A selection of my latest bakes

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alpine White Chocolate Mud Cake.

This is my first attempt at making a mud cake and also my first go at icing and decorating a cake too. Yes, okay, it was a Bakels cake mix that I was trying out. The lovely Gail from http://vipantrywedonthaveablogblog.blogspot.com sent me a kilo of the mix from her 15 kilo bail to try. Who said ready mixes are not any good? This is moist, easy, and very tasty.
Once you get over the original panic stage and work out the weights and measures (weighing eggs and water in grams for instance) it really is easy.
Then there's the choosing of chocolates to use. Some are so yellow, I ended up using Nestles as this was the palest of them all once melted and the cream added to it.

Top picture is square on.

This one is side on showing the ribbon on the side.

And this is after it had been syrup basted and
crumb iced.

Just out of the oven. It did rise a little and cracks appeared, but these soon settled once it had cooled.
This is a truely delightful cake, and I will be buying some more mix once the Christmas holidays are over. Freezes well too.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mango Salsa.

Mangoes, mangoes, mangoes. Oh how I love them.
Although we are very lucky in this country to have them nearly all year long, it always seems such a treat to me, to be able to buy a case of mangoes. Which I did, on Christmas Eve. The case contained 20 mangoes for only $15.00. The first five were eaten over the kitchen sink, making rather a mess of my hands and arms. So sweet and juicy, and so very yummy.

Tonight I made a mango salsa to go with leftover turkey, also had a green leaved salad, avocado and a egg and potato salad. This salsa would go well with most cold meats and a good strong cheddar cheese.

What you will need.
6 MANGO cheeks.
Juice of 1 LIME.

Dice the mango and scrap from the skin into a bowl.
Dice the red onion, and the chili, really small making sure you have no pips. Add to bowl.
Squeeze the lime over the mix already in the bowl and mix well trying not to break up the mango too much.

Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
I think this would be lovely with savoury crackers and cheese as well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas/Boxing Day Menu.

5 kilos of King Prawns (Lemoned finger bowls to rinse the pinkies)
Assorted savoury biscuits and a couple of dip.
1 whole leg of Ham.
1 5.4 kilos of Turkey breast with streaky bacon and cranberry sauce.
New potatoes salad with light sour cream and chives.
Green leaved salad.
Black tomatoes. (No fiddling with these, too good as they
are) KUMATO.
Alpine white mud cake (Still have to do the final icing layer
and decorate)
Glazed fruit cake. Mr. Kiplings Mince pies. (We adore only these)
Fruit salad. (Mangoes, Pineapple, Kiwifruit, Strawberries
and green Grapes.
Fruit and marshmallows kebabs with dipping chocolate.
Assorted cheeses (Triple creamed Brie, Strong Cheddar and
a blue of some sort)

This is sort of a buffet, it will be all out in the BBQ area,
yes there is a fridge out there and a couple of eskys filled with ice too.
Also doing cocktails, Grossmutters over ice, Sex on the beach,
Between the sheets, and Death in the afternoon.
There will also be beer, red wine and white wine.
Oh, and my cuppa PG Tips.
Have I missed anything?
YES, Mince pie muffins and cherry and
coconut mini loaves. PHEW

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mince Pie Muffins.

This is the basic muffin mix again that you can find under *labels*. Either use your own Fruit Mince or do as I did and use a good quality shop bought type. Robinson's do a very good one.

2 cups S.R. FLOUR.
1/2 teaspoon BAKING SODA.
3/4 cup MILK.
1/2 cup RICE BRAN OIL.

Mix wet ingredients together first. Sift flour and baking soda, then add to wet mix with the sugar. Don't overwork the mix now.
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Put a small amount into each muffin case (I manage to get 16 muffins with this mix.
Then add 1 teaspoon of fruit mince to each muffin and top with more muffin mix.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
When cool, dust with icing sugar.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Lights Fruit Cake.

