Do you know what a lamington is? I didn’t until a few years ago. I was introduced to them by Mr. P from Delicious, Delicious, Delicious. If you like sweets, his blog is the place for you. Mr. P bakes up a storm and takes lovely photos and writes witty posts and is all around charming. The site is not gluten-free, but does it really matter with all the aforementioned attributes? (No.)
Lamingtons are a popular Australian treat. Traditionally they are squares of sponge cake, coated in chocolate, then rolled in dessicated coconut. Sometimes there’s a cream or jam filling. Apparently Mr. P visited Australia a few years ago, and he was not exactly wowed by this treat. He started an event called Re-Inventing the Lamington. For the ten days leading up to Australia Day, he creates a different take on the lamington. He also has a contest for people to submit their own lamington inventions. The event was so popular that it’s been repeated in the intervening two years.
The entries are always pretty amazing. You know, from people who should probably be running their own bakery or competing in some Food Network show. While I thought it might be fun to participate, I also was scared. I figured there was no way I would stack up. But on Friday I finally said, screw it, I’m going to try anyway.
Update: Here’s the roundup if you want to see all of this year’s entries.
I felt a bit odd re-inventing a dessert I’d never heard of before, especially since this version is really nothing like what a lamington is supposed to be, but I figure Mr. P can take the flack for that. I’m only following orders. Mike and I started talking about flavor ideas. I settled on a deconstructed white chocolate macadamia nut brownie, which of course is then re-constructed in a much more complicated and time-consuming way. No one said this was an exercise in logic.
For the brownie part, I worked off of Mr. P’s chocolate ginger brownie recipe. Mine didn’t quite get the rise that his had, but they were nice and fudgy, which was what I wanted. In addition to the named ginger, his recipe includes nutmeg and cloves, which I omitted here. Upon further consideration, the spices would probably go well with the white chocolate and macadamia nuts, but I didn’t want to get too crazy with the flavors. If you have another brownie recipe that bakes in a 8×8 pan, feel free to use that instead.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 3 ounces (75 grams) dark chocolate, broken into squares
- 1 cup (200 grams) superfine sugar
- 1/3 cup (42 grams) sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup (42 grams) potato starch
- 4 teaspoons (9 grams) almond meal
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cocoa
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, then grease the paper and sides.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Once melted, allow to cool slightly.
- Mix the sorghum flour, potato starch, almond meal, and xanthan gum in a bowl. Add the flour mixture, plus the other remaining ingredients to the chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth.
- Pour into the greased baking pan. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Remove and cool.
(I actually ended up with the brownies to the right of the double boiler, and the parchment paper just to the left of the nuts, but I wanted to give you an idea of what the work station looked like.)
Gluten-Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Brownie Lamingtons
- 1 batch of brownies (from above), completely cooled
- 14 ounces (400 grams) white chocolate chunks
- 12 ounces (350 grams) macadamia nuts, finely chopped
- Trim the edges of the brownie so that it has straight, even sides. Cut into 16 squares.
- Fill a medium pot about halfway with water and place over high heat. Once simmering reduce to low. Place a double boiler insert (or a metal bowl that fits snugly) over the pot. Add the white chocolate, stirring occasionally until melted. Turn off heat.
- Place the macadamia nuts in a wide shallow bowl, near the white chocolate. Lay out a large sheet of wax or parchment paper to set the lamingtons on.
- Dip a brownie square into the melted chocolate, until fully coated. Roll the chocolate-dipped brownie in the chopped nuts. Place on the paper to firm up. Repeat with remaining brownie squares.
Makes 16 squares
Do you really need to trim the brownie edges? Depends on how particular you are about the details. I am entering a contest after all. Might as well be persnickety. (Plus you get to eat all the best parts of the brownie.)
I found that you really wanted the white chocolate to only be a thin layer. I’d then set it in the nuts and pat the nuts in from all sides. Basically, avoid touching the white chocolate itself as much as you can. It just gets messy.