A wonderful combination of the rich, moist Latin American sponge cake soaked in ‘three milks’ and the classic Australian lamington, this version also has the added bonus of caramel. The humble lamington will never be the same!
- 400 g (4½ cups) flaked coconut, toasted (See Baker's tips), to coat
- 250 g butter, cubed
- 250 ml (1 cup) full-cream milk
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 330 g (1½ cups) caster sugar
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 150 g (1 cup) self-raising flour
- 395 g tin sweetened condensed milk
- 150 ml evaporated milk
- 250 ml (1 cup) thin (pouring) cream
- 625 g (5 cups) pure icing sugar
- 75 g (⅔ cup) cocoa powder
- 200 ml boiling water
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
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.
Cooling time 40 mintues
Chilling time 3 hours or overnight
To make the milk mixture, put the sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring and scraping the sides frequently as it browns, or until it reaches a mid caramel colour (don’t worry about the speckled appearance as it will even when the other creams are added). Stir in the evaporated milk over medium heat for a further 10 minutes or until the caramel dissolves. Stir through the cream and then strain the mixture through a sieve. Set aside.
To make the sponge cake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20 x 30 cm (base measurement) shallow cake tin and line the base and two longs sides with one piece of baking paper.
Place the milk and the butter in a clean small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggs on high speed until combined. Gradually add the sugar, about ¼ cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk on high for a further 4 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the butter and milk mixture, whisking until incorporated. Sift together the plain and self-raising flours. Add to the egg mixture in three separate batches, whisking on low speed between each addition until just combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl when necessary to make sure all the flour is incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared tin and gently tap it on the bench three times to remove any excess air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until firm when touched in the centre and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Just before the sponge is ready, transfer the milk mixture back into a small clean saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until almost simmering. Transfer to a heatproof jug.
Remove the sponge from the oven and stand in the tin for 3 minutes before inverting onto a tray with a lip. Return the milk mixture to a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Strain through a sieve into a jug. Use a skewer to prick holes all over the surface of the cake. Pour the hot milk mixture evenly and slowly over the warm cake, allowing it to soak it up. Stand at room temperature until cool and then refrigerate, uncovered for 3 hours or overnight.
Transfer the sponge to a cutting board and trim the edges. Cut into twelve portions (about 6.5 x 7.5 cm each).
To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the boiling water and vanilla and stir until smooth (it should be the consistency of pouring cream).
Spread the coconut on a tray or plate. Rest a cake portion on a fork, dip into the chocolate icing and then spoon the icing over the top and sides to completely coat. Allow any extra icing to drip off. Roll the cake in the coconut to coat evenly. Place on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining cake portions, icing and coconut.
• If the icing becomes too thick while you are coating the cake pieces, stir in enough extra boiling water, adding it a teaspoon at a time, to thin to the right consistency.
• These lamingtons will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
For more lamington recipes, view our online column Bakeproof: Lamingtons.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Kristine Duran-Thiessen. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.