Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane-Baillie… what a splendid name! He was born in 1860 and reached the grand old age of eight, and his title was 2nd Baron Lamington, GCMG ( The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George) GCIE (Knight Grand Commander, Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire) The first Baron Lamington, Charles’s father, was a politician who became a baron; the country estate was in Lamington, a small village in South Lanarkshire in Scotland.
To give you a clue why I have been finding out about Baron Lamington the second – he was Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, and various geographical features in Australia are named after him such as Lamington Plateau and National Park and Lamington Bridge in Queensland, Mount Lamington a volcano in Papua New Guinea and Lamington Road and Lamington High School both in India where he was also governor after leaving Queensland.
So there is the Australian connection… but the real reason (if you don’t already know) is the lamington which is practically the national cake of Australia! It is a delicious sponge cake, cut into squares, dipped in chocolate or a jammy sort of sauce (raspberry) and then dipped in desiccated coconut. I have often seen recipes for them, but never tried them before… until our recent holiday in Tasmania and Queensland itself, the home of the lamington.
Although there are apparently several similar cakes which were appearing at the end of the nineteenth beginning of the twentieth century, the lamington was supposed to have been created by Baron Lamington’s chef, Armand Gallan.
There are plenty of recipes for lamingtons on-line, I haven’t yet made any but I certainly am going to; the thing which interests me, having eaten them without seeing a recipe, is that in most recipes I have looked at since trying them have little or no butter in the mix… I must experiment!
I have no picture of any lamingtons, they were eaten too quickly, but I have a photo of an old kitchen where I am sure they must have been made!