The chocolate lamington is as Australian as meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars, ranking alongside the other true Australian icons of the peach melba and Vegemite.
This Australian culinary icon, which consists of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with fine desiccated coconut, is believed to have been created through an accident at work by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the thoroughly-British eighth Governor of Queensland. The maid-servant was working at Government House in Brisbanewhen she accidentally dropped the Governor's favourite sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Lord Lamington was not a person of wasteful habits and suggested that it be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate to avoid messy fingers. Lord Lamington devoured this new taste sensation with great delight and the maid-servant's error was proclaimed a magnificent success by all!
Lord Lamington was born in London, England on 29 July 1860 as Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE holding the aristocratic title of Baron Lamington. He was Governor of Queensland from 9 April 1896 to 19 December 1901 and as a result, the lamington was considered 100 years old on 19 December 2001. After leaving Queensland, he went on to become the Governor of Bombay in India for 4 years. He died at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1940.
According to Hansardat the Australian Constitutional Convention in Canberra on 11 February 1998, Cr Paul Tully, an elected delegate representing QUEENSLANDERS FOR A REPUBLIC suggested that his extensive research of the Governors of the 6 Australian colonies and states had produced evidence of only "one, single, solitary, positive achievement of any Governor since the First Fleet arrived in 1788" and that was Lord Lamington's contribution to the culinary delights of the Australian nation!
Lord Lamington served Queensland for 5 years but despite all of his colonial, aristocratic pomp and ceremony, the only thing which Charles Wallace Alexander Napier COCHRANE-BAILLIE will ever be remembered for in Australia is the creation of the world-famous lamington.
Would you believe that Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses have been around for as long as the lamington? We were established in 1901 and we've been making chocolate lamingtons for over 100 years! Percy Ferguson & Otto Plarre started working on our original cake recipes over 106 years ago and that's why we recently won 1st Place for our lamingtons at the recent National Baking Competition held in Melbourne on the 27th of June 2007. Come in and try Australia's best lamingtons!