'Lamingtons have been my favourite treat for as long as I can remember. This is the most straight-forward recipe, variations include layering the sponge with jam and cream, or even a lemon curd, before dipping in the chocolate and coconut.' Samantha Harvey, Kitchen Manager at the Divertimenti Cookery School. Recipe courtesy of the Divertimenti Cookbook (by Camilla Schneideman, Weidenfeld & Nichoson 2007)
85g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
3 large free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g self-raising flour
180g unsalted butter
600g icing sugar
9 tbsp cocoa powder
Need a 20.5cm x30cm lamington tin (or roulade tin)
1. Grease the tin and line with baking parchment. In a small saucepan, gently melt the butter with the milk. When melted, remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, place the sugar and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat the mixture until pale and frothy and doubled in size. Add the vanilla.
2. While continually mixing, slowly pour in the melted butter and milk. Whisk to combine. Sieve the flour and salt directly into the sugar and eggs mixture. Use the whisk gently to mix in the flour. It is vital that you do not over mix at this stage or you will end up with a rubbery cake! Stop mixing the second all the lumps have disappeared. The mixture will be more runny than a regular cake, so don’t worry.
3. Pour the mixture in to the prepared cake tin and put in the baking oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes in conventional oven or about 18 minutes in an AGA. The cake should be golden brown on top and lightly springy when pressed. Do not even think about opening the oven door until at least 20 minutes have elapsed, or you could cause the cake to sink.
4. When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so before turning out onto a wire cake rack. When completely cool, transfer the cake to a chopping board. Trim the edges and cut into 30 little squares.
5. Melt the butter with the water and set a side. Sieve together the icing sugar, salt and cocoa powder, slowly add the melted butter mixture, (you may not need it all), stirring all the time until you have a smooth runny icing. It needs to be thin enough to soak into the sponge, so not as thick as regular icing. Spread the coconut out on a plate. Dip the sponge squares into the icing, covering them on all sides and allowing the excess to drip off, then roll them in the coconut until thoroughly coated.