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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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Poll reveals Australia’s favourite food icons as Lamingtons rank ahead of Chiko rolls and Dagwood Dogs


Nadia Sinkovic 11,
loves her vegemite. 
VEGEMITE has trumped the meat pie as Aussies’ top food icon in a tastebud opinion poll.

Pavlova was nominated third favourite, despite a long-running dispute with New Zealand over the meringue dessert’s heritage.

Steak and macadamia nuts were next in line, surprisingly edging out lamingtons.

Those quizzed placed eating kangaroo ahead of Chiko rolls as “icon” status. Dagwood dogs were next, while Iced Vovos were least nominated.

One thousand adults, polled by Pure Profile for the upcoming Good Food and Wine Show, could choose from 10 icon suggestions or select their own.

Both men and women preferred their own cooking to their mother’s or a professional chef’s, the survey also found. Most blokes rated their partners’ culinary skills best.

Men tended to have the most adventurous palates.

They were more willing to try new things, tweak recipes, or try wild meats such as crocodile, boar and wallaby.

Half of Australians were inspired to make their dinner from whatever was in the fridge or pantry rather than rolling out standard week night meals or reading and researching a recipe.

Join the Great Australian Bake Off 2015

Maggie Beer is a judge on Foxtel's
new season of The Great
Australian Bake Off.
WHEN you ask veteran chef Maggie Beer why she loves cooking, the passion oozes from her voice gooier than one of her signature chocolate puddings.

"The best thing about it is baking for the people that you love," she says.

The amiable culinary icon will this year join acclaimed chef Matt Moran to judge the new Foxtel series The Great Australian Bake Off - something she hopes will allow plenty of Queensland women and men to show off their culinary skills.

"We're wanting to cast the net even wider and encourage the men of Australia to join the show," Maggie says.

"We want a lovely mix of ages and genders… that is what will make it more interesting I think.

"If we can have a mix of young, middle-aged and old - because I'm old myself," she chuckles, "but we'd like to encourage the men thinking about it who are perhaps tentative, to join the fray and have some fun."

Maggie says she'd like to continue the trend of moving away from the "traditional way of thinking" when it comes to men donning the aprons and baking a cake.

"What I think is happening with food, is people of all ages and genders are understanding the creativity and the inspiration that's in them they haven't expressed before so they're starting to get interested (in baking)," she says.

"When they get the time they see what it's all about; it's something that I believe may be lurking in a lot of people but they've perhaps been busy and haven't tried it."

I bite the bullet and share with Maggie my own belief of having a (very) hidden talent, having always thought I'd be an excellent baker if only I were bothered to try. Call it lazy, or just having a false sense of my own God-given gift just waiting to pour out, Maggie was quick to support my pipedream:

"Perhaps it hasn't been the right time, but it will be. There'll come a time when it's right for you, but it has to become a focus and priority for a while to really expand on your interest," she says encouragingly.

"(Practice) when you can, engage in it and hope the passion blooms… I just think baking and cooking is such pleasure. If you love it, you love it for yourself and the people that you love."

Maggie urges those home cooks who may be thinking of sharing their baking talents with the world to jump on board the new series of The Great Australian Bake-Off.

"If you're thinking of auditioning, you already love to cook and to bake," she says.

"One is not exclusive of the other but food has got to excite you. Sharing your food with family and friends has got to excite you."

The Great Australian Bake Off will put 12 home baking enthusiasts through a series of gruelling elimination challenges, baking a mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, bread, biscuits and desserts, all in the hope of being crowned Australia's Best Home Baker.

"It's got to be more than just baking a cake. It's thinking about food, creating it in your mind and wanting to learn," Maggie says.

"That's what happens when you get the time to really focus on it. You already have the passion to learn so it only builds from there."
Food author Maggie Beer:
"I love to learn and I am
always exploring."

Road to a life-long career

Maggie Beer is a self-taught cook, food author, restaurateur and food producer based in South Australia's Barossa Valley. After establishing the highly acclaimed, award-winning Pheasant Farm Restaurant in 1979, she went on to set up her state of the art export kitchen in 1993. These days, Maggie juggles her career in television presenting and food writing, with running her food business from the Barossa.

Maggie tells APN she was lucky to be brought up in a household where food was "vitally important".

"It isn't the most familiar story in a typical Australian household," she recalls.

