I did manage to bake something uniquely Australian that week leading up to Australia Day but had no chance of getting it up on the blog. After I found the perfect vanilla cup cake recipe the other week, I went completely mad thinking of recipes and reasons for me to try it again, just to make sure.
Luckily Australia Day, or the day of Lamingtons, pavlovas, BBQs, beers and beach cricket was approaching. I departed from the usual sponge base and went with "the one" vanilla cup cake recipe. This made for a departure from a traditional looking Lamington too.
I have to be honest, the best lamington I have tasted used day old sponge cake mass produced by a supermarket then rolled in homemade thin chocolate icing and coconut made by my mum or my Grandma's, which is more of a cup cake, rolled in lamington icing and coconut. I think they are incredibly messy to make and not worth it when you can get a nice tasting one using a store bought sponge. Lots more things I would rather make. I am being very unAustralian I know.
Anyway, during the past week I have had a go at a few different versions of the lamington. None of which I am very happy with visually but all got a resounding thumbs up from the eaters at the Workaholic's office.
Lamington 1: Vanilla Cupcake with rich chocolate ganache and shredded coconut
I had seen these ones on my recent trip to Melbourne in the cup cake shops but to my mind, it just was not the same. I used the richest chocolate icing I could find to compensate for not covering the whole cake but it just tasted like vanilla cake topped with chocolate icing, not that wonderful combination a lamington has with the thin icing and coconut all over.
Lamington 2: Traditional type using sponge recipe
I must have been really disappointed in this one, because searching back through my photos a week later, it appears I have deleted all evidence! LOL. I have an aversion to stale cake and because you need to leave a sponge to age a day before attempting Lamingtons, I usually don't bother. From memory, these looked alright but tasted substandard. I didn't let anyone sample these.
Lamington 3: The cup cake lamington bite mark 2
This one was definitely my preferred. This was the last one I did and I decided to go back to my childhood and use the icing my mum used to use which was a combination of boiling hot water, butter, cocoa and icing sugar. One recipe I read also called for some milk, so I lived on the edge and threw some in. It ended up like the icing of childhood, very watery and thin. This is one of the keys in lamington making. The icing needs to be thin so the cake doesn't fall apart when dipping it in the icing and before dipping it in the coconut. Some other tips are to use day old cake, which is against my religion, or to freeze the cake, which sounds like something I would prefer. I didn't have time to freeze this batch as the staff meeting they were for was starting in an hour.