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The Great Australian Lamington

The Great Australian Lamington
Lord Lamington Governor of Queensland - creator of the world-famous Australian Lamington.

The Humble Australian Lamington - Created in Queensland in 1901


Australian Lamington
THE WORLD-FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN CULINARY ICON NAMED AFTER THE GOVERNOR OF QUEENSLAND - LORD LAMINGTON.

The world-famous Australian lamington is over a century old.

Despite some dubious claims from New Zealand, the lamington is as Australian as meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars, ranking alongside the other true Australian icons of the pavlova, peach melba and Vegemite.

This Australian culinary icon, which consists of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with fine desiccated coconut, was created through an accident at work by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the thoroughly-British eighth Governor of Queensland.

The maid-servant was working at Government House in Brisbane when she accidentally dropped the Governor's favourite sponge cake into some melted chocolate.

Lord Lamington was not a person of wasteful habits and suggested that it be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate to avoid messy fingers.

Paul Tully celebrates
the 100th anniversary
of the world renowned
Australian lamington
on 19 December 2001
Lord Lamington devoured this new taste sensation with great delight and the maid-servant's error was proclaimed a magnificent success by all! The Governor however is on the record as calling them "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".

Lord Lamington was born in London, England on 29 July 1860 as Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE holding the aristocratic title of Baron Lamington.

He was Governor of Queensland from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901.

After leaving Queensland, he went on to become the Governor of Bombay in India for 4 years. He died at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1940.

According to Hansard page 728 at the Australian Constitutional Convention in Canberra on 11 February 1998, Cr Paul Tully, an elected delegate representing "Queenslanders for a Republic" suggested that his extensive research of the Governors of the 6 Australian colonies and states had produced evidence of only "one, single, solitary, positive achievement of any Governor since the First Fleet arrived in 1788" and that was Lord Lamington's contribution to the culinary delights of the Australian nation!

Lord Lamington served Queensland for 5 years but despite all of his colonial, aristocratic pomp and ceremony, the only thing which Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE will ever be remembered for in Australia is the creation of the world-famous lamington.

PAUL TULLY'S TRUE-BLUE DELICIOUS AUSSIE LAMINGTON RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising flour 1/2 cup milk.

Beat the eggs well, gradually adding the sugar until dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla essence and then stir in the self raising flour and whip the butter into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a cake tin or lamington baking dish and bake in a moderate oven of 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes and then stand for 24 hours preferably in the refrigerator, before applying the icing.

THE CHOCOLATE ICING
4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 cups desiccated coconut.

Stir the cocoa and icing sugar vigorously in a large bowl, adding the milk, butter and boiling water, warming the chocolate mixture over a very low heat until it has a smooth creamy texture. Cut the sponge cake into equal squares about 5cm x 5cm and, using a fork or thin skewer, dip each piece into the chocolate mixture ensuring that the mixture is liberally and evenly applied. Dip each piece into the desiccated coconut, allowing the lamingtons to cool on a wire tray for several hours.

THEN SIT BACK, RELAX AND SAVOUR THE DELIGHTS OF YESTERYEAR COURTESY OF LORD LAMINGTON'S ABSENT-MINDED MAID-SERVANT!

THANK GOD, THE LAMINGTON WAS NOT CHRISTENED THE "COCHRANE-BAILLIE". IMAGINE ASKING FOR A "COCHRANE-BAILLIE" IN A CAKE SHOP!


Do you have an interesting historical anecdote about the Australian lamington?
Please email the Australian Lamington Official Website.


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Gather Cafe and Bar - NZ lamingtons

There are cheap and cheerful lunch bars like the Colonial, where you can still get an egg sandwich and a lamington, to chains like Wishbone and Fuel, to fancy-pants eating at the James Cook. Somewhere in the middle are places like Rise and Liquidate ...


Lamingtons - One of 100 recipes to cook in your lifetime


Best recipe
Lamington – Glad Shud, CWA

About

Lamingtons are snack sized square sponge cakes covered in chocolate icing and coconut. They are popular for fund-raising drives in Australia.

