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The Great Australian Lamington

The Great Australian Lamington
Lord Lamington Governor of Queensland - creator of the world-famous Australian Lamington.

The Humble Australian Lamington - Created in Queensland in 1901


Australian Lamington
THE WORLD-FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN CULINARY ICON NAMED AFTER THE GOVERNOR OF QUEENSLAND - LORD LAMINGTON.

The world-famous Australian lamington is over a century old.

Despite some dubious claims from New Zealand, the lamington is as Australian as meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars, ranking alongside the other true Australian icons of the pavlova, peach melba and Vegemite.

This Australian culinary icon, which consists of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with fine desiccated coconut, was created through an accident at work by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the thoroughly-British eighth Governor of Queensland.

The maid-servant was working at Government House in Brisbane when she accidentally dropped the Governor's favourite sponge cake into some melted chocolate.

Lord Lamington was not a person of wasteful habits and suggested that it be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate to avoid messy fingers.

Paul Tully celebrates
the 100th anniversary
of the world renowned
Australian lamington
on 19 December 2001
Lord Lamington devoured this new taste sensation with great delight and the maid-servant's error was proclaimed a magnificent success by all! The Governor however is on the record as calling them "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".

Lord Lamington was born in London, England on 29 July 1860 as Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE holding the aristocratic title of Baron Lamington.

He was Governor of Queensland from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901.

After leaving Queensland, he went on to become the Governor of Bombay in India for 4 years. He died at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1940.

According to Hansard page 728 at the Australian Constitutional Convention in Canberra on 11 February 1998, Cr Paul Tully, an elected delegate representing "Queenslanders for a Republic" suggested that his extensive research of the Governors of the 6 Australian colonies and states had produced evidence of only "one, single, solitary, positive achievement of any Governor since the First Fleet arrived in 1788" and that was Lord Lamington's contribution to the culinary delights of the Australian nation!

Lord Lamington served Queensland for 5 years but despite all of his colonial, aristocratic pomp and ceremony, the only thing which Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE will ever be remembered for in Australia is the creation of the world-famous lamington.

PAUL TULLY'S TRUE-BLUE DELICIOUS AUSSIE LAMINGTON RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising flour 1/2 cup milk.

Beat the eggs well, gradually adding the sugar until dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla essence and then stir in the self raising flour and whip the butter into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a cake tin or lamington baking dish and bake in a moderate oven of 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes and then stand for 24 hours preferably in the refrigerator, before applying the icing.

THE CHOCOLATE ICING
4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 cups desiccated coconut.

Stir the cocoa and icing sugar vigorously in a large bowl, adding the milk, butter and boiling water, warming the chocolate mixture over a very low heat until it has a smooth creamy texture. Cut the sponge cake into equal squares about 5cm x 5cm and, using a fork or thin skewer, dip each piece into the chocolate mixture ensuring that the mixture is liberally and evenly applied. Dip each piece into the desiccated coconut, allowing the lamingtons to cool on a wire tray for several hours.

THEN SIT BACK, RELAX AND SAVOUR THE DELIGHTS OF YESTERYEAR COURTESY OF LORD LAMINGTON'S ABSENT-MINDED MAID-SERVANT!

THANK GOD, THE LAMINGTON WAS NOT CHRISTENED THE "COCHRANE-BAILLIE". IMAGINE ASKING FOR A "COCHRANE-BAILLIE" IN A CAKE SHOP!


Do you have an interesting historical anecdote about the Australian lamington?
Please email the Australian Lamington Official Website.


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CWA Lamington recipe for Australia's national icon


Lamingtons, these spongy delightful desserts have been the topic of many discussions as people speculate the nature of their creation and where the name came from. 

But in the end, all that really matters is that lamingtons are a delicious sweet treat that we all grew up with and continue to love.

What better reason to indulge than Australia Day? 

Merle Parrish's recipe from MERLE'S KITCHEN is easy to follow and guarantees results, even for the most inexperienced baker.

Lamingtons

Makes: 24
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes + overnight freezing

Ingredients
Mixture
250g butter, at room temperature, chopped
1½ cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2½ cups self-raising flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
½ cup milk, approximately

Icing
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
90g soft butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
5 tbsp hot water
3 cups desiccated coconut, approximately

Method
1. Preheat the oven to moderately slow (160°C). Grease a large rectangular tin (31cm x 21cm x 4.5cm deep, base measurement) and line the base with baking paper, hanging over the two long sides.

2. Using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

3. Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt onto the butter mixture, and add the milk. Fold together until evenly combined. If it seems too thick, add a little bit more milk. Spread into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, until it springs back to a gentle touch in the centre.

4. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for 24 hours.

5. For the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and vanilla, then pour hot water, a little at a time, onto the butter to melt it. Stir until smooth and runny.

6. Remove the cake from the freezer and unwrap. Lay on a sheet of baking paper, and cover the top with icing. Sprinkle with coconut. Lay a sheet of baking paper over the iced surface and quickly turn the cake over. Ice and sprinkle coconut on the other side.

7. Cut into lengths about 5cm wide. Ice the cut sides and sprinkle with coconut. Cut each length into cubes. Ice the cut sides and sprinkle with coconut. Leave to set.

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