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Wednesday 18 January 2012

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2012 Day Two: Chocolate Fudge Brownie Lamingtons


(In which Mr. P does the unthinkable.)

No plastic pandas today, unfortunately. Just my good taste chinaware. Don't be too disappointed though, because tomorrow we have the return of the Kewpie. It's been too long without them, hasn't it?

I have a confession today. I've been keeping a big, dirty and reputation-destroying secret from you. For much too long. I feel like it's eating me up inside and I just cannot bear it any more.

Are you prepared for this? Get ready if not. Because here it comes...

I have boxed chocolate brownie mix (catering size!) in my kitchen cupboards.

You look shocked.

I'm not lying.

I got it at Costco.

It's by Ghirardelli, it's Triple Chocolate Flavour and it makes amazing brownies. I forget now where I read about it online, but basically there are Americans out there (many, many Americans) who think that it makes better brownies than a from-scratch, home made recipe would.

Do I think so too? Well, we'll get to that. Right now I need to know that we're still OK. I shouldn't have kept it from you, I know. I just... I need to know that in time you can learn to forgive me. Do you think you can?

I hope so. I feel like the very foundations of my blog are in tatters...

In fairness, I don't think it's better than homemade brownies. I've posted a couple of my favourite brownie recipes on here in the past, and I stand by them. Especially those Chocolate-Ginger Brownies. They were truly memorable.

But I do actually think they're good, these box brownies. Though I cannot put my finger on why. Is it the excitement of using a box mix when everyone knows I'm against them? I'm like those Anti-Fur Activist Types who still wear leather. (And yes, I know it isn't the same thing...)

I like the sweetness. And the fudgy texture - which you can actually see from the photo is particularly inviting.

And let's face it: since these brownies were made with the sole intention of turning them into lamingtons, surely it was OK to use a mix? Well, that's the angle I'm going for...

And what of these lamingtons? How were they? Well, they were fabulous. Moist, fudge-like brownie and crisp chocolate and coconut coating (I opted not to use a ganache for these lamingtons, mainly out of laziness, but it is true that I like the snap you get from a pure chocolate dipped lam) - why wouldn't they be?

If I made them again - and you never know, since these (thanks to Ghirardelli) were a very low-effort undertaking - I think it would be fun to use a white chocolate for the exterior. Make the brownie centre more of a shock.

Though, in retrospect, I think we've had rather enough shocks for today. Don't you?

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Lamingtons

You will need:

1 package of Ghirardelli brownie mix

400g chocolate of your choice
200g dessicated coconut

  1. Make the brownies following the instructions on the box. (I feel sick inside writing those words.)
  2. Cut the cooled brownies into cubes ready for lamingtoning.
  3. Melt the chocolate; put the dessicated coconut into a shallow dish for easy dipping and rolling.
  4. Dip and roll.
  5. Allow the brownie lamingtons to dry and set on greaseproof paper.
  6. Don't tell anyone you used mix. It's not worth it. You could always make these instead. If you feel that strongly about it.


  1. These look über yummy !!!!!! A perfect start to a gloomy day in Paris :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'm sorry they're just not the same without a panda or a pixie peeping over them!!! Love the sound of these, I'd rather find fudgey brownie in my lamington than sponge.

  3. Ah...Mr. P. Do not fret, I too have the XL box of Ghirardhelli brownie mix in my cupboard. Also purchased at Costco, albeit a Canadian Costco.

    I am a die hard scratch baker as well, and do indeed make brownies that way too. This is the only thing I will use a box mix for, cakes.. never! They have a 'funny' taste. But, sometimes you want the Ghirardhelli brownie, that's just the way it is.

    Bake on!

  4. You're totally forgiven ;-))
    Because I'd do the same....

    Talking of cake mixes...nothing comes close to Pillsbury's funfetti cake.
    I've been known to purchase it off Ebay at exhorbitant prices from the USA!!

  5. Those look delicious!

    It took years of brownie recipe testing (such a hardship) before I found one I liked better than that Ghirardelli mix. I still use the mix when I'm short on time and everyone always thinks they're from scratch, which makes it pretty awkward when I'm asked for the recipe.

  6. Anna - it's interesting that you mention Funfetti cake mix. In light of what may or may not be coming. But that's all I'm saying. And it's not what you think.

    Sarah - when are you going to stop teasing us and tell us about your book? :)

  7. LOL on your confession! These looks tasty.

  8. I actually prefer boxed brownies to scratch. Maybe I have just never had a good scratch brownie but I have never liked them as much...

  9. I, too, try to make everything from scratch. However, Ghirardelli's brownie mix is pretty darn good. (btw I'm American). I even have to go to Costco this afternoon to buy a box. I lost horribly to my son last night at Mario Kart on the Wii, and Ghirardelli brownies is what he wants.

    My daughter absolutely loves Pilsbury's Funfetti cake, which I find positively disgusting. Although Mr. P, I'm very intrigued for what's coming.

  10. I'll add my guilt to the mix here! I'm a bit of a nut about making things from scratch, but I have 3 things I'll still let the grocery store make for me. In addition to brownies (which never taste as good home-made as they do from the box) and funfetti (Anna is right - you can't get that texture any other way)....I'm also guilty of making angel food cake from the box on occasion. We have a just-add-water type here, and it's almost as good as scratch but much less fuss.

    These are probably my favorite lamingtons to date...once I can have sugar again, I'm all over these! :)

  11. I love the texture of box brownies. My favorite homemade brownie recipe is the one that tastes the most like boxed brownies. (No, it really does, that's how it was marketed!)

  12. These sound so amazing! and again I'm in agreement that although I'm always a from scratch baker that the Ghiradelli brownie mix is too good not to have on standby - although I went to the Costco in Milton Keynes over Christmas break specifically to buy some and it had been replaced by Ghiradelli chocolate fudge cake! which was rather disappointing. I'm hoping they'd just sold out over Christmas and this isn't a permanent change!

  13. I've been perving over that massive box of brownie mix for ages! Hadn't found justification to buy it... Until now. Bahahahaha!


That's what he said.

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