Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lemon Meringue Lamington

Still making Lamingtons! Although, this time I might be pushing what can reasonably be considered a Lamington. We'll see what Mr. P thinks about it. If he hates it there will be others...

Someone commented yesterday that they didn't know what a Lamington was, so I'm going to impart my vast wisdom regarding Lamingtons to you all (courtesy of Wikipedia)! That's right folks, you're learning something today.

So the cake is probably named after Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane-Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, GCMG, GCIE and might I say, that is one terrific name.

So, Charles Wallace Alexan... let's just call him Chuck.

So Chuck, on behalf of the British goverment, would travel around attempting to annex various foreign lands (through the cunning use of flags, of course). He must have been good at what he did, because eventually he scored himself some posh colonial positions as governor of Queensland, Australia and later Bombay, joining a long line of English men who felt compelled to flaunt their impressively bushy mustaches before indigenous populations.

The mustache must have been very impressive indeed, as he earned himself a knighthood and a cake named in his honor.

Chuck himself referred to these cakes as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits" which is what I am going to call tomorrow's Lamington: My Bloody Poofy Chocolate Woolly Biscuit Lamington. (I love that name so much)

Yes it is a mouthful, but so is the guy's name. Seems fitting, doesn't it?

So today's spin on the little cake started out looking like a rather ordinary lemon Lamington (uncommon though, as they are), then I thought: Hey, I need to cover this with a big glob of meringue and make it into a lemon meringue Lammingon!

So I did.

The base of the cake is génoise, another new recipe out of Rose's Heavenly Cakes that I decided to try. I've soaked the sponge with lemon syrup and sandwiched it with a thick layer of lemon curd. The outside is also coated with lemon curd and coconut and then I piled on the the meringue. The result?

One sweet looking and and tasty Lamington. One can only wonder how Chuck would refer to it.

Rose's Heavenly Génoise:
50 grams clarified butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs at room temperature (250 grams)
125 grams superfine sugar
66 grams cake flour
60 grams cornstarch

Coat a 10" tube pan with cooking spray and flour then set aside. Set a rack in the lower third of your oven and allow it to thoroughly preheat to 350°F.

Microwave the butter until it is almost hot (roughly 110-120°F), add the vanilla and cover to keep warm.

Bring a sauce pan of water to a simmer and in your mixer's bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. With a whisk, stir the mixture in the bowl sitting over the pan of simmering water (not in the water) until just lukewarm to the touch.

Attach the bowl to your stand mixer and with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high speed for a minimum of 5 minutes until it has more than quadrupled in volume.

While the eggs are beating sift together the flour and cornstarch. Remove 1 cup of the egg mixture and whisk it into the bowl with the melted butter and vanilla and set aside once again.

Working quickly with a balloon whisk or a silicone spatula fold in half of the flour into the egg mixture and once it is incorporated, fold in the remaining flour.

Scrape down the bowl to insure all the flour has been incorporated and then fold in the butter mixture. Fold in, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the flour has been moistened (but not so much that you deflate the eggs) and immediately pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sides begin to slightly pull away from the pan. Avoid jostling the pan while baking or opening and closing the door too often as it could cause light delicate cake to fall.

While baking, spray a wire rack with non-stick cooking spray and have a small offset spatula handy. Once the cake is done it should be removed from the pan immediately. Slip an offset spatula around the sides of the pan and unmold the pan onto the rack.

Allow to cool completely.

Cut the cake into 2.5" cubes (or more efficient wedges) and arrange them together onto a baking sheet. Now they are ready for the lemon syrup.

Simple Lemon Syrup:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

In a pan over medium low heat, stir the sugar with a heat safe spatula until sugar has dissolved. Don't allow this mixture to boil. Allow the syrup to cool before using.

Take your cake squares and give them a generous coating with the lemon syrup, allowing it to absorb into the cake. This both moistens and flavors the genoise.

Lemon curd coated Lamington and bottle of lemon syrup

Not So Humble Lemon Curd:
1/2 cup egg yolks
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 teaspoons butter, melted and cooled.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup + one tablespoon lemon juice
pinch salt
zest of one large lemon

Place the lemon zest into a large bowl and set a fine mesh strainer on top.

In a medium sauce pan add the eggs, sugar and butter and whisk together until combined. Add the lemon juice and salt and sift in the cornstarch whisking well. Swap your whisk for a silicone spatula and cook the curd over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Cook the mixture gently, or the eggs will curdle. If the mixture starts to give off steam, remove from heat for 20 seconds to allow the mixture to cool slightly and then return to the heat. Do not allow it to boil. In roughly 10-15 minutes the curd will have thickened and should coat the back of your spatula like a hollandaise. Pour this mixture into the bowl of zest using the strainer.

Mix then chill the curd for roughly an hour until completely cool.

Once ready, you can start assembling your Lamingtons.

Start by applying a thick layer of curd to the top of the of the génoise pieces and sandwich another on top. Spread the curd on the top and sides of the cube and then sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Coated with coconut

This could be a reasonable stopping point for this Lamington (it is delicious, we ate a bunch like this) but I am not a very reasonable person. I decided I wanted a billowy, spike covered Lamington and if you do too, preheat the oven to 375°F and start the meringue.

