What’s a lamington, you ask?
Well, let’s look at that photo. Obviously, it is cake, which is wonderful, and it appears to be filled with jam, also good, and then it also appears to have a fine snow of coconut all around the outside, like a little shaggy petit four. So that’s a lamington.
Kind of. Sorry to any Aussies out there or to any dessert purists, but from from what I gather a lamington is usually a simpler affair with vanilla sponge cake, chocolate filling and icing, and coconut. Three flavors, all delicious, all proven friends. My version is a little noisier, with an extra flavor thrown in to complicate the equation, and I’ve taken the other parts and tweaked them a bit, because I never met a cake I didn’t want to bombard with a million flavors.
We have a matcha sponge cake (though I used less matcha than usual, for some reason, and you really need to be a sensory ninja to taste it in the batch I made), a cherry jam filling, white chocolate icing, and then the coconut. It’s kind of a lot of flavors, but they all work together somehow, and the result is a little white cake treat perfectly sized for a sweet afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.
But, honestly, who cares about cake I’M GOING TO AUSTRALIA!!! As I type this I’m sitting in SFO cursing the International terminal and it’s terrible lack of restaurant or bar options, because all I really wanted to do was not sit at my gate for an hour, but oh well, because truly nothing can get me down right now. I’m about to do some serious damage to my bucket list, and even the prospect of a 14 hour flight can’t dim my enthusiasm. I’ve got two and a half weeks of meat pies and ferry boats and beaches and Tim Tams waiting on the other side, and I’m so ready.
So, bye, America, see you in November!
(But to the internet, I will still be here with regularly scheduled programming, so see you on Tuesday!)
Matcha, White Chocolate & Cherry Lamingtons
Adapted from David Lebovitz
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/3 cup cake flour
- 2 1/2 oz unsalted butter, melted
- 6 oz white chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 oz unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup cherry jam, for filling
- Butter a square baking pan, either 8x8 in or 9x9 in, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Whip the eggs, sugar and salt in a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, on high speed, about 10 minutes (or until a thick ribbon of the batter will hold its shape), then stir in the vanilla. The mixture will be greatly increased in volume.
- While eggs and sugar are whipping, whisk together flour and matcha. When eggs and sugar have finished whipping, sift the flour mixture over the top of the egg mixture and then gently fold into the batter, being careful not to deflate the mixture too much. You will need more folding than you think but you also can't catastrophically deflate the mixture as long as you fold in the flour gently. Fold in the melted butter until no streaks of it remain visible.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 minutes, until golden and pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan. You will have extra batter if you are using an 8x8 pan.
- Let cake cool completely, then flip out onto a cutting board and remove the parchment paper. Trim the sides and then cut the cake in half down the middle, then cut each piece in half horizontally, so you should now have 4 cake layers measuring 4x8 inches or 4.5x9 inches.
- Spread the inside of two layers with the jam, then sandwich each with a remaining layer. Cut each "sandwich" into 8 squares. Fill a large bowl with the shredded coconut and set aside.
- Melt together the chocolate, butter, and milk with 2 tbs of water in a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (a double boiler), then remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar.
- Dip each cake square in the chocolate mixture, then toss in the coconut until completely covered. Set on a wire rack to firm up for a bit and then enjoy!