A lamington is a sponge cake of Australian origin in the shape of a cuboid, coated in a layer of traditionally chocolate icing then desiccated coconut. Although they are of Australian origin they are frequently seen in South African Cafes too.
The chocolate coating is a thin mixture, into which cubes of sponge cake (one cookbook states 4 cm per side) are dipped, and the chocolate is absorbed into the outermost layers of the sponge where it sets. (Similarly, the strawberry jam or chocolate icing is absorbed into the sponge.) The cubes are then covered with coconut and left to set. Optionally one could use Lemon icing instead of chocolate icing.
I had once made a Vanilla tea cake, which I later sliced up to make lamingtons. You can refer to those two posts. These are the original recipes using Eggs. I was delighted to see that this is the Eggless baking challenge for the month of July.
However I had one major hurdle - my oven. My microwave oven is not fixed as the turntable motor is not available. I am unable to use it for heavy duty baking or cooking. But I was itching to try this out, lest I miss out on the fun this month as well :(. So I decided to bake lamington cupcakes.
I had one perfectly over-ripe large banana to substitute for the 2 eggs that the joyofbaking recipe calls for. I happily woke up on Sunday morning having dreamt of baking this goodie and the results being mind-blowing. When I started gathering the ingredients, I could not find the banana. It turns out that my mom found the banana in an over-ripe state and consumed it, thinking it is of no use if kept for another day. So now the second hurdle. What else can I substitute the eggs with? I cannot use butter-milk/yoghurt, as the recipe uses milk. Fortunately I had two choices, one pack of Brittania cream-cheese or one tin of condensed milk. I decided to go with cream-cheese.
Lamingtons Recipe (Adapted from joyofbaking.com):
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs <--- substitute with 1/2 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk --- Refer to Note 1
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Butter, or spray with a nonstick cooking spray, 12-16 cupcake moulds.
In a large bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In bowl of electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add cream-cheese, beating well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with flour.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake moulds. Bake in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the moulds and let them cool on a wire-rack. Once the cake has completely cooled, put the cupcakes in a box, and wrap the box, in plastic wrap and refrigerate (to make them easier to frost) for several hours or even overnight.
Note 1: The batter was on the thicker side and I found that the cupcakes had become a little crusty. I could have easily increased the quantity of milk from the original 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.
I cooled the cupcakes and did not refrigerate them. Instead, I frosted the cupcakes as soon as they had cooled down.
I used the recipe from David for the Chocolate icing part:
For the chocolate icing: 6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped - 1/2 cup 1 1/2 ounces (40 g) unsalted butter - 3 tablespoons 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk, whole or lowfat 2 cups (220 g) powdered sugar 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process (sifted if lumpy) 2 tablespoons boiling water
Make the chocolate icing by melting together the chocolate, butter, and milk in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water when smooth, then whisk in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Assembling the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cup (200 g) unsweetened shredded coconut, spread on a large plate <--- Refer to Note2
Note2: It would work very well with dry dessicated cocunut. But I had only fresh coconut on hand and I shredded it.
Pick up every cupcake and dip it into the chocolate sauce, rolling the cupcake over to coat all sides with syrup. Immediately roll the frosted cupcakes over the dessicated coconut and leave on the wire rack to set.