Not too much effort put into this cake, as I am making a white chocolate mud cake for Christmas. So this is a shop bought cake by Fowlers Vacola. A deliciously moist fruit cake filled with Spiced Apples, Apricots, Peaches and Pears. I glazed it with warmed Apricot jam and decorated with glazed Oranges, glazed Pineapple, glazed Peaches and a green Cherry.
Now to get on with the over cake.
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Friday, December 19, 2008


Special Fruit Cake


1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cup dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup nuts
1 bottle whisky


Sample the whisky to check its quality. Take a large bowl.
Check the whisky again.
To be sure it is of the highest possible quality, pour 1 level cup and drink.
Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer.
Beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and beat again.
Make sure the whisky is still okay. Cry another tup.
Turn off the mixer. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stick, pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whisky to check for tonisticity. Next, sift 2 cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whisky. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add 1 table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window, check the whisky again and go to bed.
Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year too.
Thank you for the recipe Lesley! (lol)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A really exciting new blog has just been started by a dear friend of mine who lives in Sweden. Her name is Anna and the blog address is
She is writing the blog in English, although this is not her first language. She writes about crafts, family and cooking/baking. The blog was only started a few days ago, and already there are 8 posts there.
Well done Anna. Please come and get your award from me. Look forward very much, to reading a lot more on your blog. Keep up the excellent work.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bread pudding.

This recipe comes from my Mum's kitchen. She had made it just before I visited last. We had it as a cake, but should be eaten warmed with custard. Will give you her recipe first, and then tell you what I did.

Bread Pudding.

250 grams STALE WHITE BREAD. (crusts removed)
50 grams UNSALTED BUTTER (melted)
50 grams SUGAR.
1/2 tsp. MIXED SPICE.
1 large EGG.
MILK. (Just a little, you may not need)

Break the bread into small pieces and put into
a mixing bowl. Pour over enough water to cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
In another bowl, mix together butter, sugar,spices, marmalade, fruit and egg.
Drain the bread and squeeze to remove excess water. Now add the soaked bread to the other mixture. Add the milk now, if a little dry, needs to be a sticky consistency.
Put mixture into a greased 18 cm square cake tin and bake at 180c for 1-1 1/4 hours or until firm.
The chances I made.
Used fruit loaf and forgot to cut off crusts,
but this did not matter.
Used dark brown sugar.
Used sultanas and pitted prunes.
Needed no milk.
This smelted so Christmasy to me,
and ours has been eaten cold.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thank you.

I started this blog mainly 'cos I was talked into it by a few friends over on the forum I belong (Violet's Pantry, members only.) Got excited about taking photographs of my food and baking, and before I knew it, I was totally hooked.
Am a bit proud really, as I have just passed a milestone. 10,000 visitors. It's THANKS to Food Porn Sites like RECIPE MUNCHER, TASTESPOTTING, PHOTOGRAZING, FOODGAWKER and NEWTASTINGS. And the girls from the forum (George, Granny, Emmcee, Coby, Vicky, Maria, Kerryanne, Kerry, Linda and Violet) there's many more too, that spur me on. Thank you all, please take the flowers and put them on your blogs, as a gift from me.

Another son, another birthday cake.

The same simple chocolate cake, which you can find here http://pinkbytes.blogspot.com/2008/11/birthday-cake.html but this time, I sandwiched the two layers together with Nutella. (Second sons' favorite sandwich filling) and then made a Carob butter icing and spread that over the top, and dressed it with Maltesers.
Thankfully, every one in my home loves all types of chocolate, including the two dogs.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Hedgehog.

There are so many parties and Christmas do's on at this time of year, but in this hot weather it is very difficult to do something that will keep, be tasty and festive. So when I was asked to the local betting clubs Christmas do and they said "Bring a plate" This was my answer.
I got hold of a seedless watermelon this morning that weighed six kilos. The man in the fruit and veg shop, kindly cut it in half for me.
I washed the outer skin and then lightly rubbed some olive oil on the skin, and sprinkled it with gold edible sprinkles. Like a gold dust really.
One kilo of Cabanosi sliced.
One kilo of Cheddar cheese, cut in to cubes.
One fresh Pineapple, peeled cored and sliced.
Two jars of red Cocktail Onions.
Two jars of green Cocktail Onions.
Two hundred cocktail sticks.
Load three different things on to the stick, making sure you have the red and green onions at the top, or the pineapple and proceed to load up the watermelon.
This was a lot of fun to make, and everybody at the party enjoyed eating it too.
If anybody knows it's true name, I would be very grateful to hear from you. Until then, I shall call it my Christmas Hedgehog. Such a cute and lovable little animal. (We don't have them in Australia, arhhhhhhh!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Anniversary

Happy first anniversary to a busy blogger LINDA @
A lovely informative foodie blog. Do visit her and leave a message.

Three Cheeses' and Pickled Onion Muffins.

Yes, more muffins. This time I wanted to use up some cheeses' I had in the fridge. Mersey Valley Vintage Cheddar with pickled onions, being one of them. Parmesan being another, as I had managed to get hold of a large block from the deli and dear hubby had grated it for me. Also, some good old fashioned Cheddar cheese. Now, if you can't get the Mersey Valley cheese, just add more cheddar.

