When I decided to venture into the wonderful world of blogging I wanted to come up with a blog name that reflected a bit about me. London Lamington was a little bit Australian and a little bit English so seemed to fit the bill quite nicely. Plus it had alliteration involved- even better in my view. The only problem that has presented itself is that, whilst I would associate Lamingtons as being something quintessentially Australian most of my English friends have absolutely no idea what they are. As a result, trying to tell people about my blog usually is met with the response of ‘London huh?’.
So I thought I would try to unveil some of the mystery around the lovely lamington by making a few. Lamingtons are basically a sponge or butter cake which sometimes has jam (my fav), or cream, or sometimes nothing in the middle and is then dipped in a thin chocolate coating and rolled in coconut- and most importantly they are yummy!
I have to admit- this was my first time making them from scratch. You can buy lamingtons pretty much anywhere in Australia, but getting that taste of home in London requires a little bit more effort. This is how I did it…
Start off by making a sponge or butter cake. I used this recipe:
- 125g butter, softened
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups self raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup of milk
- Preheat your oven to 180C and line the base of a greased 27cm x 18cm tin with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the slightly beaten eggs, adding them one at a time, and beating until well-incorporated before adding the next. Add in the vanilla extract
- Sift the flour and salt together (you can do this a few times, which will help to make the cake lighter).
- Gently fold the flour and salt into the creamed butter mixture, alternating the flour with the milk, be careful not to overwork the mixture.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through (a skewer will come out clean).
- 300g (2 cups) icing sugar mixture (sifted)
- 35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder (sifted)
- 60ml (1/4 cup) milk
- 60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
- Desiccated coconut for coating
Once your sponge has cooled entirely start making your topping by combining all the ingredients listed above (apart from the coconut!). Whisk the mixture to get rid of any lumps. It will be a really runny chocolate icing- but this is what you want when you dip the cake in so it can soak up all the chocolate-ness.
Cut your sponge into even sided cubes or oblongs. Make sure to cut all the crusts off the outside of the cake so it can soak in more of the icing. You can cut your piece of cake in half like a sandwich a put jam and/or cream in the middle if you want to, or just leave it plain (I think the best is with strawberry or raspberry jam!).
Once you’ve got all your cakes cut out you’re ready for the messy phase! You need to do this 1 cake at a time. Start by dipping your cake in the chocolate mixture, leave it in there for about 15-30 seconds so it soaks in the chocolate. You can do this with 2 forks or spoons but I think its much easier to just use your hands. Take the cake out of the chocolate and let any excess icing drip off. Then roll the cake in a bowl of dessicated coconut (when I was telling my mum about this afterwards, she quite rightly pointed out that it would have been much easier to put the coconut in a big ziplock bag and do the coating that way….). You should get a thin layer of coconut on the top, so shake off any of the excess and then put the cakes on a cake cooling rack to set (or just eat them straight away!) Enjoy x