"My father had an instinct for food, my grandmother was a beautiful baker and myself and my eldest daughter love to bake.

"Cooking in general came easy to me. I'm not saying baking came easily to me, because you have to follow such strict rules. But I love to learn and I am always exploring."

Maggie says cooking was "simply a necessity" when her family were farming pheasants in the 1970s and people didn't know how to cook them.

Travelling to all different parts of the country, Maggie says Queensland shines when it comes to locally-grown produce.

"I have seen the food in Queensland really develop over the years which has been a lovely thing," she says.

"Whenever I'm in Queensland I would always go to a really good restaurant, and I love your markets. The markets on the coast, at Noosa and up at Port Douglas it's all about showcasing the food.

"You have a very particular climate in Queensland which makes your food really interesting."

The Great Australian Bake Off will begin production shortly, and the Foxtel series is currently looking for contestants. Amateur baking enthusiasts can register at australianbakeoff.com.au.

Great Australian Bake Off's Casting call...

Are you a whiz with a whisk? Maggie Beer and Matt Moran want you. From lamingtons, to Anzac biscuits, to vanilla slice, we are a nation who have a passion for impressing our friends, family and colleagues with our latest baking creations. The Great Australian Bake Off will celebrate our country's love for baking. We are looking for passionate bakers to apply for the latest Australian TV series, and be put to a series of cooking tasks that will crown one winner Australia's best amateur baker.

Based on the highly successful BBC series The Great British Bake Off, The Great Australian Bake Off will be a showstopper as culinary icon Maggie Beer and acclaimed chef Matt Moran judge your best cupcakes, sponge cakes and shortbread. Or you might prefer to wow us with your ombre cakes, salted caramel tarts and your bombe alaska. Whatever your bake, if you think your baking is up to scratch, apply to be a contestant now.

Visit:  fmashows.com/the-great-australian-bake-off/2015



National Doughnut Week: the very best doughnuts in London - with a hint of the Aussie Lamington

Whether you like your doughnuts covered in sugar or stuffed with cream, there's a deep-fried delight that's perfect for you


Go nuts: The Lamnut is a hybrid of a traditional Australian Lamington cake and a ring doughnut.


As doughnuts continue to upstage cupcakes in the capital, available in all sorts of weird, wonderful shapes and sizes, National Doughnut Week gives them a place to truly shine.

Still wondering where to start? Here are the glorious balls of deep-fried dough you need to add to this week’s doughnut-eating bucket list.

Glazed and sugared


Matcha doughnut


Crosstown Doughnuts, who have just opened a new Soho store on Broadwick Street, offer a delicious matcha doughnut: a glazed ring doughnut flavoured with the tea that famously boasts antioxidant properties (the health benefits are probably outweighed by all the sugar, but we’ll forget about that). If that doesn't float your boat, try the orange blossom glazed doughnut with its discrete layer of date jam and orange blossom glaze, or the cinnamon sugar ring doughnut.


Matcha made in heaven: Crosstown Doughnuts' tea-flavoured treat

Rhubarb crumble doughnut


The wonderfully-named Glazed & Confused, whose doughnuts are scattered around independent coffee stores in London and available online, do a particularly special rhubarb crumble doughnut. It's a ring doughnut with a rhubarb sugar glaze and crunchy homemade oat crumble crumbs. What's not to like?


Ready to crumble: Glazed & Confused's rhubarb doughnut


Filled: more is more

The crème brûlée doughnut


With its array of mouth-watering flavours, toppings and colours, Dum Dum Donutterie in Box Park, Shoreditch is one of London’s best shouts for decadent doughnuts. The crème brûlée doughnut is a popular option, covered in a glistening, crunchy caramel glaze and piped full of rich vanilla cream. The peanut butter and jelly doughnut, inspired by America’s love for PB & J, is also a customer favourite.


Life is sweet: the crème brûlée doughnut


Salted caramel doughnut


In Borough Market, bakery Bread Ahead has garnered a cult following who loyally turn up every Saturday to get their hands on one of baker Justin Gellatly's fit-to-bursting salted caramel doughnuts. Golden, soft balls of dough are filled with salted caramel cream, then plugged with a shard of crisp, homemade honeycomb, before the whole thing is sprinkled with sugar. Eating will get messy but it must be done and enjoyed.


