Recently I had to “take a plate” to share with staff at a multicultural lunch at Expatica. So what could I make that was typically Australian and that I could make with ingredients readily available in The Netherlands? Not to mention the fact I’m not a whizz in the kitchen, so needed something simple. Aha, I thought – lamingtons! Whether you’re familiar with these spongy chocolate and coconut covered cakes, or have never heard of them, it’s interesting to read a bit more about the history of lamingtons on Wikipaedia.
Though I am not a huge fan, they do have sentimental – and dare I say – cultural ties to my Australian heritage. Anyone else remember lamington drives at school? They were sold by the dozen as a fundraiser and our family would eat them for weeks!
At our wedding here in The Netherlands in 2007, it was very touching to see the chef at the North Holland hotel had made an effort to include “Australian food” on the buffet and the dessert included a version mini lamingtons. Back then, I said to my (brand new!) husband that the chocolate drizzled on top of a tiny square of sponge cake, with coconut sprinkled on top was not much like the “traditional” huge cake squares totally smothered in chocolate and coconut.
However now, I totally understand why he made them that way – and in fact prefer them! Firstly, a whole lamington is just a bit big. Secondly, rolling sponge cake in icing and coconut is no easy task – trust the practical Dutch to come up with a more simple solution.
Here is my first effort at covering them in chocolate:
Then I thought, why not just drizzle and sprinkle…much easier and actually looks nice.
Oh as it turned out, due to heavy snow messing up train schedules, I missed the multicultural lunch – so this time, it was my girls eating lamingtons for days!
So here’s the step by step guide if you’d like to make some. They are so easy, kids love to help.
I’m not a very careful (or tidy) cook, so I have very rough measurements! Everything is readily available at C1000, Albert Heijn or other Dutch supermarkets and of course Woolworths, Coles and other Aussie ones.
- Sponge cake (often called hotel cake in NL)
- Icing sugar (Poeder Suiker)
- Cocoa (Cacao Poeder)
- Dessicated Coconut (Gemalen Kokos)
1. Cut the cake in half, then half again and make small cubes.
2. Mix about 3/4 of the icing sugar, which in The Netherlands I found is only available in the tubes to shake onto your poffertjes! Add a few tablespoons of cocoa, and a few tablespoons of boiling water.
3. Mix to a smooth paste. It needs to be runny enough to drizzle but thick enough to not all run off the cake. It will become more firm once you put it in the fridge. If it’s too thick, add a little more boiling water (just a few drops at a time) or if too runny, some more icing sugar.
4. Spread out the cake cubes onto a plate and drizzle a teaspoonful onto each.
5. Quite quickly, before the icing sets, sprinkle coconut on top of each
6. Pop them into the fridge and let them set. Then eat and enjoy 🙂
My clever little Dutch Australians actually came up with a great twist of their own. Sophia (5) asked if we could sprinkle some muisjes on top! (No, there are no babies in our house, we just bought these because the girls wanted to try them). So here is a true Dutch Australian lamington:
We have some Dutch Australian friends coming over to help us eat them today and celebrate a snowy Australia Day here in The Hague. Love to hear your comments – do you like lamingtons? Have you tried making them?
I’m a Dutch Australian who enjoys sharing information of interest to those with connections to both countries. You can read more about me here, browse the website and connect with others on the Dutch Australian Facebook page.
11 thoughts on “Dutch Australian Mini Lamingtons”
Great post Renee and a clever twist on the old Lam!
Thanks Deborah, amazing the creative stuff kids can come up with!
Honestly actually bought some, in Woollies, for the first time in a long ~ if ever. Yes. They were on sale and ~ right there. So I bought some and they ARE already gone!
Were they good ones? I like the ones where the icing has really seeped into the cake….mmmm
happy australia day from all of us back here 🙂 love your twist on the lamington – i made an ‘iced vovo’ cake for dessert here today (to follow our delicious bbq dinner!). good times 🙂 (pity the weather wasn’t traditionally brisbane-ish… it is pouring!!!!)
Now I’m hungry. I may have tried to eat my screen while looking at the first image :p
I’ll have to post you some…
Great effort with the lamingtons. They are not so hard to make and I have no good reason not to have made them myself. Having lived in Holland for 6 years I need to start to cook some old fashioned dishes from back home. Only two weeks ago I went to de Haagse Markt and bought a piece of lamb. Not the same quality as back home, the roast spuds and pumpkin don’t exactly taste the same but its not too bad. I’m getting in touch with my traditional roots. One of the biggest problems I have faced here is getting good self raising flour. Dutch flour lacks the right amount of baking soda and I find any attempt to make goodies such as scones etc, flop spectacularly. So getting self raising flour from one of the expat shops such as Kelly’s is a must for baking. My next big effort is to make a few pies and pasties. And I’m proud to say my Dutch son knows about smothering things with Dead Horse.
Thanks Dave! I found some lamb at the big Makro supermarket but yes not quiet the same – and I totally agree re the self raising flour! There is a little sachet thing of baking powder that you can buy but I’m finding it hard to get the correct amount. I’ve found a good banana bread recipe I’ll have to share but I’ve made it a few times and it can be either very flat or a bit raised! Good on you mate re the sauce!
The best and most successful pavlova I ever made was during a winter in Dordrecht! The dryness of the weather was perfect.