* 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 300g caster sugar
* 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
* ½ tsp vanilla extract
* 500g self-raising flour
* a pinch of salt
* 250ml milk
Icing and coating
* 385g icing sugar
* 125ml milk
* 20g unsalted butter, finely diced
* a little pink food colouring
* 250g shredded coconut
* 250ml double cream
* 15g icing sugar
* ½ tsp vanilla extract
* 4 tbsp raspberry jam
1. Heat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 17cm x 27cm baking tin, 3cm deep, and line the base with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in the vanilla extract.
3. Sift the flour and salt together. Fold them in alternately with the milk, starting and finishing with the flour. Take care not to over mix the batter.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and level the surface with a palette knife. Bake for 30–35 minutes, until the cake is well risen and golden and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove from the tin and leave in the fridge for one hour to firm up.
5. Using a long, serrated knife, cut the sponge into 12 equal pieces. Sift the icing sugar into a heatproof bowl. Gradually add the milk, whisking to keep the mixture smooth, then add the butter.
6. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Stir continuously for three to four minutes, until the icing is hot. Remove from the heat and stir in a little pink colouring.
7. Put the shredded coconut in a bowl. One at a time, dip each lamington into the icing, using a fish slice or spatula to lift them out. Make sure the excess icing has drained off back into the bowl of icing, then put the lamington in the coconut and roll to coat.
8. Lift on to a tray lined with baking parchment and leave for two hours to firm and set.
9. To make the filling, put the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to medium peaks. It should be thick enough to spread. Split each cake in half and sandwich together with the raspberry jam and whipped cream. Once filled, eat within 3 days. The unfilled cakes can be frozen for three months.
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Extract taken from 80 Cakes From Around the World by Claire Clark, published by Absolute, £20.00, Hardback. Photography © Jean Cazals