Lamingtons

 

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For those of you who don’t know, January 26th is Australia Day. This is the day where we celebrate all things Aussie and we’re very patriotic about our food, especially on Australia Day. With Vegemite on toast, (unfortunately not gluten free), meat pies, snags (sausages), lamb chops or prawns on the barbie (barbeque), all washed down with icy cold beers or a great Australian wine. And then there’s dessert, like pavlova or lamingtons. What could be more true-blue than a lamington?

Lamingtons are a very popular cake and (like everything else above) are eaten throughout the year. In Australia lamingtons are easily found in cafes, lunch bars (sandwich shops/deli), bakeries and supermarkets. These delicious cakes were named after Lord Lamington, who apparently referred to them as ‘those bloody poofy woolly biscuits’! While doing a little research about lamingtons I discovered July 21st is International Lamington Day. I’ll have to keep this date in mind and work on a new recipe, for a chocolate, raspberry or lemon flavoured lamington.

After coming back from holidays last weekend and with Australia Day fast approaching, I was hoping and had my fingers crossed that I would be able to perfect this recipe in time. I’m so glad I kept trying, because my persistence paid off. I am so pleased with the cake’s soft and light texture. However, the cake portions are still firm enough to be dipped and coated in the chocolate icing and then withstand tossing through the coconut without loosing their shape.

I thought I’d try freezing one, to see how it would defrost, and I am very happy to report back that it defrosted very well indeed. The texture of the cake was only slightly denser, but the chocolate coating was not soggy at all. I used St Dalfour strawberry jam, because it is 100% spreadable fruit and this French product is gluten free and low GI.

For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.

So we will be relaxing at our place, having a barbie and listening to the national radio station with Triple J’s Hottest 100 Countdown of 2014 (another Australia Day tradition). I wish you and your family a very happy and safe Australia Day!

Update: One of my biggest anxieties is publishing a recipe and then realising after the fact that there is a mistake in it. I have found a mistake in this recipe, I know this because I made a double batch of this recipe today and it failed. I realised the measurement for the xanthan gum was incorrect and it has now been changed from ½ a teaspoon to a ¼ teaspoon. I remade the recipe with the right amount of xanthan gum, and had success. I do sincerely apologise.

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Makes 6 generous sized cakes

Ingredients
Butter Cake
144g (5.1 ounces or ¾ cup) golden/raw caster sugar
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) brown rice flour
44g (1.6 ounces or ⅓ cup) white rice flour
60g (2.2 ounces or ⅓ cup) potato starch
24g (0.8 ounces or 3 tablespoons) tapioca starch
2½ teaspoons (12½ml) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) xanthan gum
126g (4.4 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) gluten and dairy free butter
90ml (6 tablespoons) dairy free milk of choice, at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Jam Filling
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon (32.5ml) strawberry jam
Chocolate Icing
324g (11.4 ounces or 3 cups) pure icing sugar
30g (1.1 ounces or ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
115ml (7 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons) boiling water
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
Coconut Topping
144g (5.1 ounces or 1½ cups) fine desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a 20cm X 30cm (8 X 12 inch) shallow cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper or parchment. Lightly brush the base with melted gluten and dairy free butter.

To make the butter cake, sift together all the dry ingredients before adding to a stand mixer, or tip the flours into a large bowl and use a handheld mixer. Next, add the butter, milk, vanilla and eggs and beat on a low speed until combined. There will be small flecks of butter, but that’s ok.

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Once combined, turn the speed up to medium and beat for 3 minutes, so the mixture is smooth in texture. It is very important not to beat at a too higher speed or for too long; otherwise you will end up with a dense butter cake.

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Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and, using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the mixture evenly into the tin. Lightly tap the tin on the bench a few times to release any air bubbles.

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Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked (when tested with a skewer), it will be lovely and golden in colour. Allow it to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out of the tin onto a tray. Remove the baking paper/parchment and then invert onto a cooling rack, crust—side up. Allow the cake to cool completely.

Transfer the cooled cake to a chopping board and trim the edges with a serrated knife. I find using a plastic ruler very useful to make clean straight lines. I have one in my utensil draw, which is only used for baking purposes.

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Cut the cake in half and spread one half with the jam on it, stopping just before the edge. Now top with the remaining half of the cake.

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Now cut the layered cake into 6 even portions.

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To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together into a medium bowl. Add the boiling water and vanilla, mix together until you have a smooth icing. I find using a small whisk instead of a spoon is more effective in removing the lumps. The icing should be the consistency of pouring cream.

Spread the coconut on a tray or shallow bowl.

Rest a cake portion on a fork, dip it into the chocolate icing and then spoon the icing over the top and sides to completely coat the cake, allowing any extra icing to drip off.

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Now roll the cake in the coconut to coat evenly.

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Place on a wire rack and then repeat the same method with the remaining cake portions.

Keep in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. They will need to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse

Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.

Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8

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