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Apr 25, 2009 06:14 PM

Aussie favourites - recipes for Anzac Biscuits and Lamingtons

Well it is that time of the year again - Anzac Day where us Aussies give thanks to those who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during the first World War.

Some history on these delicious baked goods:

During the first world war, mothers, wives and girlfriends of the overseas troops were concerned about the lack of nutritional value in the food being supplied to their men. Most of it was being transported to them aboard merchant navy ships which had no refrigeration and so had to remain edible for more than two months. The women thus devised a biscuit that was durable and nutritious based on a Scottish recipe inlcuding rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, butter and golden syrup or treacle - all long life ingredients.
After the Gallipoli landing, the biscuits became known as ANZAC biscuits.

As for the Lamingtons, they were created in the early 1900's in Brisbane Australia, named after the eigth governor of Queensland (Brisbane is the capital of Queensland). Rolled in moist chocolate sauce, and then coconut, the cake remains soft and scrumptious for days.

Now, onto the recipes! I have done by best to provide accurate conversions and substitutes where they may be required...

Lamingtons (makes 25):

4 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 TB unsalted butter
350g (12oz) good-quality chocolate
3/4 cup cream (35% milk fat)
4 cups dessicated coconut
Optional (see end of recipe): 5 tbsp strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 180c (350f) and lightly grease a 20cm (8") square cake tin.
Whisk the eggs and sugar on a high speed for about 10 minutes.
In 2 batches, sift the flour over the egg mixture and, using a metal spoon, gently fold to combine, then fold in the butter.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer/toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for a further 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, place the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water.
Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined and smooth, then set aside.
Scatter the coconut in a tray for dipping.

Cut the cake into 25 (4cm / 2") square pieces (5 rows across and 5 down).
Using a long skewer, dip each square into the chocolate and shake off the excess, then roll in the coconut, again shaking off the excess.
Place on a wire rack until the chocolate sets.

Optional: before coating the cake in chocolate and coconut, slice each piece in half and spread with a layer of strawberry jam.

Anzac Biscuits (makes 25):

60g (2oz) butter
1 TB golden syrup (substitute maple syrup, or light molasses, or honey, or dark corn syrup)
2 ts water
1/2 ts bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 160c (320f). Heat the butter and syrup in a saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted, then add the water and set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, then pour the warm butter mixture over and stir to combine.

Line 1 large or 2 small baking trays with baking paper and roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on the tray about 5cm (2") apart.
Flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits on the tray for a further 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container.

Strawberry Jam:
500g (17.5oz / 1 pound, 2 ounces) caster (superfine sugar)
500g (17.5oz / 1 pound, 2 ounces) strawberries, quartered
30g (1oz) pectin

Scatter 300g (10.5oz) sugar over the quartered quartered strawberries. Cover and set aside at room temperature overnight.
Mix the rest of the sugar (200g/7oz) with the pectin.
Place both mixtures in a saucepan and cook uncovered over low heat for 3 hours until it reaches jam consistency.

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  1. This is AWESOME. I have been looking for a recipe for raspberry lamingtons for the longest time. Chocolate with strawberry is pretty darn close, I suppose. Thank you!


    1. *sob* so homesick now, need (raspberry) lamington, anzac biscuit, meat pie, lime milkshake fix immediately! (although am a Kiwi, not Aussie).

      13 Replies
      1. re: toastnjam

        toastnjam, you wouldn't have a recipe for raspberry lamingtons, would you?

        Also, tell me more about the lime milkshake. Sounds interesting. What's in it?


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          The raspberry lamingtons my mother used to make used a similar recipe as Infernooo's, which is essentially a sponge cake. The raspberry coating was made by dissolving raspberry jelly (jello) with boiling water and letting it cool and set a little. Then the sponge squares are dipped in the jelly before being rolled in coconut and filled with cream. The jelly needs to be made with less water than normal, about half the normal volume so that it's quite strong. You could also use thinned raspberry jam that's been passed through a sieve to remove the seeds but jelly is best IMO.

          Here's a little pic to whet your appetite.

          Lime milkshakes are the greatest. When we were kids (& slightly older) lime milkshakes were the treat we had on the way home from a family outing. Milkshakes in NZ are made with milk, icecream (must be scoopable type, not softserve type) and syrup - lime being my fav. They were blended up on a machine like the Hamilton Beach one's. Any corner dairy or ice-cream shop could make them. You could turn your milkshake into a "thickshake" by adding extra icecream, and choose from flavours like orange, passionfruit (another fav), banana (tastes nothing like the real thing but is more delicious somehow), malt, raspberry (always needed a double shot for some reason), strawberry........


