How to Make the Perfect Lamingtons – Recipe | eat

L.Amingtons are one of those things that are great like Tim Tams and Toad Racing in Australia, but despite the best efforts of Ramsay Street residents, they are almost unknown elsewhere. Antipodes of my acquaintances, however, get into nostalgic raptures at the mere mention of these small cakes, which are an integral part of the celebrations for Australia Day and the sale of school cakes. (A friend claims he ate two a day as a kid, so he may be the only person who has ever lost weight from moving to the UK.)

Reportedly it was named after a former Queensland governor – or, invented by those less familiar with the culinary arts of the average Victorian aristocrat – a former Queensland governor, but also New Zealand (food writer Irina Georgescu informs me) that the same cake is also very popular with the Swabian community in Romania and Germany). Far be it from me to comment on a mere pom on the subject, but I will say that whoever invented them was a smart little sausage.

The cake

Lamingtons are essentially simple frilled cakes – Barbara Skein of the Canberra Country Women’s Association, who she has baked since she was a child, told ABC News that “there are two ways to make Lamingtons. You can use a sponge cake or a butter cake mix. ”While we tend to use the word sponge for most fluffy cakes, technically a sponge is based on large amounts of whisked egg for its light and airy texture and contains very little or nothing else Fat. Butter cake, as the name suggests, has more fat and therefore needs a raising agent such as baking powder to make it rise. It also tends to be softer and more humid, and if, like me, you dream in butter, much, much more delicious.

Skein prefers the latter for their cakes, and normally I would accept their wisdom without question, but a lamington demands a lot from their cake base: consistency is almost as important as the taste of something that’s cut, dipped in frosting, rolled in coconut, and that other end still looks good enough to eat.

Unsurprisingly, recipes that get most of their moisture from eggs and have minimal amounts of butter, like those by Bill Granger and Australian Women’s Weekly, prove to be tougher, but more boring, than their more dairy-heavy counterparts. If we nitpick – which is what everyone’s here for, after all – they could be described as a bit harsh in comparison (that is, Grangers are pronounced “just like I was in my lunch box” and “just the right Lamington for an Australian” while a Kiwi agrees that they “taste like real”). AWW cuts the flour with cornmeal, which reduces the gluten content and gives a slightly more tender crumb.

Dan Lepard also relies on a high egg content to make a sturdy sponge cake that is easy to cut and ice cream, but with sour cream and vegetable oil to keep it tasty and moist. If you need something that can withstand the harsh conditions of a kid’s birthday party, cake stand, or picnic, you’ve come to the right place.

On the buttercake front, Donna Hay’s version of buttermilk is delicious, but so soft it crumbles into the icing, meaning it’s no match for the ridiculously fluffy recipe from Glad Shute of the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales. Shute’s cake is pleasantly light and easy to iron after a few hours in the freezer, a trick that proves to be even more effective than letting it stand overnight (although in practice it is about the same time after cooling down ). Since I like the flavoring of buttermilk, I’ll be using this instead of milk, but the two are interchangeable so use what is easiest for you.

Flavors and fillings

Almost everyone, except Granger and AWW, pepper their cake with vanilla – such a buttery recipe doesn’t need any help in this regard, but vanilla works well and can easily be swapped out for almond essence or citrus peel, depending on how chic you like. Hay also adds desiccated coconut to her cake batter, which my testers are less keen on – the contrast between the chewy coconut shell and the fluffy sponge cake is apparently key to the Lamington experience.

A traditional Lamington, my antipodean friends quickly tell me, doesn’t contain any filling: “Cream, jam, that’s not what I’m here for,” says Matt. It’s my professional duty to try them out, so I add a layer of raspberry jam to Hay’s recipe (she also suggests a homemade chocolate spread, but I’m intrigued by the idea of ​​something spicier). This is proving to be hugely popular and one person’s favorite of all, but it’s undeniably more of a bullshit so I’m going to use tradition as an excuse to keep things simple. If you’re more adventurous / less lazy then know that Helen Goh makes jam in her giant lamington which sounds like a great flavor combo.

The icing on the cake

Like the cake, these fall into two broad camps. The first, which includes Lepard and Granger, make a rich, thick glaze from dark chocolate, while the others all rely on cocoa powder to create a thinner, sweeter glaze. Lepard’s version, in particular, is so filling that I eat the leftovers over ice cream, but his Lamingtons are judged to be a bit too sophisticated to be truly authentic. That being said, unless you serve them to people who find milk milk too intense, you’ll need to add a little more cocoa than Shute’s recipe, which has a great consistency (the thinner the better to make it easy to dip into), however comes out in the color of a Caramac; A tester asks if it is condensed milk flavor. However, the golden syrup seems to help it flow over the cake better.

I try different methods to make the frosting process less messy, including buying some corn on the cob skewers and using disposable gloves as recommended by a correspondent, but end up opting for a fork and a relaxed attitude towards chocolate on every surface works best. (If you want really neat results, try the AWW trick of splitting the icing between two bowls so you can swap it out if one is too full of crumbs for a smooth finish.) Note that the The amounts given here result in too much glaze. but it’s difficult to successfully dip the cakes in much less so all you have to do is figure out how to use them up (about ice cream would be my top tip).

Variations

Alongside Goh’s giant version, I find a double chocolate lamington from Lepard, a lemon and pistachio take from Benjamina Ebuehi, a highly recommended pannacotta soaked lamington from Sydney’s Nadine Ingram, and even a raw recipe in Hay’s Modern Baking book – as soon as you If You If you get the basics right, these cupcakes are almost infinitely adaptable. But why interfere in perfection?

Perfect Lamingtons

preparation 40 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Freeze 2 hours
Power 10

125g Butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
160g powdered sugar
2 eggs
, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
210g plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
(or use a total of 220g self-raising flour instead of flour and baking powder)
¼ teaspoon fine salt (Optional)
150ml buttermilk, or milk

For the icing on the cake
450g powdered sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 tbsp golden syrup
25g butter
, hacked
¼ teaspoon fine salt (Optional)

End
250g desiccated coconut

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Grease and lay out a mold measuring 20 x 30 cm and preheat the oven to 200 ° C (convection 180 ° C) / 390 ° F / gas 6.

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Beat the butter and sugar for about five minutes, scraping the bowl regularly, then gradually stir in the eggs and vanilla extract until everything is well mixed.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir in the salt and carefully fold half of it into the batter using a large metal spoon. Fold in half of the buttermilk, then repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk until everything is well mixed – if you are using milk, only pour in about 100 ml at first, then add just enough for the batter to reluctantly take off Spoon falls.

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Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and bouncy.

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Remove, let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool down completely.

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Cut the cake into 4 cm cubes, place on a baking sheet and freeze in one layer for about two hours.

After freezing, remove from the freezer and start glazing. Bring a kettle with water to a boil.

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Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a heat-resistant bowl suitable for placing over a saucepan of hot water, then add the remaining ingredients for the glaze and enough boiling water (about 100 ml should be enough) to stir the mixture give a smooth consistency similar to that of single cream.

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Place the icing over a saucepan of boiling water to keep it warm, stirring occasionally if it starts to thicken. Place the coconut on a plate and spread it out, then place it, along with a cooling rack, on a wipeable surface near the hob.

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Skewer a lamington on a fork, then dip in the glaze to coat and shake off the excess. Now roll in the coconut, place on the grid to dry and repeat with the remaining lamingtons, frosting and coconut. Let it set before eating.

Lamingtons: the best of Australian baking or something that best stays in Harold’s coffeeshop? Are you a fan of cream, jam or pandan leaves … or a passionate traditionalist? And where does your favorite go?

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