Sunday, January 24, 2010

Re-Inventing the Lamington - Wattle Lamingtons

This month, Mr P of DeliciousDeliciousDelicious is celebrating that Australian icon, the lamington, spurred on by the uninspiring lamingtons that Mr P sampled while on a trip to the fair city of Melbourne. Mr P has laid down the gauntlet and challenged us to re-invent the lamington. The highly sought after prize for the best lamington re-invention is Welsh; namely, a dragon shaped cookie cutter.

Mr P himself has come up with some fabulous variations on the lamington, which you can check out on his blog; in fact, since 16 January, he has been posting a different lamington recipe every day. Cherry Ripe lovers, check out his
Cherry Ripe lamingtons from Day One!

After spotting this competition on
IMBB, I knew I had to participate - after all, the lamington is an Aussie icon!

My entry in the great Re-inventing the Lamington competition is inspired by
Australia's floral emblem - the golden wattle. Fluffy, golden wattle flowers are found in clusters amid silvery green leaves on wattle trees, which you can view in all their glory here. The wattle has inspired poetry, prose and art, having more than a just a symbolic influence on our national psyche. I can remember many delightful Sunday drives in the country as a child, with beautiful wattle trees in full bloom lining the sides of the road.

I wanted my wattle lamingtons to both look and taste like wattle. For the taste aspect, I infused the cake component with ground wattle seed (which incidentally has a flavour reminiscent of coffee):

For the look of the wattle, I combined the fluffy coconut covering normally found on lamingtons with lemon jelly (Aeroplane brand, of course!):

After all, raspberry lamingtons (coated with raspberry jelly) are common in Australia, so why not lamingtons coated with lemon jelly?

The tricky aspect of the wattle lamingtons was the shape. I tried two different techniques. The first involved sandwiching two patty-cake sized sponge cakes together with lemon curd:

The second involved cutting out rounds of sponge:

and sandwiching those together with lemon curd:

From a visual perspective, my original patty-cake idea was more visually accurate, while the larger rounds gave fluffier lamingtons of a more regular size.

The wattle seed infused sponge cakes sandwiched with lemon curd were then coated in lemon jelly:

and rolled in yellow tinted dessicated coconut:

And voila - wattle lamingtons!

My base recipe came from The Australian Women's Weekly Bake, and is as follows:

6 eggs

150g caster sugar
50g cornflour
75g plain flour

1/3 cup self-raising flour

For wattle lamingtons (my additions to the base recipe):

2 teaspoons ground wattle seed
1 packet lemon jelly crystals
2 cups dessicated coconut
yellow liquid food colouring

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. For normal sized lamingtons, grease a 20cm x 30cm baking pan; for the small round lamingtons, also grease 2 x 12 hole patty cake tins. (Make sure you grease your tins well, as the sponge has a tendency to stick.)

Beat the eggs in an electric stand mixer until thick and fluffy. Beat in the sugar in 2-3 increments.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, and carefully fold the sifted flours and wattle seed into the beaten egg mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin (if making patty cakes, only spoon in about 1-2 teaspoons of mixture per hole), and bake in the pre-heated oven until cooked through (~15 minutes for the patty cakes; ~30 minutes for the large cake). Turn the cooked cakes out onto wire racks lined with baking paper to cool.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the jelly coating by making up the lemon jelly as stated on the packet, and refrigerating for 45 minutes or until the jelly has formed a slurry (ie not still watery, but not yet properly set).

Cut out 3cm rounds of cooled cake (if using the large cake). Sandwich pairs of patty cakes or cake rounds together with lemon curd (I used
Stephanie Alexander's recipe to make mine).

Dip the sandwiched cakes into the lemon jelly slurry, so that the outside of the cakes is coated thoroughly, then toss the cakes in dessicated coconut that has been tinted yellow. (To tint the coconut, place 2 cups of it into a plastic freezer bag, add 3-4 drops of liquid yellow food colouring, and rub the coconut around in the bag until a yellow shade is achieved.) Chill the lamingtons to set the jelly coating, and remove from the fridge around 15 minutes prior to serving.
Thanks to Mr P for hosting this fun event! Can't wait to see all the other lamington variations - I have enjoyed those that I have seen so far very much.

If you have a yen to reinvent the lamington, you have until 12:00 GMT on Australia Day, 26 January to get your entry in.


Trissa said...

Great way to reinvent a classic treat! I've never even tried wattle - is that mainly used for sweets or even savouries?

