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Saturday 22 January 2011

Re-Inventing the Lamington 2011 Day Six: Vegan Chocolate Maple and Brazil Nut Lamingtons

Remember that just the other day I accidentally deleted a photograph of a lamington I wanted to post and was quite cross? Well, that has just happened again and now you will never see the insides of this lamington. Ever.

(In which Mr. P does it for the vegans, yeah!)

In my 28 years (we're pushing 29, but on a good day, and in the right light, I can pass for 25, so it's OK - you can still imagine me as a sprightly young thing, and it will only be half untrue) on this planet, I must admit that I haven't spent a great deal of time thinking that I should become a vegan. In the last few years though, the thought has crossed my mind once or twice. Most recently was just today, when somebody passed me their coat and I realised it was real mink ('farmed' - whatever that means), and I immediately wanted to be sick. I think the time before that was when I was preparing some pheasant for dinner and I suddenly had this mental image of the cute pheasants that hop - or whatever that thing is that pheasants do - around the country roads near where my mum lives.

I am a weak man. This is the reason my thoughts of giving up meat never turn into actions. Though, also, I honestly don't think it would be the meat that would be what I missed, were I to veganize myself (so to speak). No, it would be the dairy products. If you took away my cheese, I would just... feel very sad indeed. Imagine: no after dinner cheese board, no tiramisu or cheesecake. No paneer.


It would never work for me.

The good news though, is that I know how to make a really delicious, rich, moist and fudgy chocolate cake that is completely free of any animal products whatsoever. And that I used it to make these lamingtons.

Why did I do this? Well, I could tell you that I was inspired by last year's winning eggless lamington . But actually, that would be lying. The truth is this: vegan chocolate cake is cheap to make. No eggs (I only ever buy free-range, which can be expensive). No butter (which has more than doubled in price over the last five years - what's with that?). I'd already made a gingerbread, a yellow cake and a genoise for my lamington challenge. I'm not going bankrupt for the sake of a few cake cubes, however much I love them.

That said, unglamorous though it is, I really think you should try this cake. I've made it before as cupcakes (the batter makes 12), as a loaf cake, and as layer cakes, but chose to bake this one in a 20cm square tin (which I might just start calling my lamington pan, so often has it been used for them!). So it's very forgiving. You don't have to cover it in vegan maple frosting and chopped Brazil nuts. But you'd be missing out!

Chocolate Maple and Brazil Nut Lamingtons
metric version here

You will need:

For the cake -

1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cups caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp vinegar (any kind)
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups cold water

For the icing and coating -

200g vegan margarine (I used soy Pure - we always have some in the fridge)
450g icing sugar
2 tsp maple extract or 2 tbsp maple syrup
200g Brazil nuts, chopped, plus extra whole nuts to garnish

  1. The cake couldn't be easier. Simply whisk everything together and pour into a greased 20cm square tin. Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes, or until done (when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, blah blah blah).
  2. Turn out immediately onto a cooling rack.
  3. Meanwhile, make the icing: beat together the sugar, margarine and extract until smooth and creamy.
  4. Cut the cool cake into 16 squares, and carefully ice each one on all four sides. This is messy. Sorry.
  5. Roll the iced cakes in chopped nuts, and place into cupcake wrappers to set. Garnish with whole Brazil nuts.


  1. Delicioso blog. Deliciosas recetas. Un regalo para los sentidos. Gracias.

  2. Delicioso blog. Deliciosas recetas. Un regalo para los sentidos. Gracias.

  3. Delicioso blog. Deliciosas recetas. Un regalo para los sentidos. Gracias.

  4. i'm in the middle of making mine (i hope you like them...) I had to stop to double check what I was doing...
    popping out to buy logs for the fire, hopefully cake should have cooled, then i'll building my first lamingtons... a little bit over excited... hope camera doesn't fail me or I may explode!

  5. you made a mess of my kitchen but here you go my friend: http://belleaukitchen.blogspot.com/

  6. Mr. P, I'm sure someone has already told you this, but you should make a book of your lamington recipes! I'd buy it!

  7. In my imagination, where there is always perfect lighting, the insides of these lamingtons look adorably delicious.

    And I agree about the dairy thing. Have can one live without cheese??

  8. I think this looks fab - not at all unglamorous. The mere mention of a Brazil nut conjures up the exotic. I second the lamington cookbook idea.

  9. I couldn't live without cheese. Or chocolate.

    I have made some but I've not managed to photograph them in daylight grrr and I'm away tomorrow so going to miss deadline boo hoo.

    Will have to see how they look with a flash (aaagh)

  10. Maybe I could email you a picture and you could post it even though I've not managed to blog it yet?!


That's what he said.

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