The Country Women’s Association of Australia (CWA) judge lamingtons on their flavour, size, and texture.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Variations

Coffee lamington cake – Alison Adams
Lamingtons – Belinda So
Lamington roll – Sarah Hobbs
Little lamingtons – Lynne Mullins
Strawberry lamingtons – Valli Little

http://www.gustoso.com.au/blog/recipes-2/baking/100-recipes-lamington/



Dessert Stalking: Chocolate and Pandan Lamington - sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut

YAYYYYY today is last day of uni before Easter!

I can finally treat myself to some cakes!I had never made them before and didn't use any recipe, but how hard could it be? 

It's just small squares of yellow cake coated in chocolate frosting and rolled in coconut.

Here is a recipe I came up with my own.


Ingredients
a piece of 6" square sponge cake ( you can either bake it or buy those are available in supermarket)


For chocolate coating
150g of dark chocolate
150g of milk


For pandan coating
150g of white chocolate
150g of milk
1 tbsp of pandan essence


For coating
desiccated coconut
Pandan essence



Method

Trim crusts off cooled cake. Cut into squares.

Place coconut on a plate next to the square cakes


Melt all the chocolate ingredient together and use two forks, dip each square of cake into warm icing. Let excess icing drip off. 

Then put the icing-covered cake in the coconut, roll cake in coconut to cover it on all sides.

Same again for pandan flavour

dip and roll

After all cakes are iced, put them in a cool place until icing hardens.

Who invented the world-famous Lamington? - A thickening plot!

Upon further reflection overnight, it seems to me that the lamington could easily have been invented, along with other “dainties,” by Lord and Lady Lamington’s sometime chef de cuisine Mrs. Jones (who was apparently still en poste in August 1899), or else by her successor, the Frenchman Armand Galland, whom they poached from Admiral Pearson after 1898. 

If, as seems to be the general consensus of opinion, we accept the latter view, some clarifying flecks of detail emerge from the brief obituary for Mrs. Cladie Galland, which appeared in the Brisbane Courier-Mail on Saturday June 23, 1934, a notice that bleakly adheres to the bad old habit of talking almost entirely about the subject’s late husband (who died in September 1923 and is buried in the South Brisbane cemetery), and hardly at all about the lady herself:

 “Mrs. Cladie Galland, who died in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital last night, was the widow of the late Mr. Armand Galland, well-known in Brisbane as a chef and wine merchant." 

Mrs. Galland was born in France 68 years ago, and came to Australia in 1897[–98] with her husband, who was then chef to (Rear-)Admiral (Hugo Lewis) Pearson (Commander-in-Chief of the Australian station), in the Royal Arthur (the “Australian” flagship above). 

Mr. Galland afterwards became chef to Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland, but later founded the wine business in Melbourne Street, South Brisbane, at present conducted by his son, Mr. Marcel Galland. During the visit of the present King (George V), then Duke of (Cornwall and) York, to Australia [to open the Federal Parliament in Melbourne, May 1901], Mr. Armand Galland acted as his chef, and went to New Zealand with the Royal party. Mr. Galland also acted as chef for the Prince of Wales during his visit to Queensland (in July 1920). Mrs. Galland leaves one son, Mr. Marcel Galland.” 

What the Courier-Mail does not mention is that after the departure of Lord and Lady Lamington in 1901 and M. Galland decided to go freelance - 

“MONSIEUR Armand Galland (late Chef de Cuisine to his Excellency Lord Lamington) is open for Engagement to do Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, or Dinner Parties, in private houses. Address, 137 George-street, City”

 (Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, July 23, 1901, N.B. No mention of any exciting lamington speciality). 

Ultimately switching to the wine and spirits business in Melbourne Street, M. Galland was some years later (in August 1906) convicted of Sunday trading in the South Brisbane Police Court, and fined £2, with 4s 6d costs. This presumably reflected a degree of Gallic contempt for the local licensing laws. 

