Lamingtons are Australian sweet treats made with chocolate and coconut. I am crazy about them, and I decided to create my own vegan recipe with even more coconut. This dessert is an homage to beautiful Australia and a chance for me to share our road trip with you.
This April we finally went on honeymoon, two years after our wedding. We were lucky enough to take a month off work and do a road trip around Australia. I have been dreaming of lamingtons since I got back home, and I finally found some time to experiment in the kitchen.
I am proudly sharing here my recipe, with plant-based ingredients, alongside my memories for such an extraordinary trip.
I wrote the below on the plain, on our way back. It’s a very rough summary after weeks in a van and a life where every day was an adventurous daydream.
I hope you’ll enjoy my lamingtons with a cup of coffee or tea, while planning your next trip.
We are on our return flight to London, the longest flight ever. We’ll arrive in 24 hours.
It’s hard to comprehend our trip has come to an end.
A month is really not that much, no matter how epic it is.
Funnily enough, some destinations we have been recently seem further away in my mind than the first ones we have been. Like Sydney seems yesterday while Cairns seems looong time ago.
I guess memory is a fluid concept and we tend to recall more easily what’s similar to our current reality (e.g. a city like Sydney more similar to Melbourne where we currently are rather than wild nature).
We really struggle to find a highlight. We are not lying when we say everything was worth it, everything was so beautiful.
Sydney and the first encounters with the evil ibis, taking a dip in the ocean and jumping the waves on day one.
Blue Mountains and our misty walk in ode to nature.
Daintree and Cape Tribulation and being in close contact with our planet, in fear and respect of wildlife.
Cairns and the great barrier reef, floating around colours surrounded by corals and all sorts of animals.
Picking up our van and driving along the east coast under crazy, never-ending, tropical rain, meeting friendly people along the way, stealing every rare ray of sunshine at the beach, cuddling in the van in the cold nights, and living outdoors all day, every day.
Then finally, during our last weeks, Australia gifted us blue sunny days and we became one with the ocean on the Gold and Sunshine coast. We terribly bruised our knees while surfing and we swam at every beach we found.
We then flew to Uluru and our eyes couldn’t grasp the infinity of the red dessert with lots of green dots, thanks to the rain, which never gave us a break.
We had no expectations for the last days of our trip in the Victoria state, but the Great Ocean Road has completely blown us away, literally. The wind made the place so wild with the tallest waves we have ever seen, and Riccardo drove us across the craziest roads with skyscrapers of trees and horizons of blue ocean.
Melbourne spoiled us with delicious food and an abundance of culture and love for life.
So many animals came to greet us along the way: cassowary, spiders, parrots, kangaroos, wallaby, snakes, ibis, koalas to name just a few.
We ate food from all over the world: Indigenous, Australian, Mexican, Nepalese, Italian, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, German, Greek… are the ones I can now remember.
We went to bed as soon as dark came, exhausted from all the memories, and we woke with the sun as everyday was a big new adventure.
It’s hard to comprehend this trip came to an end.
It’s been such a parallel life to our regular one that now on our way back I start to think it was all a daydream.
We planned this trip so long ago, even before our wedding, and we now take so much pride and satisfaction in having accomplished it against all the odds. We did it!! We are rich of all the memories, a priceless treasure.
There is lots of sleepiness and a bit of uncertainty, but there is no sadness today as our plane takes off.
We know life awaits us, with its challenges and rewards. We are so ready for it.
Plus, I get to take home the best souvenir, as Riccardo, my husband, is on the plane, next to me.
Vegan lamingtonsCourse: Something Sweet
27 x 18 cm oven dish
200 g plain flour
50 g corn starch
30 g desiccated coconut
125 g sugar
120 g rapeseed oil (or any other vegetable oil you have at home)
150 ml oat milk
10 g baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cider vinegar
a pinch of fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
120 g strawberry or raspberry jam
200 g dark chocolate (vegan)
200 ml oat cream
250 g desiccated coconut
- Sift the flour, corn starch, and sugar, slowly add the milk in and stir
- Slowly add the oil in and stir, then add all the remaining ingredients and mix for 2 minutes.
- Pour the batter in the baking dish and bake for 35 mins at 180 C.
- Let the cake cool down for one – two hours. Note: don’t skip this step otherwise your cake will break in half when you cut it.
- Once your cake is at room temperature, slice it horizontally to create two halves.
- Spread jam over one half of the cake and sandwich your sponge+jam with the second half of your cake.
- Refrigerate your sandwich cake in the fridge for at least one hour, this will help keep the cake together and have more defined lamingtons.
- Take the cake out of the fridge, trim the edges (don’t throw the leftover cake, enjoy it with a hot cuppa) and cut the cake into eight squares.
- Let’s prep for the final steps: pour the desiccated coconut on a shallow bowl and place a wire rack above an oven dish or a big plate – this is where you’ll place the lamingtons and the oven dish or big plate will reduce your cleaning time later.
- Chop the chocolate and melt it with the oat cream over medium heat.
- It’s show time: dip one square at a time into the melted chocolate until completely covered. Immediately and quickly roll it over the desiccated coconut. Set the square on the wire rack. Repeat with all the squares. It’s a messy business but also lots of fun. Chill the lamingtons for at least one hour. Enjoy!