3 of the best … DESSERTS … in Australia
Writing this post seriously made my mouth water!
I am doing a post each month for PerelinColors where I showcase 3 of my favourite things here in Australia. And this month, it’s desserts!! I don’t often blog about food, but I thought this would be fun. Ok, let’s dive straight in!
First up is the humble Lamington. When I was in my early teens, my mum and dad did the fundraising for a friend of theirs who entered the “Girl in a Million” contest, which raised large amounts of money for charity. One of the most common things to do back then was a “Lamington Drive” where we would sell these little parcels of goodness. We had thousands of lamingtons all through our house and all you could smell was sponge cake and chocolate. We grew to hate them, but don’t worry, that’s gone now and I love them again.
It’s basically sponge cake that is soaked in a thin chocolate sauce and then rolled in desiccated coconut. Sometimes, these days, they are cut in half and filled with whipped cream and also sometimes a little bit of strawberry jam. Often, you can get them as a full round cake – usually the top has been removed, the bottom half topped with cream and then the top placed back on. Personally, I prefer the original, as shown in the photos above.
It is claimed that the lamington was named after Lord Lamington, who was governor of Queensland (my state) from 1896 to 1901 (or more precisely, named after his wife). It is also claimed that they were first made in a town called Toowoomba, which is just under 90 minutes from where I am currently living. There are many other claims to its origins, such as accidentally dropping sponge cake in chocolate sauce 🙂 and also a french maid having to make something quickly to serve Lord Lamington’s unexpected guests. We may never know!
Next is the Pavlova. This delicious meringue, cream and fruit combination is so yummy and we always have one at Christmas. Usually it has kiwi fruit and strawberries and sometimes passionfruit on top. We’ve also crumbled Cadbury Flake chocolate on top for some extra yumminess. If you want the recipe, let me know. This was the easiest and the best one that I have made. For the Aussies reading this, it’s Fast Ed’s Christmas Pav from Better Homes and Gardens.
It is said to be named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, and first made for her during one of her tours of Australia or New Zealand in the 1920s. Aussies claim it as their own, as do the Kiwis. It is a well-worn argument, but it is thought to have been an Australian living in New Zealand at the time, who invented it. There – does that satisfy everyone?!
And finally, the very decadent Fantale Popcorn Caramel Tart. Now, this one is a modern take on an old Aussie classic. I didn’t realise that caramel tart was particularly Australian, I thought it might be a French classic, but my research says that it does indeed have its roots in Australia, particularly in Queensland and New South Wales.
My mum used to make it all the time for parties when we were children. She makes the best thin pie crust, fills it with caramel which she makes by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk and then tops the tart with whipped cream. It’s divine simplicity.
My version here is, as I said, a modern take on the classic. It contains one of my favourite Aussie lollies (sweets, candies??) called Fantales – which are a small chocolate-coated caramel cubes made by Allen’s, a still-Aussie company who makes various lollies. The dessert also contains popcorn, which is one of the main things that attracted me to it. It was pretty easy to make and it was absolutely delicious – I highly recommend it. The link to the recipe is here.
Another modern update could be salted caramel tart. I do admit that I used salted popcorn and salted peanuts in this recipe and I think that it added to the deliciousness 😉
Do any of you Aussies make any of these? Care to share a pic? Or for everyone else, do you have some favourite recipes from your home country to share with us? Feel free to write a post with a pic and let us know about it – just tag your post #3ofthebest or pingback to this one.