Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Lamington Cake

Blow everyone away at afternoon tea time with this lamington cake. The recipe is slightly adapted from Poh Bakes 100 Greats. Instead of using day-old sponge cake to make individual morsels, an orange chiffon cake is the base of this elegant remastering. I'm afternoon-tea-obsessed, and I'll pretty much take lamingtons which ever way they come, but this version is my current favourite.

Lamington Cake:
From here

For the Cake:
5 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
150g caster sugar
80ml grapeseed oil
100 ml tinned coconut milk
finely grated zest of 1 orange
80 ml orange juice
150g plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

For the Icing:
300g icing sugar mixture
30g good-quality cocoa powder
20g butter
90 ml tinned coconut milk
200g desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan-forced.

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk all the seven egg whites with the cream of tartar to medium peaks. Add the remaining sugar in 4 batches, mixing well after each addition, until stiff and very fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the oil and whisk, then add the coconut milk, orange zest and juice and whisk until combined. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until just smooth.

Spoon one-third of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined to form a batter. Add the batter to the remaining egg white mixture and fold until well combined and incorporated; stir gently with a whisk to get rid of any pockets of egg white, if necessary.

Pour the batter into a 25 cm angel cake food tin and bake for 30–40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert the cake tin when it comes out of the overn, and allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin. Loosen the cake from the tin bu running a knife around the outer and inner sides of the tin. The cake should release easily. Then, slide the knife along the bottom of the tin and transfer the caketo a wire rack.

Make the Icing:
Combine the icing sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, then whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pour and spread the chocolate icing over the entire cake, then sprinkle top and out and inner sides with coconut.

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.