Basic Meringue:
6 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine the eggs, cream of tartar and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer (making sure it is very clean, as a trace of oil can ruin a meringue). Beat the eggs with your whisk attachment until soft foamy peaks form and then slowly begin adding the sugar, beating until you have stiff but not dry peaks.

Arrange the Lamingtons on a large baking sheet lined with parchment and either pipe on the meringue or apply with a small spatula. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes until golden brown and serve immediately.

Alternatively you can whip out your kitchen torch to toast your meringue with the flame. I did this with several Lamingtons and while playing with fire is oodles of fun, I ended up preferring the look of the baked meringues.


  1. Terrific name indeed!!! Thank you on the lesson, as I definately didn't know any of that before. Learning new things is always a good thing :) And your cake looks totally bite-able!!

  2. Not only does this look delicious and impressive, but you threw in an Eddie Izzard reference as well! I think you're my new hero.

  3. Wow! That has to be the coolest thing I've seen in a very long time! I say, "Layer on the meringue!!" And **Thank you** for making your own lemon curd. Boo-ya! You are officially my hero :)

  4. Gorgeous! What a creative idea! :) Look soooo tasty. :)

  5. Just when I thought I knew it all! Never heard of a Lamington. I bet Chuck was a ladies' man, he looks so dapper!

  6. You have a magic kitchen...where can I get one of those???

  7. "No flag, no country! You can't have one."

    Coming out of the woodwork to share my appreciation of your site. I came for the science cookies and stayed for the excellent writing and photos. Thank you.

  8. I too peeked in for the cookies and stayed on. I got such a tickle out of the biography lesson today that I read it aloud to my spouse. The cake looks AMAZING! but then so do all the items you have posted.

  9. Oh, that IS an awesome name. Mustache too! Very cute Lamingtons--good luck in the contest! :)

  10. That's beautiful, and I'm so glad you added the nerdy bit about the old British guy. I'm a sucker for nerdy.

  11. so beautiful!!! jeez, I want one right now

  12. 'Cake or death?'

    'Cake please!!'

    'We've run out of cake....we only had 3 pieces and we didn't expect such a rush!!'

    I want your hedgehog lamington!! :(

    *chomps miserably on celery*

  13. Omigosh, that cutaway is beeyootiful! Like a tropical sunset. Great idea for presentation.

    I must also compliment your historical writing style. Are you a fan of Bill Bryson, by any chance? I'll just bet you are. If not, let me introduce you to a little book called "In A Sunburned Country."

  14. Ms. Humble! You are too good, really. My lamingtons are going to look SOOO crappy next to yours. You get top marks for this one.

    It is stunning!

    But how do you get all this done? Making my lamingtons has taken forever! And one day you must do a post on photography.

    BTW - it's a lamington if I say it is. I am the lamington man. And also, not to ruin my future posts, but so far I have done two which aren't cake. (One's bananas - like I said... If I say it is, it is!)

  15. that is perfect looking... awesome

  16. This is just so incredibly brilliant! Lamingtons, I have not made you yet.

  17. That is the best story... great cake too... bloody brilliant Lamingtons... his lordship would be proud!!!

  18. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Bloody brilliant!

  19. You are a culinary genius! This looks amazing. I can hardly wait to make it :)

  20. This is the best Lamington that I have seen so far. The cake looks amazing! Can I have a slice?

  21. "What is it Lt. Sebastian?"
    "It's the rebels sir, they're here"
    "My God man, do they want tea?"
    "I think they're after something more than that sir, I don't know what it is, but they've brought a flag."

    Beautiful Lemon Meringue Bloody Poofy Woolly Biscuit by the way. :)

  22. Mmmmm. Lemon curd lamington. With Meringue.

    I'm glad I can't eat food via the internet... I would eat these nonstop til I was sick! (That's big praise!)

  23. Looks like a scary monster of deliciousness.

  24. Sounds yummmmmmmmy!

    I have a small quiestion: how much curd does the lemon curd recipe make?

    Thanks :)

  25. That's pretty rad. It's like a hedgehog :3

  26. Beautiful!!! I tried to do this today with a classic lamington on the inside, but the meringue was so sticky and hard to cut through I ended up baking it more to try to dry it out more...which only made it brown, ugly, and flat :( How did you cut through yours so cleanly?

  27. The meringue is only baked for a few minutes to brown the outside (the lamington above actually over-browned a bit). The meringue is, and should still be, very moist, like a meringue pie (not a meringue cookie or pavlova).

    To cut a moist meringue cleanly, use a very sharp slightly damp knife and it should cut easily.

  28. Thanks for the lemon curd recipe. Have been looking for one and I am glad to have found this one. I made some macarons and will be filling them with the mascarpone lemon curd flavor. One question though...what do you mean by 1/2 cup of egg yolks. I have now switched to measurement ever since I started baking and .5 cup does not register, sorry. Are the yolks slightly whisked to make up for the half of cup, or are they just sitting one on top of the other. If you have it in grams or oz, that would be great as well. Thanks again for sharing this beautiful blog with us.



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