Lamingtons are a very Australian treat and this is what wikipedia had to say about their origin.
“Most accounts of the creation of the lamington agree it was named after Lord Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. One account claims the dessert resembled the homburg hats favoured by Lord Lamington.
However, one claim says they were named after the town of Lamington, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Even among those who attribute the name to Lord Lamington, there are many claims as to the exact location and creator of the lamington itself.
Another claim is that the Lamingtons’ chef at Queensland’s Government House, French-born Armand Gallad, was called upon at short notice to provide something to feed unexpected guests during the busy period leading up to Federation in 1901. According to the Melbourne Age newspaper, Gallad cut up some left over French vanilla sponge cake baked the day before, dipped the slices in chocolate and set them in coconut. Coconut was not widely used in European cooking at that time, but was known to Gallad whose wife was from Tahiti where coconut was used in cooking. Lady Lamington’s guests then asked for the recipe.
A further alternative origin is that Lord Lamington’s cook, presumably Gallad, accidentally dropped a block of sponge cake into a dish of chocolate. Later on it was discovered to be very nice with desiccated coconut sprinkled over the top.
Ironically, Lord Lamington was believed to have hated the dessert that had been named in his honour, referring to them as “those bloody poofy woolly biscuits”.
Most of these claims are based on relatively recent reports. The earliest identified mention of the lamington is a recipe for the lamington cake published in January 1902, but the identity of the contributor of that recipe was not revealed. While recipes and references to lamington cakes appear over many years subsequent to that, none of them mention the history of the cake or its name. The earliest reference to the naming of cake (located so far) is in October 1933 which attributes it to Lord Lamington.”
So it seems the origin is not known however that doesn’t stop this little goodie from being delicious. The sponge is light and the chocolate and coconut is a terrific combination. I made strawberry mini version too.
I can not claim this as my recipe. I used the Taste recipe which worked wonderfully and it’s the recipe for the chocolate ones. I used flaked coconut instead of dessicated. I made my own strawberry dipping icing and will share that recipe with you another time.
- Melted butter, to grease
- 75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
- 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
- 70g (1/2 cup) cornflour
- 6 x 59g eggs, at room temperature
- 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbs boiling water
- 170g (2 cups) desiccated coconut
- 300g (2 cups) icing sugar mixture
- 35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
- 60ml (1/4 cup) milk
- 60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush a 19 x 29cm (base measurement) lamington pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang slightly.
- Sift the combined flours together into a large bowl. Repeat twice.
- Use an electric beater to whisk the eggs in a large clean, dry bowl until thick and pale. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbs at a time, whisking well after each addition until mixture is thick and sugar dissolves.
- Sift the combined flours over the egg mixture. Pour the boiling water down the side of the bowl. Use a large metal spoon to gently fold until just combined. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn cake onto a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside overnight to cool.
- Trim the edges of the cake and cut into 15 squares. Spread the coconut over a plate.
- To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the milk and water and stir until smooth.
- Use 2 forks to dip 1 cake square into the warm icing to evenly coat. Allow any excess icing to drip off. Use your fingers to roll the cake in the coconut to evenly coat, then place on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining cake squares, icing and coconut. Set aside for 1 hour or until icing sets.