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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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Buy the best Lamingtons in Melbourne


FIVE OF THE BEST LAMINGTONS IN MELBOURNE

Australia Day is much more than a long weekend. 

It’s a national holiday devoted to eating your body weight in lamingtons.

It’s your patriotic duty to have coconut crumbs on your shirt. Wouldn’t be Australia Day otherwise.

And why should the lamo-fest stop with Australia Day? 

Five of the Best has done the hard yards (somebody’s gotta do it) to find Melbourne’s top five lamingtons…



This East Brunswick hipster haven serves up some of the best sweet treats in Melbourne, thanks to a talented pastry chef by the name of Shaun Quade. His lamington goes way beyond the traditional sponge/choc/coconut combo. Bite into Shaun’s lamo and you hit a bitter chocolate and vanilla mousse, a sprinkle of freeze-dried kaffir lime powder and a strawberry/raspberry gel infused with eucalyptus leaves. How Aussie is that? All for $4.50, which is a bargain on St Ali’s pricey menu.



Spotswood is one lucky suburb to have Candied, a gorgeous Aussie bakery masquerading as a funky USA milk bar. Candied’s lamington ($5, right) is a thing of wonder, with tangy raspberry jam and a dreamy Valhrona choc ganache holding all that coconut in place.



Like a coconut-crusted Brigadoon, Michael James’ lamington only appears for a few days a year. But when it does, make sure you grab one. The two-bite-sized sponge has a layer of boysenberry jam, rich choc ganache and the crunch of obligatory coconut. For all of you addicted to Michael’s donuts (the salted caramel is fabbo), this would make a splendid chaser. Find the lamingtons at MoVida Bakery, but only this long weekend ($4).



What a lovely surprise to find a giant, deliciously naughty lamo in High St, Armidale – the spiritual home of Melbourne’s desirably slim, well-dressed and artfully-tanned. But the over-sized, old-school lamington ($7) at Cooper and Milla’s is a dead set winner, with jam in the middle and rich choc ganache holding toasted flakes of shaved coconut on the outside. It’s big enough to share with a fellow lamo lover (or not).



Replacing the traditional vanilla sponge/jam combo with almost fudgey chocolate, La Madre’s lamos are not for the faint hearted. These moist cubes of chocolate cake ($2.50, right) are made with the best of ingredients (Green Eggs, Jonesy’s Milk) and then dipped in Callebaut ganache and coated in shredded coconut. La Madre might be based in Geelong, but you can find their lamingtons all over the place. Just check their website.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…

A very honorable mention has to go to Justine Murphy for her generous lamos at theRathdowne Village Deli in Carlton North.

Also, for a limited time, Aussie Farmers Direct is delivering six-packs of lovely light and fluffy lamingtons from South Australia’s Kyton’s for the bargain price of $5.99 These soft and moist lamos are delicious. Try stopping at one.

And I know it’s not strictly a lamington, but one lick of Harry’s gorgeous lamington ice cream and you’ll be in vanilla/coconut/chocolate heaven. Made in Brunswick, Harry’s ice cream costs $6.99/500ml at major supermarkets (and if you’re really lucky, you might get a mini tub on a Qantas flight). Harry’s also makes a cracking pavlova flavour. Albert Park’s home of fabulous ice cream Jock’s also does very lickable lamington.


For a dainty little morsel packed with flavour, try Zimt Patisserie‘s gorgeous little lamington macaron ($3.50, left), full of chocolate, coconut and three-berry jam. And while you’re at the Surrey Hills patisserie, pick up some bite-sized pavlovas and baby beef pies.


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