The recipe..

2 cups S.R. FLOUR. (Sifted)
1/2 cup RICE BRAN OIL.
3/4 cup MILK.
1 cup CHEDDAR CHEESE (Grated)
1/2 cup of MERSEY VALLEY VINTAGE CHEDDAR (Pickled Onions) (Chopped)
1/2 cup PARMESAN (Grated)
4 large PICKLED ONIONS (Sliced and diced)
2 SPRING ONIONS (Sliced finely)


Preheat oven to 180c. Prepare muffin tray by greasing.
Mix the wet ingredients together, add the sifted flour. Then stir in the three cheeses, spring onions and pickled onions.
If you feel the mix is a little dry, add a touch more milk and oil.
Fill the muffin tray holes to 3/4 full.
Bake in the oven for 20 -25 minutes, or until golden brown.
The aroma coming from the oven, will drive you mad. These are truly very tasty.
I have frozen half of mine (6) and can be warmed in the microwave for a few seconds, once defrosted.
Do hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lemon Butter Cake.

This cake is so delicious, that it deserves two pictures. And if you make it, I am sure you will not stop at one slice only. I didn't.

Lemon butter cake has got to be the easiest and quickest cake to make. From heating the oven to tasting was exactly 40 minutes. So ideal to make when you have guests coming and want a quick cake.

You will need....

250g BUTTER.


250g S.R.FLOUR (sifted)

3 EGGS (beaten)



Melt butter in microwave on 50% power.

Stir in sugar, then the flour, add the eggs
and the zest from the lemon. (Keep the juice from lemon for later)
Pour into a shallow tin which you have greased or lined with parchment paper. And bake in oven at 180c for approx 20 - 30 minutes.
Mix juice from lemon with enough caster sugar to form a paste, and spread on cake while still hot from oven.

As I have only two slices left of this delicious cake, I shall be making it again at the weekend. I wonder what it would be like with orange, instead of lemon. Hmmmmm.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gingered Oat Biscuits

This is a recipe from Violet's mum, Violet being the Violet from Violet's Pantry. A members only forum to which I belong. I thought at first that I would not like these, so I decided to add ground ginger. It did add a nice warmth to the biscuit, but you could leave it out if you wish.

4 oz/100g self raising Flour.
4oz/100g porridge Oats.
½ level teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda.
4oz/100g Butter.
4oz/100g granulated sugar.
1 rounded tablespoon Golden Syrup.
1/2 tablespoon of ground Ginger.

Heat the oven to 180 c. Grease a large baking tray with butter or line it with parchment paper. Mix flour, oats, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl put to one side.
Put butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat on a low heat until butter and sugar are melted, stir occasionally, take off heat and stir in the oat mix, beat well with a wooden spoon. Scoop dessertspoons of mixture up and make into ball shapes and place on the prepared baking tray, when the tray is full slightly flatten the balls out with the back of the dessert spoon. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, when ready remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving onto a wire rack.

I actually doubled this recipe and had two trays of 15 biscuits each in the oven at one time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Brownies.

A very simple chocolate brownie recipe with the additions of Sultanas and chopped Walnuts.


200 gms. Milk Cooking Chocolate.
125 gms. Butter.
1 cup Brown Sugar.
2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence.
2 Eggs. (lightly beaten)
1 cup Self Raising Flour.
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts.
1 cup Sultanas.


Preheat oven to 160c.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl over
simmering water.
Stir in the sugar, vanilla essence and the eggs.
Mix well.
Add the flour, sultanas and walnuts and stir well.
Pour the mixture into a lined 28 x 18 cm slab tin.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Leave in the tin to cool.
Dust with icing sugar, if you wish.

These are really delicious when served still slightly warm from the oven and, just before going to bed with a big dollop of cream and a cuppa.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gateau au Yoaout.

This is a delightfully tasty, moist and very easy cake to make. It comes from the blog of dear Pi, who has now gone to feed the angels. http://pistachioenlacocina.blogspot.com

G√Ęteau Au Yaourt

2 eggs
1 cup of whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (1 envelope)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste/extract
1 tablespoon light rum

Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), line the bottom of a round ten-inch (25cm) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil and rum. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together -- don't overwork the dough. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes, run a knife around to loosen, and turn out on a rack to cool.

The chances I made..
Used Rice Bran Oil instead of vegetable oil.
Used Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt.

And I iced the cake with a simple butter icing with lemon essence.
This is a MUST try cake. ( Forget you not Pi)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you George.