If M. Galland had in fact invented the lamington, or claimed credit for it, it is hard to imagine that hugely important detail being omitted from his widow’s obituary, or any ambitious post-Government House advertorial. In 1902 we find him serving as an examiner in cookery at the Technical College (“late chef de cuisine to his Excellency”). 

In July 1906 we find him catering for the Children’s Hospital Benefit Euchre party in the Protestant Hall, and between 1907 and 1909 he evidently enjoyed a cosy relationship with Rex stoves:

“In connection with the late Austral Festival (in Toowoomba) it is announced that Monsieur Galland, adjudicator for the cookery competition, expressed himself highly delighted with the Rex stove used by the competitors” 

(Brisbane Courier, Saturday, November 20, 1909, cfr. Saturday, November 16, 1907). 

Perhaps M. Galland regarded the lamington as beneath his dignity. Certainly we need to know more about the relatively unsung Mrs. Jones.





More Lamington history as the search for its origins continues

The Lamington again

I have lately heard from a kind reader in Brisbane, Kerry Raymond, who with exquisite tact provides valuable new information about the Edwardian and vice-regal origins of the lamington, that staple of the Australian afternoon tea table. With her permission, I am delighted to provide particulars.

The earliest reference to the lamington, roughly coinciding with the relinquishment of the Government of Queensland by Lord Lamington, and his departure with Lady Lamington and their children from Brisbane on June 20, 1901, comes in the women's section of the Queenslander the following December 14, where "Native Born" inquires: 

"Have not heard of a recipe for 'Lamington cake.' Can you give some clue to the appearance and ingredients of the cake?"

This cri de coeur suggests that by the end of 1901 word of the discovery had spread some considerable distance and generated much interest, although the delicacy had evidently not been sampled or even much seen outside Old Government House, where Lord and Lady Lamington's chef de cuisine, M. Armand Galland, presided over the catering arrangements—although I see that one account of the second vice-regal ball of the season that was given by the Lamingtons in August 1899 explicitly mentions that "all the dainties so lavishly provided for the supper were prepared under the supervision of Government House chef de cuisine Mrs. Jones," so I am not quite sure where this leaves us.

Anyhow, after the hiatus of Christmas and the New Year, on January 4, 1902, so prompted by "Native Born," the Queenslander furnished the following recipe: 

"Lamington Cake (from a Subscriber). The weight of two eggs in butter, sugar, and flour, two eggs, half-teaspoonful of baking powder. Beat the butter to a cream, add the sugar and yolks of eggs, one by one, then the whites beaten stiff, lastly add gradually flour and baking powder. Bake in a moderate oven. When cold cut the cake like a sandwich and put the white mixture between, then cut into small pieces and cover on all sides with the chocolate mixture. Dip the cakes into grated cocoanut and put in a cool place. The Mixture.—2 oz. butter, 6 oz. icing sugar, beat to a cream, and divide equally in two basins, and to one half add one and a half teaspoonful cocoa (to be had in small tins) dissolved in three teaspoons boiling water. Beat well."

There is a commonsense air to these instructions that points to a colonial mastermind, and not so much to the specialist patissier temporarily transplanted to the tropics, even one searching for new and exciting, even flamboyant uses for grated coconut, so if pressed I would hazard a guess that the canonical lamington (with filling) was the brainchild of Mrs. Jones and perhaps not M. Galland. 

It seems certain, meanwhile, that unlike the pavlova, New Zealand's premier cultural export, the lamington is a bona fide Australian discovery, now satisfactorily documented to not later than 1901, the year of Federation.

Lamington history points to Queensland

The Australian lamington - born in Queensland
I have lately heard from a kind reader in Brisbane, Kerry Raymond, who with exquisite tact provides valuable new information about the Edwardian and vice-regal origins of the lamington, that staple of the Australian afternoon tea table. With her permission, I am delighted to provide particulars.

