Introduction: Lamingtons - a Treat for Australia Day!

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What is more Australian than a Lamington?

Named after a funny hat and a governor of Queensland, these coconut and chocolate-dipped sponge treats will be a hit at your next tea party or Australia day party.  Whatever your nationality, please enjoy these treats!

I found the 'original' lamington recipe a little dry due to the coconut and dry cocoa used in the recipe.  So I've 'pimped' up the recipe by using REAL coconut, proper Lindt chocolate and rum to make the sauce.  Queenslanders love their rum!

To make the recipe the original way, you can use icing sugar/cocoa/hot water for the sauce and dessicated coconut for the covering.  That is not as tasty!

Step 1: Ingredients

Ingredients - a latin noun for what "goes in" to your creation!

Apologies for the non-SI / non-metric folk. The ingredients are in cups, units, mL and grams.

Sponge Cake:
3 eggs (free range is better)
125g of caster sugar
125g salted butter
50mL milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
1 3/4 cup of self-raising flour

250g dark (high cocoa fat) quality chocolate eg. Lindt
125g salted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
25mL milk or cream
50g icing or caster sugar
2 capfuls of rum

2 fresh coconuts (for the flesh, not the drinking coconuts)

you can subsititute cocoa for the chocolate by replacing the sauce with icing sugar, cocoa and hot water (don't use the butter).
you can subsistute dessicated for fresh coconut but the flavour will be drier, less moist, and less 'coconutty'

Given you are making this on Australia day, it is essential to have a beverage of some sort! (Boags or bundy and coke)

Step 2: The Basics

the idea of a Lamington is to create a sponge cake as a base. 
Cut the sponge cake into small pieces suitable for finger food / snacks / tea parties etc.
Create a chocolate based sauce which will soak nicely into the sponge cake and use as a 'glue' for the coconut.
Coat the choc-dipped sponge in coconut.
Some people fill the Lamington with a thin layer of raspberry jam and/or cream which is delicious.

Start with the 'mise en place' - gather your ingredients, and preheat the oven to 180oC.

Ask your sous-chef to line a shallow tin with baking paper.  It is a lovely recipe to co-create with children.

Step 3: Method - Sponge Cake

to make the sponge cake:

remove the vanilla seeds with a sharp knife from the vanilla pods.  Add this to a clean bowl.
cream (whip) vanilla, butter and sugar in the bowl using an electric beater.  Once finished it should be fluffy and close to white in colour. Don't overwork it.
Add one-by-one the eggs, and then half the flour using a sifter.  Add the milk then the remaining half of flour still sifting.
Use the electric beater to whip the mixture until it is super fluffy like the photo.
Scoop/pour the mixture into the shallow tin and cook at 180oC preheated oven for 30 minutes.  It will be ready once the surface is golden brown and a skewer doesn't stick when poked into the mixture, again just like the photo.

Ask your favourite sous-chef to lick the bowl :)

Step 4: Method - Sauce

To make the chocolate sauce:

Use a double boiler (eg saucepan and glass bowl, two saucepans, or purpose-made double boiler).
Mix the chocolate, rum, vanilla, butter, cream and sugar together to make a lovely rich sauce.

Please try the sauce as you go! you make like the sauce a little sweeter, creamier, more rummy etc.

Step 5: Method - the Coating

to make the coating:

use a meat cleaver to cut the coconuts into quarters or smaller.

Save the juice - coconut juice is a high source of potassium which is good for your health in general, and a great way to hydrate if you are working outdoors or doing endurance sport (eg. triathlons, adventure races, running).

Use a small knife to seperate the cocnut flesh from the husk.  Once this is done you can use the knife to remove the brown coating from the flesh.  Cut the white flesh into small pieces.

Use a blender to chop the coconut into fine strips / cubes suitable for coating the Lamington.

Step 6: Plating Up

to finish:

Prepare all of the pieces (coconut coating, chocolate sauce, sponge cake) in the one place.

Cut the sponge into small fingers suitable for eating in one go.

Use tongs to dip the sponge into the sauce, and drain the excess sauce.

Coat the choc-dipped sponge in coconut and then plate up ready for eating.

Eat same day or refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Enjoy with your favourite beverage! (beer, rum, earl grey tea)...

Is delicious by itself, with ice cream or as part of a high tea.

Happy Australia Day! (wherever you live in the world)

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