Don’t you love cooking magazines? Every time I go to the grocery store and I’m wandering the aisles for ingredients I have to pass by the magazine rack and flip through the foodie magazines there. One of my favorite things about having a food blog is that it’s a little like writing a food magazine. Of course, I wish I had a professional food stylist, photographer, publishing team and dishwasher- but you know- I enjoy a challenge. 😉
A few years ago I found a bundle really inexpensive copies of The Baking Sheet. The Baking Sheet is a publicatoin put out by one of my absolute favorite companies, King Arthur Flour. I don’t think I’ve ever tried one of their recipes and ended up disappointed. The Baking Sheet is definitely a help when you’re stuck in a rut and need inspiration. It’s full of unique recipes, ideas and examples of successful dishes from their test kitchen.
So yes- I was devouring one of their subscriptions, I think it was a spring subscription, and I found a recipe for something called Lamingtons. I had never heard of Lamingtons, but I was intrigued. The ingredients reminded me of a sophisticated and classy Raspberry Zinger. But not that squishy and limp tube you unwrap from plastic, more like a dainty little plate teaser served at a royal tea party.
These Lamingtons had me hooked. Where did they come from? How were they made traditionally? If I tweak the recipe would it be disaster? So I did a little online investigating. I so enjoy learning about food; I could do it for days at a time.
Lamingtongs are an Australian dessert that is usually coasted in thin chocolate icing and sometimes filled with jam or cream. There are times when raspberry or lemon coating is used instead of chocolate. Apparently the little cakes were named after Lord Lamington who was the governor of Queensland in the late 1800s. Or maybe it was named after his wife Lady Lamington since he is known to have calledthe dessert “those bloody poofy woolly biscuits”
Okay, okay Mr. Aussie Baron- maybe it’s more of a dainty lady dish. Well, do a double take because my Lord Nifty Spoon ate three of these after dinner last night and there were three repetitions of “these are SO good!” Take that Poofy Biscuit Governor.
The original Baking Sheet recipe was definitely inspiring and looked delicious, but wow, it was a little out there. It called for whipping lots of egg whites separately, 2/3 cup of coconut milk powder (what is that?), lots of whipping and tons of baking powder to counteract over a stick of butter and the heavy fat that comes with it. With the task of cutting, freezing, dipping, rolling, and filling ahead of me I wanted the cake to come together easily and flawlessly.
In addition, the raspberry coating was cooked with fresh raspberries, strained and thickened. I wanted something a little more simple and used raspberry gelatin to give it more of a child like Raspberry Zinger-like taste and cut down the prep time. Last change was the addition of a sweet cream filling. It just needed it.
The result was perfect. Raspberry and Coconut perfection. How many versions of perfect can you use? Little light sponge cakes, soaked in raspberry to keep it moist, rolled in sweet fluffy coconut and filled with cream. I demand a re-taste, Lord Lamington!
- 1½ cup cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup softened butter, divided
- 1½ cup white sugar, divided
- 1½ teaspoon coconut extract, divided
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk, divided
- 8 ounces raspberry gelatin
- 2 cups dessicated coconut
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup marshmellow creme
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl beat together ½ cup of softened butter and ¾ cup of sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat very well between each one until it is light and fluffy. Add 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of coconut extract and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl sift together 1½ cups of cake flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add the dry ingredients in two parts with ½ cup of milk to the butter mixture. Beat together, but do not overmix.
- Pour into a 9x13 greased cake pan and bake for 22 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched. Cool slightly and turn out onto wax paper. Let cool completely and then cut off the edges and cut into 2 inch squares. Place on a baking sheet and place in the freezer to firm.
- For the coating, boil one cup of water and mix with the raspberry gelatin until it is dissolved. Place in the fridge for about 45 minutes to let it jelly a little.
- Make the cream filling: measure ½ cup of milk and 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour into a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, whisking continually until it is thick like a paste. Place in the fridge until it is needed. In a mixing bowl whip the whipping cream until hard peaks, transfer to a small bowl and wipe out the mixing bowl.
- Add ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of softened butter. Whip on high until light and fluffy. Add the flour and milk paste to the butter and beat on high until the sugar is no longer grainy. Fold in the marshmallow creme and whipped cream.
- Place dessicated coconut and ¼ cup of sugar in a shallow dish and stir together.
- Dip each sponge cake in the gelatin and roll immediately in dessicated coconut. If possible, place the cakes in the fridge for an hour to set.
- Cut each cake ¾ of the way through and fill with the cream filling.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for a week.