Here is a blog post Lord Lamington himself could get behind! Seriously. There was such a guy. And you guessed it, this chocolate covered sponge cake rolled in coconut is named after his lordship.
Lord Lammo, as I shall affectionately refer to him (for all Australians take proper words and then add an ‘o’ to the end, as in the case of lamington to lammo), was Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901.
It is said that this treat was discovered by accident when a maid dropped some sponge cake, a fav of Lord Lammo’s, in melted chocolate. I’m dubious about this ‘fact’. Who drops a cake accidentally in melted chocolate? But we’ll go with it.
Anyways. Lord Lammo was a waste-not-want-not kinda guy, so said bring the cake out anyway, and in an obvious flash of brilliance suggested the whole cake be rolled in the coconut to avoid messy fingers.
It was an overnight sensation, and thus Australia had the lamington.
I made these double chocolate lamgintons a few weeks after Australia Day, apologies for the delay. I could wait until next year (it did occur to me) but in Lord Lammo’s waste-not-want-not kinda way, I bring them to you now.
This recipe comes from UK award winning baker Dan Lepard (born in Australia). I’ve previously made his cherry ripe slice which I thought was tops. But I will say this Mr Lepard, please stop providing your recipes in grams/oz only. What’s wrong with a good old fashioned cups? I know weighing things is technically superior but puh-lease… it’s a pain in the bum. From one Aussie to another, quit it.
1 1/2 cups (300g) castor sugar
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa
50g unsalted butter
50g dark chocolate
50ml sunflower or olive oil
4 medium eggs
100ml low-fat natural yoghurt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (175g) plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
For the coating (makes 750ml)
2 tablespoons(15g) cocoa
50ml cold milk
175ml boiling water
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped (as in, use a food processor, or you’ll just have to melt it before adding)
450g icing sugar
1-2 250g bags coconut (that is, much more than you would think)
For the sponge
- Line the base of a deep, 20cm square cake tin with non-stick paper and heat the oven to 170C (150C fan-forced).
- Put the sugar and cocoa in a bowl and beat in the milk.
- Melt the butter and chocolate and oil in a saucepan, and add to the sugar mix.
- Beat in the eggs until smooth, stir in the yoghurt and vanilla, and mix in the flour and baking powder.
- Pour into the tin, cover with a slightly domed sheet of foil and bake for an hour. Lift off the foil for the last 15 minutes.
- Remove, cool in the tin and, while warm, cover with cling film.
For the coating
- mix the cocoa and milk until smooth, whisk in the boiling water, then stir in the chocolate until melted.
- Whisk in the icing sugar until dissolved and pour into a deep, wide jug.
- Cut the cake into nine, dunk each piece in the coating and fish out with two forks. Roll in coconut and leave to set.
Note: Lepard, the original recipe author, advises putting foil over the cake because it helps the cake rise more evenly. I had mixed results with that. You’ll have about 250 mls of coating left over – just the stuff, he says, for lamington milkshakes with ice-cream and coconut. I’m not so sure about that, I froze my left over icing and will do something with it later.
Makes: Nine large lamingtons
Storage: In an airtight container for a couple of days, or they freeze well.
Source: Good Food website recipe by Dan Lepard.