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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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Australia Day: Ever wondered where your favourite Aussie foods came from?


This bloke loves a lamington, but really, who doesn't?

AS A melting pot of cultures we’re lucky enough to enjoy cuisine from around the world, but there are only a handful of true blue items that will be dished up on Australia Day.

From our colonial days of blending European cooking methods with native ingredients to now, our culinary history is a topic explored by University of Adelaide food studies professor ­Barbara Santich in her book Bold Palates.

Professor Santich has helped us break down the origins of some of Australia’s most famous foods:


DAMPER


Damper is easily made without using an oven.

Simplicity was the driving force behind the popularity of this unleavened bread staple.

The combination of flour, raising agent and water was much easier to make than yeast-raised breads in the early years of settlement without ovens or cool storage places and could be baked in ashes.

“It bears many similarities with the Canadian bannock,” Prof Santich said.

“(It) used the same ingredients as the damper but was usually cooked in a pan rather than in the ashes.”


PAVLOVA


The classic pavlova has been around for at least 80 years.

The great debate about whether this meringue cake originated here or in New Zealand rages on to this day.

“We don’t know for sure, but we can say the first written recipe for pavlova as we know it is in a New Zealand book,” Prof Santich said.

The Australian story says it was created about 1935 by Herbert Sachse, a cook at Perth’s Hotel Esplanade.

Prof Santich’s findings in Bold Palates suggest pavlova was more likely a gradual evolution of meringue cakes rather than invented by one person.


KANGAROO


Kangaroo was a meat of necessity that soon was enjoyed for its taste.

One half of our national emblem was one of the few fresh meat options available when the first settlers ­arrived on our shores.

“Kangaroo became part of the Sydney colony’s food supply, regularly featuring on market lists from 1793,” Prof Santich said.

“As time went on, it seems that colonists developed a taste for kangaroo and started to eat it out of enjoyment.”

Kangaroo steamer became a common dish in 1820, which was made of minced meat stewed in its own gravy, with rashers of salt pork.


LAMINGTONS


There is fierce debate among Queenslanders over where the lamington originated.

The origins of these are still considered a mystery.

A common theory is that they were made by chance after Queensland Governor Lord Lamington’s maid accidentally dropped his sponge cake in melted chocolate.

Toowoomba history Professor Maurice French’s 2013 book, The Lamington Enigma, narrows it down to three contenders who made it between 1890 and 1910 — the governor’s chef, Armand Gallad; Fanny Young, a cook from Toowoomba; or Amy Schauer, an instructor at Brisbane’s technical college.


VEGEMITE

Vegemite toast has stood the test of time for more than 90 years.

The story of this salty spread began in 1922 when a chemist was hired by the Fred Walker company — which later became Kraft Food Company — to create a spread from brewer’s yeast.

Sales of the pure vegetable extract were shaky at first but slowly grew until Vegemite became a national dish.

During World War II the armed forces bought Vegemite spread in bulk for its nutritional value.

For Australia Day events near you go to australiaday.com.au

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