Saturday, April 17, 2010
My baking mood is still raging strong, a phase that seldom sustains. "Lamington" has been rolling off my tongue lately so Lamington it shall be. It is a popular Australian cake, a de-rigueur at Aussie fairs and picnics so I needed an "authentic Australian recipe". Flying over to Google Australia, I looked up for an Australian baker who knows Australian food best at australianfood.about.com Yes, my weekend project.
I have this idiosyncrasy when attempting any firsts : to be as authentic as possible. For this, I buy brands closely related to their main products and avoid the odd-job man as much as I can afford. Which means I will buy a Ferrari car but not a Ferrari watch, the former still on my wish list. Ferrari is for cars as Rolex is for watches. ( This is no SATS question )
Now back to Lamingtons. I have never attempted this but memories of Australia and our picnic at the vine yards flood back whenever I think of this snack. The Lamington was the only snack our Aussie guide provided along the pit stop but being completely famished, it tasted like high heavens. That is the reason for all the effort to preserve the integrity of the taste as much as possible.
And finally, here goes :
Portions and instructions from australianfood.about.com, with minor modifications.
Grease a square baking tray, 23 cm. Line with baking sheet. Mine is not completely round, but no matter, I ate the trimmings almost at once.
150g butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract ( I had this plus 1/2 pod of vanilla seeds - if all things fail, there's still the scent :- )
2 cups all purpose flour ( I used self raising, a minor mistake )
1/4 tsp salt ( I used Himalayas, less salty )
1 1/2 baking powder ( omit this if using self raising flour. My cake rose sky high, solved by shaving off and eaten eventually )
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
Making the base cake :
Preheat oven, 180C. Prepare 23 cm tray, greased and lined.
Beat butter, sugar till white and fluffy. Introduce eggs one at a time, then vanilla till well mixed.
Add sieved dry ingredients in 3 parts together with milk. Mix well.
Transfer mix to tray and bake 40 minutes. Increase baking time if skewer test in the center of the cake turns out wet with dough.
Cool cake for at least 2 hours. Cut into 16 pieces and chill to firm, preferably overnight.
Chocolate glaze and coconut coating :
2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 T butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
Mix all of the above. Stir and heat over a hot water bath until butter has melted and mixture is well incorporated. Coat cake pieces in cocoa mix and roll coated cake over a bed of desiccated coconut. Chill further until ready to serve.