Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lamingtons

Last week we had a few unexpected snow days, which was three more than I wanted as it resulted in a 7 day school vacation - they were already scheduled to have two days off this week.  At times it has felt more like a 7 month vacation, but we are working our way through this unexpected holiday.  When I first heard Wednesday was going to be a snow day I quickly began searching the Internet for ideas, after a little bit of searching I learned  January 26th is Australia Day, so we decided to join in the celebration.  After spending some time reading about the history and geography of the country we colored the flag and hung them up.  Then it was on to the important business of making some authentic Australian cuisine.  My knowledge of Australian food is limited to the Vegemite sandwich - thanks to "Men at Work", sorry if that song is now stuck in your head, I have been singing it for a week now.  We ruled that out pretty quickly and decided to give Lamingtons a try instead and I am so glad we did - yummm!
The kids really enjoyed making these treats, they especially liked pouring on the chocolate and even though they don't like coconut they had fun rolling the cakes in it.
We did a very simple version, but after looking around the Internet it appears as if there are a lot of options, I think I would like to try them again with the addition of a jam filling.  If Lamingtons are a favorite in your family I would love to give your recipe a try, or if you have another authentic Australian dish please share, or if you have a favorite family recipe that is authentic to another country, share that - just share I would love some new ideas!
                               
Lamingtons

Cake:
2 c. All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 c. Butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Icing:
1/2 c. Milk
2 c. Confectioners Sugar 
1/3 c. Cocoa Powder
3 Tbs. Butter
1/2 c. Milk

Preheat oven 350, prepare 8 inch square pan
For the cake:
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and sugar, mix until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla, mix until combined. Using a spatula alternately fold in the flour and milk, in three additions starting and ending with the flour.  Do not over mix, with each addition fold until just combined.  Spread the batter in prepared pan, bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tests clean.  Cool cake in pan for about 5 minutes then invert onto wire rack and cool.  Cut into desired size pieces and place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.  

Icing:
Place the confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Stir the mixture until smooth and thick.  Do not continue to cook to long as the mixture will get too thin.  Place chilled cake on wire rack over a try.  Quickly coat the cakes on all sides in the chocolate they gently roll in coconut.

Enjoy!