          1. re: toastnjam

            Oh, that sounds really good, the lime milkshake. It reminds me of a dreamscicle here in the US, which is orange and vanilla shake (many variations).

            Thanks for the tip on the raspberry lamingtons. That seems to be pretty similar to what I can find by poking around on the internet. Are the raspberry lamingtons not as common as the chocolate? It seems like there are a million hits for chocolate if you do a google search, but only a few for the raspberry.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Trust me they are!

              i was looking for a picture to post and could only find the chocolate ones. Maybe chocolate lamington lovers are just more vocal. Raspberry and chocolate were available equally in bakeries and supermarkets. Invariably one would sell out before the other and always the one you wanted. My sister would move mountains to get to a choco lamington whereas you couldn't pay me to eat them. Interestingly, this old-fashioned type of home baking seems to have made a big comeback in recent years though in a more elegant way.

              1. re: toastnjam

                It's custard tarts and vanilla slices that I miss the most... but a good gooey lamington (with jam in the middle) isn't far down the list. (drools wistfully)

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Of all the things I have seen on these boards that highlight the differences between our two great nations, THIS has made me weep the most.

                    You seriously don't have Vanilla Slices in the US??

                    gooey sticky creamy custard between layers of puff pastry and covered (traditionally) with passionfruit icing.

                    Marriages have split up over whether the "snot blocks" at the Conti or the Sorrento bakery are better.

                    Check out what the Custard Crusaders say about them:


                    1. re: purple goddess

                      Well, I'd hate to speak for all my brethren, but, no, I don't think we have those. But, OMG! they look amazing. Do you have a favorite recipe you recommend?

                      And what is a Neenish tart?


                      1. re: purple goddess

                        Snot Block!! hilarious. We call them custard squares. My OH & I were reminiscing a only few weeks ago about Saturday lunches which consisted of a walk to the local bakery for a Steak & Cheese Pie, Custard Square for me, Cream Doughnut for him, topped off with a cappuccino from the cafe next door. Of course we were young city kids that could eat like that all the time without any side effects (read: weight gain).
                        The closest I've seen to a VS/CS here in the States is at a local bakery which adds whipped cream and fresh raspberries to the layers. Not quite the same but will do in a pinch. Still can't eat them without the custard oozing out the sides though.

                        1. re: purple goddess

                          We/they seriously don't... and it's a national tragedy of the highest proportions! lol The closest I've been able to come to it is mille fuelle-type things but they're not the same!

                          1. re: Kajikit

                            Now there's a marketing opportunity.Get thee a recipe and introduce the Yanks to the wonders of the Aussie Snot Block!

                      2. re: Kajikit

                        when I lived OS, I missed the Neenish tarts!

                      3. re: toastnjam

                        Interesting. Well, I'd take either a chocolate or a raspberry lamington if it were offered to me. :)


              2. I think Anzac biscuits are the world's most awesome cookie - have been making them for years after i saw a recipe in a magazine. However, if you can't find golden syrup, you probably won't understand why they are so great. At various times I have either run out of my stash or I couldn't find it and used honey as a substitute. (Cane syrup also) It doesn't taste the same. Now I make runs down to a Brit grocery and buy a few jars at a time.

                8 Replies
                1. re: eimac

                  Anzac cookies can be purchased here in the US now. The come in a dark blue packet and places like Safeway sell them. They're not too bad actually, although they take only minutes to whip up really.

                  1. re: eimac

                    I've found I can buy golden syrup (Lyle's) at some supermarkets in the areas I've lived (mostly NYC and SF Bay Area). I even have an *American* cookie recipe that calls for it.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      We had a golden syrup thread on the Midwest board a couple of months ago and I was surprised by how many regular grocery stores carry it.

                      Caitlin, do you have a link to that American cookie recipe that calls for golden syrup? If it's something you have easy access to, I'd get a kick out of seeing it. (If it's a giant pain, don't bother typing it out on my behalf.) I'm just curious.


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I don't have a link, but it's not complicated, so no problem typing it. I've adapted it from a recipe in Food & Wine some years ago. Whenever I make these for the holidays, the people I give them to rave.

