Right from the start of this blog I knew that there was going to be the occasional "off-script" posts. That is, posts that have nothing to do with delicious. magazine (at least not with the next issue in line). The discovery of the blog Delicious Delicious Delicious and the Re-inventing the Lamington challenge was actually the second push to starting a blog of my own. The chance to win a cookie cutter in the shape of the Welsh dragon was just too much to resist and I just had to post a contribution.
The challenge was to come up with a variation of the quintessentially Australian lamington. The little squarish blocks of sponge cake coated in chocolate icing and then rolled in dessicated coconut. I love a good lamington but they can be hard to come by. Most of the time ones that are bought in shops are dry and/or tasteless as the cake has been made from some sort of packet mix or they have been sitting on the shelves so long that the cake is stale. You will have better luck purchasing at markets, fetes and stalls as they are usually homemade with fresh ingredients. There is also the lamington drive, in which lamingtons are sold (usually in half-dozen packs) for fundraising. This is normally done by primary schools, girl guides and scouts with the lamingtons being homemade, at least in the country areas.
I am sure there are plenty of variations that could be done however Australians already have their own popular variation, the Jelly Cake. A jelly cake is a basically a lamington except instead of being coated in chocolate icing the cake is dipped in partially set jelly prior to rolling in coconut. Normally a red (raspberry, strawberry or cherry) jelly is used which adds a lovely pink tinge to the coconut.
I decided to go with jelly cakes for my entry. However since the prize is a cookie cutter I decided that instead of the usual squarish blocks of cake I would cut the cake with my Australian cookie cutters.
I made the cake last night with some lovely free-range eggs that were just a gorgeous rich yellow colour that frothed up beautifully and produced a lovely sponge perfect for turning into my Aussie shaped jelly cakes.
This morning I made up the raspberry jelly and while it was chilling in the fridge until it was starting to jell, I put the cake in the freezer to firm up a bit to make it easier to use the cookie cutters on. I took the cake out after 30 minutes but I think that it would have been better if I had left it a bit longer. I didn't have too much trouble cutting the shapes out but some of the cake didn't lift off the baking paper properly. A bit of caster sugar on the paper before turning out would have helped with this I think.
When the jelly was ready I poured some shredded coconut (I prefer it to dessicated) into a bowl ready to go and got started. I hadn't counted on how much the jelly would soften things like the legs and tails of the animal shapes and they didn't hold up as well as I had hoped but the Australia shaped ones worked beautifully. Once they were coated in jelly and coconut I left them for the jelly to dry out a bit before attempt to move them again.
The recipe I used came from the Australian Women's Weekly Kitchen cookbook.
- 6 eggs
- 150 g caster sugar
- 50 g cornflour
- 75 g plain flour
- 50 g self-raising flour
- Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm x 30 cm lamington pan , line with baking paper, extending paper 5 cm over long sides.
- Beat eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer about 10 minutes or until thick and creamy; gradually beat in sugar, dissolving between additions. Fold in triple-sifted flour.
- Spread mixture into pan; bake about 35 minutes. Turn cake immediately onto a baking paper-covered wire rack to cool.
Just perfect for Australia Day.