Divine dough: Bread Ahead's salted caramel creations


Savoury: doughnuts for dinner


The katsu curry donut


All hail the katsu curry donut, created with love in Clapton by small-scale doughnut company, The Hole Donut. A spicy, punchy spoonful of katsu curry is encased in a soft, doughy ball and generously sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. They work far better than you’d ever think, and simply must be tried.


A change from the usual: the katsu curry doughnuts


Ox cheek doughnut


This doughnut, served with apricot jam and paprika sugar, is one of the must-try dishes on the menu at Duck & Waffle. Well worth venturing 40 floors up to sample.


What a cheek: the ox doughnut at Duck & Waffle


Crab doughnut


They say you go Chiltern for the celebrities, not the food, but we disagree. Chef Nuno Mendes’ dainty balls of dough stuffed with fresh crab are spectacular.

Bitesize: the ones you pop and can’t stop

Doughnut bites


Street foodies You Doughnut steal the crown of this category with their impossibly moreish doughnut bites. The dessert traders rotate around London’s markets, often found at KERB and this summer Street Feast Dalston Yard, pleasing punters with their mini sweet treats served by the pot and loaded with sauces and toppings. A mouthful of heaven.


Oh, just one more then: You Doughnut's mini treats


Mexican doughnuts


Asia de Cuba in St Martins Lane has recently relaunched with a new menu and chef, but thankfully kept their Mexican doughnuts on the menu. These bite-size brioche balls, rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a spicy Thai chilli chocolate, are worth leaving room for — they're light enough to eat plenty of, rest assured.



Mexican madness: the doughnuts at Asia de Cuba

Oreo doughnuts


On the glutinous end of the spectrum, The Blues Kitchen (which has sites in Camden and Shoreditch) do small but deadly with their Oreo doughnuts: Oreo cookies are coated in dough and deep-fried so everything smooshes and melts into a gooey, chocolatey, delicious mess.


Genius or insanity? The Oreo doughnuts

Doughnut butties and burgers: why use bread when you can use doughnuts?

Delicious doughnut burger


Not content with adding savoury fillings to doughnuts, innovators have done one better and added doughnuts to savoury meals. A "Delicious Doughnut Burger" has just been added to the Ed's Diner chain menu as the Burger of the Month. It comprises sweet doughnut stacked with a beef patty, bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce. Somehow it works.



Fancy a doughnut for dinner? The Ed's Diner offering

Deadly donut burger


Later this year, Leeds' favourite Red’s True Barbecue will be landing in London, bringing with it its deadly donut burger. That's “two house-made 100 per cent steak burgers flame grilled over hickory, melted double cheese, smoked peppered bacon, dirty sauce and deep fried crispy onions, all between two sweet glazed donuts". Are you brave enough?


Culinary challenge: the deadly donut burger


Doughnut buttie


Elsewhere, get the day off to a good start with a Doughnut Buttie at BIRD, Shoreditch — an upgraded bacon sarnie with doughnuts and maple syrup drizzle.


Bacon and doughnuts... a magic combination?


Fusion: the doughnuts which can’t decide if they really want to be doughnuts

Croconut


Cronuts had their moment a couple of years ago but though the hype has died the product remains. Dum Dum Donutterie has a selection of creative versions, including the almond creme and pistachio cronut, but the best is the Croconut, infused butter crème, a dark chocolate glaze and coconut sprinkles.


I should coco: the Croconut


Duffin


Continuing in this vein, tea room Bea's of Bloomsbury (who were among the originators of the London Cronut scene) offer the Duffin, a jam-filled muffin-shaped doughnut. It'll mess with your mind.



Fluffy goodness: the Duffin

Lamnut doughnut


Crosstown Doughnut do a noteworthy fusion with their Lamnut Doughnut — a hybrid of a traditional Australian Lamington cake and a ring doughnut.


Doughnuts, meet Lamingtons: the Lamnut

The goodness of glaze with inspiration from the Australian Lamington









From being an all-American snack, the doughnut has captured hearts across cultures. SUSANNA MYRTLE LAZARUS finds out what makes the sweet treat an international favourite

Warm, jam-filled and crusted with sugar — the memory of the first doughnut I had as a child is not something I will forget. The sticky sugar got all over my clothes and the sickly sweet jam left red lines around my mouth not unlike the Joker’s scars, but it also left me with a lifelong love for the sweet snack.