                        Fruit Florentines

                        8 oz slivered almonds, toasted
                        4 oz unsalted butter
                        3/4 cup sugar
                        1/2 cup dried cranberries
                        1/2 cup golden raisins
                        1 T finely grated orange zest
                        1/2 cup golden syrup
                        3/4 cup all purpose flour
                        3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

                        Preheat oven to 350F. Finely grind half of almonds in a food processor. Melt butter in a medium saucepan or in a large bowl in the microwave. Stir in sugar, then cranberries, raisins, and orange zest. Stir in syrup, then beat in flour and ground almonds. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by tablespoons (use a measuring spoon tablespoon) 4 inches apart (these spread a lot). Bake 1 pan at a time in upper third of oven 8-10 minutes, until deep golden brown; watch them carefully. Let rest on baking pan 10 minutes, then remove to a rack with a spatula and cool completely. Melt chocolate and drizzle over the cooled cookies. Allow chocolate to set completely, then store cookies in an airtight container between layers of wax paper.

                        Because of the spacing, you can't fit very many cookies on one cookie sheet, and have to do a lot of them. They won't be totally cool after you remove the cookies, but need to be before you do the next go round. You can run the pan under cold water to cool it fast, then dry it thotoughly with a dish towel. And of course, reuse the parchment.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          Ooh, those sound very interesting, thank you. I'm not usually a fan of raisins, but this sounds intriguing enough t overcome that. Are they pretty?

                          ~ TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Florentines are one of the prettiest things you could ever serve. They are always a WOW. I make them at Christmas and only bring them out with after-dinner coffee - but only for "special guests" (which means there are more left for not-so-little old me.)

                            This is the recipe I use and, of course, you can use whatever dried fruit you fancy:

                            She suggests coating the underside with chocolate but I prefer to dip about a third of the biscuit into the choc.

                            1. re: Harters

                              Oh wow, now I know I'm going to have to try these!


                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                              These are very attractive with the chocolate drizzled over them (sort of a stripey effect). They're great any time of year, but the cranberries and golden raisins look very festive at holiday time. You could absolutely leave out the raisins if you don't care for them. (I much prefer golden to dark raisins, myself.)

                    2. infernooo

                      We get ANZAC biscuits in supermarkets in the UK from time to time. And the Imperial War Museum (North) had them on sale last year.

                      In memory of the men Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at ANZAC and the men of the Manchester Regiment who, amongst many others, fought at Helles. Not forgotten.


                      1. I first had an ANZAC biscuit while at a little food cafe in an antique store in southern MA probably 10-12 years ago. I asked the small shopkeeper what they were, as I *loved* them. Came home and immediately searched for them online to make myself. Even went so far as to order several bottles of Lyle's Golden Syrup for the recipe (couldn't buy it locally back then)! Thanks for the reminder - it's time to make these again!

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          What does golden syrup taste like? I looked it up on Wikipedia and I have the idea of how it is made, but please describe the flavor. (For example, it is halfway between honey and corn syrup, or whatever.)

                          1. re: gfr1111

                            It's been SO long since I've used it, but I do remember it has a WAY deeper depth of flavor than honey. And it's not so cloyingly sweet as corn syrup can be (and it's also way thicker than corn syrup - but it doesn't crystallize the way honey can).

                            Perhaps purple goddess or infernooo can chime in with more detailed info.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              It is much more flavourful than corn syrup (corn syrup is just sweet), and more intense than honey. It is pretty close to mild molasses in flavour and strength...

                            2. re: gfr1111

                              It's difficult to describe the taste - not least because I have no idea what corn syrup is or tastes like, so can't make that comparision for you.

                              But it is very different from honey, IMO. Honey has a multi-layer of flavour, differing depending on producer and region of production. Golden Syrup to me is just "sweet" - a more rounded sweetness than using ordinary sugar - not surprising as it's a by-product of refining cane sugar (Tate & Lyle is one of our two major sugar producers in the UK). I don't understand the full technicalties but, basically, it's a sugar syrup mixed with "stuff" to stop it crystalising.

                              Other than for cooking purposes, I dont see much point to it, but Mrs Harters drizzles it on her porridge.

                              1. re: Harters

                                To me Golden Syrup tastes almost like sugar that has been candied or caramelised but not exactly tasting of caramel in the true sense.

                                I get my golden syrup from a supplier of Aussie food up in Washington and its the brand I grew up with. I use it in baking and (dare I say it) as a spread on hot buttered crumpets.


                                1. re: toastnjam

                                  And THAT is where I first bought Golden Syrup, toastnjam! :-) I used to get their catalogs for awhile after my first purchase as well. They used to sell Lyle's - haven't heard of the CSR brand.

