I have a confession to make: I messed up. I got my dates all mixed up. I’ve gone and done something that’s almost criminal.
I let July 21 pass without the moment of reverence it deserved.
I missed National Lamington Day. I know. It is with an unopened pack of dessicated coconut against my heart that I say ‘Lamington proponents of the day, I acknowledge your right to get the pitchforks out’.
Early last week (I lie: coming on two now) I was up late researching Lamington recipes of all types—traditional, filled, flavoured, banana bread Lamingtons even. I feel like that last one might fail the bona fide Lamington test if there were such a thing. An unAustralian Lamington or a very Australian Lamington? I wonder what Captain Cook would have thought. Would he have shipped the banana bread Lamington pairing? I have a feeling he might just have flagged both as delicious.
Lamingtons had, by all accounts, been in mind. I had sorted through all the must-know tips for sorting National Lamington Day (I was amazed: there are articles on this). I had the date set in my mind. During the week, I had done a Woolies shop for Lamington supplies, and had even remembered to bring my reusable Woolworths Macro Jute bag like a good little Woolies customer. I had bought my two types of coconut for the pantry: shredded and dessicated. Yes, they are different, and no, that wasn’t impressed upon my mind until said research into Lamingtons. I had got a new half-kilo butter block for the fridge. I had stocktaked my chocolate stash to ensure the adequacy of supplies: two full tins of dutch cocoa powder, one of Nestlé’s cooking cocoa, and three blocks of chocolate. Ostensibly satisfactory to most minds, but I always get a niggling feeling that more I could do with.
Then things got in the way. Enthusiasm waned. Lost in a sea of distractions, the arbitrary passing of time, somewhere between four sunrises and sunsets, Lamington Day dropped off my radar.
Four days later I instead did up a choc-mint slice.
Because I felt like mint.
I’ve resolved to postpone Lamingtons until such time that I can do them justice. Lamington Day Atonement Day is in the pipeline. Lamingtons on hold…
Here’s the recipe for the choc-mint slice
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup SR flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut, plus extra
Mix butter and sugar. Mix through egg. Add extracts, cocoa powder and stir through flours. Bake in a lined slice tin at 150°C for 20-30min until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool while preparing icing.
2 cups icing sugar
50 g butter
2 tbps water
1-2 tsp peppermint extract
1 drop green food colouring
Cream butter and sugar. Add water and extract. Add colour. Mix well.
Spread on top of cooled slice. I didn’t let mine cool, they were just out of the oven and onto the board—definitely made it fiddly to ice and cut.
Ever since discovering Nestlé’s Peppermint Crisps this year, I’ve been digging minty flavours. It’s like it flicked on a switch allowing me to appreciate mint-flavoured things rather than have them remind me of toothpaste.
These mint slices are light as, and very easy to eat your way through. They won’t do your wallet in.
For an absolutely mint version of these, I’d add:
• to the topping, a sprinkling of crushed Nestlé Peppermint Crisps and chopped up Nestlé Mint Patties. Replace the icing with melted dark chocolate. Add a tablespoon or two of peppermint schnapps to keep things cool as a cucumber.
• to the base, a good chunk of a block of melted Lindt Dark Intense Mint from their Excellence range. This stuff is velvety and simply mint.
I am going to have to do the decadent version of these. I’ll add it to the list of things I’ve mint to do but haven’t.