It was Australia day yesterday and since quite a lot of you dear readers are from down under, I thought of paying tribute to your beautiful country by baking one of the most typical Australian cakes: the Lamingtons. Named after Lord Lamington, governor of Queensland between 1896 and 1901, these little sponge cakes are cut in squares and dipped in a chocolate icing before being rolled in dessicated coconut. They are sometimes cut in half and filled with cream or jam. I chose a recipe from the Thermomix Australian recipe community but decided to add a French twist to these cakes: I filled them with a pralinoise and sprinkled them with a homemade pralin. I also tried icing them with dark chocolate thinned down with water but I ended up with not enough to go around all the cakes so I ended up using the cocoa icing from the recipe. I found the dark chocolate iced ones nicer though because they are less sweet…
120 g sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
50 g unsalted butter, , melted
120 g Self Raising Flour
25 g unsalted butter
160 g milk
500 g icing sugar
50 g Dutch processed cocoa
Shredded coconut to coat
80g praliné paste
80g milk chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Butter and line a 20cm square dish (I used a silicon mould with a chocolate bar pattern on it, which made it quite easy to cut the squares afterwards. Unfortunately, these moulds are only sold through demonstration in France/Belgium and US).
- Place sugar into mixing bowl and mill 10 sec/speed 10.
- Add eggs and insert the Butterfly whisk.
- Whip eggs for 7 min/50C/speed 3.
- Add butter and vanilla paste/extract and mix 5 sec/speed 4.
- Remove Butterfly whisk. Add flour and with dial set to Closed Lid Position mix for 10 sec/ kneading button. Finish mixing with spatula by hand if necessary.
- Pour into prepared tin, spin to level and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden and springy to touch. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely.
- Freeze for 30 minutes before cutting.
- Meanwhile, make the pralinoise: place the milk chocolate in the TM bowl and mix 5 sec/speed 6. Melt 3 min/50C/speed 2, scrape down the sides and add more time if it’s not entirely melted.
- Add the praliné paste and mix 20 sec/speed 4. Tip out and reserve.
- Pralin: roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray in the hot oven (180C) for 8 minutes.
- Leave to cool and rub them to remove the skins.
- Place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Boil until the syrup reaches 120C.
- Take out of the heat and add the hazelnuts to it.
- Stir with a wooden spatula until the sugar starts crystallising and place back on the high heat and stir continuously until all the sugar caramelises.
- Pour onto a tray lined with silicon sheet or baking parchment and make sure to flatten the hazelnut mixture. Leave to cool and break in pieces.
- Place in the TM bowl and mix 4 to 5 sec/speed 6 or until cut in small chunks. Set aside.
- Icing: place butter and milk into mixing bowl and cook 2 min/80 C/speed 2.
- Add sugar and cocoa and blend for 20 – 25 sec/speed 4.
- Trim sides of sponge. Cut in half horizontally and spread the pralinoise over one half. Place the second half on top and cut cake into 16 equal sized cubes.
- Place on a wiring rack on top of a plate to catch drips.
- Pour icing over the cake squares, trying to coat them evenly. Scoop some of the icing from the plate underneath back onto the cakes until they are coated all over.
- Transfer to flat tray lined with baking paper. Repeat until all are covered. Sprinkle with some pralin and allow icing to set before serving. You should have some pralin left, why not use it in those wonderful Iles flottantes?