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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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The Lamington Enigma: Where was it created - Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba?

Australian lamingtons.
The iconic Aussie staple, the lamington, is consumed at a rate of more than eight million a week across the country.

BELOVED staple of CWAs across the nation and consumed at a rate of more than eight million a week, the lamington's iconic Aussie status is beyond doubt.

Now one true lamington worshipper has channelled his love of the humble chocolate-coconut sponge into an academic adventure through reams of documents a century-old.

Maurice French, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Southern Queensland, has written a book called The Lamington Enigma.

Professor French spent two years attempting to resolve a long-running stoush over the exact origins of the scoffable treat.

Lord Lamington was the eighth Governor of Queensland, who served from 1896 to 1901, but it wasn't the Lord himself who came up with the idea of course, but one of his tireless kitchen staff.

Lamington's French-born head chef Armand Galland is most frequently cited as its creator, but there are others in the mix as well.

Whoever it was it seems they were under pressure by the boss to feed some unexpected guests but were all out of the usual treats.

Professor Maurice French
Aristocrats, it seems, were pioneers of the sweet tooth.

When some leftover sponge cake was hastily dipped in chocolate sauce and sprinkled with coconut, it was a hit with the gents and ladies.

A new chapter in Aussie culinary history had begun - despite it probably being penned by Frenchman.

But the bigger debate over the Lamington's colourful history is the exact location of the invention.

Like any good aristocrat, the good Governor had several homes.

In his book Professor French attempts to weigh up two main competing claims between Brisbane and Toowoomba, as well as other left-field origin stories emanating from Ipswich and, weirdly, from New Zealand.

While there is still debate in historical circles, Toowoomba has long been committed to its story, with plans to build a Big Lamington.

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