The earliest reference to the lamington, roughly coinciding with the relinquishment of the Government of Queensland by Lord Lamington, and his departure with Lady Lamington and their children from Brisbane on June 20, 1901, comes in the women’s section of the Queenslander the following December 14, where “Native Born” inquires:

“Have not heard of a recipe for ‘Lamington cake.’ Can you give some clue to the appearance and ingredients of the cake?”

This cri de coeur suggests that by the end of 1901 word of the discovery had spread some considerable distance and generated much interest, although the delicacy had evidently not been sampled or even much seen outside Old Government House, where Lord and Lady Lamington’s chef de cuisine, M. Armand Galland, presided over the catering arrangements—although I see that one account of the second vice-regal ball of the season that was given by the Lamingtons in August 1899 explicitly mentions that “all the dainties so lavishly provided for the supper were prepared under the supervision of Government House chef de cuisine Mrs. Jones,” so I am not quite sure where this leaves us.

Anyhow, after the hiatus of Christmas and the New Year, on January 4, 1902, so prompted by “Native Born,” the Queenslander furnished the following recipe:

 “Lamington Cake (from a Subscriber). The weight of two eggs in butter, sugar, and flour, two eggs, half-teaspoonful of baking powder. Beat the butter to a cream, add the sugar and yolks of eggs, one by one, then the whites beaten stiff, lastly add gradually flour and baking powder. Bake in a moderate oven. When cold cut the cake like a sandwich and put the white mixture between, then cut into small pieces and cover on all sides with the chocolate mixture. Dip the cakes into grated cocoanut and put in a cool place. The Mixture.—2 oz. butter, 6 oz. icing sugar, beat to a cream, and divide equally in two basins, and to one half add one and a half teaspoonful cocoa (to be had in small tins) dissolved in three teaspoons boiling water. Beat well.”

There is a commonsense air to these instructions that points to a colonial mastermind, and not so much to the specialist patissier temporarily transplanted to the tropics, even one searching for new and exciting, even flamboyant uses for grated coconut, so if pressed I would hazard a guess that the canonical lamington (with filling) was the brainchild of Mrs. Jones and perhaps not M. Galland. It seems certain, meanwhile, that unlike the pavlova, New Zealand’s premier cultural export, the lamington is a bona fide Australian discovery, now satisfactorily documented to not later than 1901, the year of Federation.

Lamingtons take the cake as the best dessert



Lamingtons take the cake


I was 16 the first time I tasted a Lamington.

Kezia was a new girl at school. Her mother was Kiwi, her dad Malay. We became fast friends and one day, she brought me some lamingtons her mum had made the day before. I had no idea what they were. Prefect chocolate squares, coated with coconut? They looked like something out of a magazine.

I wish I'd taken a moment before I bit into my first little coconut covered chocolate square. Why? Well, I'm not kidding but that first bite changed my world. Forever. I swore that Kezia's mother's lamingtons were the best cake I'd ever tasted. (23 years later and its still up there among my favourite cakes).

Coconut. Chocolate. Delicious sponge. Bite after bite I got to enjoy the delicious medley between the three. Gorgeous. Soft. Rich. Sublime.

Funnily enough, those were the last lamingtons I ever tasted. I don't know why I never thought of making them before. Perhaps I wanted to keep that memory special. The anticipation. The surprise and the unexpected pleasure.

Last week, for no apparent reason, I thought about those lamingtons and I remembered Kezia, who I haven't see for 15years or so. I had no idea how to get in touch with her - couldn't find her on facebook - so I did the next best thing: I began looking for a lamington recipe.

After looking at about 20-odd recipes, I found Martha Stewart's. That was it. My search was over. Thank goodness, cos I could feel a migraine coming on.

Martha tweaked the basic recipe a little. She divided her sponge cake into two layers and sandwiched them with strawberry jam before cutting them into squares, coating them with chocolate icing and then coating them with coconut.

Oooooh! Strawberry jam!

You can't see me but I am patting myself on the back for choosing Martha's recipe. For one, Divine Miss Martha's sponge was fantastic. Soft like a pillow (feather-stuffed of course) and just sweet enough.

