pannacotta lamington cake

With Australia Day just around the corner I decided it was time to revisit the humble lamington, a bit of a tradition on the blog. In past years I've made lamingtons, lamington cupcakes, a lamington cake and pannacotta lamingtons. This year I decided to combine the pannacotta lamingtons with the lamington cake to make a pannacotta lamington cake. 

You make a butter cake. You halve the cake, then soak the cake halves in pannacotta, then when the pannacotta has set you sandwich the cakes together with raspberry jam, before coating the cake in chocolate. As a finishing touch you toss some coconut around the edges of the cake.

What could possibly go wrong? Everything! The cake didn't rise as much as it should and it wouldn't brown. The first batch of pannacotta curdled so I had to remake it. I ran out of home-made raspberry jam and had to scavenge through the pantry looking for another red jam (rhubarb and apple). When I found the packet of shredded coconut I knew I had in the cupboard, it had yellowed and I couldn't use it so I used flaked coconut instead of a 50:50 mix. Worse was to come.

I photographed the cake and cut myself a slice, which I have to say was delicious so I'm happy to share the recipe with you. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20ºC.

Lamington Cake – inspired by Flour and Stone.

1 tablespoon cold water
1¼ teaspoons gelatine
½ cup full cream milk
Scant ¼ cup caster sugar
½ vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1 cup buttermilk or cream

Butter Cake
125 grams (4 oz) unsalted butter
100 grams (½ cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1¾ cups self-raising flour, sifted
¼ cup plain flour
¾ cup milk or buttermilk

Chocolate glaze
150 gm dark chocolate (56%-60% cocoa solids), finely chopped
50 gm butter, diced
50 gm icing sugar, sieved
1-2 tbsp cream or milk

To finish
Raspberry jam, for spreading
50 gm coconut flakes or shredded coconut or a mix of both

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over the water. Set aside until the gelatine has softened, 5 minutes. Place the milk, the sugar and the vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatine. Cool to room temperature, and then remove the vanilla bean from the milk mixture. Gradually whisk the milk into the cream or buttermilk and stir together gently. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a jug and leave to one side while you make the cake.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line the base and sides of two 20cm round tins with baking paper. You’ll use one tin for baking the cake and the second one for the pannacotta soak

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until combined well. Sift the flours together into a small bowl. Add the flour alternately with the milk to make a soft batter. Spread the mixture into the prepared tin; smooth the surface and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden and the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Cool in tin. When cool turn out the cake but don’t discard the baking paper. Trim the top flush if necessary and slice horizontally. Place the bottom half back into the cake tin still in the baking paper. Place the other half in the second lined cake tin. Pierce the cakes all over at small intervals with a skewer. Gradually pour the pannacotta mixture over cakes, letting the liquid soak in, and refrigerate until set (4-5 hours or overnight).

Stir chocolate, butter and icing sugar in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in milk. You can also melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave before adding the icing sugar and milk or cream. Cool briefly.

To assemble, remove the cakes from the tins. Place one cake half on a wire rack on a tray. Spread the bottom half with jam and sandwich together with the remaining half. Pour the chocolate glaze over cake, spreading over top and sides. Combine the flaked and shredded coconut in a bowl, press onto side of cake and refrigerate the cake until set (30-40 minutes).

To serve, cut into slices with a hot wet knife. The lamington cake will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

I took the cake into work and as I transferred the cake from the cake carrier, it slid off the base and landed chocolate side down onto the floor. I could save the bottom layer but the top layer was destroyed so in the end I was the only one who managed to taste the complete cake. I do have plans to remake the cake some time in the future but for now I'm still a bit too traumatised.

Happy Australia Day!

See you all again next week.

Bye for now,


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