Archive for the Cakes Category

A: Poo bread.

Posted in Cakes, Muffins with tags , on November 24, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

The ultimate solution to all the worlds problems, as far as my family is concerned, is food. Birthday? EAT! New job? EAT! Lost your job? EAT! New boyfriend? EAT! Spare 2 minutes in your day?  I think you get the idea. So it has only come natural to me to camp out in the kitchen while I attempt to deal with the recent passing of my Grandpa.

I have been wanting to try this particular recipe from Belinda Jeffrey (my personal baking hero) for a while, and on Friday, I did. I love her baking recipes because in the true fashion of country cooking, there is no end to the amount of substitutions you can make. I remember making her zucchini and kumara loaf, but with squash and pumpkin instead, yogurt instead of buttermilk and almond meal instead of flour, and it was perfect! I doubt it would have been equally successful with Delia or even Nigella (who I adore)!

So, even though the original recipe comes from Mix and Bake, I have bludgeoned it somewhat and made it my own. And when the list of ingredients unfolds, it shall become fairly clear why this loaf has been christened Poo Bread. 🙂

poo-bread-002

Poo Bread (based on Prune, Date and Fig loaves, from Mix and Bake)

Per loaf, you will need:

45g all bran cereal

500g mixed dried fruit, roughly chopped (I used dried cherries, dates and  figs. Prunes, currents, sultanas, dried bananas, apricots should all work well.)

180ml strained tea, cooled (chai tea shines in this recipe, so would earl grey! Your standard black tea works just fine too.)

1/2 cup sugar (I used apple juice concentrate, as a close friend has just been put on a very rigid sugar-free-fat-free diet and I thought I’d experiment.)

1/4 cup golden syrup

1 1/4 C self-raising flour

1 small egg (Or half a large one. Or make 2 loaves and use 1 large egg.)

almonds, pecans, walnuts or whatever you please, to decorate the top of the loaf.

Method:

Combine cereal, fruit, tea, sugar and syrup in a bowl. Cover tightly and leave overnight.

The next day, stir in the egg and flour.

Transfer mixture into your loaf tin (buttered and lined with baking paper). Decorate the top of the loaf however you like.

Bake at 165C for 1 hour.

poo-bread-003

Serve with lashings of butter. This is very rich! Man and I had 1 slice each and we were stuffed. Makes a great breakfast food, teatime food, late night munchie-type food, etc. etc.

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A: Crumble in the jungle

Posted in Cakes with tags , , on November 7, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

On my quest to discover the perfect crumble, I decided last night to make a little dent in what remains from my wholesale market apple glut to create my version of the classic apple crumble. My 2 weeks of chutney-ing has also left me with a bunch of ingredients in my home that I might not normally have in my pantry (magic as it may be). One of these ingredients is dried cherry, which I used in my Apple, Tomato and Cherry chutney a few weeks back (just one of the many backlogged events I plan to post!). I had originally planned to include some candied ginger as well, which I used in my Tomato and Date chutney, but remembered swiftly that the last time I’d used candied ginger, it’d been met with a less than enthusiastic response from man. Also left over in my fridge is a generous shot of Sloshed Apple Liqueur from R’s alcoholic pantry (which I only remembered after I had raided my own stash and was walking into the kitchen with a bottle of port in hand).

So, armed with fruit and alcohol the alchemy began…

apple-crumble-001

Boozy Apple and Cherry Crumble

Ingredients:

Filling:

1/4 cup Apple liqueur (while I was fortunate to have procured this from a compulsive liqueur collector, I imagine port, cherry/apple brandy, schnapps, cointreau or even a vanilla vodka would do great here!)

3 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and chopped

2 heaped tbsp dried cherries (I am completely sold on these little gems and are relying on them to tide me through while I hang out for cherry season to begin properly)

4 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Topping:

4 heaped tbsp plain flour

2 heaped tbsp ground almonds

2 heaped tbsp ground hazelnuts

1 heaped tbsp softened butter

1 heaped tbsp brown sugar

Method:

Soak cherries in liqueur for as long as possible (I managed 1 hour).

Combine filling ingredients (yes, including the liqueur) and divide between 2 250ml ramekins.

Combine topping ingredients until resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Press topping onto crumble and bake at 200C for 30 minutes.

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We enjoyed this with some organic greek yogurt, which man declared might even be better than cream! It was lovely and thick, beautifully creamy and made us feel almost like we were eating healthily. I suppose if you don’t take the butter and sugar into consideration, this really is a pretty decent in terms of fat and sugar consumption. (Or not, I really don’t care!)

I’d topped man’s crumble with 3/4 of the topping mix, leaving a scant 1/4 left for myself, which left fruit-loving me happy and crumble-loving man very satisfied indeed. The cherries plumped up all fat and full of boozy, apple-y goodness and in my view and 10 times better than raisins (which I generally don’t enjoy in my desserts).

A: A rumble for a crumble!

Posted in Cakes with tags , on October 28, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Reading R’s post on her luscious strawberry crumble was so inspiring that I couldn’t possibly ignore the overwhelming urge to crumble any longer! Armed with a beautiful bottle of limoncello and some pineapple sage from the garden, I proceeded to satisfy an insane need for warm fruit on a cool spring evening.

