Australia Day is traditionally a day of picnics, BBQs, and general eating-related events. Mostly this eating takes place while drapped in a flag, or at least while wearing a shirt/shorts/thongs/stick-on tattoos of said flag. Supermarkets and departments stores do their bit to support this jingoism by dreaming up ever more tacky products printed with the Australian flag.
I prefer to show my love of this sunburnt country in terms of food. For me, no other dish is as Australian as the lamington, a sponge cake iced in simple chocolate and topped in a flurry of shredded coconut.
This example by Donna Hay removed the messy step of dousing each piece of cake in icing – rather, the whole cake is bathed in the icing while hot from the oven. Trust me when I say that it may be a shortcut but the taste is amazing. This cake can be cut into huge slabs, elegant squares, wedges, or anywhere in between.
125g unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups plain flour, sifted
1¼ teaspoons baking powder, sifted
½ cup milk
1 cup shredded coconut
¾ cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
⅓ cup boiling water
20g butter, melted
LET’S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease and line a 20cm x 30cm shallow pan.
Place butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer and beat until light.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well, then scrape down sides with a spatula.
With beater on low tip in flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
Stir in the milk and tip into pan.
Bake cake for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking make icing: whisk together icing sugar, cocoa, water and butter in a bowl and set aside.
Remove cake from oven and while still warm, cut into squares and carefully pour over icing. Top with coconut.