Category Archives: Baking

Mini Banana Cakes with lemon cream cheese icing

IMG_1468I have been making this banana cake recipe for years, and before I was making it my mum was. Not sure where she got this recipe, but it’s a winner :-).

IMG_1469

There is something quite nostalgic when you make a recipe that you grew up eating as a child, it invokes memories and feelings, it’s what we call comfort food.

IMG_1474

This banana cake is moist and soft the only important thing in making this recipe is make sure you have very ripe bananas, the riper the better.

IMG_1473

IMG_1471

RECIPE for Banana cake:

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 260g Self Raising Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp bi-carbonate soda
  • 2 Tsp milk

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time beating well between each addition
  4. Mash bananas, then beat in with vanilla
  5. Fold in half the sifted flour and bicarbonate soda, add milk, then fold in remaining flour. (try not to work batter too much at this will make for a tough cake, as you over work the gluten in the flour)
  6. place batter into prepared cake pan(s) (I used mini loaf tins, but you can one big cake or cupcakes or 1 large loaf cake)
  7. bake in oven until skewer comes out clean when inserted into centre, (cooking times will vary depending on the size of your cake, the bigger the cake the longer it will take. My mini loaf cakes took about 20-25 minutes)

RECIPE lemon cream cheese icing:

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

METHOD:

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together until soft and smooth
  2. add icing sugar and lemon zest, mix to combine
  3. spread generously on top of banana cake(s) and decorate as desired

Orange and Cardamom Syrup Cake

IMG_1455

A moist sweet cake bursting with citrus flavour and the undertones of the exotic cardamon spice.

IMG_1460

There is no arguing the natural marriage of these two flavours, a match made in heaven…..

Dress this cake with sweet fresh strawberries covered in the orange and cardamon syrup.

IMG_1454

Cut a generous slice and serve with vanilla cream. Mmmmmmm dessert time.

IMG_1457

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook; Delicious, Simply the best by Valli Little

RECIPE: 

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 250g fine semolina
  • 250g almond meal, pushed through a course sieve
  • 120g this Greek-style yoghurt
  • 250g punnet strawberries, halved or quartered

SYRUP

  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 6 cardamon pods bruised
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 275g caster sugar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC and Grease a 23cm round springform pan, line the base with baking paper and lightly dust sides with flour, shaking off any excess
  2. Beat butter and sugar until thick and pale, add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition
  3. Fold in the flour and baking powder, followed by the orange zest, almond meal and semolina
  4. Add orange juice and yoghurt and stir until combined
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean when inserted into centre
  6. cool n pan for 5 minutes
  7. Meanwhile, for syrup, place all ingredients in a saucepan with 375ml water
  8. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened
  9. Prick surface of the warm cake all over with a skewer, slowly drizzle over half the syrup, then allow to cool
  10. Toss strawberries in remaining syrup, then drizzle over cake

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

IMG_1450

MOIST, TASTY, YELLOW, TANGY, ZESTY, BITTER-SWEET, FRUITY, YUMMY, DELICIOUS.

There you have it, these descriptive nine words sum up these SCRUMPTIOUS (now make that 10 words :-)) Lemon Curd Cupcakes.

IMG_1447

I made lemon curd using this recipe (here) from POPSUGAR Food. To make these cupcakes you only need to make a half batch of this lemon curd recipe, or you could make the whole batch like I did and make this Lemon Curd and Strawberry Pavlova , with the left over lemon  curd, trust me its worth it :-).

IMG_1452

RECIPE CREAM CHEESE LEMON CUPCAKES:  (Recipe converted and adapted from POPSUGAR)

  • 225g Plain flour, sifted
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 285g caster sugar
  • 125g cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Lemon curd

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, until fluffy and lightened in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cream cheese and beat until completely incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until no streaks of yolk remain. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula between additions. Mix together until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter among the cupcake molds, filling each mold about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 24-28 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  8. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling with lemon curd.
  9. Using a watermelon baller scoop out a round in the centre of each cupcake.
  10. Sift powdered sugar over the tops of the cupcakes using a fine mesh strainer.
  11. Pipe the lemon curd into the cupcakes until it’s flush with the tops of the cupcakes.

Lemon curd and Strawberry Pavlova

IMG_1444

So I made some lemony deliciousness the other day, that deliciousness being lemon curd. I made the lemon curd to fill some sweet little cupcakes, (recipe for lemon curd cupcakes coming soon).

So having made lemon curd I had quite a few left over egg whites,  and the first thing that came to mind was Pavlova. I love Pavlova it’s one of my favourite desserts, sweet but at the same time light. Its topped with yummy fresh fruit so it almost makes it healthy WELL ALMOST :-).

IMG_1446

I also had left over lemon curd, so a lemon curd and strawberry pavlova it was to be, plus I added some mascarpone cream, whats a pavlova without cream right!!!!!!

IMG_1445

LEMON CURD RECIPE( recipe from POPSUGAR food)

  • 2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature

METHOD:

  1. Add the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together to combine.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it has jelled up slightly and coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Take the pot off of the heat and add the butter cubes one at a time, whisking until they have melted completely.
  4. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into whatever container you plan to store it in, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd so that it doesn’t form a skin. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes about 2 cups.

