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Saturday 16 January 2010

Re-Inventing the Lamington Day One: Cherry Ripe Lamingtons

I did not eat both halves of this, OK?

(In which Mr. P puts other people first.)

I think it probably doesn't need pointing out that the amount of lamingtons that are likely to be produced during a 10-day long lamington re-invention marathon will far exceed the number of lamingtons that one man alone can eat. I have no desire to be that man alone, and for this reason, Mr. Other P and his work mates (including an Australian!) will be my target lamington consumers for the duration of this task. (I love how official that sounds!).

This does not mean I will be asking them for flavour suggestions. Heck no, this is my project, MY PROJECT. But it does make sense, I feel, to try to go for things that I am at least sure some of them will want to eat and enjoy.

Thus we are kicking off with the Cherry Ripe Lamington, which is also a pleasing nod to a confection only available, at least to my knowledge, in Australia, home of the lamington. A Cherry Ripe is a bar made from coconut and cherries, coated in chocolate. Come to think of it, it isn't entirely unlike and inside-out lamington, only there's no cake, and the inside is a pleasing pink colour. I have no photographs, as the Cherry Ripes (along with the musk flavour Lifesavers!) that we brought back from our trip last year have long since been eaten ; Google images has been a good friend to me, however.

Image courtesy of adshelcreate.com.au

Now, I actually thought the Cherry Ripe was horrid. But Mr. Other P loves them - apparently an Aussie friend gave him one in Tokyo years ago, and now he's hooked. They do have a beautiful inside though, and the chance to recreate that as a lamington filling was too great to pass up.

There was only one ingredient I could think of that would give my lamingtons that sickly sweet cherry taste that comes from a Cherry Ripe, and that was everyone's favourite - the maraschino cherry. OK, I'm lying. I hate maraschino cherries, just like I hate glacé cherries. But it really was the only way I could think of! And actually, combined with cake and chocolate, not to mention huge amounts of coconut, the syrupy cherry flavour is muted. You still get plenty of cherry aroma though, which is a good thing as far as I am concerned.

I think the leftovers are going in a Manhattan.

I haven't had the feedback from his colleagues yet, but Mr. Other P and I really enjoyed the lamington you see sliced apart to show the distinctive Cherry Ripe-style filling. The important thing is to use top quality chocolate, and one that is as bitter and dark as possible - this filling is sweet enough to handle it.

These were the first lamingtons I made for the challenge, and I learned something rather important from the experience. Sandwiching two layers of cake together makes for ENORMOUSLY over sized lamingtons. In order to at least try and stem the growing obesity crisis, my recommendation is to use one layer of cake, and split it in half. Otherwise, these are good to go!
Make the filling...

Sandwich the cakes...

And use good chocolate!

Cherry Ripe Lamingtons

You will need:

1/2 quantity Mr. P's Lamington Base
1 jar maraschino cherries (about 30)
400g dessicated coconut
100g sifted icing sugar
250ml double cream
400g plain chocolate, chopped

  1. Cut the cake into 16 squares - this will give you 8 lamingtons, or follow the above advice to get 16.
  2. Mix half of the coconut with the icing sugar, 50ml cream and the finely chopped maraschino cherries (reserve 8 for decoration if you like). Add some of the cherry syrup from the jar as well if necessary; you should have a thick paste. Set aside for 10 minutes, and stir again. The mixture should be pink.
  3. Melt the chocolate and remaining cream together, and allow to cool.
  4. Spread the tops of half of the cake squares with about 1 tbsp of the filling, and top with another cake square. Press together firmly.
  5. Dip these sandwiches into the chocolate and cream, before rolling them in coconut. It helps to put the coconut in a shallow dish.
  6. Stand on a wire rack to set for an hour or so. Top with a reserved cherry before serving, if wished.

Don't forget to Re-Invent the Lamington! Deadline 26 January.


  1. I didn't like Cherry Ripes as a child but now I LOVE them and buy tons whenever I go home to visit. My mum occasionally will send me some too! Love this reinvented lamington. Can't wait to try mine out next weekend - though they are a little bit "out there" and some lamington purists might not appreciate.... (hope they work out!)

  2. Ohh mmmm . . . those look delicious. Yes, I am one of those horrid mutant maraschino cherry lovers! Have never had a cherry ripe, but I am betting that I would love them!

  3. You know I'm a lamington nay-sayer. But these look great! Can't wait for days 2-10! Robin

  4. this one looks much better than the one you had down under....cherries you say, huh!

  5. And so it begins. I am a Cherry Ripe fiend, so I like how you've kicked things off! I may be continuing along this same theme in my own little lamington creation (wink wink nudge nudge say no more)

  6. Guys, I'm away at the moment, so can't really do much commenting. But glad you like! There's so much more lamington tomfoolery to come!

  7. Oooo! They're so pretty! I love those colors - I never wear pink, but I like my food drenched in it!

  8. Oooh I love cherries! =) I will make these soon.

  9. I grow more fond of you as the days go by Mr. P.

    You have cleverly combined two of my most favourite treats into a most delicious looking super-treat!

    Yay to Lamingtons!
    Double yay to Cherry Ripes!!!

    Bne, Qld, Au

  10. Yeah Cherry Ripes are a love'em or loath'em kinda thing. The Lovely Man's the Lover, and I'm the Loather. BUT they are SO Aussie, I think it's a perfect option for a Lamington filling:) Great start, I'd love to know how the feedback goes - I love hearing about everyday (read non-foodies) people raving about delicious things:)

  11. Looks so pretty, and delicious. love the cherries,

  12. I'm not entirely familiar with Lamingtons, but these are so beautiful. I must get familiar with some soon, can't wait to try this out!

  13. Goodness me, two of my favourite treats in the one goodie!!! I am most definetly going to have to make this recipe!!!! Thank you :)

  14. I can't spell :( It should be "definitely" not "definetly"!!!!!

  15. These are beautiful and it sounds as though you did a great job with the cherry flavor. Looking forward to your next installment.

  16. What a great creation! Nice picture!

  17. I am entering your contest and found you through Not So Humble Pie. I keep making these blasted cakes and they look worse every time I try another! I loved looking at yours, but actually making, cutting, icing, dipping and handling is another story. Any hints on how to make the icing part go more smoothly? Today I will trying to freeze my little cakes before icing them so I don't get crubs all throughout the icing.

  18. Julie -I cannot believe I didn't think of that. Freezing would be a terrific idea. I bet it works really well. My only other advice is either make lots more icing than you need and really "dip" the cakes, or spread it with a knife. Looking forward to the results!

    Everyone who mentioned cherry ripes - yeah, they are a love/hate thing. But that ad poster has made me want more! The power of advertising, eh?

    Feedback on Cherry Ripe Lamingtons was good! They liked the cherry colour best. They aren't my favourite though. I think you'll have to wait for Day Three for those! :)

  19. I love these - fab take on the lamington. I really like Cherry Ripe bars, so I am sure that I'd like them in this form, too.

  20. Just returned from Australia with a case full of Cherry Ripe bars. Completely addicted, thanks to my friends who live down under and feed my addiction.

    These lamington's look fantastic.

  21. Mr other P will like the new coconut coated cherry ripe.
    Delicious. I think they got the idea from your Cherry ripe lamington.
    must try. google it.


That's what he said.

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