Finla said...

I am sure learning about lots of Aussie sweets from this event.

Jennifer said...

I've never heard of Lamingtons until now-whjat an interesting flower-the ground seed sounds like it would be delicious in anything!

I love the look of these!!!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe greta minds really think alike! I did lamingtons for a story tomorrow :D Yours look fantastic!

Gloria Baker said...

Cakelaw this look absolutely wonderful! nice recipe!! gloria

Anonymous said...

Nice job! Your lamingtons look like the wattle, and how neat that you also incorporated wattle seed into the recipe!

I haven't heard of lamingtons or wattles, so this is all very exotic to me :)

Ivy said...

I never hear of lamingtons before but your idea was great and they must taste great with the wattle seeds.

Mr. P said...

I just want to say that I am blown away by these. I think that of all the lamingtons I have seen through this competition, this is probably the coolest inspiration. I love the thought process!

Also - major respect to you for the step by step. I know you must have a sticky camera now!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Trissa, I think that the wattle seed could be used in sweet or savoury, although most recipes that I have seen it used in are sweet.

Hi Happy Cook, I am lovoing all the inspired variations on the lamington that are emerging.

Thanks Jennifer!

Hi Lorraine, thanks - and I love your lamingtonmisu.

Thanks Gloria.

Hi Jill, LOL - I have learnt such a lot through food blogging, so I'm glad that I cann also pass some new ideas on.

Hi Ivy, they taste mildly coffee-flavoured by themselves, but the jelly and lemon curd disguises it a bit.

Thanks Mr P - and thanks for hosting this event - I think it is inspired!

SilverMoon Dragon said...


I made wattleseed damper some time ago, and it went very nicely with maple syrup, so I could see the wattle and lemon working too.

It's somewhat fortunate you aren't in Melbourne any more... I think I'd have to come and pinch some of these, or at least do a lamington swap with you.

I'm running a bit behind schedule though... my lamington post isn't going up until after I get home tomorrow :(

Brenda said...

What a fantastic idea!!! Go you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

This was a really clever way of making lamingtons. I have got to try this. I've never actually had one before but i've been seeing them all over the internet recently, so now I totally want one ;)
*kisses* HH

The Caked Crusader said...

Keep meaning to make classic lamingtons- these look lovely too. I'm game for anything rolled in coconut!!!

astheroshe said...

WOW ..sooo pretty! and i am learning about something new? Wattleseed?.I love it!

Johanna GGG said...

what a creative combination - now it would be interesting to find a lemon myrtle jelly but maybe I am just dreaming of such things - must check out this site - though I am rather fond of plain old choccy lamingtons with jam insie

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Anoter fabulous Australian classic. Australia Day is tomorrow so happy holiday!!!

The Blonde Duck said...

I am so intrigued...

Cakelaw said...

Hi Dragon, I'll look out for your lamingtons - I am lovin' this event.

Thanks Bren!

Hi HH, you can buy them at the Australia shop - but they are really, really easy to make, and I know that homemade would taste better.

Hi Crusader, I agree - coconut makes things look pretty and gives them such a wonderful smell.

Thanks Astheroshe.

Hi Johanna, yes, a lemon myrtle jelly would have been perfect and in keeping with the theme - unfortunately I could not find such a thing :(

Thanks Val!

LOL Duckie!

Dharm said...

I love Lamingtons and while as a student in Melbourne would often go to the local milk bar to buy some fresh lamingtons! My son loves lamingtons too. I made a batch some years back but could never get the choc icing as nice as I used to have them in Oz. Still, they were pretty good. These white lamingtons look rather tasty too although I would vote for the Chocolate Lammies anyday!

adele said...

Typically, I can't stand lamingtons - stale sponge cake, ugh - but these sound great!

Mae said...

Wattle seeds are a brilliant idea! I'm loving it!

margot said...

I've never had a lamington and I've been seeing them pop up quite a bit. I'll have to give them a try one day, they look delicious.

Coby said...

I think this just may be more Aussie than the original! I love your theme (I adore the way the wattles brighten up winter:)) and the fact you were able to pull it off so that you ended up with very wattley looking Lamingtons! Really well done:D

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

These are great. I keep meaning to use more Aus ingredients in my cooking at home, but haven't seemed to have gotten around to it yet. Well, apart from eating lots of roo, but that's not exactly groundbreaking. Excellent lamingtons!