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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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Australian Delight: Jam and vanilla cream Lamingtons

Jam and vanilla cream lamingtons.
How to make this delicious Australian cake.

Equipment

20 x 30cm slice pan, piping bag, and 1cm star nozzle



Ingredients
  • 250g butter
  • 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 170g (2 cups) desiccated coconut
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 245g (3/4 cup) strawberry jam


Chocolate coating
  • 450g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture
  • 2 tablespoons dark Dutch cocoa
  • 30g butter, chopped
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) water, boiling

Method


Step 1


Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Line base and sides of a 20 x 30cm slice pan with baking paper. Use electric beaters to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs well, 1 at a time.


Step 2

Beat in extract. Fold in flour and milk until well combined. Pour into prepared pan. Smooth. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Step 3

Trim cake edges. Cut into 15 squares. Set a wire rack over a tray. Place coconut on a plate. For coating, place icing sugar, cocoa and butter in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water. Stir until melted and combined.


Step 4

Place a cake square in choc coating. Use 2 forks to turn to coat. Remove and allow excess coating to drain off. Roll in coconut to coat. Place on wire rack for 30 minutes to set. Repeat with remaining cake squares, cocoa mixture and coconut.


Step 5

Use electric beaters with a whisk attachment to whisk cream and vanilla bean paste in a bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle. Use a serrated knife to cut the lamingtons horizontally.


Step 6

Spread 2 tsp of jam on 1 cut side of lamington. Pipe cream on top. Top with remaining lamington half. Place carefully on a tray. Repeat with remaining lamingtons, jam and cream. Place tray in the fridge for 30 minutes, to set the cream.

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