Over the past week, a lot of people in the United Kingdom have been sharing videos of their attempts to eat a similar doughnut without licking their lips even once (it’s harder than it sounds). And doughnuts of all shapes, sizes and flavours are selling by the dozen, as people are indulging their sweet tooth by telling themselves that it’s for a good cause: National Doughnut Week.

Started by an independent baker, Christopher Freeman, in 1991, the annual event was meant to raise money for various children’s charities. So far, over 14 million doughnuts have been sold as part of the fundraiser, from small-time bakeries to the chain stores like Krispy Kreme. (If you’re easily amused, look up those doughnut-eating videos by searching for #nationaldoughnutweek on social media platforms.)

While its predecessors can be traced back to ancient civilisations, the doughnut as we know it today is attributed to Elizabeth Gregory. The mother of a mid-19th century ship’s captain, she made a fried dough delicacy flavoured with nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon rind, and filled it with nuts at the centre in case the dough didn’t cook through: hence the very literal name. They really caught on during World War I, when women volunteers, catchily called Doughnut Dollies, distributed millions of them to homesick American soldiers. The advent of the first doughnut-producing machine in 1920 cemented its popularity by becoming a fast food staple. And of course, Homer Simpson made the pink-frosted, sprinkle-covered doughnut a pop culture classic.

I’ll admit it; I did not wait for the big brands to grace Chennai with their presence. I once asked a friend who had gone home to Delhi for the holidays to bring me back a selection from the Singapore-based chain, Mad over Donuts. She, bless her soul, obliged. For many years, the sugar doughnut was all we could get in our neighbourhood bakeries. Occassionaly, we would come across a batch coated in a barely-there chocolate glaze. A slightly better version was available at the bakery chains and coffee shops that began popping up all over the city. And now, we’ve got dedicated stores that are filled with the divine scent of doughnuts being baked or fried. With more international brands launching in the city, I sense many delicious outings over the coming months.

In spite of the variety of choices now available, one can’t help but be jealous of those in cities like London and New York, with their Matcha, salted caramel, creme brulee and bacon-flavoured doughnuts apart from cronuts, duffins and lamnuts (inspired by the Australian Lamington cake).

Not to mention the fact that the USA has set apart at least four occasions to celebrate the doughy confectionary: National Doughnut Day, International Jelly-filled Doughnut Day, National Cream-filled Doughnut Day and Buy a Doughnut Day.

The thought of all this sugar drives me to the nearest mall to scarf down a chocolate-covered custard-filled doughnut. But it’s not just for dessert or a snack in a nation that loves its sweets: have it with coffee for breakfast or cut one in half, and make a sandwich with your favourite filling for lunch or dinner.

And while we can’t compete with John Haight, the Guinness Record holder for consuming 29 doughnuts in just over six minutes, go ahead and pick one up today. It is, after all, the weekend.

Making Aussie Lamingtons and other great stuff the way it should be

Make almost anything
including the humble
Australian lamington.
Back then, it was just food. And the food we ate came from the Edmonds Cook Book.

History books: an early edition of the much-loved Edmonds Cook Book.

A wreck, a joke, a travesty. A downright abomination. So old, so battered, so broken, and yet I remain useful, and so does my old Edmonds Cookery Book, which I have owned since primates first swung down from the trees and began to walk upright and eat with a knife and fork.

What year was it printed? Buggered if I know. Both covers are long gone, so this photo shows someone else's more presentable copy. My own ain't pretty, with shredded and missing pages, a knackered binding, and the most popular sections splattered with cake batter and home-made tomato relish. I slowly peeled apart two food-glued pages one day to see what I was missing and found a large yellow ring of mummified onion, perfectly preserved beside the recipe for Mustard Pickle. It's a feast for the eyes and the memory, this book. To read the recipes is to smell warm baking in your mum's kitchen. These are the dishes I grew up with, before anyone ever thought to call them "dishes." Back then, it was just food, and the food we ate was in the Edmonds Cookery Book.

Date Slice. Neenish Tarts. Louise Cake. Lamingtons. It's an embarassment of riches, this book, and proudly old-fashioned. Bugger Google. If you want to make mustard sauce to go with hot corned beef, you look in here. If you suddenly come over all nostalgically peckish for your nana's curried sausages, that's here, too; it's just a basic white sauce with added curry powder, slathered over sausages that have been boiled until the skins slide off like saggy condoms. And yet- it's utterly delicious!

