Happy Australia Day!
Today commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, establishing the very first European colony in Australia.
I spent six months working in Sydney several years ago when I took a year out. As a tax advisor. Quite a random role to be fair- I had no knowledge of the British tax system let alone the Australian one. And when I left six months later I still had very little knowledge of the Australian tax system. And the British one scares me ('emergency tax codes' bring me out in a cold sweat).
But I loved living in Pyrmont in Sydney, strolling each morning in the glorious sunshine across Darling Harbour to work. Heading out to Bondi or Manly beaches at the weekend. Replacing Penguin bars with Tim Tams and Bakewell Tarts with Lamingtons.
Ah, yes Lamingtons. When Mr P from the magnificent Delicious Delicious Delicious announced this year's Reinventing the Lamington Challenge, for me it was time to Relive the Lamington from my time in Oz.
For those not in the know a Lamington is a sponge cake coated in chocolate and coconut. And Mr P has been reinventing them for the last few years into the most brilliant creations possible. I however, have never made one previously. This was to be my very first attempt.
My entry into this annual Lammie-Off is a Hot Chocolate Lamington, complete with a squirt of whipped cream and a chunk of chocolate on top. Simple perhaps, but these are very much 'project cakes' (see also cake pops) and take a bit of time. I didn't want to be too ambitious on my first attempt.
I used a Madeira Cake for the cake-base as this forms quite a sturdy, robust cake, the Duke of Edinburgh of the cake world if you like, happy to be tossed about in icing, coconut and so forth.
Hot Chocolate Lamingtons
One Madeira Cake, cut into squares approximately 4cmx4cm
200g icing sugar (sifted)
100g cocoa powder or Nesquik (sifted)
80g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsps milk (approximately)
150g dessicated coconut
100ml double cream
Flake bar, cut into small pieces
1. To make the icing: beat together the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder/Nesquik under thoroughly combined. Gradually add the milk, beating slowly until a soft, fluffy icing forms (you may need a little more than the milk advised above)
2. Smooth on the icing onto each of the cake squares
3. Pour the coconut onto a large plate and roll each iced cake square in the coconut
4. Whip the cream and pipe a little onto the top of each lamington and insert a flake at a jaunty angle!
- There are hundreds of different varieties of Lamingtons available- Mr P's blog, Delicious, Delicious, Delicious has many fantastic ideas
- For a great Madeira Cake recipe, try this one. Madeira Cake keeps for up to five days. I'll also be posting my own recipe in the coming weeks
- Happy Australia Day!