After learning that my dearest had never even seen a lamington, let alone tasted one (he’s foreign), they’ve been on my mind. Specifically, I realised that, although I’ve eaten and enjoyed lamingtons, I’ve never made any. I decided, therefore, to try making some for my birthday afternoon tea this weekend (particularly as they apparently freeze well and therefore could be made in advance).
First step in making lamingtons is, of course, a sponge. For my recipe I chose the genoese sponge recipe in Stephanie Alexander’s ‘The Cook’s Companion’ (page 429), which is the first recipe I’ve actually tried out of this book (it’s a lovely book though).
60 gm of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Select a 20cm x 28 cm lamington tin or a 24cm x 5 cm deep round cake tin and brush with some of the melted butter. Dust with plain flour and tap to dislodge excess. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Beat eggs and sugar with an elextric mixer (I used my electric whisk!) until thick and mousse like – this will take about 10 minutes. Sift 150g flour over the eggs and fold in thoroughly but lightly with a large metal spoon. Trickle cooled melted butter down the sides of the bowl and fold in. Pour into tin and bake for 15 – 18 minutes until top of cake feels springy to the touch (but do not open the oven before the 15 minutes has lapsed). Allow cake to cool for a few minutes in tin, then turn out onto a clean tea towel and leave until completely cold.
Now I actually used a 40 cm x 27 cm tin. This was because I really wanted to make mini lamingtons and I wanted to have jam in the middle. Apparently a true lamington should not have jam in the middle. However, I have said fie! to that and sandwiched my sponge around dark cherry jam (not traditional rasberry, but I like it and I had it in the fridge – cos I like it 😉
Because of my tin, my sponge was longer and thinner. I was a bit worried about the cooking time, but after 15 and a bit minutes it was golden and springy as described. I also worried about the buttering and flouring of the tin – which mostly worked, but the sponge did stick in a couple of the corners. Next time I’d probably put baking paper on the bottom at least.
I was impressed from the start that the cake’s sponginess came from the beaten eggs alone – and it is spongy. However, I only noticed that the cake didn’t have any ‘flavoring’ (vanilla for instance) until I was pouring it into the tin. The cake is still lovely and sweet, however – very reminiscent of sponge fingers. The sponge is now sitting in the freezer before icing and coconut-ing on the weekend – expect more pictures then!