocoa
2/3 cups Milk
300ml cream, whipped
3 cups (or so) Coconut, shredded or desiccated
To make the curd...
Do this first.
Drain the cherries and purée in a blender. Pass the purée through a sieve. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir constantly on a medium heat. Stir until starting to bubble and thickened. Place in a bowl and line with cling wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely in the fridge.
To make the cake...
Pre-heat oven to 180°C and grease a 25cm square, or lamington, cake tin with butter and baking paper (any size tin would work just as well).
In an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until pale in colour. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until fluffy. Sift in dry ingredients, add the milk and mix until combined. Place in prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until coming away from the sides and cake springs back when pressed. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto cake rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the icing...
Place icing sugar, cocoa, butter and milk into a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until the mix is thick and glossy.
To assemble the lamingtons...
With a serrated knife, cut the edges off all four sides of the cake. Cut the cake into 1.5-2cm strips. Cut those strips into about 4 pieces and match them with a partner of the same size/shape. NOTE: some outer pieces might have a slope on them.
Using 2 forks, dip each piece (one at a time) into the chocolate icing to completely cover it. Using the forks, allow a little of the excess icing to drip off then roll in coconut. Place back on the cake rack to set.
Once set, sandwich together with curd and whipped cream. Or if you like, leave them as is.