There are a few steps required to make these little beauties. Be patient – the results are worth the effort.
480g super ripe strawberries
120g water 50g castor sugar
10g lemon juice
(You can convert gram measurements to mils but you will get a more accurate measurement using grams)
This method allows you to use less sugar, but by all means use a really nice store bought jam.
Place strawberries and water in a pot and simmer, covered, over a low heat for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and add the sugar and lemon juice and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Pop the pot in the fridge overnight. The next day, simmer for 15 minutes. Note: I like to do an extra simmer on the third day – refrigerated overnight – to become a little thicker.
400g egg (about 8)
270g castor sugar
270g plain flour
1 tsp salt
150g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Line a 10” square tin with baking paper, using canola spray to stick the sides down (but don’t spray on top of the paper). Preheat your oven to 170°C.
Over a pot of barely simmering water, heat the sugar and the eggs in the mixer bowl until they are hot to the touch. Pop the mixer bowl onto the KitchenAid or use an electric hand whisk and whisk for 8 minutes on a medium/high speed until the egg mix is pale, fluffy and can hold a peak. While this is whisking, heat the butter in a saucepan over a low heat until the butter starts to turn a toasty brown. Remove from heat, add vanilla and set aside.
Gently scrape the egg mix into a wide, large-ish mixing bowl. Sift over half the flour/salt mix and gently fold in with a whisk, turning the mix over while spinning the bowl slowly. Fold in the remaining sifted flour until it has been fully incorporated. Slowly pour in the warm melted butter mix and fold in. Scrape the mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top a little.
Pop it into the oven and bake until lightly bouncy in the centre and golden brown (about 35 minutes).
Cool and then cut into desired dimensions (I usually like 7cm x 5 cm). Split each in half like a sandwich and spread a generous dollop of jam in the middle. Sandwich the halves together and place on a tray and pop them into the freezer for around 30 minutes. This will help them stay together when they are being dunked.
500g icing sugar mixture
50g good Dutch or baking cocoa
150g thickened cream
Stir the icing mix and cocoa together in a bowl. Heat the water, butter and cream until boiling and pour into the bowl. Whisk well to make a smooth icing.
To ice, heat the icing over a bowl of barely simmering water. To check the consistency, dip your finger in. It should coat your finger so you can’t see your finger but adheres easily. If it is too thick, add a little extra water (be careful, too much and your icing will be too runny and soak into the cake).
500g shredded coconut
Toast at a very low heat (around 120°C) for 45 minutes to get that deep, golden, even colour. You can do this a bit quicker but ensure that you stir it often.
Place the following in a row on your bench in this order:
• ‘Naked’ lamingtons
• Hot icing (I keep this on top of the pot of water on the bench so it stays hot – pop a cooling rack to allow excess icing to drip off into the bowl)
• Toasted coconut in a generously sized tray
• A little bowl of cold water (This is for cleaning off your hands before putting them in the coconut. It also helps if you dip your fingers in the water before picking up a dipped lamington and transferring it to the coconut as the icing will not tear off the lamington and stick to your fingers)
• A tray scattered with a little coconut for resting
Pick up a naked lamington and roll it in the icing until coated on all sides. Pop it onto the cooling rack, cut side down, and lightly ‘brush’ off any excess icing on top with your fingers. Do a couple at a time. Dip your fingers in the cold water and pick up the lamington and place in the coconut. Scatter lots of coconut on top and then press some coconut onto each iced side. Put the finished lam onto your tray and continue until you have a pile of lamingtons.
Pop the kettle on and make a little tea to enjoy with them.