SATURDAY COOKING: MARBLED LAMINGTONS

Lamingtons are typically Australian: a cake (like a sponge), cut in squares and covered with chocolate icing and dipped in coconut.
I have wanted to try making them for ages. But it’s always hot on Australia Day and who wants to have the oven going then?
So I gave it a shot yesterday. This recipe is from The Australia Women’s Weekly “Comfort Food” cookbook. And it’s a bit different from your normal lamingtons: the base is a marble cake mix.
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I have to say, I was happy with the cake itself , but the icing was a bit of a let down.
I think it’s because I’m not used to eating icing (too sweet for me), but also because I stuffed it up! A bit of a disaster story really! I melted the butter in a plastic bowl over boiling water, ended up melting the plastic bowl too… So I transferred the butter in another bowl with the rest of the ingredients, including cold milk. The end result was grainy and not special. I’m trying to flog it to my neighbours, but no bite yet…and probably even less after reading this!
I will have to try again and maybe go on a lamington quest…
But here it is MARBLED LAMINGTONS.
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125g butter, softened
1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups (260g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups (160g) desiccated coconut

CHOCOLATE ICING
15g butter, chopped
4 cups (640g) icing (confectioners’) sugar
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder
3/4 cup (180ml) milk

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 23cm square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper, extending the paper 5cm over long sides.
    2. Beat butter, sugar and extract in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
    3. Stir in sifted flour and milk, in two batches. Spoon half the mixture into a medium bowl; stir in sifted cocoa (leave remaining mixture plain). Spoon mixtures alternatively into pan; using skewer, gently swirl mixtures together to create a marbled effect.
    4. Bake cake about 35 minutes. Stand cake in pan 10 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto a baking-paper-covered wire rack to cool.
    5. Make chocolate icing: melt butter in medium heatproof bowl over medium saucepan of simmering water. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into melted butter; stir in milk. Stir until icing is of a coating consistency.
    6. Cut cake into 25 squares; dip each square into chocolate icing, drain off excess. Toss squares in coconut. Place lamingtons on a wire rack to set.
    7. Eat!

Tips: To keep the coconut free of chocolate drips, spread out half the coconut in a tray and coat half the lamingtons before using the remaining coconut for the remaining lamingtons. This gives the lamingtons a clean look. Lamingtons can be frozen for up to 3 months.

My advice is to use a giant non-plastic bowl so all the ingredients will fit in (there is a huge amount of icing sugar) and keep the icing warm over simmering water. Or melt the butter, add to the dry ingredients and add boiling milk (or water like I have seen since in other recipes). Or better still, make a ganache (melt cream, add dark chocolate) for extra taste and flavour.

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