PAVLOVA RECIPE: (Recipe from Donna Hay)

  • 150ml eggwhite (approximately 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
  2. Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined.
  3. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.

MASCARPONE CREAM RECIPE:

  • 300ml pure cream
  • 250ml mascarpone cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. combine all ingredients into a bowl , using whisk attachment whisk cream until soft peaks form.

To put Pavlova  together spread mascarpone cream on top, then spread on a layer of lemon curd, then dress with chopped strawberries.

Little Custard Tarts

IMG_1418

So it has been awhile since my last post…………. busy busy busy studying.

But alas I have made some time to bake, albeit that my floors are still dirty, oh well they will still be there tomorrow unfortunately………. it would be so nice if the cleaning fairies came to visit me tonight…(yeah yeah I know I’m dreaming!) Any how this post is not about my lack of time and dirty floors it is about these amazing little custard tarts I made and yes I know I may be bias as made them but truly they are amazing 🙂

IMG_1417

I have been studying pastry at tafe this week; puff, short, choux and sweet so with pastry fresh on my mind I though custard tarts would be a yummy sweet treat.

These yummy custard tarts can be made with both puff or sweet pastry, the puff pastry making them more of a Portuguese custard tart. You can also make one large tart or little ones I made mine in a muffin tin.

IMG_1419

The custard  is quite flexible as well as you can use just milk or just cream or a combination of milk and cream in what ever ratio you like, just knowing that the cream will make your custard much richer. I used 300g of cream and 100g of milk. You can also play around with the sugar making your custard to suit. So have a play around with the ratios and see what works best for you.

IMG_1414

RECIPE:

PASTRY

  • 190g caster sugar
  • 300g butter
  • 2.5g salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g bakers flour
  • 225g cake flour or plain flour

METHOD:

  1. Mix sugar, salt and butter until well blended but not creamed
  2. Add eggs one at a time mixing well between each addition
  3. Add the sifted flours and mix until dough forms
  4. Knead lightly together on bench, shape into a a oblong shape and place in fridge to rest

CUSTARD

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 Tsp cornflour
  • 300g cream
  • 100g milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean spilt in 2 and seeds scraped out

METHOD:

  1. place egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together till smooth
  2. place cream, milk and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the bowl
  3. slowly pour boiling milk/cream into egg mixture making sure that you are stirring continuously
  4. pour mixture back into saucepan over medium heat stirring continuously until custard boils and thickens
  5. pour custard into a bowl , cover with plastic wrap pushing down onto the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool
  • Preheat oven to 200º C
  • roll out pastry to 2-3mm thick using a circle cutter cut out circles the appropriate size to fit your muffin tin
  • lightly grease muffin tin and line with the pastry circles making sure to press out all the air from the edges
  • fill with the cooled custard and bake until pastry is golden and custard has set

Baking Bread on the Weber

IMG_1413 IMG_1412

So it’s been a few weeks since my last blog post…… It really hasn’t been my intention but going into full time study and being a mum, a wife etc etc etc has kept me very busy. But alas all the stars have aligned and I have had a free weekend.

IMG_1409

well almost all the stars anyway………. I am oven-less, I know right OMG NO OVEN, to me thats like having no arms 😦 . MY oven door has broken and hubby is waiting on the parts to arrive…….. waiting waiting waiting.

IMG_1408

So this weekend I decided to improvise and I fired up the Weber to bake some bread. So for my first time baking bread in the Weber I must say I am very pleased.

IMG_1407

IMG_1405

Candied orange Shortbread

IMG_1390

I definitely cannot claim this recipe as my own, in fact I rarely can, I am the recipe “High-jacker”……….Now I do like to take a recipe and tweak it to make it my own… But this recipe needed no tweaking it is perfect just as it is, and why mess with perfect?

IMG_1388

These delicious orange shortbreads are straight out of the latest issue of Gourmet Traveller Magazine, in fact they are on the front cover, and they enticed me as soon as I picked up the magazine. Sweet crumbly shortbread gently flavoured with orange and for a little texture some roasted pistachios YUM YUM YUM oh and lets not forget a little splash of Grand Marnier just to make these shortbread really special.

IMG_1392

IMG_1389

IMG_1391

RECIPE:

  • 40g pistachios
  • 220g butter, softened
  • 375g pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) orange juice appox 2 oranges
  • 30ml Grand Marnier
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 330g plain flour
  • 40g candied orange, diced

METHOD:

  1. preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. spread pistachios onto a baking tray and roast until just golden, set aside to cool, then coarsely chop
  3. beat butter, 75g icing sugar and half the zest in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy
  4. combine orange juice and Grand Marnier set aside
  5. add egg yolk to butter mixture and beat until combined, then mix in half the orange juice mixture
  6. add flour, candied orange, pistachios and a pinch of salt, beat until mixture just comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour)
  7. roll out shortbread on a lightly floured surface to 1cm thick and cut out 6.5cm- diameter rounds
  8. place onto lined baking trays and bake until pale golden on the edges 15-20 minutes (swapping trays halfway through cooking)
  9. cool on trays for 5 minutes then sprinkle with remaining orange juice mixture
  10. combine remaining icing sugar and orange zest, then shake through a course sieve over shortbread, dust heavily