Aussie Classics: Meat Pies & Lambingtons

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As part of a New Year’s resolution, I’m cooking a dish from each country around the world. Check out my progress here

Australia Map

A few days ago, I discussed a little of Australian cuisine and now it’s time to get into cooking some Australian specialties. But first… No,  discussion of Australian cuisine would be complete without talk of meat pies!

Tuck Shop NYC

I recently found an Australian meat pie shop in New York – The Tuck Shop – which I went to the other day with my friend Charlotte! Delicious!

Meat Pie at the Tuck Shop

Meat pies are beloved in Australia. These hand-sized pies are popular at football games (Australian Rules Football to be exact) served with tomato sauce or ketchup on top. I’ve had  the traditional take with ground beef, but also versions with lamb and even curry. Really anything in hand sized in the form of a pie is good in my book! If you’d like to make a meat pie at home, here’s a great recipe I found – which someday soon I will do!

Fun fact: a pie floater, available in Australia, refers to a meat pie submerged in pea soup. One can purchase this meal from a pie cart, the equivalent of the American food truck apparently.

Check out this 1970s car commercial that reveals several things Australians love – football, meat pies, kangaroos and of course Holden cars.

I do promise to make meat pies at home, but for the moment, I chose to make lambingtons for something a little sweet instead.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Lambingtons are also quite iconic in Australia. This dessert consists of a vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate and covered in shredded coconut. Commonly, the cake is sandwiched between a layer of cream or jam (raspberry common in New Zealand lambingtons).

They are popular at bake sales for school and youth groups – these fund raisers are called Lambington Drives! Now, these desserts are quite messy to make (but that’s half the fun right?) so I’m intrigued that families would make them regularly and in large batches for schools… I guess the Australian family that makes lambingtons together stays together…

Did you know? July 21 is National Lamington Day in Australia. And it should be noted they are named after Baron Lambington, Governor of Queensland (and have nothing to do with the animal).

And now onto the Lambingtons!

Lambingtons

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup butter, room temperature

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup milk

Chocolate Frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease a baking dish; set aside. *I used a loaf pan

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

In another bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each egg addition. Add the vanilla extract to the mixture and mix well.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Use a spatula to alternately mix in the sifted flour mixture and the milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with flour.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Spread the batter into the prepared cake dish and smooth the top with a spatula.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Bake approximately 1 hour (if using a loaf pan) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let the cake cool in the baking dish and then invert it onto a wire rack to let cool.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Once the cake has cooled, cut it into 2-inch squares and refrigerate until ready to use.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Chocolate Frosting:

4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tbsp butter

½ cup milk

Place the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and of pouring consistency. Remove from heat.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Assembly – Cake squares + chocolate sauce + 2 cups shredded coconut

Quickly spoon or ladle the warm chocolate frosting over the chocolate squares, and then let the cake drain. Coat each cake square on all sides in the chocolate frosting. Using a small knife or spatula, gently roll each coated cake square in the coconut. Repeat with remaining cake squares. Set the cakes aside to dry before serving.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Lambingtons

Lambingtons
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease a baking dish; set aside. *I used a loaf pan
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each egg addition. Add the vanilla extract to the mixture and mix well.
  5. Use a spatula to alternately mix in the sifted flour mixture and the milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with flour.
  6. Spread the batter into the prepared cake dish and smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake approximately 1 hour (if using a loaf pan) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let the cake cool in the baking dish and then invert it onto a wire rack to let cool.
  8. Once the cake has cooled, cut it into 2-inch squares and refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. Place the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and of pouring consistency. Remove from heat.
  10. Quickly spoon or ladle the warm chocolate frosting over the chocolate squares, and then let the cake drain. Coat each cake square on all sides in the chocolate frosting. Using a small knife or spatula, gently roll each coated cake square in the coconut. Repeat with remaining cake squares. Set the cakes aside to dry before serving.
 

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