Tag Archives: cake

Apricot cake & triple-choc-biscuits

I remembered to take some photos this time so here are our latest baking creations [recipes follow for those so inclined]:

First up, the apricot cake:

All the apricots in the cake came from our own harvest, which was quite spectacular. These are photos of what we picked five days ago:

and these:

The total haul has probably been twice that much, all of it with a sweetness you have to taste to believe. We literally have apricots coming out of our ears. This is a pic of the compote we preserved:

The instrument of torture in the foreground is for removing boiling hot bottles from the sterilizing water. Worth every penny!

And finally the biscuits [cookies to my US friends]:

The odd lumps in the middle are whole pieces of chocolate [some dark some dairy milk] that bake with the biscuits. Like my chocolate mousse cake, this is something we don’t make often because it, too, is death-by-chocolate. If you scroll down to the recipe you’ll see why. I may have to go on a starvation diet once the last of the indulgences are eaten. 🙂

RECIPES!

Apricot Cake 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 C [165 C if using fan forced] or 360 F.
  2. Lightly grease a 10″ [ 25 cm] diameter ringform cake tin and line the bottom with grease proof baking paper.
  3. Separate four large eggs. Place the yolks into a small bowl and the whites into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add 75 gm of caster sugar to the egg whites, plus a tiny pinch of salt, and beat on high until shiny and very stiff. Set aside in a cool place but not the fridge. You do not need to wash the beaters.
  5. In a second mixing bowl, place 200 gm of room temperature, unsalted butter and another 75 gm of caster sugar.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar until it’s pale and creamy.
  7. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  8. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the creamed butter. Do not over mix.
  9. Sift 200 gm of self raising flour and fold into the butter/egg mix. The cake mix will be quite firm. Only fold until it’s just combined.
  10. Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and gently press to the edges.
  11. Lightly press fresh apricot halves all over the top of the cake mix. [I used about 3/4 of a kilo of fruit. If you want to use less, reduce the baking time a little to compensate].
  12. Place the cake in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for approx. 45 – 50 minutes. Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes of baking.
  13. As the cake cooks it will rise up around the fruit. The cake is cooked when it shrinks slightly from the sides of the baking dish and/or a skewer pressed into the middle comes out clean [i.e. not sticky-gooey].
  14. Take the cake out of the over and allow to stand, in the baking dish, for about 5 minutes.
  15. Remove the outer ringform and place the cake [still on the bottom of the pan] onto a wire rack.
  16. Using the baking paper, gentle ease the cake off the bottom of the pan and onto the rack.
  17. When the cake is a bit cooler, and firmer, you can finally ease it off the baking paper as well. I wait until the cake is cool and then ease it straight onto the serving platter I intend to use.
  18. Dust the top of the cake with a little icing sugar [optional] and serve on its own or with cream. Bon appetit!

Triple Choc Biscuits

The main ingredient of this recipe is chocolate. I kid you not, a total of 500 gms of chocolate! 😀

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C [375 F] or about 175 C if using fan forced.
  2. Prepare the baking trays you will use to bake the biscuits. We used an Avanti biscuit press to make the smaller biscuits and discovered it does NOT work on baking paper; the biscuit dough has to be pressed directly onto the baking tray. We also made large, manual ‘balls’ of dough. These we placed on baking paper.
  3. Chop approx. 450 gm of dark cooking chocolate or a mix of dark and milk chocolate. We used 1/2 and 1/2 of Plaistowe Dark and Dairy Milk Chocolate. Reserve approx. 50 gm for the choc chip ‘dots’.
  4. Gently melt the 450 gms of chocolate with 125 gms of unsalted butter. [In the past, I’ve also use Slightly Salted Butter and simply omitted the salt later on]. You can use a microwave or simply use a bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water on the stove.
  5. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir in 1/2 a cup of caster sugar. It will look quite granular.
  6. Next, stir in 3 large, whole eggs, one at a time.
  7. Finally, sift 1 1/4 cups of plain flour with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a good pinch of salt. [If using slightly salted butter, omit the pinch of salt].
  8. Add the flour mix to the chocolate mix and stir until just combined.
  9. Cover the dough with cling wrap and place in the fridge for up to 1 hour [minimum of 10 minutes].
  10. Remove the dough from the the fridge and use a biscuit press to mould the biscuits.
  11. If you don’t have a biscuit press, scoop out a spoonful of dough with a spoon, very lightly roll into a ball and place the ball on the baking paper covered tray.
  12. Leave enough room on the tray for the biscuits to expand as they bake.
  13. When all the biscuits have been formed, gently press a small knob of chocolate into the middle of each biscuit and bake.
  14. For the Avanti biscuits, baking time should be no more that 6 minutes.
  15. For the hand-rolled balls, baking time should be around 10 minutes.
  16. The biscuits will still be a little soft when you take them out of the oven. Leave them on the baking tray until they firm up.
  17. Place biscuits on wire racks to finish cooling. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days [if they last that long]. 🙂

