Lamington - "Those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".
That's how the Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, Charles Cochrane-Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, described this iconic Australian dessert. Don't blame him, he probably would have wanted something more manly and macho like a chunky beef pie to be named after him, and not to be associated with a sissy delicate sweet dessert made out of leftover vanilla sponge cake, dipped in chocolate then lightly dusted with dessicated coconut. I've also learned from the wikipedia,
Lamington is first served in Toowoomba when Lord Lamington took his entourage to Harlaxton House to escape the steamy heat of Brisbane, and the chef had to prepare something in such short notice with some leftover sponge cakes, dipped them in chocolate then set in coconut.Okay the story is probably not that interesting, I rather more intrigued to find that the town Toowoomba is mentioned, it is also the first city I lived in when I arrived in Australia back in 1996. Now the lamingtons are just a little bit more meaningful to me whenever I have them, a perfect lame excuse for me to have a couple more this Australia Day just passed. (HA!)
I thought the lamington would be good enough on its own this Australia Day until I saw the Lamington Tiramisu on Ellie's blog and it looks scrumptious! Since Tiramisu is The Pom's favourite, and I have bought two packets of lamingtons for this special occasion, hence perfect excuse for me to make these Lamington Tiramisu for Australia Day's BBQ lunch at Big D's, it went down exceptionally well with the guests to beat this summer heat.
I prefer my cooking fast and simple when I am on a time-budget. This easy-quick-whisk recipe will have this delicious dessert ready in no time. The most expensive ingredient for making tiramisu is possibly the mascarpone cheese, but you HAVE to have it. It is a MUST, full stop! What's wrong with you people trying to cut corners by substituting the mascarpone cheese by using butter and whipped cream? It is absolutely disgusting!
I like my tiramisu light and airy with the Lamington sponge cakes soaking up all the coffee and most importantly, a nice boozy kick. Instead of adding the eggs directly into the mascarpone, I advice you to put some little extra effort to whip the thickened cream (double cream) then whisk the egg white separately until soft peak then fold it in does make a big difference to the end result. Also make sure the lamingtons are nicely soaked up all the coffee, but not too soggy. If you prefer your tiramisu a little more boozy like me, add a few extra tablespoon of whatever alcohol you are using into the mascarpone mixture, and also drizzle over the sponge cakes while assembling it in the serving glass. Best to leave the tiramisu overnight in the fridge with cling wrap and it will taste even more divine the next day.
Lamington Tiramisu (serves 6-8)
Ingredients 2 packets Lamington fingers (about 16 fingers)
1 cup strong espresso coffee
1/4 cup of Amaretto
2 eggs (separated)
3 tbsp caster sugar
250gram mascarpone cheese
250ml thickened cream, whipped
Method 1. Combine the coffee and Amaretto in a bowl.
2. Add egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Add mascarpone and beat until just combined. Add 3 tablespoon of Amaretto and mix well.
3. Fold in the whipped cream into the mixture. Beat egg white until soft peak, gently fold it into the cream, trying not to lose the volume.
4. Cut lamington to the size that just cover the base of the serving glass, dip half of the lamington fingers, one at a time, into the coffee mixture. Drain off and arrange the lamington in the base of the service glasses.
5. Spoon Mascarpone mixture over the top untile the lamington is fully covered.
6. Repeat step 4 - 5 until the serving glasses are filled to the top.
7. Wrap serving glasses with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve.