Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Lamingtons: Guest Post by Bobbi Mumm
Bobbi Mumm is a mystery and thriller writer in Saskatoon, Canada where she works half-time as an event planner at the University of Saskatchewan. Married to a nuclear physicist, she has four children.
A year ago, Bobbi completed her first novel, Cream with Your Coffin and is seeking a publishing home for the novel. Cream with Your Coffin was a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Almost finished her second novel, thriller De Rigueur Mortis, Bobbi spends much of her day immersed in 1954 Paris.
BOBBI MUMM: Lamingtons
Lamingtons, an Australian childhood favourite, are a delicious combination of chocolate, coconut and cake.
Why is a Canadian writing about Australian confections? Australia is about as far away from Canada as you can get. It’s because I’m married to an Aussie. The result of this blissful union is a few children who consider themselves half-Australian. And this year my daughter wanted Lamingtons for her birthday.
In Australia Lamingtons are used as lunchbox treats and, most often, as the feature of school fund-raising bake sales. I can only imagine that they have the status of rice crispy squares in North America. But perhaps something more because there is an Aussie national pride surrounding this sweet treat.
I first tried them - served on lovely china - at a ladies’ tea, hosted by an Australian friend.
Cake (from Betty Crocker’s Yellow Cake)
½ cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer until fluffy.
Beat in eggs.
On low speed, beat in flour in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Increase speed and mix for one minute, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Pour into 13" x 9" cake pan (greased and lined with waxed paper).
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto rack and cool completely.
Cut into 3” squares. For a ladies’ tea, cut smaller. Freeze squares, on rack, until completely frozen. The freezing step is important and one that I added (because in Canada we adore freezing). Otherwise you end up with a mess of crumbs in your icing.
4 cups sifted icing sugar
2/3 cup sifted cocoa
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup water (approximate)
Mix icing, adding water slowly, until it is retains a slight thickness but is quite runny. You can adjust as you experiment. The icing should drip off the squares for a few seconds.
4-6 cups unsweetened shredded dried coconut (in a separate bowl)
Place a baking rack on top of a cookie sheet (to catch drips).
Taking no more than four or five squares from the freezer at a time, dip one square into icing mixture, making sure that all sides are coated.
Dip square into coconut, so that all surfaces are covered.
Place on rack to harden.
Repeat until all squares are done. If icing mixture thickens as you work, mix in a teaspoon of water at a time.
Note: Your fingers will get very messy with this process.
Lamingtons, once prepared, can be stored in a sealed container for up to three days. I’ve also frozen them, with no ill effects. Makes 16 Lamingtons.