I’ve never actually eaten a true Australian lamington, but I have had those fraudulent ones you get packed in a plastic tray. I was shocked to find they only had jam and coconut on the top, when I know for a fact that a proper lamington should be covered all over! So I’ve taken things into my own hands and created a cake version: light chiffon, smothered in jam, coated in dried shredded coconut, and filled to the brim with marshmallow buttercream. There you have it—a lamington, not in teeny-weeny squares, but ready to cut into wedges just the way I like, and covered, properly covered!
- Begin by washing then thoroughly drying a 10-inch/ 25cm round cake pan, about 3 inches/7.5cm deep.
- It’s important to remove all traces of grease so the cake can climb up the pan, rather than slide off. It feels counterintuitive when baking, but it’s a must.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Make a well in the center and add the oil, egg yolks, water, and lemon extract. Set aside.
- Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in another bowl and, using electric beaters, whisk till the mixture comes to stiff peaks.
- Now, with the same beaters, whisk the flour and egg yolk mixture till you have a smooth batter.
- Add one third of the egg white mixture to the batter and mix to loosen, using a metal spoon so you don’t destroy all those air bubbles.
- Now add the rest of the egg white mixture and fold in till you have a light, even, non-streaky cake batter. Pour into the pan and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until golden and firm on top.
- Meanwhile you can be making your buttercream by combining the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl along with the milk and vanilla and whisking till smooth.
- Now pop your marshmallows into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, till the marshmallows are puffy and doubled in size. This can take longer depending on the power of your microwave, so keep zapping in 5-second intervals till they are puffy, then take them straight out.
- Add to the buttercream mixture straightaway and whisk till well combined. Pop into a piping bag and set aside. Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and turn it upside down onto a cooling rack. Let rest till the cake has cooled a bit. Once the pan is cool enough to hold, pop it off and allow the cake to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, warm the jam till it is liquid—you can do this in a pan or in the microwave. Spread the coconut in an even layer on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes at 350°F, keeping an eye on it all the time and stirring occasionally, till the coconut is a light golden color. Take out and let cool on the sheet.
- Spread the sides of the cooled cake generously with the jam. With one hand on the top and one on the bottom, lift the jammy cake and roll it in the sheet of coconut—this cake is sturdier than you’d think, so get it into that coconut, turning the whole time till all the sides are covered generously. Press the coconut into the jam, so it really glues itself on.
- Now spread a layer of jam onto the top and sprinkle with a generous coating of coconut. Pop a baking sheet on top, put your hand under the cake, and flip it over.
- You will need to get out the dustpan and brush is all I’m saying; there is no neat way of doing this! There should be just the top side left to cover, so repeat the process with the jam and coconut, then pop the whole thing onto your chosen serving plate. Let rest for 30 minutes to allow the jam to dry and the coconut to stick firmly.
- Use a long, serrated knife to cut horizontally through the cake so you have two rounds, then pop the top one onto a baking sheet.
- Pipe the delicious marshmallow buttercream into the exposed cake center, pop the other round on top, and you are good to go.
Reprinted from NADIYA BAKES by Nadiya Hussain. Copyright © 2020 by Nadiya Hussain. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Chris Terry. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.