I confess that for years I have failed to understand the appeal of lamingtons. Lamingtons (popular in New Zealand and Australia) are pieces of sponge cake, dipped in jelly (or chocolate), coated in coconut and topped with whipped cream and raspberry jam.
It so happens that my experience of them has always involved those that arrived at morning teas on black plastic trays with transparent plastic covers. Yes, you get the picture - they were shop-bought.
Now that old-fashioned baking is trending as retro, home-made (or café-made) lamingtons are popping up everywhere and I’m beginning to understand. In their purest form, they are transformed into something lighter, fresher and tastier. Less stodge, more delicate. I found myself thinking these actually taste quite good. So finally, I made some myself.
I'm not going to say I'm a complete convert but I am no longer avoiding them, so long as I know they are homemade. And they are such pretty little things with their pink, sprinkly coats topped with whipped cream and jam.
Sponge115g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Jelly1 packet raspberry jelly crystals
1 1/4 cups boiling water
Toppings2 cups desiccated coconut
¾ to 1 cup cream, lightly whipped
1/3 cup raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
For the sponge, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
Combine the flour with the baking powder and combine the milk with the vanilla. Add the flour mix and the liquid mix alternatively into the creamed mixture.
Spread into the lined tin and bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes. Leave to cool. Once the sponge is cold, cut into squares.
Make the jelly according to packet instructions (I used jelly crystals) and set it partially until it is the consistency of egg whites.
When the jelly is about the right consistency, freeze the squares for about 15 minutes (this will stop them getting all crumbly when you dip them in the jelly).
Dip each square evenly into the jelly, then dip in the coconut and leave to set.
When ready to serve, make a score across the top of the squares with a knife and spoon or pipe in a good dollop of whipped cream. Dot with a teaspoon of raspberry jam.