The jam in the centre? Delightful.

Can't wait to try it? Here's the recipe.


Ingredients

Sponge cake
225gm unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
22/3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk, room temp
strawberry jam
shredded/dessicated coconut


Chocolate icing

8 oz bittersweet choc
1/2 cup milk
60 gms butter

Preheat your oven to 170C. Grease two 9 by 13inch pans, line with baking paper, grease again. Dust with some flour and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar with your electric mixer until soft and fluffy: about 3 mins. Add the vanilla and eggs (one at a time, wait till each egg is incorporated before adding the next).

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour into the batter in three batches, alternating with the milk. (flour, milk, flour, milk flour).

Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and bake for about 30 mins or until a tester comes out clean. Leave out to cool, turn out on to cake racks to cool completely.

Spread the jam on one of the cakes and sandwich the jam with the other half.

Chill the cake in the fridge overnight or for about six hours before frosting.

(Did you notice this plate? And the plates above? I got the at a flea market for just RM3 and RM6 respectively. The ones in the top photos were actually bone china! Crazy finds, I tell ya.)

To make the icing, melt the chocolate + milk above a pot of boiling water. When its melted and blended, add the butter and stir gently to mix.

Spread the coconut in a shallow bowl or plate.

Take the cake out of the fridge (make sure its been in at least 6 hours so its firm and wont break when you coat it) and cut it into 2-inch squares.

Dip the squares in chocolate and then roll them in the coconut.

Culinary experiments with Lamingtons

Australia's national icon - the lamington.
I bookmarked this recipe in January. As I've mentioned before in my breakfast Bruschetta page, this recipe comes from my favourite food blog – Asha’s A tasty Challenge

I love her presentation and somehow the notes that follow each recipe makes me want to try out her recipes. 

Talking about this recipe and how it came out, well my kids absolutely loved the yellow cake though they weren't fond of the coconut coating. 

I liked the chocolate coconut combo and I have to tell you, if you are planning to try this out, use the best cocoa powder you can afford as it makes a world of difference!!!! 

Well, not alone for this, whenever you make a chocolate cake, use only the bestest of best cocoa powder. 

So here comes Lamington recipe and I am sending this to Aipi's 

Aussie lamingtons
Butter: ¼ cup
Sugar: 1 cup 
Flour: 1 1/3 cup
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
Milk: ½ cup
Eggs: 2
Salt: ¼ tsp
Custard Powder: 1 tbsp
Vanilla Essence: ½ tsp

Mix the baking powder and custard powder with the all purpose flour and sift thrice so that everything is mixed properly. Keep it aside 
Grease and flour a rectangular tray (13/9) 
If you are not sure of the measurement, use a big tray. Don’t bother if the batter remains a very thin layer coz when it is baked, it does rise beautifully.
Preheat Oven to 180C
Cream butter, vanilla essence and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add eggs and beat well.
Fold in the flour and milk alternately.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow it to cool and cut it into equal sized piece




For the coating:

Cocoa Powder: ½ cup
Icing Sugar: 1 ½ cup
Boiling Water: ¾ cup
Dessicated Coconut: 2 cups

Mix the cocoa powder and sugar in the boiling water till everything is mixed properly.
Allow to cool.
Keep the dessicated coconut in a shallow plate.
Now dip each cake piece in the chocolate mix and roll in dessicated coconut.

Cake and lamington judging is done by the book

EXPERIENCED HAND: Camille Manton has
 judged at the Newcastle Show cooking
 competitions for nine years.
Camille Manton, the head judge of the cookery categories at this year’s Newcastle Regional Show, loves her job.

And why wouldn’t she?

Days of eating silky soft sponges, biting into fluffy scones and coconut cakes, and sampling jams, pickles and relishes would be many people’s idea of splendour.

Mrs Manton can’t wait to sample and scrutinise all the show entries on Friday and Saturday.
‘‘I love it. I absolutely love it,’’ she laughed

‘‘I come home exhausted and I make sure I have a very easy dinner that night, because I’ll have been eating all day.

