Lamingtons, those cubes or spheres of buttery cake dipped in either jam or chocolate frosting and rolled in coconut, are not common sights in the Philippines. Indeed, these products of the Australian baker’s art are virtually nonexistent even in establishments specializing in Aussie tucker.
It, thus, came as a surprise when I found them – in all places! – at Starbucks.
There are two kinds of lamingtons available: chocolate (which is, essentially, the traditional sort) and the pretty pink strawberry ones shown above. They’re not half-bad: the cake is a bit dry but has a buttery flavor that goes well with the sugary coating of strawberry jam and the toasty flavor of the coconut the cake’s been dredged in. The jam ensures that you don’t get too dry a cake and prevents the coconut from catching in your throat. Traditional lamingtons have a layer of cream in the middle, but Starbucks lamingtons seem to do fine without it. (Less calorific, after all.)
I have yet to sample the chocolate. I probably won’t, however; it doesn’t look interesting enough to me.
The strawberry is a perfect match with the green tea latte – but don’t take my word for it as my tastes are obviously different from most people’s; you can play safe with a hot caffe latte or a mocha.
(I hope that this won’t go the way of all my other faves from Starbucks. O green tea eclair, green tea and berry cheesecake, and lemon polenta – where are you all now? :()