Friday, January 27, 2012

Lamingtons: Butter or Sponge?

Fresh Butter Cake squares waiting to be made into lamingtons,
 if they aren't consumed first.

There are some times when you just wish you still had your Granny around to ask a few questions.
Do you find that?  As I'm getting older and have a more mature perspective of the world, shall we say, I find myself wanting to ask my Granny a few more questions than I had thought to before she died when I was about 20.

Creaming the butter

When growing up I took for granted the fabulous lamingtons my Granny made for the family to share on picnics out on the farm.  I just devoured them.  We all did.  They were fabulous.

Little Eee loving helping with creaming the butter and sugar 

As I grew older I realised there were other sorts of lamingtons you could buy from bakeries and also supermarkets.  I never really took to those at all.  I have however come across a few and eaten a few as they are a favourite sweet of my dear Generous Gentleman's.  They always left a metallic taste in my mouth, and still do.

Ess helping sift flour into our bowl

So when the opportunity arose to take the family to the Great National Lamington Bake Off in order to celebrate Australia Day we all jumped at the chance.  I was curious to see what it was all about and how a chef might interpret the lamington these days.  My girls love baking (and tasting of course) and my lovely husband just loves eating lamingtons.  So it was a match made perfectly.

Fresh golden butter cake with the recipe I transcribed
at the age of about 10 years

When it was discovered that two out of the three chefs were baking a sponge cake for their lamington a question arose concerning the original and authentic lamington.  Would it have also been a sponge cake or would it have been a butter cake?  Granny always made a butter cake for her lamingtons and I have assumed that the spongey light and fluffy cake was made by the bakeries and supermarkets.  However it seems that some others consider the sponge base is a more authentic lamington.  Or perhaps they prefer the light and fluffy sponge cake?  It seems that the CWA baked a butter cake for their lamingtons as well.  I am yet to find an example of the sponge cake being used for lamingtons by the older generation, apart from mass production for school fetes and the like.  What is your preference?  

For the results of the bake-off take a read of the Canberra Times article.

Waiting for icing and coconut

Now I'm on a mission to bake lamingtons with my family in the fashion of my Granny's, to share with them the tradition I hold such fond and vivid memories of.  I'll ask them which cake they choose as their cake of preference: butter or sponge?  I already know my choice.

1 comment:

Bee Lady said...

I'm so excited, I've never heard of lamingtons! Can't wait to see what they are. I love baking and it seems that I haven't done so much lately. Plain old butter cake sounds yummy to me.

Cindy Bee

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