The Australian lamington
‘‘But I absolutely love the cooking judging and I enjoy it so much that it isn’t a chore, I look forward to it.’’

After watching the MasterChef Australia contestants struggle to produce scones, marble cakes and lamingtons during a Country Women’s Association baking challenge on last year’s series, one might wonder whether there is still much interest in cooking and baking some of the good old stuff.

But if the number of people still entering shows is anything to go by, there’s still plenty out there who want to see how their baked goods fare in competition.

‘‘We’re expecting a good roll-up this year,’’ she said.

‘‘People are still entering the regional shows, which is a good thing, now we’ve got to encourage the younger ones.

‘‘They’re the ones I like to see coming along and entering because there’s so much takeaway these days and fast foods and the like, and I think the young ones cooking cakes and scones and biscuits and even jams and pickles is a great thing.

‘‘But they seem to go more for the cakes, scones and biscuits – we get very few entries in the jams and pickles categories for the younger ones.

‘‘On MasterChef those cooks were more about cooking an entree, main course and dessert; they were not so much bakers.

‘‘They were struggling with the baking side of things. But I guess if you go into cooking at that level you should be able to do it all really.’’

Mrs Manton said that the judging criteria at CWA and regional shows were strict and rigid.

While some of it might seem petty or pedantic, it was a necessary part of competition cooking, she said.

‘‘Say with a rich fruit cake, we’re looking for all the fruit to be cut to the same size as a sultana,’’ she said.

‘‘It all sounds very pedantic I know. You think, ‘Oh mum cooks a pretty good fruit cake we all enjoy it’, and that’s great, but in competition cooking you have to stick to the guidelines.

‘‘In fruit cakes you also don’t want too much overpowering spice or alcohol. You need to make sure the tin is lined correctly so that you haven’t got any wrinkles on the cake, and that it has a smooth top.

‘‘For a sultana cake you don’t cut the sultanas.

‘‘They have to be evenly distributed throughout the cake and have a nice golden straw colour on the outside, not over-baked and dry.

‘‘It’s the same again with the tin lining.

‘‘A sponge should be light and creamy and both the top and the bottom sponge should be the same thickness.

‘‘I’ve noticed some people make two sponges and then choose the ones they think are the best out of those two sponges, but they may make one lot out of different eggs and have one sponge quite white and the other one quite yellow because the yolks were a deeper colour.

‘‘Little things like that – and I know it sounds silly and they all taste the same at mum’s afternoon tea table – but in competition cooking that is immediately eliminated.

‘‘Scones, you want them all to be about the same size and well risen, using a light hand with the scones. You have to use a light hand.

‘‘If you’re too heavy-handed it makes the scones very heavy.

‘‘When you’re rubbing the butter through the flour you’re lifting your fingers up so you’re getting air into the flour and then when mixing the milk in, or if you’re using an egg as well, use a wide-blade knife and take it in quickly but lightly.

‘‘Don’t use your hand because you’re really toughening the mixture, and then just put it out on the bench and lightly pat it out.

‘‘Certainly don’t roll it out with a rolling pin because that would make it quite dense too.

‘‘Push it out gently with your hands and then, with your scone-cutter, press down for a crisp cut; don’t twist it, go straight down and when they’re rising they’ll come straight up.

‘‘If you give them a twist you’ll find they don’t rise quite as high.

‘‘They’re all little nitty-picky things I know.’’

Although lamingtons aren’t being judged at this year’s show, Manton also has some tips for those making them at home for their own enjoyment.

‘‘I always like to put the uncut lamington in the freezer after the tin cools, just for a short while, not to freeze it but just to firm it.

‘‘That way you get that really crisp cut, the size that you’re needing and it won’t crumble.

‘‘You don’t use the outside of the cake, you always use the inside.

‘‘You’ll find when you dip it into the chocolate you won’t get cake all through the chocolate so it goes all lumpy.

‘‘And then you put it straight into the finely desiccated coconut.’’

When it comes to pickles and jams, consistency is the key.

