Beach Picnic [Lamingtons Squares]

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This recipe was new to me. I was instructed to make it for a theme party. It was a Scandinavian/Australian lunch and beach picnic — a send off for a colleague moving to Australia who just loves smoked fish. Tid bit: we actually ended up on the clothing optional sand, as the more reserved section was closed for set-up of an outdoor EDM concert featuring Moby. F***ing weird.

Lamingtons squares, or just “lamingtons” are a uniquely Australian treat of sponge cake dunked in loose chocolate frosting and tossed in dessicated coconut. I was surprised by how much people liked them, Michael included. They’re killer, like most things on that continent (sharks, snakes, giant spiders, kangaroos). The frosting actually absorbs into the cake a bit, creating a chocolatey layer.

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Lamingtons Squares
*adapted from Donna Hay

1 ⅓ cups (200g) cake flour
½ tsp. baking powder
8 eggs
1 cup (220g) superfine sugar
7 tbsp. (100g) unsalted butter, melted
3 cups (450g) powdered sugar, sifted
¾ cup (90g) cocoa powder, sifted
1/3-1/2 cup (250ml) boiling water
¼ cup (60ml) milk
5 tbsp (75g) butter, melted, extra
small pinch of salt
desiccated coconut, to coat

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift the flour and baking powder together, then whisk to combine well. Set aside. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until thick, pale, and tripled in volume. Gently fold in the flour mixture in several additions. Fold through the melted butter.

Grease two 20cm square tin and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Divide the mixture into tins and bake for 25 minutes, or until the cakes are springy to touch and come away from the sides of the tins. Cool on a wire rack. Cut the sponges into 6cm squares.

Mix together the icing sugar, cocoa, milk, salt, and extra butter in a large bowl. Dribble in the water, just enough so that you get a loose frosting, nearly the consistency of chocolate syrup. Place the coconut in another bowl. Dunk the cake squares in the icing and then in the desiccated coconut. Place on a rack on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and refrigerate until set. Makes 18.

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