Today is Australia Day and in honor of the day dedicated to the beautiful “sunburnt country” I thought I’d post up a recipe of a traditional Australian treat – the lamington. Although the history of the lamington is somewhat vague, it is popularly believed that the delicious treat was created in Toowomba, Queensland during the summer of 1886. The governor of Queensland had settled in Harlaxton House for that summer and he asked the cook to make his favorite cake snowballs (round cakes served with whipped cream). The kitchen at Harlaxton House was insufficiently equipped to make the desired treat and the inventive cook instead whipped up a concoction of a large sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. The governor’s guests were thrilled with the cake. When asked what the cake was called, Cook responded that it had no name. The guests consequently dubbed it the Lamington Cake in honor of the governor and an Australian icon was born. Interestingly, the governor himself did not seem overly fond of lamingtons and was wont to call them “those bloody poofy woolly biscuits” *
These days the lamington is generally made to raise funds for various school fundraisers, charity drives etc. It’s also no longer made as one large cake but is customarily made into smaller squares and is often filled with cream or jam. This particular recipe uses a plain sponge cake and is dipped in pink jelly icing then covered with coconut.
1/2 cup cornflour
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
6 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
1 Tbs boiling water
1 packet strawberry jelly crystals
1 cup boiling water
2 cups desiccated coconut
- Dissolve the jelly mixture into the boiling water and allow it to partially set (about 2-2.5 hours).
- Sift together the flours.
- Whisk the eggs until light and creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, creaming well.
- Sift the flour into the eggs and sugar mixture. Add the hot water and vanilla essence. Fold carefully.
- Pour the batter into a greased rectangular cake tin and bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees celcius.
- Allow the cake to cool.
- Trim the edges of the cake and cut it into about 16 squares.
- Dip a cake square into the partially set jelly and roll in desiccated coconut. Continue with the remaining cake squares, jelly and coconut.