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    I use CSR because it comes in an handy squeeze container. Like HArter I have no idea what corn syrup tastes like, we don't have it here in OZ. If you can imagine honey that's been caramelised and smoked, that's about the best I could do. I use it in cooking and on mt porridge and it's also awesome over good quality Vanilla ice cream, as a topping!

                                    1. re: purple goddess

                                      And I just pulled out the Golden Syrup I have in my cupboards - sure enough, I have the squeezable bottles of CSR as well. I could have sworn I had bottles of Lyles! But at least it's out of my cupboards to remind me to use it!

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        *coughs* Golden Syrup doesn't last long enough to get lost in the cupboard at my place, and now having read PG uses it as icecream topping I will have to get a case in. What will be affected first - my teeth or my waistline?

                                        1. re: toastnjam

                                          I've seriously had this WAY too long because it wasn't in my pie safe pantry; it was in the cabinet with cereal and crackers. I just forgot about it! But it's now out on the counter. I plan to check for recipes at Lyle's and CSR's websites. :-)

                              2. re: gfr1111

                                I think Golden Syrup has almost a buttery undertone to it. Not as sharp as honey and not just sweet like corn syrup. It's quite compelling actually.

                                1. re: emily

                                  I agree with this - buttery without the sharpness of honey. A slight caramel flavor, but not strong.

                                  You can make something similar by boiling a sugar syrup with a bit of acid (such as cream of tartar). The acid, plus the heat, breaks up some of the sucrose, producing a mix of fructose, glucose, and sucrose (partially inverted sugar syrup). My test batch tasted similar, but started to crystalize after a couple of weeks.

                                  Some recipes claim that the Golden Syrup substitutes for eggs, which supposedly were in short supply during WWI. That doesn't sound quite right. But it may have given these biscuits a better keeping qualities. That would a good thing for food sent in care packages half way around the globe.

                                  I also wonder whether the WWI version was a sweet as the current ones.

                                  One recipe calls for adding baking soda to the hot syrup and water mix. That produces quite a bit of foaming, indicating that syrup is acid.

                                  Given the small amount of syrup in the typical recipe (1 tablespoon), I suspect any other sweet syrup could be substituted. I might try molasses (dark treacle) the next time I make these cookies. It will alter the flavor a bit - and color as well.

                                  For some reason these cookies remind me of a hearty Yorkshire version of ginger bread, parkin. It uses equal parts flour and rolled oats, and a substantial amount of molasses. It is one of those breads that gets better with age.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    One recipe calls for adding baking soda to the hot syrup and water mix. That produces quite a bit of foaming, indicating that syrup is acid.
                                    That's the type of recipe I use:

                                    * Exported from MasterCook *

                                    ANZAC Biscuits (Australian Cookies)

                                    Recipe By :
                                    Serving Size : 18 Preparation Time :0:15
                                    Categories :

                                    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
                                    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
                                    1 cup rolled oats
                                    1 cup flour
                                    1/2 cup butter
                                    1 tsp baking soda
                                    1 cup sugar
                                    3/4 cup dessicated coconut *
                                    2 Tbsp golden syrup
                                    4 Tbsp boiling water

                                    Mix oats, flour, sugar, coconut, and an optional pinch of salt (I left this out). Melt the butter in a small saucepan; add the golden syrup and mix well; remove from heat. Mix baking soda into the boiling water, stir. Add to the golden syrup/butter mixture and mix until frothy.

                                    Add to dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon just until moist. Spoon by heaping tablespoons onto a baking sheet and bake, one sheet at a time on the top shelf in oven at 325° oven for 17-20 minutes, until golden brown.

                                    Cool on baking sheet for 30 seconds or so; remove from baking sheet to wire rack to cool. Makes about 18-24 cookies, depending on size.

                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 149 Calories; 7g Fat (39.1% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 14mg Cholesterol; 124mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

                                    NOTES : * NOT the flaked moist coconut from the supermarket; you can get this dried shredded coconut in the bulk food section of Whole Foods, etc.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      If you want to make something foamy with golden syrup try this. If you have kids they love it - both the making and the eating.

                                      Hokey Pokey

                                      4 tablespoons sugar
                                      1 teaspoon baking soda
                                      2 tablespoons golden syrup

                                      Bring the sugar and the golden syrup slowly to the boil, stirring gently all the time.
                                      Boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
                                      Remove from heat and add soda
                                      Whisk in quickly until it froths and pour at once into a greased tin.
                                      Break up when cold (it sets hard very quickly)
                                      Store in an airtight tin

                                      A delicious sweet treat on it's own or crumbled over vanilla icecream.