Passports and Pamplemousse for  IHOD

Australia Day Recipe – Lamingtons

January 22, 2014

From our talented abroad contributor, Davina of Passports and Pamplemousse

Growing up down undah’ was an unintentional luxury, that unfortunately, I took for granted. I suppose it’s kind of like people who live by the ocean; they always tell me they rarely actually go to the beach, because they live there so they assume they have the rest of their lives to go there. Similarly, friends in New York City have told me that they’ve lived in the big apple for years and never been to see the Statue of Liberty or the Guggenheim. And, as a child and teenager growing up in Australia, I didn’t realize just how gorgeous it really was, until I was forced to leave.

So in Honor of the upcoming Australia Day holiday (January 26th), I baked one of my favorite Aussie treats – The Lamington. fact, it’s so revered in my home-state of Queensland, that there is actually a National Lamington Day (July 21st). The pinnacle of Lamington fever was last experienced in 2011 when the world’s biggest Lamington was made in Toowoomba, weighing in at 1320kg and breaking the Guinness World Record.

For now, I’ll stick to small batch Lamingtons… and here’s my recipe. I use Jacques Pepin’s basic sponge cake as a base, rather than the regular commercial lamington recipes. I find it perfectly spongy and much healthier than the alternatives:

Passports and Pamplemousse via IHOD
Passports and Pamplemousse for IHOD

What you’ll need:

– a square baking dish about 30 to 40cm or two smaller dishes. Lining them with baking paper is the easiest method, as sponge cake tends to stick and be very delicate. Baking paper allows you to lift the cakes out easily!
– an upright electric mixer for the sponge cake
– some skewers or large forks (the straight 2 pronged forks you use for meat are perfect)
– a pre-heated oven. Set to 177 degrees Celsius
– cooling rack and kitchen towel underneath it

For the sponge cake:
6 large eggs (room temperature)
169 grams of Sugar
½ teaspoon of high quality vanilla extract
150 grams of all purpose flour
56 grams of melted unsalted butter (optional)

For the icing:
30 grams of melted butter
2 cups of powdered sugar
½ cup of high quality cocoa powder
50 ml of milk at room temperature (perhaps a bit more; set aside if needed)
and a deep plate of shredded coconut (to roll in)

Sponge Cake Instructions:

When you follow the sponge cake rules below, it comes out perfectly. Like a sponge; light and fluffy with a hint of vanilla. A real beaut as we’d say in Australia!

Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer (whisk attachment).

Small tip: If your mixer has an induction, set the heat to about 30 degrees Celsius for just a minute or so. This ensures that the sugar dissolves. Alternatively, you can begin by whisking the mixture over a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Do NOT over-heat or you will have scrambled eggs. Then, transfer to the electric mixer. This step is optional, but I find it does help.

Mix this at medium high speed for a good 10 minutes. You want to incorporate a lot of air, so the mixture should triple in volume (at the very least) and be a slight yellow color. It should make a thick ribbon.

Once you have achieved this, slowly SIFT the flour while FOLDING the mixture to the same time. It may help to have a 3rd hand here – one person folds while the other sifts slowly. Sift the flour slowly enough that clumps do not form.

Once you have done so, slowly fold in the butter way, the same way. (Make sure the butter is not too hot!)

Fill the baking trays about half way. The mixture will rise on its own in the oven.

Bake at 177 degrees Celsius for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size of your tray. Your sponge cake is done when there is a nice deep golden brown color on top. The cake should not sink in or sag.

Allow it to cool before attempting to take it out of the baking dish.

Once cool, cut out squares of the same size. I like to do mine roughly 6cm x 6cm (with a thickness of about 1.5 or 2cm) (as pictured)

Passports and Pamplemousse for  IHOD

For the icing and rolling:

Start with 30 grams of melted butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, ½ cup of high quality cocoa powder and
50 ml of milk at room temperature. Mix with a fork.

Set aside a deep plate of shredded coconut
Set up your cooling rack and set a towel underneath it, so excess icing and coconut can drip off.

The icing should not be too runny, yet it should also not be too thick. You want to be able to spoon it out and drizzle it over the cake squares. It should stick and not run off. If it the icing is too thick, it will glob down when you roll it in coconut.

Starting with 50ml of milk is perfect for the ratio of icing sugar to cocoa powder. After that point, even a small drop of milk will go a long way – if you find the icing is too thick for you, then just add small drops of milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Some people like to dunk their sponge squares in the icing. I find that the sponge falls apart this way, and rolling the coconut is a disaster.