Oh, and…enjoy!

Meeks

 

 


#recipe: Purple carrot cake

purple carrots 2

I owe this recipe to my sister-in-law, Victoria. Thank you!

The cake was delicious as Victoria first baked it, but I think my small changes have made it a fraction healthier. But then, who cares about healthy?

Where I have strayed slightly from the ingredients or quantities, I have given the original ingredients or quantities in brackets afterwards.

Let’s do it!

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup raw or caster sugar
  • ½ cup oil* – peanut or olive is fine [1 cup]
  • 1 cup self raising flour plus 1/3 cup almond meal [1/3 cup wholemeal flour]
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bi-carbonate of soda [1 1/3 teaspoons]
  • 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt [optional in the original recipe]
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons cinnamon – i.e. LOTS!
  • 2 cups peeled and grated purple carrots – about 3 big ones [approx. 2 big orange carrots]
  • [optional] ½ cup sultanas tossed in flour
  • [optional] 1 cup chopped walnuts

* 1/2 a cup of oil will result in a lighter, drier, fluffier carrot cake. If you like yours more traditional, experiment with the amount of oil you add, bearing in mind that 1 cup is probably the maximum, while 1/2 a cup is the minimum.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 C [Fanbake] or 300 – 325 F
  2. Lightly grease and flour a 19 cm ringform cake tin
  3. Break whole eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until frothy
  4. Continue beating as you add 1 cup of sugar to the eggs, a bit at a time. Beat well between each addition. The egg mixture should become light in colour, thick and fluffy.
  5. Continue beating as you add the oil.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift the flour, bi-carb and cinnamon onto the egg mix.
  7. Fold in.
  8. Peel and grate the carrots just before adding them to the cake to stop them from going ‘greenish’ during cooking.
  9. Fold in the grated carrots
  10. Fold in the yoghurt
  11. Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and sprinkle with almond flakes.
  12. Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for approx.. 1 hour.
  13. At the end of the hour [and not before!] test the cake with a skewer. The skewer should be a little greasy but not wet or sticky.
  14. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to stand in the tin for about 5 minutes.
  15. Turn the cake out onto a wire cooling rack.

Serve at room temperature with cream, ice cream or just plain. Or if you’re like us, eat as soon as it comes out of the pan to enjoy the sweet, slightly toffee-like crunch of the outer ‘skin’. Once the cake cools, the skin loses it’s crunch.

The Offspring and I found no difference in taste using purple vs orange carrots, and as you can see from the photo, the purple carrots do not turn the whole cake purple so you can serve it without your guests ever knowing it’s a ‘healthy’ option. 😉

Bon appetit!

Meeks


Purple carrots and cake

purple carrots 1

No, this first pic is not an artistic rendition of turds – those are purple carrots!

purple carrots 2

And this is one of the things you can do with purple carrots – carrot cake!

Apologies for the lack of posts recently but Easter, the Offspring’s birthday and being on a roll with Innerscape have left me with little spare energy. Next week will be better. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Banana cake recipe WANTED!

I have about 6 beautifully ripe bananas that are too soft to eat but way too nice to throw out. Anyone have a simple but tasty recipe they can give me for banana cake?

cheers

Meeks

p.s. I could google recipes but I’d rather try something that comes with a recommendation.


Christmas postmortem

Now that Christmas 2014 has come and gone, I can safely say I’m glad it’s over. I tried to eat normal amounts, truly I did, but I doubt anyone will be surprised when I say I failed.

