The last time I made lamingtons I was about eight, and I remember my brother dipping the squares bravely into the hot chcolate sauce, before I rolled them in coconut. I have always loved them, but it always seemed a bit finicky to make them, plus who wants burnt fingers? Making these lamingtons taught me that they're not so finicky, and you won't burn your fingers – you can either use tongs, or what I did, wait until the icing sauce is warm, not boiling hot.
The recipe I used comes from Kershni Naidoo, a contestant in The Great South African Bake Off, which started last night, Tuesday 17 October at 8pm on BBC Lifestyle (channel 174) on DStv. It's the third season, and it features contestants being judged for their cake-baking, pastry-making, bread-making and patisserie skills.
It's a reality show without bitchiness, and it's highly watchable and entertaining for the interesting baking (classics with a twist), exciting challenges, the hosts' personalities, and great judge feedback. Apparently, during series two, the show got more than two million viewers and was the number one channel in its competitor set on DStv’s platform (you can folow the show on Twitter and Facebook
While you'll unlikely ever find me on a baking reality show, I love doing it, and it's especially great fun when my son joins me. We started a few years ago when he was a toddler, and even though his contribution was to lick the bowl, or help me mix, it was a good introduction to baking.
Nowadays he helps crack eggs, does the measurements and pouring, and helps time down until our stuff is ready. Granted, I sometimes turn to ready mixes more often than not, but the results are good, the fun is had, the twists are added (have you tried pieces of Bar One in the middle of your muffins?), and cupcakes are sometimes for breakfast.
For these lamingtons though, we made them from scratch, and they were sensational, and the recipe now sits in my favourites section in my recipe file (I have sections such as "favourites", "nice-to-haves", and "want to try").
ALMOND AND COFFEE LAMINGTONS
Preheat oven 180C
Grease and line square muffin tins
Cream butter and sugar
Beat in eggs and almond essence
Fold in dry ingredients with milk
Pour batter into tin
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes
Remove from oven and cool in fridge
Cut into squares
Dipping icing method
Heat water and butter
Add sifted dry ingredients
Mix until dissolved
Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes
Keep warm until needed
Whip cream with almond essence until firm to pipe
Put in piping bag with star piping tip
Dip squares in icing
Roll in coconut
Cut in half, horizontally
Pipe cream in the middle and sandwich
Set in fridge
- I baked my lamingtons for almost half an hour in a gas oven (check that 15-20 minutes is enough for you)
- If you don't want the coffee in the icing, you can omit it
- I didn't pipe cream into the lamington sandwich, but rather I took a knife and spread it over. I was looking for a quicker method, and I'm not skilled at pretty decorating.
- I used a square baking tin that I use for brownies, and it was perfect
- Watch that kids don't dip their fingers or get burnt by the hot icing. If they insist on dipping the squares into the chocolate, just make sure it's not too hot
- Next time I'm going to cut the lamingtons into triangles for something a bit different!
- The cream is a great addition, but these lamingtons are still sensational without it (I did half half with my batch)
- If you're not a fan of an almond flavour, you can omit it