Lamingtons. A Kiwi and Aussie classic – light vanilla sponge, dipped in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. Totally delicious, no tea party would be complete without them.
Hand over my heart, I had never made Lamingtons before in my life. Which is a bit like an American saying that they’ve never made Pumpkin Pie. I love eating them, but whenever I’d gone to whip some up in the kitchen, there’d be some obstacle in the way. We wouldn’t have enough coconut or icing sugar, or the eggs in the fridge were reserved for something else.
And this is still partially true – these lammies weren’t made in my kitchen. They were a collaborative effort, bought into fruition in Emma’s kitchen (and photographed in her sun room.)
Last year, when Emma was staying with me, I received a text – all exclamation marks and smiley faces – that she had got an A on her latest assignment. And because I needed to pick up something for dinner from the supermarket, I dipped into the bakery isle and picked up some celebratory lamingtons while I was there. Once home, I stacked them up, one on top of the other, until there was a five-lamington-high tower in the kitchen, with a little paper flag that said ‘you got an A’. And ever since them lamgintons have been a symbol of success.
This summer, we both had work experience to complete – and last friday, we had both completed it. So it seemed fitting that we indulge in a couple of these chocolate, coconutty morsels. So I headed over to Emma’s little farm after work, and we pulled out the butter and the bowls, and made them. It was surprisingly messy. I’m sure these is a more elegant way to do it – we were wondering how on earth the bakeries get an even coating of coconut, without wet spots and fingerprints – but the result was delicious.
I highly recommend you get stuck into this recipe on a rainy day, where you just need a little delicious something to brighten your mood.
Prep time: 15 mins (+ cooling time) Cook time: 30 mins
- 125g butter, softened
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour (or plain flour + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups desiccated coconut
- 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tbs butter, softened
- 1/2 cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a 20x30cm lamington or swiss roll pan with non-stick baking paper, leaving an overhang on all sides.
In the bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for at least three minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each new addition. Add the vanilla, and give a quick beat to combine.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and add half the flour, folding in with a rubber spatula. Follow with half the milk. Repeat the process until the mixture is just combined. Don’t overbeat, as this will remove the air bubbles and toughen the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface. Bake for 30mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to stand in the pan for 10mins, before removing to a wire rack. Allow the sponge to cool for a few hours (or if you’re short on time, pop it in the fridge for 30mins).
To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl before adding the boiling water and butter. Stir until smooth. Place coconut on a plate alongside your icing bowl.
Cut the sponge evenly into 20 pieces. Using a fork, lower the pieces into the icing, ensuring it is evenly coated. Shake of the excess, and roll in the coconut, before placing on a wire rack over a baking tray (to catch any drips). Repeat with the rest of the sponge.
Allow to set for at least an hour. Then dig in.