Lamingtons are something that I have been meaning to try for ages. These little cubes of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut are the simplest things to make at home. If this is the first time you are coming across lamingtons, you are gonna find out what you have been missing all along. The flavour and texture combinations are simply heavenly.
The treat was accidentally created by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the eighth Governor of Queensland. The maid dropped the Governor’s favourite sponge cake into melted chocolate by mistake and it was Lord Lamington who suggested that the cake be coated with coconut to avoid messy fingers. The result was a huge success and went on to become Australia’s most popular dessert.
Because I wanted my first trial to be as successful, I picked David Lebovitz as my trusted source for failproof recipes. Somehow my mini lamingtons kept reminding me of Bounty bars; it must be the luscious chocolate-coconut duo. However if you are not chocolate crazy, you have the option of sanwiching your sponge cake with jam before dunking it in strawberry jelly for pink lamingtons.
For the Sponge Cake
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup (175 g) cake flour
2 1/2 ounces (70 g) melted unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the Chocolate Icing
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 ounces (40 g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (180 ml) milk, whole or lowfat
2 cups (220 g) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process
2 tablespoons boiling water
3 cup (200 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) square cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs and granulated sugar and salt on high speed for five to ten minutes until thick.
- The batter will form a well-defined ribbon that remains on top of the batter when you lift the whip. Stir in the vanilla.
- Fold the flour into the egg mixture by putting the flour in a sifter and sifting the flour over the top of the beaten eggs.
- Simultaneously fold the flour in. Fold in the melted butter until no streaks of butter are visible, but do not overfold.
- Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely. When cool, unmold the spongecake onto a cutting board.
- Remove the parchment paper. Trim the ends and cut the cake in half horizontally using a serrated bread knife.
- Make the chocolate icing by melting together chocolate, butter, and milk in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water when smooth, then whisk in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
- Spread a generous 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the chocolate icing over one layer of the spongecake, then top with the other half.
- Sandwich the two together with chocolate icing in the middle. Cut the cakes into sixteen squares of equal size.
- Put the coconut into a shallow baking dish or bowl. Use your hands to dip the lamingtons into the chocolate, rolling them around to make sure each side is coated with the chocolate icing, then wipe off any excess on the side of the bowl.
- Place the lamingtons in a bowl of dessicated coconut, tossing them around gently to get them coated on all sides.
- Once iced and tossed in coconut, place the lamingtons on a wire cooling rack and let stand until the icing firms up a bit.
… Cute Baby Lamingtons…