The Edmonds tells it like it is, or at least, like it was. It fights faddish food, overly complex food and spurious food-wank during a time when so much tried and tested tucker is being diminished by unnecessary reinvention. Every second café now offers revved-up versions of old favourites that were better the first time around. Do we really want Ginger Crunch without the crunch, the oversweet icing studded with lumps of crystallized root ginger atop a thick oaty base? We do not. Ginger Crunch should be hard as hell and thin as a poor man's wallet, the icing hot with powdered ginger. 

First published in 1908, the Edmonds has since sold over three million copies across multiple reprints, making it this country's biggest selling book by a country mile. Like The Beatles, the Edmonds is more popular than Jesus, with The Bible way down the bestsellers list and persistently misclassified as non- fiction.

But while I have no truck with God, I have an unshakeable faith in the Edmonds. That magnificent sunburst logo. The 'Sure To Rise' motto that's now the punchline for rude honeymoon jokes and ravers' T-shirts. The abundant weirdness to be found within its less-travelled pages.

I suppose it's possible that someone with an autumn glut of beetroot and a spare packet of blackcurrent jelly crystals might want to boil and slice the former then suspend the slices in a wobbly bowl of the latter to make Beetroot Mould. "Delicious," it says here, "with cold meats." But do we really need to know how to make Colonial Goose, Veal Birds or 'Mysterious Pudding'? Is the world crying out for another helping of Luncheon Sausage Cornets?

It's perhaps this scattering of the redundant and the unpalatable in ancient "deluxe" editions like mine that's led to the publication this month of a stripped-down version called Edmonds Classics: New Zealand's Favourite Recipes (RRP $29.99) – a greatest hits collection, if you will, with the featured recipes chosen by you, the general public. Late last year, publishers Hachette NZ invited New Zealanders to nominate their favourite Edmonds recipes, and the top five were Banana Cake, Afghans, Ginger Crunch, Scones and Pikelets, with unimpeachable culinary classics such as Yoyos, Pavlova and Bacon and Egg Pie further down the list. 

"A couple have disappeared since the last edition," says Ruby Mitchell, marketing manager at Hachette. "But really, the Top 20 hasn't changed much in over a decade. I'm not surprised Banana Cake's at the top. I made a lot of things from the Edmonds when I was a child, but the only one I still make today is Banana Cake." The most notable newcomer is Cinnamon Cream Oysters, that unfortunate name suggesting an unholy combo of salty mollusc, coagulated dairy product and spice. "I know, yes, it does sound pretty dodgy, but they're delicious! Lots of people wrote in saying how much they loved them, and that's why they've made the Top 20."

Australian Delight: Jam and vanilla cream Lamingtons

Jam and vanilla cream lamingtons.
How to make this delicious Australian cake.

Equipment

20 x 30cm slice pan, piping bag, and 1cm star nozzle



Ingredients
  • 250g butter
  • 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 170g (2 cups) desiccated coconut
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 245g (3/4 cup) strawberry jam


Chocolate coating
  • 450g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture
  • 2 tablespoons dark Dutch cocoa
  • 30g butter, chopped
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) water, boiling

Method


Step 1


Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Line base and sides of a 20 x 30cm slice pan with baking paper. Use electric beaters to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs well, 1 at a time.


Step 2

Beat in extract. Fold in flour and milk until well combined. Pour into prepared pan. Smooth. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Step 3

Trim cake edges. Cut into 15 squares. Set a wire rack over a tray. Place coconut on a plate. For coating, place icing sugar, cocoa and butter in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water. Stir until melted and combined.


Step 4

Place a cake square in choc coating. Use 2 forks to turn to coat. Remove and allow excess coating to drain off. Roll in coconut to coat. Place on wire rack for 30 minutes to set. Repeat with remaining cake squares, cocoa mixture and coconut.


Step 5

Use electric beaters with a whisk attachment to whisk cream and vanilla bean paste in a bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle. Use a serrated knife to cut the lamingtons horizontally.


Step 6

Spread 2 tsp of jam on 1 cut side of lamington. Pipe cream on top. Top with remaining lamington half. Place carefully on a tray. Repeat with remaining lamingtons, jam and cream. Place tray in the fridge for 30 minutes, to set the cream.

Australian Lamington - Delightful Chocolate Coconut Cake

Australian lamington.
Lamington is an Australian dessert recipe consists of sponge cake coated first in a layer of chocolate sauce and then desiccated coconut.  

