I remember my mum making chocolate lamingtons throughout my childhood and its always been a favourite. Little did I know its actually an Australian Dessert and you can get these everywhere down under, from the bakeries, supermarket and even the 7/11! I made these the other weekend and they were so delicious I enjoyed a few peices of the cake each day with a cup of tea, which resulted in a really bad diet week and the hard work at the gym going down the drain!
The lamington is a vanilla sponge cake with its sides dipped in a chocolate syrup and then tossed into dessicated coconut. The syrup absorbs into the outer layer of the cake forming a tasty crust. You can also get big lamingtons which have been sandwiched with cream and jam or lamingtons made with a raspberry jam syrup , but for me they taste the best when they are in its chocolate coated traditional form.
The vanilla sponge cake is really easy to make, but the sticky syrup bit can be a bit messy and extra hands may be required, especially when coating the first few.
This recipe did make a lot of cake which lasted way too long even though I sent some to friends and family, so if like me you have a family of two, half the recipe will be more than enough.
Vanilla Sponge Cake
250g Caster Sugar
4 medium eggs
250g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Switch on the oven to GM4 ( 180 degrees C ) to preheat your oven. You need to make sure your oven is hot before you put your cake in to bake. Also pre line your baking tin with greaseproof paper. My tin measured about 20 x 30cm
In a big bowl, whisk the margarine and sugar until pale and light. I use a hand held electric whisk. Add in the vanilla essence. In a seperate bowl crack all four eggs and mix well. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the creamed margarine mix, a bit at a time , mixing it all together between each pour.
Sift in the self raising flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk the mixture up until all the ingredients are combined. Do not over beat the mixture as this will knock out all the air from the mix resulting in a flat dense cake.
Pour the mix in to the cake tin and place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 mins. I would check the mix at about 15 mins and test if its baked. I like to poke it with a cocktail stick and see if it comes out clean.
When baked leave to cool on a wired rack.
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
knob of butter
Shredded coconut/ dessicated coconut
Whilst the cake is cooling, make the chocolate syrup. Add all the ingredients together in a saucepan and leave to simmer. The syrup should be sticky. I test this by carefully rubbing some of the syrup between thumb and index finger tips ( be careful as it will be really hot, so first take a spoonful and leave on a plate to cool) . It should feel slightly thick and sticky but still be runny enough to be able to dip the cake in.
When you get the syrup to be at the right consistency, take it off the heat and leave to cool until it is warm. If you let it cool down too much it will thicken and make it harder to soak into the cake.
You will need to pour some shredded coconut in a plate and have the wired rack ready to place the complete product on. Cut the cake into about 2.5-3cm cubes
This is were it gets very messy. You will need to dip each side of the cake into the syrup and then add to the shredded coconut, to spinkle and coat.
If your cake is really soft you will need to be careful as it will start to break away, So can use a spoon to pour on the syrup.
Having two people to do the icing is ideal, so one can dip and one can coat! Once done, place them on the wired rack to cool. If the syrup is not sticky enough and still has high water content, the syrup will not harden and will remain wet. You want to avoid that .
Once the cakes are dry place them into an airtight container so they dont get stale. These will last for about a week.
I hope you liked my post and if you make them, don't forgot to share pics with me. Now relax and enjoy them with a cup of tea!