Soft and airy sponge squares filled with fresh cherry jam and then dipped in a chocolate coating and rolled in dessiccated coconut. The quintissential Australian treat Lamingtons are a delicious cake to snack on.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease with butter and line the base and side of a 21cm (8-inch) square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium for 5 minutes until pale and creamy.
Add the vanilla extract and then the eggs one at a tome beating between each addition until combined. If they start to curdle, add a tablespoon or two of flour and the mixture will come back together again. Scrap down the base and sides of the bowl.
Sift the baking powder into the flour and then alternating, add the milk and flour to the butter mixture, mixing well between each addition.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and place in the oven. Bake for 25-35 mins until a skewer comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly touched in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack covered with a tea towel.
Whilst the cake is cooking, start on the cherry jam. Put two saucers in the freezer for testing the cherry jam later on. Tip the cherries, sugar and lemon juice into a large, heavy-based saucepan and simmer uncovered over a medium-high heat for 35-50 mins, stirring frequently until thick and glossy.
After simmering the fruit for about 35 minutes, add a small spoonful of jam to the saucer, then return it to the freezer for another couple minutes. When it’s cooked just right, the jam should wrinkle a little bit when nudged with your finger. If it doesn’t, cook for another ten minutes and try again. This recipe makes more jam than needed for the lamingtons. Spoon ¾ cup of jam into a bowl and set aside for the lamingtons. Spoon the remaining jam into sterilised jars and seal.
To make the icing, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until smooth.
Once the cake and jam are cool then cut the edges off the cake and cut the cake slab into half horizontally. Spoon cherry jam in an even layer onto the bottom sponge layer of the sponge and spread all the way to the edges. Then place the top sponge layer onto the jam and sandwich together pressing gently. Place the cake onto a baking paper lined tray and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm.
Remove the cake from the fridge and cut into squares. Using two forks to hold a square, dip the cake into the chocolate icing to coat all sides and then roll in the desiccated coconut and place on a plate.. Set aside for 20 mins for the icing to set or dig right in straight away.
Opened jam will store in the refrigerator in an airtight container (jar) for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Unopened jars can be kept in a cool dark cupboard for up to 6 months