‘‘There are a lot of pickles these days, the sweet mustard one has been around for many, many years,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re looking for consistency, that they’re not too watery and not too thick either.

‘‘The vegetables should all be cut to about the same size.

‘‘If you’re putting cauliflower in, have the small florets cut to the same size as the carrots and so on.

‘‘For jam, you again have to aim for that right consistency, and you certainly don’t want a burnt flavour.

‘‘Some people will leave it on the stove a little bit too long thinking that it’s going to thicken it, and you get that burnt taste.’’

Mrs Manton, a member of the CWA for many years, was a cookery officer at the Coonamble branch and chief steward at the Coonamble Show for jams, pickles and preserves before moving to East Maitland.

‘‘I joined the local branch and got into the cooking and thought I’d rather like to go for my judge’s badge,’’ she said.

‘‘The first time I sat for my judge’s badge I didn’t get it. I was a bit shocked actually, because I thought I was pretty well up on it all, so I got my head into the books.

‘‘I was advised by our state champion at the time which books to read, so I read and read and read, and she took me around to a lot of the shows and the CWA branches to steward for her while she was judging, which gave me a great insight into what was going on.

‘‘So I sat for the assessment again and got my badge and certificate, and I haven’t looked back.

‘‘That must have been about eight or nine years ago now.’’

Sometimes an entry would really stand out and Mrs Manton would have loved to get her hands on the recipe.

Other times an entry would have an unusual flavour or colour, and she’d think, ‘‘Good heavens, what have they done?’’

‘‘Competition baking is something you have to really enjoy and go strictly by a good recipe.’’

The NAB Newcastle Regional Show is on from Friday to Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and children.

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/467726/cake-judging-is-done-by-the-book/

The perfect autumn dessert - Lamingtons with fresh raspberries

Lamingtons and fresh rasperries
At the Bathurst Farmers’ Markets a couple of weeks ago there was a plethora of tasty berries for sale.

I snapped up several punnets of fresh raspberries, one of my favourite treats.

The rich, robust flavour reminded me just how good fresh is, compared with the overpriced, watery supermarket variety.

Raspberries start losing their flavour and colour after you pick them. If you want the best fruit you have to grow them yourself.

Our cool-climate region is perfect for growing many different types of berries.

Depending on the variety, you can be guzzling your way through your own home-grown berries from summer through autumn.

I’ve been assured by gardening friends that raspberries are easy to grow, and I am clearing a spot in my garden to create my ownpatch.

Raspberries have cane-like stems that can grow anywhere between 1.5 metres and 2.25 metres high – and they need well-drained soil.

Gardening Australia advises to have 15 to 20 plants per person to ensure you have plenty of raspberries left over for jam making and desserts. 

Apparently, well-tended plants can live forover 30 years.

Autumn or winter is the perfect time to plant raspberry bushes, so get into the garden now.

And if you are looking for a quick, easy way to indulge in your raspberries try this idea from my mother-in-law: cut a lamington in half, top both halves with cream and place raspberries on top.

The perfect autumn dessert!


Lamingtons - Australian sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut - Expat recipe



Ingredients

For the cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
125 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 tbsp sugar, powdered
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup milk

For the Chocolate icing
3 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup water
For Coating
2 cups desiccated coconut

Method
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In another bowl beat together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.Add the eggs one by one and beat until incorporated.

Add the flour in batches and mix well by adding milk little by little in between.Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.

Pour into prepared cake pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 c for 30-35 minutes.Allow the cake to cool and cut into square pieces.

To make the icing:Mix together sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. In a saucepan boil water and add the butter. Once the butter melts add this to the sugar-cocoa powder mix and stir well to get a thick syrup. Keep aside.

To assemble lamingtons: Place the coconut in a plate.Pick a piece of cake using a fork, dip it into the chocolate icing till well coated and allow to drip off the excess chocolate.Roll in dessicated coconut covering all sides and allow to set.

http://www.expatrecipe.com/2011/03/05/lamingtons/