Kelly is after me for the lamingtons recipe.
She is going to kill me when she finds out how easy it is. You just need a little more coordination than I have.
You will need:
- pale/white cake made in a square/rectangular tin
- strawberry or raspberry jam (I used a mix of both! Devil!)
- Dessicated coconut, two cups or so. I'm told dessicated coconut is not the usual sort in the States but I found it easily at Wholefoods.
For chocolate lamingtons
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- tablespoon of water
- optional 30g butter/substitute (I used buttery sticks)
For jelly/pink lamingtons
- one packet of jelly/jello (pink, raspberry is my preference)
- 1/3 or 0.33 of the amount of hot water needed for the jelly
- 1/3 or 0.33 of the amount of cold water needed for the jelly
Lamingtons were originally made with a sponge cake base, but I am Not Very Good at Making (Edible) Sponge Cakes (ie I make kitchen sponges instead). So I grab a packet of GF/DF cake mix (*white* cake mix is specified) and make it up. You could make any sort of plain cake you like, including sponge if you are any good at them. I suggest putting it in a square or rectangular pan. After baking, cut the cake into cubes and then cut each cube through the centre so you have a top half and a bottom half. 2"/5cm cubes are specified but I cut it into any size that works. Note that anything under about 1"/2.5cm is likely to just crumble/melt away into nothingness. Then stick the cake in the freezer to make sure it doesn't crumble easily when the icing/jelly goes on. It just has to be cold, not frozen.
(the pink or jelly lamington in its prime habitat - the hand, about to go into the maw)
For pink lamingtons:
Whilst the cake is cooking, make up the jelly (for pink lamingtons). If you are making more than about 12 jelly lamingtons (one cake worth), you will need two packets of jelly or a jumbo size one. Dissolve the jelly in 2/3 of the hot water you would usually use. You want to make a strong jelly that starts to set quickly. When the jelly is dissolved, add the cold water, mix and set aside. If you are in a real hurry, cover it and put it in the fridge. You want the jelly just to be a bit gloopy/starting to set for best results when coating the cake.
Make up the chocolate icing by melting it in a double boiler on the stove (I use a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure the saucepan doesn't boil dry like mine did last time! It was still puffing out steam but was dry as dry could be!). It will be hot! Burnies! Not for small children or even large klutzy adults like me as it turns out.
When the pink or brown coating is ready, take the cake out of the freezer. Set up your production line - the icing/jelly, a drippy place (eg oven tray) for the icing, a bowl of coconut - I use a pie tin as it is nice and big and easy to roll things around in - and a plate to put the finished product on.
Take your cake pieces. Spread some jam between the top and bottom halves - helps keep them together. If you don't want the jam, don't cut the cubes in half!
(mmm, jammy goodness)
Using the utensils (two!) of your choice (eg slotted spoon, soup spoon, whatever the cake piece fits on easily), dip the cake piece in the icing or jelly. This is a little tricky - it is the trickiest part and you will develop a rhythm for how to best do it for you. Roll it around quickly but gently. (You can expect bits to come off.) Then deposit it in the coconut without getting the spoons covered in coconut. Cover it with coconut. Grab the next bit of cake and coat it the same way. When the coconut bowl is getting crowded, move the lamingtons onto the plate.
(This one has a little more jelly than needed)
I find lamingtons tend to be a bit hard to coat with coconut, but the jelly ones are very willing. Next time I make them, I'll just make jelly ones cos they are so horribly delicious and sweet and yummy and melt in the mouth!
(This chocolate lamington has about the exact right amount of coating. It is showing off its inner goodness, including a layer of jam.)
I have not found the ideal chocolate coating yet - lamingtons should be sorta squishy but the icing mixes I've used to date tend to make crunchy icing. This is not how Proper Lamingtons should be.
(The left over coconut with jelly is YUMMY!)
There are plenty of options for changing lamingtons. Make a spice cake (but not with the jelly, cos I reckon that would be pretty horrid!). Make colourful cakes (with food colourings! Fun for all the family and then watch little Johnny bounce off the walls). Use something other than pink jelly. Try them and see. The hardest part is getting the things coated evenly.
(PS. Quite a number of lamingtons were harmed in the photographs accompanying this blog post. Note that overconsumption of lamingtons leads to feelings of bloatedness and lethargy, and the vague promise to only eat one per day not half a plate!)