Friday, 15 June 2018

Matcha and White Chocolate Cake












Watching Netflix and eating cake... life.


Matcha and White Chocolate Cake
slightly adapted from here

For the Cake:
3 eggs
Unsalted butter, same weight as the eggs
Caster sugar, same weight as the eggs
Plain flour, same weight as the eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon matcha
100g white chocolate, chopped (The only white chocolate I had in the house had toasted hazelnuts in it so I used that. You can use plain white chocolate and add about 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts... or just use plain white chocolate.)

For the White Chocolate Glaze:
100g white chocolate chopped
35ml cream

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 20cm x 10cm loaf pan with baking paper. Set aside.

Crack the eggs and weigh them, then weight out the same amount of butter, caster sugar and plain flour. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter together for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sift in the flour, baking powder and matcha and fold in using a spatula. Stir through the chocolate, pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from pan and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the Glaze:
Put the chocolate and cream into a heat-proof bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts until the chocolate has melted and the glaze is smooth. Leave to cool to a drizzling consistency, then drizzle over the cake. Leave to set for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Easy Chilli



I only have one photo of this delicious one pot meal, as I didn't intend to publish it. A friend wanted the recipe to share, so here it is. Enjoy Tania and friends. x



Easy Chlli
4 - 6 Serves

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g ground beef
1 tablespoon ancho chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
600ml tomato passata
125ml beer
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 x 400g black beans, drained and rinsed


Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven. Fry the onions for 5 minutes on medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the beef and fry on high heat for 5 minutes until browned, breaking up any lumps as you go. Add the chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the passata, beer, Worcestershire sauce and bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to heat to the lowest your burner will go. Place a piece of baking paper directly on top of the chili, then put the lid on the Dutch oven and cook very slowly for 2 hours. Add the beans and cook for 10 more minutes.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Vanilla Bean Scones










These really are the best scones I've ever made.

Vanilla Bean Scones
slightly adapted from here

For the Scones:
3 cups plain flour (I use "00")
2 tablespoons polenta
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
170g cool unsalted butter, diced
¾ cup buttermilk, plus extra fro brushing
¼ cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

For the Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Make the Scones:
Preheat the oven to 190C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.

Put the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Use a pastry butter (or your fingers) to cut in (or rub in) the butter until you have a rough, crumbly mixture.

Put the buttermilk, maple syrup, egg and vanilla bean paste into a jug and whisk to combine. Pour into the dry ingredients and blend just until it comes together, but there are still dry pieces. Dump the mixture out into a work surface and bring the dough together with your hands, flattening and folding the dough a few times (this building flakiness). Make two discs from the dough and cut each into six scone wedges. Place them on the prepared tray and brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until they are light brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.


Make the Glaze:
Whisk the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled scones.  Leave to set for an hour before eating.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Espresso and Hazelnut Bundt Cake with Dulce de Leche Drizzle








I adore Tasmania. It's were husband and I spent our honeymoon. "Back in the Day" we took our classic Alfa Romeo on the boat from Melbourne to Devonport and spent the next three weeks on a road trip which covered the length and breadth of this gem of an island. We've been back with the boys a few times over the years, but we recently spent an extra long weekend back in Hobart, while our boys attended a beach volleyball camp in Sydney. We don't spend a lot of time away from our sons, so a weekend of indulging in the things we like to do, without having to consider them, was a luxury we took full advantage of. Imagine hours of walking, reading, window shopping, browsing book shops, museums and galleries. Drinking wine on the pier, going out for late dinner dates and slow walks home. The weekend also involved things the boys love to do, like sleep-in, have long breakfasts, stroll through markets, go to the movies (The Square, Lady Bird and Sweet Country), stop for afternoon tea in quaint cafes and eat lots of cake. We didn't elaborate too much on those things when they asked us what we got up to without them. What they don't know won't hurt them, right?... It can be our little secret. And on the topic of cake...



