To make icing easier, you can also freeze your sponge for 20 minutes to help it firm up before dipping it in the icing.
The secret to a great lamington: make your sponge a day ahead, or refrigerate it for a few hours.
- 4 eggs (see Note)
- ⅔ cup (150 g) caster sugar
- 1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour
- ¼ cup (35 g) cornflour
- 25 g chilled butter, chopped
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) boiling water
- 3 cups (216 g) shredded coconut, to assemble
- 200 ml boiling water
- 20 g cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup (150 g) caster sugar
- 260g dark chocolate (70%)
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.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan, then line base with baking paper.
- Beat the eggs very well in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light in colour. Gradually add the sugar; beat for about 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick. The mixture should form thick ribbons when the beaters are lifted.
- Meanwhile, sift the flour and cornflour together three times. Combine butter and boiling water in a small heatproof bowl.
- Transfer the egg mixture to a large bowl. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture; using a balloon whisk or a large metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the egg mixture, then fold in the butter mixture (see Note).
- Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until sponge springs back when touched lightly in the centre, and comes away from side of pan. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool.
- Place cooled cake on a sheet of baking paper on a flat surface. Using a ruler to help you, cut the cake into 20 even pieces (5cm X 5cm). Brush or shake off any crumbs.
- For the Chocolate icing: Pour boiling water, cocoa and caster sugar into a heatproof glass bowl over a double boiler. Add dark chocolate, broken up into squares, and stir with a metal spoon until melted.
- To assemble: Place coconut in a shallow tray. Using two forks, dip each piece of cake briefly in the icing until it is coated in icing. Hold the cake piece over the bowl to drain off any excess. (If necessary, divide the icing in two and dip half the cake pieces in one bowl of icing and then the other half in the second bowl of icing to prevent the cake crumbs thickening the icing and so making it difficult to use.) If the icing becomes too thick, stand it over hot water while dipping, or reheat gently with a little more boiling water. If necessary, strain the icing into a clean bowl.
- Using two additional forks, gently toss each chocolate coated cake piece in the coconut. Transfer cake pieces to a baking paper-lined tray or a wire rack; stand until set.
• Sponge cakes depend on a good electric mixer, a light hand and not taking shortcuts.
• Have the eggs at room temperature before you begin beating and use a deep bowl for maximum volume. Beat for at least 5 to 8 minutes. Fold in the flour and butter mixture gently, as heavy handling equals a heavy cake.