The very talented writer, George, over on http://culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess.wordpress.com has just awarded this to me and a few others too. I asked her if it was for this blog only and she said "No, for both your blogs" How special is that?
Please come and see me at http://salsgardensanctuary.blogspot.com/
It is tradition with these awards, that you pass them on to the blogging community, so here goes.

Arista --- http://aristolafood.blogspot.com
Kerry --- http://kerry-meandmythree.blogspot.com
Coby and the girls --- http://vipantrywedonthaveablogblog.blogspot.com

Come and get it girls, copy and put on your blog, then pass it on please.
These lovely ladies keep me blogging.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A dear friend has been taken

Yesterday, a dear friend called Pistachio was taken from us, far too early.

I first *met* Pi at Nigella.com and then again at a foodie forum I joined where Vi and Pi were admin.

Pistachio passed peacefully with her family around her. Two days after her 61st birthday.

Pistachio (Lorrainne) will be sadly missed by the forum, the blogging world and all those who knew and loved her. My heart goes out to her husband Thomas.

Sleep well Pistachio.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Potato Salad.

Do you ever get fed up with the same old boring potato salad? You know the one, potatoes, mayo, chives and sometimes a hard boiled egg thrown in.
Well, I have found an alternative.

3 large POTATOES (peeled and cut in to chunks)

1 ONION (diced)

150gms BACON (also diced)


Boil the prepared potatoes until cooked, but still firm. While these are cooking, fry the onion until it is clear then toss in the bacon, flipping and turning until the bacon is cooked. 2 or 3 minutes. Drain the potatoes and leave in the saucepan. Add the bacon and onion mix and lightly mix together. Stir in the sour cream. Do all this while it is still warmish, as it is easier. Transfer to a nice serving bowl. Now all the messy stuff is in the saucepan, ready to be washed up.

Enjoy, we did tonight with a green leaf salad and tinned beetroot.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The birthday cake.

As promised on the 30th October, the birthday cake.
Inspiration for this came from Vicky over on http://ahealthyappetite.blogspot.com
Vicky had made a Simple Chocolate Cake that she used from http://www.easylivingmagazine.com/Food/Recipes/ChocolateCake/Default.aspx

I doubled all ingredients and used butter not margarine.

Here is the original recipe.

175g (6oz) margarine or softened butter
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs
150g (5oz) self-raising flour, sifted
50g (1¾oz) of cocoa, sifted
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

For simple chocolate icing
100g (3½oz) of dark chocolate
100g (3½oz) of chopped butter

1. Heat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). Lightly grease an 18cm (7in) round cake tin with a little extra butter or margarine and cut a piece of greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment to fit the base of the tin. I greased mine with butter and then sprinkled cocoa powder into it to give it a nice chocolaty edge.
2. Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or a hand-held mixer for 1 minute, or until just combined. It's important not to beat the batter too much just long enough to make it smooth.
3. Pour or spoon the mixture into the tin, smooth the top and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45-50 minutes. The cake is cooked when it looks well risen and golden; the top should spring back when lightly touched with a fingertip. Another test is to insert a skewer into the centre of the cake - it should come out clean.
4. Let the cake sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

Because I doubled everything, I used a bigger tin (24cm or 9 inches) and made 10 cupcakes as well. The cupcakes of course, cooked in 20 minutes and the cake took 50 minutes.

For the icing, I wanted something a little bit special, so I sort of made it up as I went.

I bar of Lindt (80% cocoa) milk chocolate.
200gms of softened butter.
3 cups (maybe more) Icing sugar (sifted)
A good slurp or two of Tia Maria.

Melt chocolate over simmering water on stove. Soften butter in microwave, pour chocolate into the butter and add the icing sugar, mix well. This is where you add the Tia Maria too loosen it a little. (If needed) If not, drink the Tia Maria. (HIC)

Spread on to the cooled cake.

I then melted dark Lindt chocolate and dipped the strawberries in, to decorate the cake. (And cupcakes)
Opppps!! I forgot to say. I cut the cake, once cooled and spread strawberry jam to sandwich the two together. (Use a good quality jam with whole strawberries in)
Chocolate and strawberries together, my son's two favorite foods.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Charles

A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear son CHARLES. 32 years old today.
Chocolate sponge cake sandwiched together with strawberry jam, with a Tia Maria and Lindt chocolate fudge icing, and decorated with strawberries dipped in yet more Lindt chocolate.

A little too much mix was made for the tin used, so knocked up some cupcakes to give to the young children.

I promise to put the recipe up later, but just wanted to get this done for now, on his birth day.