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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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Delicacies from Down Under at Waltzing Matilda including Lamingtons

The Aussie Lamington 
Some pastries of different ilk - cronuts, macaroons, cupcakes - get their moment in the sun, but a really intriguing dessert that we recently encountered is the pavlova.

Laura Forer, of Waltzing Matilda’s Australian Bakery, makes delicacies from Down Under, including this beautiful dessert. Its provenance? 

Aussies and Kiwis both lay claim to it, but where there’s no doubt is how delicious it is.

A meringue base - crispy on the outside, soft on the inside - is topped by whipped cream and festooned with slices of strawberry, kiwi, and passionfruit (when in season). It’s beautiful to behold, which lends itself well to dignified luncheons, but a mess to eat, which adds some fun to those same dignified luncheons. 

Waltzing Matilda’s pavlovas come in a 9-inch size ($32, serves 6–8) as well as bite-sized.

Forer has to adjust constantly to keep the meringue’s texture just right, between summer’s humidity and winter’s dryness, and in-between seasons. Pavlovas are also gluten-free.

The online bakery is a godsend for expats from Australia and New Zealand. “It’s stuff your mom would have made in Australia.”

British influences abound—the Lamington ($4), a moist sponge cake that some like to dunk in coffee, resembles a sponge cake, has British roots. But it’s also rolled in fine coconut shreds, which is particular to its Pacific location. In Australia, rather than cookie bake sales, parents all over hold Lamington drives. 

Other sweets include the popular salted caramel slices ($12, 12 slices), with sprinkled sea salt; ANZAC biscuits ($12 for 12), whose history goes back to World War I, when they were baked and sent soldiers in the Australia New Zealand Army Corps; and gluten-free passionfruit cheesecake.

Waltzing Matilda operates as an online bakery and delivers as well as caters across the city. Some confections are also available at Treehaus, Thirsty Koala, Hotbread Almacen, and Bluestone Lane Coffee.

Waltzing Matilda


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