Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lord Lamington, I presume.

The name sounds British and if the stories are true, the Austrailian governor for whom the Lamington tea cake was named, was indeed British, called Lord Lamington, and was busy about ruling Queensland from 1895-1901.

I looked this up after un-earthing this Lamington recipe from my files. I thought it vastly obtuse to just go off making and munching my Lamingtons while chatting to you and cleaning the kitchen like a mad woman, my Oolong clutched in one hand and the counter spray in the other, and not give a hoot what the name meant or where they came from. So. Consider yourself enlightened in turn.

Also, consider yourself advised that these truly remarkable teacakes are a messy job but worth all the cleaning. What could be better than good soft cake with raspberry filling dipped in chocolate then coconut?

Traditionally, the coconut is not toasted, this is my prefernce. Although the reference recipe advised me in an attached comment to consider chilling or freezing the cakes before dipping them, it is literally imperative that you do so because, unlike the original Lamington, these are made with fresh, not day old, cake.

adapted from this Martha Stewart Living recipe, 2002
Makes 18

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 2/3 cups cake flour , (not self-rising), plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup strawberry jam
1 pound shredded sweetened coconut, toasted
Chocolate Icing, below

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 9-by-13-inch baking pans; line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment. Dust with flour; tap out excess; set pans aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time; beat until incorporated.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide batter between the greased pans pans. Place in oven; bake until the center of the cake bouncees back to your touch, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly on wire racks; remove from pans. Turn out cakes onto racks; cool completely.

Spread one of the cooled cakes with the jam; place other cake on top. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place in the freezer overnight. With a knife, trim the edges of sandwiched cakes; cut into two-inch squares.

Place the coconut in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the bowl of chocolate icing over a saucepan or large double boiler, filled with simmering water. Place a jam-filled cake square in the bowl of chocolate icing and using forks to turn the square, coat all sides.

Allow excess chcoclate to drip off. Transfer the square to the bowl of coconut. Using clean forks to turn square, coat it with coconut. Transfer coated square to wire rack to stand until coating has set, about 15 minutes. Continue until all squares have been coated.

Chocolate Icing
adapted from this Martha Stewart Living recipe, 2002
Makes enough to coat 24 Lamingtons
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted

Place the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and heat until butter is melted. Add the vanilla extract, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir gently until combined, then allow to come back to temperature for 5 minutes to insure liquidity. The bowl muct be kept over the simmering water for the chocolate to remain a dippable-liquid.

It will come together, keep stirring.

1 comment:

gel said...

Oh me, oh my Oh!
This sounds luscious! It combines three flavors I adore: chocolate, raspberry, and coconut.
(I like the titles on your food posts.)