Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lamington Pops & A Tribute To My Mom

So this Sunday is U.K Mothers Day and it's one of my favourite days in the year because who doesn't love a day to shower their mom with the spoiling she deserves.  

I have the best mom in the world - this is a fact.  She has spent her whole life devoted to raising me and my 3 sisters and making sure we have had the most fun possible along the way.  I'm the little one she is holding in the pic below! 

I have such fond memories of my childhood and the fun things my mom and I did together...making homemade play dough, doing lots and lots of baking with me standing on a chair to reach the countertop in a very long apron and getting to lick the bowl/spoon and of course going on tons of fun daytrips to parks/play centres/museums.

Whipping up cupcakes together in more recent years!

Having worked in various schools the past few years I have overheard enough conversations of parents saying they are dreading half term (a week long break from school we get here in the UK) when they will have to have their kids at home.  My mom couldn't wait for half term, she would plan so much exciting stuff that we couldn't wait either! Inevitably there would also be a day trip to London.  The morning before we left we would each assign ourselves a room of the house to clean and then our trip to London was our treat for helping out with the chores.  We had our favourite spots we would go to like Covent Garden, there were these funny machines in the downstairs area of the covered market like a doctor who would tickle your foot if you put it in the machine and then write you out a pretend prescription - we thought these were so great, they never got old! We would eat out at Planet Hollywood or the Hard Rock Cafe or this cool restaurant in the Trocadero where the waitresses went around on roller skates.

Sun City - South Africa

One of my favourite memories is playing 'traffic lights' with my mom.  I would have only been about 4, I had a little blue bike that I just loved and I would cycle back and forth in front of our house.  It would be dinner time because my mom would be wearing her apron and she would sit on the little brick wall in front of our house.  Everytime I reached her she would hold up her hand and tell me whether it was red, amber or green! Thinking back now it was probably a really boring job for my mom, but I obviously didn't grow tired of it and thought it was the most fun game! I'm sure in the middle of dinner time and with 3 other girls to look after my mom could have probably spent her time doing other things but she always made time for our game!

Enjoying some granadilla smoothies in South Africa - our favourite!

In our church, when you're a teenager you get to go on a week long camp in summer with all the other youth where you get to do lots of fun outdoor pursuits like potholing, rock climbing and white water rafting to name a few! As I was the baby of the family, there were plenty of summers where all 3 of my older sisters went off to camp and then the fun would really begin!  As I wasn't old enough to go on these camps, each year these camp weeks would be designated 'Mom and Gem' time.  I even have a special scrapbook that documents only those weeks.  Every day would be action packed.  There would be trips to our favourite out of town shopping centres, trips to the cinema and to our favourite restaurants, and best of all trips to the theatre in London to see musicals or ballet productions.

At my sister's wedding

My mom would often come and help out at my primary school which I loved.  She would also volunteer to help out on school trips and everyone always wanted to be in the group with 'Mrs Jones' as the leader because she would always buy presents from the gift shops for all the children in her group.  Growing up, she always threw the best birthday parties! They would always be themed, with a matching cake and awesome party bags (remember these were the days before pinterest and the internet so all her ideas were completely original!) I remember for my 6th birthday party she made a Troll birthday cake, as Trolls were all the rage back then! It even came complete with 'flump' hair and it was awesome!

Reading books/magazines in Borders - another favourite thing to do!

She never missed an assembly I was performing in or a school talent show or a talk I was giving at church, and whenever I came home I always knew there would be a card and a little gift waiting for me on my bed to say well done.  I have boxes and boxes of the cards my mom has given to me over the years (I would have loved to have taken a picture of all of them but they are in my parents attic right now!) 

In the present day she is still just as awesome as ever! and this picture is just a collection of some of the cards she has sent to me in the past 6 months.  I never just get a letter, I always get a cute card (often cupcake related) with a 2 or 3 page letter inside.  As if on cue I have just had to get up from writing this blog post to answer the door and the postman had a package for me from my mom! Yes, it's not limited to letters - she sends me packages at least monthly filled with fun treats and baking supplies! She has been doing this ever since I left home to go to Uni.  One of the porters in my halls of residence asked me once if I was sending post to myself because he said I received more post than any student he had ever come across before! 

So unfortunately this year I won't be able to see my mom on Mother's Day.  We were able to pop in to see her briefly this past weekend and I was able to take her a giant Lamington I had bought her from the Partridge's Food Market.  She is rather fond of Lamingtons, in fact I'm pretty sure it was the only thing she enjoyed about her 3 year stint of living in Canberra...way back in the day before I was even born.  She enjoyed her giant Lamington so much that she ate it instead of dinner! You can see where I get my sweet tooth from! I wanted to make her a fun Mother's Day treat that would be easy to send through the post so the idea of Lamington Pops was born! 

So hopefully this little package of Lamington pops that will arrive at her door will show her just how much I care and how grateful I am that she is my wonderful mom! 

I hope all my UK followers find some time this week to get into the kitchen to whip their moms up some special baked treats, and if baking isn't your thing then Find Me a Gift has some great Mother's Day presents too.  

I decided to experiment with my last few bits of cake and made some 'international' Lamingtons.  Peppermint Crisp for South Africa, Coconut for Australia and Peanut Butter M&M's for America! 

Lamington Pops:
Makes 30

6 large eggs (at room temperature, recipe will not work if they are straight out the fridge)
150g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
30g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
60ml hot water

500g icing sugar
200g dark chocolate
15g unsalted butter
150ml semi skimmed milk

375g shredded coconut (you can use desiccated if that is all you have but I prefer shredded)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease a 18 x 28 cm baking tin with butter and line it with parchment paper.
Spread out the coconut on a baking tray and lightly toast until golden brown, for just a few minutes.  Allow to cool and set aside.

For the cake, beat the eggs for about 10-15 minutes until they are light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is thick, all the sugar has dissolved and it has tripled in volume.
Sift in the flour and gently fold in using a metal spoon.
Add the butter and hot water and combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
After 5 minutes, remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, place the chocolate, icing sugar, butter and milk in a heatproof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water.  Constantly stir until melted.

Once cool, cut the sponge into however many squares you like.  I managed to get 20.  Pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes so they are firm enough to stay on the sticks.

Get your work surface prepared before you begin dipping.  Have the cake ready on the left, the big bowl of cooled chocolate icing in the middle, a tray of toasted coconut beside that and a wire rack for the finished products at the end. 

Dip your cake pop sticks in a little bit of chocolate and then into a cake square.  Dip the cake into the bowl of chocolate icing.  Sprinkle toasted coconut over the icing before it cools and leave it on the wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat the process until all your cake pops are done! 

Send them to the one you love, or eat and enjoy! 


  1. Great treat for a great mom ;-) Love the idea of Lamington Pops!

  2. These look delish! What a nice tribute/post about your Mom :)

  3. These are a novel take on cake pops... and they look really cute too! :-)



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