For the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons. An Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant
This was the first time I had ever tried a lamington, I had heard of them of course, but never thought to try making them. Which is one reason why I enjoy being part of the Daring Bakers - it encourages me to try things that I wouldn't think to (or have heard of) on my own, most of which I end up loving. For those of you who haven't heard of lamingtons, they are a very popular Australian treat consisting of squares of vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut, sometimes with a jam filling.
I adapted the recipe from the fabulous Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard, Dan is Australian so surely knows how to make a good lamington! The sponge cake is moist and fluffy, but is also sturdy enough to slice neatly, and to dip and roll without crumbling; it is even easier to slice cleanly if you bake the cake the day beforehand. The chocolate coating is a simple mixture of cocoa powder, icing sugar, boiling water and chocolate (any leftovers make good milkshakes...) and I opted to fill mine with some good quality cherry jam, which went perfectly with the chocolate and coconut. I was originally planning on making coffee caramel ones, but Damian turned his nose up at that idea (he's not much of a coffee fan), though I definitely intend to make them at some point!
I used a 20cm/8in square tin, which yielded 16 fairly large (about 5cm/2in square) lamingtons; to make slightly smaller ones, use a 23cm/9in square tin and cut into 20 pieces. You can fill them with any kind of jam you like, or use dulce de leche, salted caramel or chocolate ganache; or simply leave them plain, all would be delicious.
- 3 large eggs separated
- 220 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
- 100 g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) butter, softened
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 300 g (2 + ½ cups) plain flour
- 4 tbsp cornflour cornstarch
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 230 ml (scant 1 cup) milk
Filling and topping
- about 150g (5 oz) cherry conserve (or jam of your choice)
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 180 g (1 + ¾ cups) icing (powdered) sugar
- 180 ml (¾ cup) boiling water
- 50 g (1 + ¾ oz) dark chocolate, chopped
- about 200g (7 oz) desiccated coconut
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line the base and sides of a deep 20-23 cm square tin with baking parchment.
- In a spotlessly clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with 75g (one third) of the sugar until soft peaks form. In another bowl, again with the mixer, beat the remaining 145g sugar with the butter, egg yolks and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder together then gradually beat it in to the butter and egg yolk mixture, alternating with the milk, until smooth.
- Beat one third of the meringue into the batter to loosen it, then carefully fold in the remaining meringue until fully incorporated, do not overmix.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cold.
- Once the cake is cold, use a sharp serrated knife to level the top and trim the edges so that they are straight. Slice the cake into 16-20 evenly sized squares.
- Slice each square in half and sandwich the two halves back together with a dollop of jam.
- Whisk together the cocoa powder, icing sugar and boiling water in a large bowl, whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth, set aside until cold. Place the coconut in a shallow dish.
- One at a time, dip each square in the chocolate mixture, making sure that it is completely coated, use a couple of forks to help you turn it, then roll it in the desiccated coconut until all sides are covered.
- Place the finished lamingtons on a wire rack and leave for a couple of hours until set.
I am sharing these with Cook Blog Share hosted by Supergolden Bakes and Patisserie Makes Perfect, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous Foodie Fridays, Foodie Fridiy, Fiesta Friday, Foodie Friends Friday and Friday Favourites