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Ode to Oz Day

We spent this Australia Day hanging out at home, then had friends over for a last minute very casual BBQ. The kids jumped on the trampoline, got soaking wet playing under the hose, then helped ice the cake.
Of course I felt had to do something Australiana, and being fresh out of glamorous billycans, cork swaggy hats and Aussie flag stubbie holders (shame really); the humble Lamington came to mind.
I LOVE Lamos but the thought of the fiddlyness involved making them from scratch – cutting the cake into wonky squares then stabbing each one with a fondue stick, drowning it in goop before fishing it out seconds later, only to have it crumble into a gobby mess when rolled it in the coconut – left me realising why “normal” people just buy them from the Cake Shop.
Well, I mightn’t be “normal”, but I’m not totally insane, so I found this simple but delicious Lamington Cake recipe on Taste.
My Ode to Oz Day.
The sponge cakey bit is light as a feather and the chocolate ganache truely decadent and rich. The recipe is quick and easy peasy; my Toddler even helped. It would probably look much prettier if you used shredded coconut rather than desciccated as I did, but that’s all I had in the cupboard so it’s what I used.
The perfect end to a lazy Australia Day.
Although its so good, you might want to make it all through the year too!
Here’s the recipe…
 Ingredients (serves 8 piggie people)
190g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla-bean paste or vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 1/3 cups (350g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup (250ml) milk
220g dark chocolate
1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
1 cup desiccated or shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20cm-square cake pan. Process butter and sugar in a processor for 2 minutes until light. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, pulsing after each until just combined. In 3 alternating batches, add flour and milk, pulsing to combine.
Pour into pan and bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, stir chocolate, cream and remaining vanilla in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until smooth (don’t let the bowl touch water). Chill for 20 minutes to thicken (I put mine in the freezer to save time).
Spread this icing over the cake (use a palette knife its much easier!), then sprinkle top and sides with coconut.
Great tip I saw on Donna Hay place strips of baking paper underneath your cake whilst decorating, then slip them out when you’re finished. It leaves the plate squeaky clean and professional looking!

What are your favorite Aussie foods??

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