This is so appropriate for Australia Day! Why buy them when you can have some fun making your own? They really are very simple. And home made ones are infinitely superior to store bought.
You can put two together and fill with whipped cream for something a bit more fancy. Or jam. Or jam and cream 🙂
Things can get a bit messy when you do the icing and coconut. Desiccated Coconut is probably a bit easier, however I prefer the appearance of Shredded Coconut.
The simple, humble, Lamington has a somewhat convoluted history. It is purportedly named after Lord Lamington ex-Governor of Queensland (yes there is a National Park up there by the same name- which i will be visiting very soon). Some say their cook whipped them up as an experiment when put on very short notice to prepare something for guests using a stale sponge cake, and Lord Lamington loved them, but there is also a rumour he referred to them as “those bloody poofy woolly biscuits”. Regardless, they were a hit with the society ladies and have become a very important piece of Australiana.
- 160 grams Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 3/4 Cup Caster Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 3 Eggs
- 1 2/3 Cups Self Raising Flour
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- Approx 300 grams Dessicated or Shredded Coconut for Coating
- 3 Cups Pure Icing Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- 6 Tablespoons Boiling Water
- 3 drops of Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius, or 160 Fan Forced.
- Line a 20x30cm baking tin with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time and beat until full incorporated and mixture becomes thick and pale.
- Sift the Flour and the Salt three times. Then using a spoon fold 1/4 of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined.
- Add 1/3 of the milk, stir through, then fold in another 1/4 of the flour. Repeat until all flour and milk is combined- ending with the flour.
- If mixture is too thick and does not drop easily from the spoon, add a little more milk, this will ensure it spreads out evenly and bakes flat. Do not over mix otherwise it may become tough.
- Spread evenly into prepared baking tin with a spatula, bake until firm and springy in the centre (30-35 minutes).
- Leave to cool.
- Once cooled, cut the edges off the outside of the sponge to neaten it up. This is best done with a serrated blade. then cut into squares or rectangles whatever size you desire. If you are worried that it may crumble as you cut, refrigerate it for an hour before cutting. Mine made 12 large rectangles.
- Sift the Icing Sugar and Cocoa into a medium metal bowl.
- In a small bowl place the Vanilla, Butter and Boiling Water and once the butter is dissolved, pour this over the Icing/Cocoa mixture, whisk together until Chocolate Icing is glossy and smooth.
- You will probably need to set the metal bowl over a bowl of hot water to keep it liquefied when coating the lamingtons, as it sets quickly.
- Using two forks, gently coat each lamington in chocolate icing mixture and then place on a plate already coated with coconut. Evenly distribute the coconut over each lamington, turning over carefully with a fork and patting in coconut with your fingers. Don't use all your coconut at once as it may get contaminated by chocolate icing and not look too pretty, so use just as much as you need at a time.
- Serve once set, refrigerating speeds this up. You can keep in the fridge for a couple of days, or freeze them for later.