It started with Christmas Eve dinner. We spent it with relatives, and seeing them all was lovely, but I could easily have made a meal of just the antipasto! That was followed by turkey, pork and ham, and rounded off with pudding and Strawberries Romanov.

The next day, Christmas Day, was relatively quiet on the food front but I did make this….

christmas 2014 cake 1

Chocolate Mousse cake with dark chocolate shavings on top

A closeup of the layers

A closeup of the layers

Yes, you guessed it, a chocolate mousse cake. For those interested, I’ve updated the recipe with these photos, together with a description of how to mold it up. The actual cake, however, was all gone by Boxing Day. -sigh- Then last night, the Daughter and I made the apricot cake out of Silvia Colloca’s fantastic ‘Made in Italy’ cookbook. Delicious.

So there you have it, a gastronomic extravaganza that’s left me feeling like the Goodyear blimp! I swear I’ll do better next year. -wink-

Meeks

 


Butterless, eggless chocolate cake – DELICIOUS!

One of the ladies I help teach brought in a chocolate cake today, and it was so moist and delicious we all asked for the recipe. I’m going to try it out on the weekend but I thought you guys might like to get the recipe now.

EXPRESS VEGAN CHOCLATE CAKE
1 1/2 cup self raising flour (do not sift)
1/3 cup baking cocoa powder
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 teasp salt
Mix the above
Make a well, add
1 teasp vanilla essence
1 tabsp vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
Then gradually add a cup of water and mix gently till all is mixed.
Do NOT over mix.
Bake in a preheated oven 190 degrees celsius for 1/2 hour.
Do NOT over bake to maintain its moistness.

Nanki sprinkled icing sugar over the top and we had it for morning tea today. I kid you not, it was wonderful.

cheers

Meeks


Upside down apple cake – a recipe

This recipe is for Anneb54 who expressed an interest in upside down peach cake. Apologies Anne, I had to use apples instead of peaches but you can easily substitute fresh peaches once they come into season again.

I’ve had this recipe for years, and it has remained one of my all-time favourites because it’s so easy to make, and because I always have the ingredients on hand. Okay, let’s do it!

Ingredients

2 large Fuji applies

1/2 a cup of caster sugar

4 teaspoons of cinnamon sugar – 3 tspns of sugar to 1 tspn of cinnamon [optional]

100 gm of butter [unsalted or salt reduced] – at room temperature.

2 eggs beaten

1 cup self-raising flour

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C [or 350 F]. [I use my fan-bake setting and drop the temperature a little to compensate].

2. Grease a 4 cup pie dish, or 8 inch ring-form tin. I always use the ring-form because I find it so much easier to work with. I put aluminum foil over the base plate and close the ‘ring’ around it to get a nice tight seal. Then I butter the two together. The foil will make it easier to decant the cake once it’s baked. [Oh, and don’t be stingy with the butter!]

3. Peel the apples and slice them thinly [leaving out the core of course]. Arrange the slices over the base of your baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar [or just plain sugar if you prefer].

4. Cream the butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer. [If you forget to let the butter come to room temperature first, cut it into small chunks before trying to cream it with the sugar].

5. Add the beaten egg to the butter in about 4 go’s, beating the mix well between each addition. [At this point the mix could ‘curdle’ – i.e. begin to look granular – so I sprinkle about a teaspoon of the flour in with each addition of egg. The flour stops the curdling].

6. When all the egg has been added to the mix, sift the rest of the flour over the mix and fold in by hand. [If you’re lazy like me you can skip the sifting part without any dramas].

7. Spread the cake mix over the apple and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer through the middle comes out clean. [If the tip of the skewer feels ‘sticky’ leave the cake a little longer].

8. Take the cake out of the oven. Gently run a knife around the inside of the pan, and then undo the ring-form. You will now have the cake sitting on just the base plate. Take a cake rack [cooling stand] and place it on top of the cake. Hold the rack in place with one hand as you carefully flip the cake over. Now hold the base plate by the aluminum foil and gently lift away. You should be left with the fruit on top.

Storing this cake is never a problem as we tend to eat it within two days. However once the cake has cooled, you should cover it with cling wrap.

And there you have your upside down apple cake! Serve hot or cold, with cream or ice-cream. or just plain. Trust me, this buttery cake is more than good enough to eat plain. And think of the calories you’d be saving. 😉

Enjoy!

Meeks


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