I don't think that there are many foods that are iconic to Australia. Sure, we have pavlova, meat pies, sausage rolls and hamburgers with egg, canned beetroot and pineapple, amazing seafood and then we have lamingtons.
Supposedly named after Lord Lamington, the Governer of the northern state, Queensland in the late 1800's these little vanilla cakes rolled in chocolate and coconut have become a cake that one either loves or hates.
I remember the lamington drives when I was in primary school. The school would order a massive amount of artificial looking and tasting blocks of stale cake squished together with stark white cream and a small slathering of jam that resembled a little bit of a strawberry flavour. We raised quite a bit of money for these drives, however the memory of those artificial cakes left a bad taste in my mouth....
Fast forward, Singapore, 2012. I was a proud owner of a cafe where I served just as many Australian expats as I did local Singaporeans. It was here I started making my version of lamingtons.. using fresh cake, good vanilla and quality chocolate. Baking a batch at 5am, ensured a sell out by 10am.
Fast forward, Mexico, 2014. A bright young Canadian Mexican has graced us with his ever enthusiastic presence and questioned me.. "Do you know how to make lamingtons?", I sure do.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 20-30 minutes
Makes about: 12 medium sized lamingtons
The Ingredients - Cake
260g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
113g butter unsalted (room temperature)
150g caster sugar
2 medium eggs (50g in weight each) @ room temperature
1 tsp good vanilla extract or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
Preheat Oven to 180’ Celsius and grease and line with baking paper a 20cm square pan.
Beat butter, vanilla & sugar together until smooth and creamy
In a separate bowl, sift flour & baking powder.
Add eggs to the butter mixture one by one
Add 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 of the milk and mix. Continue doing this until all the ingredients are used up, ending with the flour.
Spoon into the pan and level off with a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30minutes. When a skewer is inserted into the centre of the cake it should come out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely then wrap in cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Once the cake is set and nice and firm, cut into even squares.
NOTES: The cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If not using right away it can also be frozen and then defrosted (room temperature)