The CWA is, of course, the Country Women's Association – one of the great bastions of Australian country life, its members so adept in the kitchen, they've put out a best-selling cookbook full of tried-and-true recipes. Sponge cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut, lamingtons are perhaps the definitive Australian cake, possibly developed as a means to use up stale cake. Mrs Joyce Pascoe's recipe is legend across the central western area of New South Wales, amongst the local country women gathering for afternoon tea and the shearers on her husband's 1000 acre property "Loloma" stopping for a 'smoko'. She's thrown away the heavy buttercake recipe that's normally the basis for lamingtons and opted for a much lighter sponge. Lamingtons freeze beautifully.
- 3 eggs
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 125 g Fielders cornflour (wheaten cornflour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 125 g butter
- 200 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp butter
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- boiling water
- fresh dessicated coconut
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Beat eggs until frothy - this recipe is much easier if you use an electric mixer. Add the sugar slowly, continuing to beat the mixture. Add vanilla essence.
Sift flour and baking powder three times. Add to egg mixture then add the butter, which has been melted and just brought to the boil.
Pour the mixture into a greased, lined 27 cm x 20 cm lamington tray.
Bake in a 180C oven for 20-25 minutes.
Turn out and cool on a wire rack (see note)
To make icing, combine icing sugar, cocoa and butter together in an enamel bowl, adding a little boiling water to make mixture runny. Stand over bowl of boiling water to keep icing mixture liquid.
Cut cake into 5 cm squares, skewer each with a fork and with a knife coat with icing mixture. Roll in coconut, coating evenly. Sit on waxed paper to dry.
Serve on large platters on paper doilies.
A teatowel over the rack stops marking. Also, put cooled cake into freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting - it makes slicing so much easier.