Lamingtons are not difficult to make. The most important ingredient is, obviously, a sponge cake or a pound cake, that is, cakes that are made of flour, sugar, eggs and baking soda. These types of cakes are firm and aerated, with a structure that resembles that of a sea sponge. Once you have your sponge cake, cut it into squares. Then you will have to make some chocolate frosting to dip the cakes into. Afterwards, it is time to dip your chocolate sponge cakes into shredded and dried coconut. Let them dry before serving and eating them. Here is a video which can make the instructions clearer.
The first theory is that the lamington was created accidentally by the Lord Lamington’s all-thumbs maidservant in around 1900. She inadvertently dropped the sponge cake into some melted chocolate when she was working at Government House in Brisbane. This accident would mark Australian cuisine forever. At the drop of a hat the Governor of Queensland, lord Lamington, decided to dip the cake into coconut to cover the chocolate and avoid messy fingers. And obviously it was ambrosial. This is only one of the numerous versions of the lamington’s origins, as there are many more.
Indeed, according to new research by Auckland University, Northern New Zealand, the fare-famed cake was invented there rather than in Australia. Researchers analysed a collection of 19th-century watercolours by the artist J.R. Smythe, a New Zealander. In one of his portraits, “Summer Pantry”, painted in 1888, a partially-eaten lamington is clearly visible.
To put it briefly, the origins of this cake are still widely discussed nowadays. But the majority admits that the lamington is an Australian cake, so much so that even the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade lists the lamington as an Australian icon.
Some facts are quite amusing. For instance, the world’s biggest lamington weighed 2,361 kg, which is the equivalent of 45,000 ordinary lamingtons. The record was set on 11 June 2011 in Toowoomba, Australia. The purpose was not only to hold the record but also to raise funds for a children’s hospital. These cakes are often used as a way to raise funds by schools or by youth groups such as the scouts. These types of fundraisings are called "lamington drives".
Another fun fact is that the lamington has its own national day in Australia. It takes place on 21 July. Some bakeries in Australia are even specialized in lamingtons. The largest one is called “Quality Dessert” and makes more or less 3.5 million lamingtons a week.
There are different varieties of lamingtons around Australia. They are more traditional in Queensland and filled with jam in Victoria and South Australia while in West Australia they are sometimes filled with cream. The Lamington is still evolving now, with bakers trying different recipes, such as lemon lamingtons or even chilli chocolate Lamingtons. Today, there is one for everyone's taste!