I discovered the joys of what a lamington were quite late. Chris had waxed on and on and on about how delicious these fluffy blocks of vanilla sponge cake, coated in chocolate and rolled in dried coconut flakes were. The best ones, he explained, are filled with a nice jam, usually raspberry, and some are even filled with jam AND cream. You could get basic ones from Cole’s or another grocery store, but the best ones always came from local bakeries in Australia.
Unfortunately, the very first one I had was at a Pie Face in Melbourne. It was not filled with anything. It just seemed like a big slice of vanilla cake coated in chocolate and coconut, which really was not that exciting to me. It was just vanilla sponge inside – what’s the big deal? I didn’t get the hype and immediately wrote the experience off.
But then, Chris discovered Bushwick Hot Bread, owned by an Aussie chef who works at Eleven Madison Park. Given the pandemic, she’s out of work, so she’s started a side hustle preparing Aussie treats and delivering them on Sundays. He ordered her lamingtons, and it was love at first bite: it was super moist, almost to the point where it felt like it was SOAKED in liquid, and the jam on the inside was fruity and delicious. I loved everything about it. We have since ordered many more, in addition to her other baked goods, as well, and none have disappointed.
Then, I noticed while at Super Moon Bakehouse this past Friday that they had their own rendition of a lamington that was filled with jam AND cream, double the size of Bushwick Hot Bread’s. So I bought one and brought it home to compare side by side. The vanilla sponge was good, but nowhere as moist as Bushwick’s. And the cream layer was almost triple the amount of the jam to the point where it overpowered the jam! In many bites, I could not even taste the jam. One glance at the innards after I cut into it, and the Australian in Chris went nuts. “No, I can tell it’s not as good because the ratio of cream to jam is completely off!” he exclaimed.
We all have strong opinions on something, and when it comes to Aussie treats, Chris lets it all out. Bushwick Hot Bread won easily.