The Perfect Australian Lamington
125 g butter, softened
220 g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
260 g self-raising flour, sifted
125 ml milk
560 g icing sugar mixture
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
20 g butter, softened
125 ml boiling water
good-quality jam (I like raspberry or strawberry)
160 g desiccated coconut
1: Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 3 cm deep, 30 cm x 20 cm lamington tin and line with baking paper, leaving a 2 cm overhang on all sides.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (the mixture may curdle but this is fine).
2: Sift half the flour over the butter mixture and stir to combine, then stir in half the milk. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, then spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until it bounces back when lightly touched. Stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside overnight (this helps the crumb set so it won’t break as easily when handling, or absorb as much of the icing).
3: To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the butter and boiling water and stir until smooth.
4: When you’re ready to assemble, cut the cake into 15 even pieces. Cut each piece in half lengthways, spread jam in between and sandwich back together again.
Place the coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip one piece of cake at a time into the icing, shaking off the excess, then toss in coconut, again shaking off the excess. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Stand for 2 hours or until set, then dive in.
Note: Try making your own jam for these, but don’t cook it all the way to the setting stage. This will keep it a little runnier and absorb into the sponge better, giving it a great flavour.