In case you're not an Aussie, Kiwi or Clevelander...yes Clevelander. Apparently lamingtons have been enjoyed in Cleveland, Ohio (about 40 minutes north of me) for many decades, where they are known as coconut bars. I actually got one from the famous West Side Markets http://www.westsidemarket.org/ last year. A note about West Side Markets: if you EVER have a chance to go, then go. They have the BEST jerky I have ever eaten. It's smoked, not dried. One day I'll give it a go, when I buy or make an upright smoker.
Here is the Wikipedia page for lamingtons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamington.
My recipe is from The Margaret Fulton Cookbook.
1 quantity of basic butter cake mixture
desiccated coconut (unsweetened macaroon coconut here in the US)
thin chocolate icing
Basic Butter Cake
125g butter, softened (4.4oz)
3/4 cup caster sugar (normal granulated sugar in the US works fine)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs (at room temperature)
2 cups self raising flour (SR flour can be made by adding 2 tsp baking powder to 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
Line the base of a 27cm x 18cm (13" x 9" x 2") baking tin with wax paper. (It makes it easier to remove from the tin).
Cream the softened butter and gradually beat in the sugar with the vanilla until it is light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Sift the flour and salt and then fold into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Be careful not to overwork the mixture because this will make the cake dense.
Put the mixture into the prepared tin and lightly smooth the top.
I used two smaller tins because I don't have the right one, so I just divided the mixture in two...now that I know the proper dimensions, I'll be adding that to my Amazon Wish List!
Bake for 25-30 minutes (mine took 25), or until a cake tester or skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. You can also test the cake by pressing a finger on the centre of the cake, if it leaves an impression, it needs a bit longer. If it springs back, it's ready.
Cool on a wire rack.
Now, you should make the cake the day before and store it, wrapped in foil, in the fridge. This will ensure the cake doesn't crumble when you're icing and rolling it.
Thin Chocolate Icing
3 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar in the US)
3 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp butter, melted
1/4 cup boiling water (to get the icing thin like thickened cream, you need more water than this)
Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of boiling water, butter and a few drops of vanilla essence then stir until smooth and shiny. Add more water until you get the consistency of thickened cream. I had to make two lots of the icing as there was nowhere near enough for the amount of cake I had.
Trim the sides of your cake and cut into whatever size you like. Set up a production line of cake, icing, coconut and wire rake on a baking tray. It makes it easier and less messy.
Dip the cube of cake into the icing, let it drip for a second or two and roll in the coconut. Place on the rack and allow to set.