It is one of the delicious cake recipe loved by all kids. 

It can be specially prepared for birthday parties, morning and afternoon teas. 

The sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing gives wonderful look and taste. 

Here is the simple preparation of Aussie Chocolate coconut cake.

Serves: 24

Ingredients:

For Cake:

125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
250g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
120ml milk

For Icing:

450g icing sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter, melted
120ml milk
2 (200g) packages desiccated cocon

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 1900 C.

2. Take 20x30cm rectangular baking tin, grease and flour it.

3. Take a large bowl and cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light fluffy.

4. Take previously greased baking tin and pour this mixture into it.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

6. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Store overnight to give the cake a chance to firm up before icing.

7. Icing preparation: In a large bowl, combine icing sugar and cocoa. In a saucepan, heat milk and 1 tablespoon butter until the butter is melted. Add the milk to the sugar mixture and mix well to create a fluid, but not too runny, icing.

8. Cut the cake into 24 squares. Place coconut in a shallow container. Using a fork, dip each square into the icing, then roll it in the coconut. Place onto a cooling rack to dry. Continue for each piece. The icing will drip, so place a sheet of paper under the rack to catch the drips.

Lamington drives and chook raffles show the true Aussie spirit

Drisana Levitzke-Gray,  Professor Lyn Beazley AO,
 Governor Kerry Sanderson AO, Stacy Dunbar
 and Graham Mabury.
As a kid growing up my only clear memory of "volunteer" being used was one of the few war stories my Dad, a Tobruk Rat, would tell. Apparently a sergeant-major asked for volunteers interested in music. Four stepped forward and shortly after were seen lugging a grand piano across the parade ground.

Yet in all of the many places across Australia in which I lived, people were always "pitching in", "giving a hand" or "having a whip around". It wasn't called "volunteering" it was simply how we lived. The lamington drives for the CWA were only surpassed by the chook raffles for the footy club. If your neighbour was ill, everyone helped get his crop off. When a wisp of smoke appeared on the horizon, everyone grabbed the tankers and went.

They still do. The idea that we don't volunteer any more doesn't stack up. Magnificent volunteer fire fighters still put themselves in harm's way. SES members are still the angels in orange when disaster strikes. They're a credit to us and to the bosses who give them time off work to attend emergencies. In her foreword to the National Volunteering Strategy in November 2011, then Minister Tanya Plibersek wrote, "Each year, more than 6 million Australians contribute their time, energy and expertise to volunteering activities" contributing "more than 700 million hours of unpaid work".

It has to be the real deal. As one Australian PM famously said, "An Australian can pick a phoney in a fog at four hundred metres". It has to be communicated in a way that resonates with the group you're seeking to engage – and we're an incredibly diverse bunch these days. Some say young people don't volunteer any more. They're on duty as life savers at our beaches, and serving in third world countries. On his return from an overseas project with his school, one fifteen year old in my church raised enough to significantly improve water quality in the village he'd visited.

In 1974 I joined a group of twenty-somethings, from churches of every denomination and none, trying to support the homeless young people we were encountering, when most didn't believe they existed. Aussies within and beyond churches, in business and eventually government gave us support. One rental home in Victoria Park grew into part of the Mission Australia network. The Christmas lunch we started in Wellington Square still caters for the lonely each Christmas Day.

Radio 6PR had faith in an untried rookie who wanted to use commercial radio to help create community and wouldn't do ads. My colleagues always found a way to say "Yes" and because of their support, inter-agency Christmas and Blanket Appeals and Lifeline WA came to be. A phone line became a lifeline, and still does, thanks to volunteers manning phones twenty-four seven. The ex-military man who rang Nightline saying, "I guess I just wanted to say good-bye to someone" is alive today as are countless others. The lives of people they would never meet were changed by the service of these selfless, great Australians, and I'm honoured to have journeyed with them. Any public recognition I have received is truly theirs.

It's not just in formalised programmes. When my wife and I had a blow-out in the middle of a state forest at sunset, I had just started unloading the boot when a four wheel drive pulled up. A friendly young family emerged, changed the tyre, and followed me back to Perth. Like the fisherman who returned the wallet I'd dropped at Cervantes, they would not accept any reward.

The old adage is true – volunteers have no dollar value not because they are worthless but because they are priceless. They have discovered what George Bernard Shaw called "the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one… instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."