I like to take a 2 pronged fork that we use for meat, and skewer the sponge cake square onto it.

Then I take a spoon, and drizzle on the chocolate icing lightly – allowing the excess to drip back off, before rolling it on all sides in the shredded coconut.

Place on the cooling rack, so the excess can drip off, and allow these to dry.

They taste splendid with some jam or whipped cream in the middle (a sort of lamington sandwich) and will stay lovely and moist in a Tupperware container for a few days! (if they last that long!)



The lost art of vocabulary.

January 21, 2014


My mother was an English teacher and she always emphasized the importance of creative writing. This worked well for me since math and science were where I pedaled my heart out and never achieved any distance. Even though 5 interpretive essays on The Scarlet Letter was next to a slow torturous death, and reading the Iliad of Homer was needles to the eyeballs, I have always appreciated writing. I would get lost in books and stay up all night to finish a good one. I have never liked to write, but I have come to see the importance of stretching your mind and keeping it exercised. We live in an era of emoticons and abbreviated words (guilty), and the use of words such as whether and therefore are long gone…

At our last Brand Market Workshop Mandy shared in her segment that there are millions of blogs being started EVERY year. I started blogging at the dawn of the boom, and so I have seen it shift each year. Social media is taking over, and chances are, the blogs you do read are through your social media streams. Instagram is fast becoming the instant fix to quick blogging on the go, and has replaced blogging for some individuals altogether. In conversations, vocabulary use is being replaced with imagery, snap chat, text messaging, and photo captions.

Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing (well I have strong feelings about snapchat…)? Neither. Just a shift. But as my personality goes, where the stream chooses to flow, I choose to paddle against. Its the stubborn nature rooted in me that loves to go against a trend. I have seen this shift in blogging as a bold faced invitation to write more, challenge my writing, and continue to stretch the power of the english language.

I am a sucker for a good photograph just as much as the next, but with The Portrait Project and other posts here and there, I hope to muster up enough motivation to put power to the pen…or keyboard rather;)

x (abbreviation for hugs), Anna

P.S. Astounded by the response to The Brand Market over the weekend. Tickets are going fast and sponsors are pouring in. Thank you so much!




Rockaroo Giveaway

January 19, 2014

4moms became part of the family when Maximilian arrived:) We think so highly of their products. From Max’s first bath at home, his weeks with silent reflux troubles, and all the way through today, I feel so blessed to have had these products as part of the experience. They were soothers, entertainers, and safe guards.

When I put Max in the rockaRoo for the first time, he literally started giggling out loud. He loved the rocking motion on speed 3…soft and stead but just a bit of a thrill;) He also is at a perfect age to try to catch the plush toys on the top.
Rockaroo Tour - IHOD Rockaroo-IHOD
4moms rockaRoo } In Honor of Design Three siblings - IHOD

Being a third child, you always want to be where the action is. When Gabriel and Veronica are playing, he wants to watch. He can’t crawl yet, so his rockaRoo offers the perfect front row seat to see what is going on. This is how I make dinner at that challenging 5 o’ clock hour. It is one of the few things that will soothe him when me or daddy cannot old him. Gabriel loves to make him laugh and he takes so much pride in being able to do so as you can see above:) This rockaRoo is the perfect perch for interaction with his siblings.

A few perks you should now about why this rockaRoo is such a dream (and why you should add it to your baby registry;)):

  • Rocks like a rocking horse, which maximizes the sensation of motion for your baby.
  • It features five speeds to fit different baby preferences:)
  • It has an MP3 hook-up for your iphone or mp3 player, so you can play your favorite music for your little one. (Max loves Baby Einstein.)
  • It has an optional newborn insert accessory that can provide a more secure feeling to newborn and smaller babies.
  • Mobile attachment with soft plush toys that are removable for the babies to interact with as they start to become more interested in objects and touch.

I can’t say enough good things about this company and this product, so I am so happy to be able to recommend it to you from one mother to another:)

One reason why I love working with 4moms is that they are super sweet AND generous. They are giving away one of these genius rockaRoos today! Enter through rafflecopter below! (Sorry U.S. residents only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well this is only one stop on your RockaRoo giveaway tour. There is a giveaway going on each day of January and you can follow along here.

*This is NOT a sponsored post and all opinions are 100% my own. The rockaRoo was gifted to us by 4moms.
Tent from Be Little You and Me , Artwork from Kori Clark, throw and rug from Dwell Studio

Copyright © 2016 In Honor Of Design. Theme by Maiden Sites