Crazy new twists on the Aussie lamington
Exclusive: The humble lamington is being twisted and turned into a range of new varieties as the traditional sweet treat has sparked a food frenzy before Australia Day celebrations this weekend.
It comes as new data from Taste.com.au, Australia's no. 1 food site owned by News Corp has revealed lamingtons are the top Australia Day dessert consumers are searching recipes for.
An analysis of data in mid-January alone has found searches for Australia Day desserts have increased by more than 546 per cent this month.
Overall, there has been more than a 107 per cent rise in searches for lamingtons nationally, as Taste recently launched other varieties including a Caramilk, mega lamington and a fairybread mash-up version.
By state, 'Australia Day' recipe searches rose by 600 per cent in the ACT, 410 per cent in Queensland, 272 per cent in NSW, 166 per cent in Victoria, 60 per cent in South Australia and 53 per cent in Western Australia.
But pavlova searches have dropped by 10 per cent in the same period.
Taste.com.au Food Director Michelle Southan said Australia Day is much more about party and finger food which is what makes lamingtons the most popular choice compared to Christmas desserts like pavlova.
"Lamingtons are quick and easy to make at home with so many different flavour choices these days from traditional choc and coconut to fairy bread lamingtons," she said.
"You can even cheat and use ready made cake to save time, it's the perfect shareable dessert for Australia Day barbecues."
Retailers are also cashing in on the lamington craze with Coles releasing a lamington hot cross bun from today (Wednesday).
The supermarket giant decided to make mash the lamington together with the Easter treat after
customer research found 54 per cent said they'd love to eat a lamington-flavoured
The limited edition buns are made with chocolate studded with milk chocolate chips, toasted shaved coconut chunks and bursts of raspberry.
Coles Senior Category Manager Freddie Hancock told News Corp customers are becoming increasingly open to new flavours.
"We know Australians love traditional products that have a nostalgic pull but with a modern-day twist - and we think we've got a real winner here with our new lamington hot cross buns just in time for Australia Day," he said.
"We've spent months finetuning the recipe to make sure we have the perfect flavour profile of a lamington in a hot cross bun."
Since early January, Woolworths has been selling Smith's limited edition lamington flavoured chips in store.
Muffin Break also has a lamington muffin stuffed with Darrell Lea Coconut Roughs and a lamington milkshake.
A Muffin Break spokeswoman told News Corp that together with Darrell Lea, it will be donating $1.50 per Lamington product sold in January to assist WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service) in rescuing and caring for the innocent native wildlife and livestock that have been caught in the fires.
Traditional lamingtons (recipe from Taste.com.au)
125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
2 cups desiccated coconut
3 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) lamington pan. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may curdle).
Sift half the flour over butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel. Set aside overnight.
Make icing: Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and boiling water. Stir until smooth.
Cut cake into 15 pieces. Place coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip 1 piece of cake in icing. Shake off excess. Toss in coconut. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining cake, icing and coconut. Stand for 2 hours or until set. Serve.
For those wanting a vegan lamington recipe, go to Vegan Australia's site.