Espresso and Hazelnut Bundt Cake with Dulce de Leche Drizzle
adapted from here

For the Cake:
260ml water
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
125g unsalted butter, chopped
60ml coffee liqueur
300g "00" flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
210g hazelnut meal
330g caster sugar
85g dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs
125ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes

For the Drizzle:
150g dulce de leche (homemade or store bought)
80g icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons boiling water

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and flour a 2.5 liter capacity bundt pan. Set aside.

Put the water, coffee, butter and liqueur unto a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the coffee has dissolved and the butter has melted. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, hazelnut meal, caster sugar and muscovado sugar together. Add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, salt and butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place the pan onto a baking tray and bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make the Drizzle:
Mix the drizzle ingredients together until smooth and drizzle over the cooled cake.


Friday, 2 March 2018

Almond Bread















If I can almost see the weekend from here, then I can almost smell the almond bread for weekend breakfasting from here too.



Almond Bread
slightly adapted from here
Makes two loaves

75g hot water
150g milk
50g olive oil
1 egg
15g fresh yeast
500g bakers flour
1 teaspoon salt
50g almond meal
150g slivered almonds
7 teaspoons caster sugar

Oil two 18 x 11 x 10 cm bread tins. Set aside.

Put the hot water, cold milk, olive oil, egg, yeast, flour and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix for 5 minutes, then rest for 1 minute. Add the almond meal and slivered almonds and mix on low for another minute. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Gently and briefly knead the dough in the bowl and rest for a further 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into two even portions and shape them into balls, cover with a damp tea towel and leave them to rest for 25 minutes.

Lightly flour a work surface and press the dough balls into rectangles. Fold them into thirds, like you would a business letter, and then roll them into a fat sausage shape. Place the loaves, seam side down, into the prepared bread tins. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about an hour until puffy.

Preheat the oven to 210C fan-forced.

Use a spray bottle to squirt some water into the hot oven to create some steam and quickly place the tins onto the middle shelf. Reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn them out onto a wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Mediterranean Orange Cake with Cardamom Creme Anglaise









If I ever needed any excuse to eat cake, the fact that it's fresh out of the oven would be good enough for me.



Mediterranean Orange Cake with Cardamom Creme Anglaise
slightly adapted from here

For the Creme Anglaise:
500ml full cream milk
1 vanilla bean split in half lengthways and seeds scraped
3 cardamom pods, bruised
5 egg yolks
70g caster sugar

For the Cake:
180g almond meal
65g fresh breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon orange flower water
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
150g caster sugar
4 eggs
160ml vegetable oil 

Make the Creme Anglaise:
Heat the milk, vanilla bean and seeds and the cardamom pods in a saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat, discard the vanilla bean and set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until combined. While whisking, pour the warm milk over the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the stove and stir over low heat until it coats the back of the spoon (around 86C). Do not boil. Stain through a fine meshed sieve and set aside to cool. 

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 170C. Lightly grease the base and sides of a 22cm round cake tin and line with baking paper, making sure the paper comes up 2cm above the top of the pan. Set aside.

Put the almond, breadcrumbs, baking powder and orange zest into a bowl and whisk to mix. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the sugar and eggs together until thick and pale. Gradually add the oil and orange blossom water and beat until well combined. Use a large metal spoon to fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  

Allow to stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack rack to cool.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Bundt Cake with Chocolate and Walnuts











This is one of those no-frills, quick-to-whip-up, "plain" cakes. They are inevitably far more delicious than they might look. Under promise, over deliver is the name of the game.




Bundt Cake with Chocolate and Walnuts

350g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g caster suagr
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup buttermilk
450g plain flour
150g corn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g chopped wanuts
100g chopped dark chocolate
Icing sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 24cm Bundt pan. Set aside.

Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium high for about 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, mix the plain flour, corn flour and baking powder together. Sift if over the butter mixture and gently fold it in. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate and spoon in the remaining batter. Level the top and bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust liberally with icing sugar and serve with generous dollops of whipped cream.