Friday, February 28, 2014

Re-Invent the Lamington Contest 2014 Entries--If You Know Me, You Won't Be Surprised.

This blog has been poorly neglected. I could go into all the details about why I haven't posted in over a year, but I don't have time. I'm in a major rush at the moment, and I'm a man on a mission.

It's the annual Re-Invent the Lamington Contest sponsored by Mr. P on his fun baking blog Delicious Delicious Delicious! The deadline to enter is only minutes away. Therefore, I will not have time to do a good proofread, so please excuse any typos and bad grammar. This is the only baking contest I have ever entered. Why? I don't know other than it just sounds fun to me.Click here to read the story behind the contest.

What is a Lamington?

Well, let me tell you. It's a dessert of Australian origin consisting of two cake halves held together with layer of jam or cream. They are then dipped in chocolate and covered in desiccated coconut. (For Americans, desiccated coconut is more finely shredded than what you can find here.)

For the contest, you can be as creative as you want. You can see what I've entered in the past by clicking here, here, and here.

When I found out about this year's contest, I decided I wanted to do something on a theme, and it only took a couple of seconds for me to come up with one. But, it does require some back story.

Let's go back in time to 1983. I was a senior in high school. One day, I was watching MTV on our old TV that had seen better days and was only working in black and white. On came a new video that had me completely hooked from the beginning synthesizer riff. The video was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, and I had to own the song immediately. I ran outside, hopped in my car, and drove straight to the mall. At the music store, I asked if they had heard of the song, and the lady said, "You mean the lady with the crazy orange hair?" I didn't know what she was talking about because I had only seen the video in black and white. The clerk found the cassette tape for me, and yep, the woman from the video did have the brightest orange buzz cut I had ever seen. I virtually ran to my car to pop it into the cassette deck. It was one of those albums where I loved every single song. About a month later, I finally saw the video in color, and it was another amazing experience.

I became obsessed.

If you haven't guessed yet, the group is the Eurythmics and the singer is Annie Lennox. I am one of their biggest fans. I know ALL their music by heart, and I've seen them multiple times in concert. I listen to Annie almost every day, follow her in social media, and even sat through that interminable Lord of the Rings III in a theater just to hear Annie's song at the end. Yep, I'm certifiable. Fortunately, I have a great family who puts up with it.

So, back to Lamingtons. The theme this year is the Eurythmics.

I take my inspiration for my first entry from the video that started it all. Take a look.


Even though that video is 30 years old, I still love it. Hence, I give you the Sweet Dreams Are Made of This Lamington.


The Lamington is covered in white chocolate and broken up Oreo cookies. This, naturally, pays homage to one of my favorite parts of the video--the cow walking around the board room. And now to view the inside.


Of course, it's orange. Could it be anything else? This is an orange pound cake with a vanilla cream center. I added orange food coloring to match Annie's shocking shade.

The reviews from the family were unanimous. These are downright fantastic! You have to be careful though. Because they're bite-sized, you can go through a mound of them in a hurry.

Now, for to my second Lamington entry...

This is also inspired by a Eurythmics video. Please enjoy "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with my Heart)."


The There Must Be An Angel Lamingtons are covered in toasted meringue. Once again, I wanted to match Annie's hair. I did this with the caramelized sugar drizzled on top.


For the cake, there really was only one choice. It had to be angel food cake, am I right? But I must confess... Angel food cake is probably the only cake where I use a box mix. They are too much of a hassle when the mix tastes just as good.

I struggled with what to put on the inside. I wanted the Lamingtons to be mostly white and gold in color. As I perused the grocery aisles searching for something to use for the filling, I had a eureka moment. Biscoff Spread! This product is fairly new to our area. It's kind of a golden brown and is definitely one heavenly treat. It turned out to be the perfect inside for these Lamingtons.


These were light, fluffy, and oh so tasty. The family also gave these their overwhelming stamp of approval.

So, there you have it--my entries for the 2014 Re-invent the Lamington contest. I actually have many more ideas for Lamingtons inspired by Eurythmic and Annie Lennox videos, but they will have to wait. First of all, I have to finish this blog post, and secondly, I have completely destroyed the kitchen.


Sweet Dreams Are Made of This Lamingtons

Orange Pound Cake
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. In a separate bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
Gradually beat flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture just until blended.
Stir in orange zest and orange juice. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool in pan on a rack; remove from pan to rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Cream Filling
Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract




In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until well combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, and beat to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

Lamington assembly:

It works best if you freeze the cake. After the cake is frozen, cut into 1" squares that are a ½" thick. Sandwich two pieces of cake with the vanilla cream filling. Dip and cover with melted white chocolate. Sprinkle crushed Oreos on top and press into sides.

There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) Lamingtons
Ingredients:
  • angel food cake
  • meringue--I used Ms. Humble's recipe. Take a look at her incredible entry from a few years back.
  • Biscoff Spread
  • caramelized sugar 
Caramelized sugar
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup water
In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, and corn syrup, and bring to a boil over high heat. Do not stir. Cover pan, and boil until steam dissolves any crystals. Uncover, and boil 5 more minutes, or until syrup is amber in color. Remove from heat. Dip ends of a fork into the mixture and drizzle over Lamingtons.

4 comments:

  1. Curtis, you are a genius. Your lamingtons are so fabulous - they are the absolute antithesis of mine (which are also fabulous, in a very oh-so-2013 way) and I love them. But tell me, do you have orange colouring in the first ones, or do you have access to some very, err, orange oranges? And I must investigate Biscoff spread - it sounds like a brand of oven cleaner...

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  2. Aha - Biscoff spread is speculoos spread! And I have a recipe for it on my blog! I take back the oven cleaner slur! (That's more than enough exclamation marks for one comment, don't you think?)

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  3. @Kitchenmaid
    I did add orange food coloring to match Annie's hair. I wrote it in the text but didn't add it to the recipe. I'm going to look up your recipe for speculoos (or Biscoff) spread. It's a new thing here, and I LOVE the stuff.

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  4. Welcome back to the blogger world. I have missed you. The radio station that I listen to plays a few Annie songs every day. I had forgotten the first video and never seen the second. I see a trend starting here. Yellow Submarine Lamington in honor of Liam, Super Mario or one of VP songs in honor of Tomas and the list goes on an on. For Liam's Lamington of course it goes without saying it needs to be yellow with banana somewhere. I have never heard of Biscoff spread or speculoos.

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Thanks for leaving a comment. I'll try and respond soon.