Lamingtons, or how not to be Australian

This week presented (yet another) chance to represent our home country with food. Of course I could have taken a packet of tim tams. Yes, we sometimes have them. Sent over by adored friends like Kate and Rob. Or, I could have taken our tin of Milo (thanks to a friend’s visiting mother-in-law for that one). Lamb is far too expensive to share with a large group of people, and vegemite is generally unpopular at these sort of gatherings, I find.

Brainwave. Lamingtons! A wild idea that came from nowhere, nurtured by a husband’s sudden declaration that he’d kill for a lamington.

But here’s the thing. To be authentic and visually appealing, lamingtons must be (of all things) square. An extremely unforgiving shape for baking at home. Even if you decide to go ahead and purchase a square baking tin, they may still defy you and (for unathomable reasons of their own) fail to rise to squareness in the middle.

Another warning I’d like to issue: icing them is a two-person job. Or even a three-person job. Might we say in this instance, a 3.7 person job?

Other thoughts:

Don’t leave the icing part till the last minute. Very bad idea. Make sure the icing stays runny. Set the bowl over boiling water. Don’t dip them, spoon it over and let your “squares” drip. Don’t scrimp on the coconut. The visual appeal goes down proportionately with the amount of coconut left in your bowl, until you curse the day you bought only one packet. Finally, if you don’t live in a far off place where lamingtons are unknown, ignore all of the above and buy them. As one member of team lamington exclaimed last night, “who would ever sell these for a dollar?”


7 Responses to “Lamingtons, or how not to be Australian”

  1. 1 Chris June 30, 2011 at 11:15 am


  2. 3 Leise June 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

    sitting at uni all by myself at 9:36pm on a Thursday night trying to do my thesis, and this just made me smile and laugh to myself for the first time in hours. Thanks Ally and team lamington :0) Miss you lots xox p.s. even the top of Rose’s head is adorable xox

  3. 4 Jo July 1, 2011 at 12:34 am

    I’m so impressed Ally! i can’t believe you made lamingtons! I’ve never tried and unless I was somewhere that you couldn’t buy them (like Germany) I don’t think I would!! Matt only wishes I’d make them.

    I think I’ve heard though that you square off the whole thing before you start cutting them into squares – as in the top and the edges of the cake. But I guess you’ve figured that out now. 🙂

    It’s been so wonderful getting some more Mavis and Frank alerts in my inbox. I’ve missed them terribly!

    Hope the .7 is coming along nicely!

    Love and a big hug,
    Jo xo

  4. 5 Jill July 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    It’s no wonder the commercial enterprises took over the lamington fund-raising production side. Lots of love, Jill

  5. 6 Beverley September 13, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Hi there – I am a friend of Ros Jourdan – just remembered my Mum making lamingtons – she freezes the cake to make it easier to handle and doesn’t fall apart! A little hint if you make them again! Love your blog!

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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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