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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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Join the Great Australian Bake Off 2015

Maggie Beer is a judge on Foxtel's
new season of The Great
Australian Bake Off.
WHEN you ask veteran chef Maggie Beer why she loves cooking, the passion oozes from her voice gooier than one of her signature chocolate puddings.

"The best thing about it is baking for the people that you love," she says.

The amiable culinary icon will this year join acclaimed chef Matt Moran to judge the new Foxtel series The Great Australian Bake Off - something she hopes will allow plenty of Queensland women and men to show off their culinary skills.

"We're wanting to cast the net even wider and encourage the men of Australia to join the show," Maggie says.

"We want a lovely mix of ages and genders… that is what will make it more interesting I think.

"If we can have a mix of young, middle-aged and old - because I'm old myself," she chuckles, "but we'd like to encourage the men thinking about it who are perhaps tentative, to join the fray and have some fun."

Maggie says she'd like to continue the trend of moving away from the "traditional way of thinking" when it comes to men donning the aprons and baking a cake.

"What I think is happening with food, is people of all ages and genders are understanding the creativity and the inspiration that's in them they haven't expressed before so they're starting to get interested (in baking)," she says.

"When they get the time they see what it's all about; it's something that I believe may be lurking in a lot of people but they've perhaps been busy and haven't tried it."

I bite the bullet and share with Maggie my own belief of having a (very) hidden talent, having always thought I'd be an excellent baker if only I were bothered to try. Call it lazy, or just having a false sense of my own God-given gift just waiting to pour out, Maggie was quick to support my pipedream:

"Perhaps it hasn't been the right time, but it will be. There'll come a time when it's right for you, but it has to become a focus and priority for a while to really expand on your interest," she says encouragingly.

"(Practice) when you can, engage in it and hope the passion blooms… I just think baking and cooking is such pleasure. If you love it, you love it for yourself and the people that you love."

Maggie urges those home cooks who may be thinking of sharing their baking talents with the world to jump on board the new series of The Great Australian Bake-Off.

"If you're thinking of auditioning, you already love to cook and to bake," she says.

"One is not exclusive of the other but food has got to excite you. Sharing your food with family and friends has got to excite you."

The Great Australian Bake Off will put 12 home baking enthusiasts through a series of gruelling elimination challenges, baking a mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, bread, biscuits and desserts, all in the hope of being crowned Australia's Best Home Baker.

"It's got to be more than just baking a cake. It's thinking about food, creating it in your mind and wanting to learn," Maggie says.

"That's what happens when you get the time to really focus on it. You already have the passion to learn so it only builds from there."
Food author Maggie Beer:
"I love to learn and I am
always exploring."

Road to a life-long career

Maggie Beer is a self-taught cook, food author, restaurateur and food producer based in South Australia's Barossa Valley. After establishing the highly acclaimed, award-winning Pheasant Farm Restaurant in 1979, she went on to set up her state of the art export kitchen in 1993. These days, Maggie juggles her career in television presenting and food writing, with running her food business from the Barossa.

Maggie tells APN she was lucky to be brought up in a household where food was "vitally important".

"It isn't the most familiar story in a typical Australian household," she recalls.

"My father had an instinct for food, my grandmother was a beautiful baker and myself and my eldest daughter love to bake.

"Cooking in general came easy to me. I'm not saying baking came easily to me, because you have to follow such strict rules. But I love to learn and I am always exploring."

Maggie says cooking was "simply a necessity" when her family were farming pheasants in the 1970s and people didn't know how to cook them.

Travelling to all different parts of the country, Maggie says Queensland shines when it comes to locally-grown produce.

"I have seen the food in Queensland really develop over the years which has been a lovely thing," she says.

"Whenever I'm in Queensland I would always go to a really good restaurant, and I love your markets. The markets on the coast, at Noosa and up at Port Douglas it's all about showcasing the food.

"You have a very particular climate in Queensland which makes your food really interesting."

The Great Australian Bake Off will begin production shortly, and the Foxtel series is currently looking for contestants. Amateur baking enthusiasts can register at australianbakeoff.com.au.

Great Australian Bake Off's Casting call...

Are you a whiz with a whisk? Maggie Beer and Matt Moran want you. From lamingtons, to Anzac biscuits, to vanilla slice, we are a nation who have a passion for impressing our friends, family and colleagues with our latest baking creations. The Great Australian Bake Off will celebrate our country's love for baking. We are looking for passionate bakers to apply for the latest Australian TV series, and be put to a series of cooking tasks that will crown one winner Australia's best amateur baker.

Based on the highly successful BBC series The Great British Bake Off, The Great Australian Bake Off will be a showstopper as culinary icon Maggie Beer and acclaimed chef Matt Moran judge your best cupcakes, sponge cakes and shortbread. Or you might prefer to wow us with your ombre cakes, salted caramel tarts and your bombe alaska. Whatever your bake, if you think your baking is up to scratch, apply to be a contestant now.

Visit:  fmashows.com/the-great-australian-bake-off/2015



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