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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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Lord Lamington - Baron Lamington 2nd - Inventor of the Australian Lamington

2nd Baron Lamington and
Lady Lamington - 1896
Second Baron Lamington (1860-1940), governor, was born CHARLES WALLACE ALEXANDER NAPIER COCHRANE-BAILLIE on 29 July 1860 in London, son of the politician and author Alexander Baillie-Cochrane, later 1st Baron, and his wife Annabella Mary Elizabeth, née Drummond, granddaughter of the Duke of Rutland. 

He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (B.A., 1881). Assistant private secretary to Lord Salisbury in 1885, he was narrowly defeated as Conservative candidate for North St Pancras but won the July 1886 'Home Rule' election contest. 

According to the St Pancras Guardian, 'nothing has been left undone that money could accomplish to secure his election'. 

His rare appearances in the Commons were said to be 'a good augury of an impending dissolution'. 

The death of his father in February 1890 removed him to the House of Lords. On 13 June 1895 at St Michael's Church, Pimlico, he married Mary Houghton Hozier; they had two children.

Chosen in October 1895 to succeed Sir Henry Norman as governor of Queensland, Lamington served from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901 including six months leave in England in 1899-1900. 

In his dispatches he demonstrated his conservatism and declined to forward a Labor address 'advocating extreme socialism because it was so crude [and] wanting in sense'. He found class divisions more accentuated than in England and feared that Federation might lead to extreme socialism.

Concerned at the unsatisfactory treatment of Aboriginals and Melanesians, Lamington visited British New Guinea in 1898 and travelled extensively in Queensland. He confided in Chief Justice Sir Samuel Griffith, although they clashed when Griffith deputized for him in 1898. 

He supported Griffith's attempts to retain appeals from federated Australia to the Privy Council and hoped that the status of State governors would not diminish under Federation so that Britons 'of recognized appeal or high social standing' would still apply. He came eventually to realize that governors needed other qualities; 'mere show appeals but little to Australians'.

As governor of Bombay in 1903-07, Lamington found that he had more power than in Australia where he had only the royal prerogative to administer. He and his wife retained an interest in Australia, corresponding with Governor-general Lord Northcote and Griffith. 

He spoke on Queensland at the Royal Colonial Institute and in the House of Lords. In 1919 Lamington served as commissioner of the British Relief Unit in Syria. He died on 16 September 1940 at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He had been appointed G.C.M.G. in 1900 and G.C.I.E. in 1903.

Lamington's name is remembered in Australia by place names, particularly the Lamington Plateau in Queensland and Mount Lamington in Papua-New Guinea. 

It is claimed that a cake covered in chocolate and coconut is named after him.

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