This was a fun history filled baking adventure. Apparently Australia and New Zealand have had some knock out, throw down punches over where the recipe was created but most people put it to Australia. And it's named after a historic figure who wanted cake that didn't sully his fingers. Imagine, to have a cake named after you. Wouldn't that be a thing?
Regardless the challenge for me was getting the guys covered in chocolate without them falling apart. I had to use my experience in cake making to go after a well crafted, not too soft cake, because some cake just doesn't take kindly to handling.
Generally the Daring Bakers give you 100% failproof recipes, but there was debate over cornflour/cornstarch and how the Aussies' might be different than the American's. I didn't want to risk it. This time the challenged allowed for using any recipe, so long as it was dipped in chocolate and rolled in dessicated coconut. So I went after a few. My first go round was a disaster. I will not being sharing pictures.
The one you see pictured below is the Joy of Baking.com Lamington recipe. I doubled mine to make a 13x9 sized cake, tall. Below are the measurements I used:
For the cake
3 cups flour
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
0.33 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons butter, melted
0.5 cup milk
1 pound dessicated grated (not sweetened, shredded) coconut
13x9 pan, lined with parchment and sprayed. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In a bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add vanilla. Add the flour and milk in third, alternating between the two and scraping after each addition. Mix for an additional minute.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out cleanly.
Cool. Cut into 24-2 inch cubes.
Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, melted butter and milk in a bowl. Put over water on the stove to double boil. The frosting should look like thick syrup.
Put a wire rack over a cookie pan (more to control the mess). Pour coconut into a shallow dish. Using 2 forks plop the cake into the frosting and turn it quickly to cover all 6 sides of the cube. Pull it out, balancing on a fork and allow it to drip briefly. Place it in the coconut and using 2 other forks, flick the coconut up onto the cube. Roll it around until all 6 sides are well coconutted. Place on rack to dry.
Once dry you can individually wrap the cakes. Chill until they are ready to eat.
And a shout out to my co-worker Paul Ross, an Australian man who took 20 minutes out of his very busy day to chat up Lamingtons and all the details a person might need to make them successfully. He gave these a passing grade, so I'll take it!