Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A for Australia

Just in time for Australia Day - well, maybe just a few days after - I've decided to start on River's 'Eat the World' challenge with that old Aussie favourite - Lamingtons.

Just to digress briefly, back when I regularly watched 'Neighbours' - an infamous Australian Soap opera - on BBC1 as a child, I remember hearing them discuss these little cakes and thinking they were called 'lemmingtons' which struck me as very odd, calling a chocolate-iced coconut rolled sponge after a rodent supposedly pre-disposed towards mass suicide off clifftops. 'Those crazy Aussies!' I thought, shrugging it off until years later when I googled it spontaneously and found I'd got it completely wrong and those tricksy Melbourne accents had thrown me off the scent!
Anyhow, the lamington is a plain sponge square dipped in chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut. You can have it as a whole sponge or split and sandwiched with cream before it's dipped in the icing. There are also regional variations on the filling - the aussies like a lemon filling while the kiwis favour strawberry jam. So being lazy yet intrigued by the variations, I decided to use strawberry yogurt as the egg replacer in my vanilla sponge and then proceed as if I were just making these soft little mouthfuls of sponge goodness plain. Plus the chocolate icing sounded like too much work and too much sugar too so I just melted a ton of chocolate instead...

Firstly, I baked the sponge. I used the recipe for vanilla cake in 'How It All Vegan!' with the aforementioned strawberry substitution - I doubled-up the recipe and then used a single serving carton of Asda's strawberry soya yogurt and that seemed to work out just fine. I baked the sponges in square pans in the morning and let them cool thoroughly before enlisting my little larakin to assist with the messy bit - dipping and rolling!

I melted seven - yes, seven! - 100g bars of dark chocolate with a tablespoon of Pure soya margarine in a saucepan and then we took turns dipping small squares of the sponge cake into the pan until we were thoroughly covered.

Immediately we rolled them in desiccated coconut I had out on a plate before transferring to a wire rack to cool. The idea is the chocolate soaks into the sponge and once it dries and hardens you get that irresistible combination of hard chocolate, chewy coconut with slightly sticky, moist sponge. Oh, yum!!!

Was it any good? I'd have to say a resounding 'yes!' thanks to the combination of textures and flavours. Plus, for any mums out there it's a really easy activity to do with small children which gives them the satisfaction of getting good and messy whilst at the same time transforming something plain into something really quite fancy looking. I'm sending a batch in to work with Skint Vegan Dad and we'll just have to work our way through the rest, I suppose... (n_n)
To all my Antipodean friends out there, Happy (belated) Australia Day!


  1. How funny ~ I used to watch Neighbours and wonder what 'Lemmingtons' were too! I always thought they were lemon flavoured! LOL!

    Your lamingtons look great, and the kids clearly loved getting their hands dirty and helping out. What fun! :-D

    I must give these a try soon.

    I really look forwards to reading further E.A.T World posts.

  2. They were DEFINITELY saying 'Lemmington', weren't they? I thought they were lemon-flavoured too but I think it's the filling that's lemony. They taste mighty-fine, anyhow!

  3. YAY! Welcome aboard, DJ! I'm so glad you joined E.A.T World, and I hope you have lots of fun with it!

    Your soft little mouthfuls of sponge goodness look so yummy! How fun it must have been to make them with the kids! I love lamingtons, they are such a simple concept and so very delicious. They are totally worth the sticky chocolate hands! :-D

    This was an awesome post to kick off your E.A.T World adventures! You have no idea how badly I want to lick that chocolate coated fork! :-P

  4. They look yum and I'm storing the idea away for next time we have our Aussie friends over for dinner.

  5. Those sound great! I may have to consider this E.A.T. World extravaganza, sounds like fun.

  6. Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for an award on my blog :)

  7. My mouth lirerally watered when I read this! Damn you, girl! I have to lose weight!!!
    They look so good and I love hardened chocolate round soft innards.... Oh... I'll have to go and take a cold shower to get rid of these chocolate cravings!

  8. Hahaha! I love that picture of the chocolate dunked hands, honestly, that looks like me after a day in the kitchen. These look fantastic, and simple, too!

  9. Wow. When I can afford the airfare, I will be right over for this and a spot of tea. Oh my, these look divine.

  10. You celebrated in more style than I did, that's for sure - they look great, and I'm reminded that I still haven't made any myself!

  11. wow these look yummy,can't wait for little angel and me to get all chocolatey!!!!I always thought they were lemon too xx


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