Divide 250g of washed and hulled strawberries between 2 ramekins. (What can I say, I like my fruit!)

Divide 250g of washed and hulled strawberries between 2 ramekins. (What can I say, I like my fruit!)

Add 1 tbsp limoncello, 1/2 tsp sugar and 2-3 torn leaves of pineapple sage/mint/basil to each ramekin.

Combine 30g flour, 20g butter, 1 tbsp ground almonds, 1 tbsp sugar and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Top ramekins with mixture. (Unlike R, I really don’t like wholemeal, the virtues of which are superseded by the fact that it tastes like cardboard to me!!!)

Bake at 200C for 30 minutes.

Enjoy as is. OR…

With lashings of cream and a fancy garnish!

With lashings of cream and a fancy garnish!

Verdict? Too little crumble for man, who is a confirmed Atkins dropout. The good thing about fruit crumble is that it’s versatile enough to accommodate all manner of tastes. Now that my carbohydrate-loving manrat has declared his need for a near 50-50 fruit-crumble ratio, I know for next time to adjust accordingly, where I could easily eat stewed fruit as is!

As I write this I am reminded of the lovely ruby-red rhubarb that sits in my fridge awaitng further instruction. Watch this space for the next installment of the crumble diaries!

R: Care-fairy

Posted in Cakes on October 16, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Care package arrived via very special deliery…Gastronomic goodies delivered with a side of jokes. Jokes aside, I think the punchlines were actually the main event, and the food just a medium to deliver the wit.

Nutella mini cakes

Nutella mini cakes

Rolo brownies

Rolo brownies

Blood oranges

Blood oranges

                                                          I feel very very very loved   🙂

A: Think pink!

Posted in Cakes, Muffins with tags , , , on October 10, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

October is Breast Cancer Month, and what better time than now to experiment with my favourite pink vegetable– beetroot! I have been desperate to make a beetroot cupcake for AGES but have never sighted a recipe that I felt was simple yet would do justice to this superfood.

SO, I did some research and decided the best thing to do would be to use a carrot cake recipe as a point of reference and go from there. This is what I came up with (and if I do say so myself, I am quite pleased).

Choco-beet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp plain flour and a pinch of salt

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 large eggs

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

grated orange zest from one orange

1 1/2 cups grated beetroot

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Frosting: 125g cream cheese, 60g butter, 1 cup icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180C, line 12 muffin cups.

Beat the eggs and sugars until well combined.

Add in oil, butter, milk, vanilla, zest and mix till blended.

Add in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices and gently fold in the dry ingredients.

Stir in beetroot and chocolate chips.

Fill cupcake holders 3/4 of the way, bake for 20 minutes.

Cool in tray for 5 minutes before removing to a rack.

The cake itself has a

The cake itself has a lovely light texture and yet is very moist all at the same time! (I had to try one before frosting just in case I'd messed up!)

Frosting: Cream butter and cheese until smooth, add vanilla and mix until well blended. Sift icing sugar into butter and cheese mixture and beat until light and smooth. Frost cupcakes when cool.

Now if I didn’t already know there was beetroot in this cupcake I probably wouldn’t be able to pick it out. It’s one of those things that are only obvious if you know what you’re looking for. It’s not the best chocolate cupcake ever, but it’s pretty good for a first attempt! Plus the fact that it’s got beetroot in it makes it okay to stuff yourself silly on this stuff!

The orange zest was a bit of a non-event and didn’t really shine here, I might try Cointreau as well as orange zest next time. Perhaps even some candied beetroot or orange segments on the top? Oh the possibilities! Watch this space for more experimental beetroot madness!

Teabread

Posted in Cakes, Muffins on August 4, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

I’ve tried a few of BJ’s teabread recipes already- and they’ve all been gorgeously moist and utterly delicious. After having a coconut teabread (and I don’t like processed coconut) that was absolutely scrumptious after it was toasted the other day, I had it at the back of my mind to do something similiar.

After surveying the various options in her book, I decided to modify her healthy banana teabread to suit the moment. How lucky I had ALLLLL the ingredients at hand (Take That! Magic Pantry!!!!)

For something that had so many healthy ingredients and so little guilty ones in it, it was soft, light and oh so morish………

Now bring on that lemon curd!!! 🙂

Bandwagon

Posted in Cakes with tags , , on July 29, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

A’s been going as wild with her lemony posts, as she has making all sorts of lemon produce. Which is sort of seasonal- winter lemons, summer berries…. its an exciting continuous madness!

I haven’t quite encounterd a lemon glut as yet- my modest eureka tree is only in its first year of fruiting. But with all the great dreams I have for it, I wanted to marry my great expectations with a great memory of this fantastic self-saucing lemon pudding I made ages ago.

I dug out my old fashioned favourites cookbook and found (eureka!) a recipe for an old fashioned (what else!) lemon pudding. And you know how some people have this absolute fear of making souffles, and rate the souffle-making-trauma as poorly as cooking rice?

The lemon surprise that did

My lemon pudding had even greater ambitions and wanted to be a souffle!!!! HUH!!!

Ah…. the quest continues….