A selection of my latest bakes

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Strawberry Trifle.

I have made the traditional sherry trifle many times, and usually at Christmas time. But having found a new series of liqueurs recently, (well, new to me) I really wanted to see if this would work, and it did.
The liqueurs are VOK made here in Australia. With some really sexy and delicious cocktails at their website. www.voktails.com.au (Have a look at *Sex on the Beach*)
I used the Orange Curacao in the Chocolate Orange Cake. (See under my labels)
I also wanted to try it with making blancmange instead of the custard, but when it came to the making, I had no cornflour. So good old BIRDS CUSTARD with a dash of strawberry essence did the trick.
I used shop bought sponge but you could use
your own.

To make your layers.
Slice cake and put in bottom of large bowl.
Dollop strawberry jam over this.
Pour the Strawberry liqueur over the cake.
Then soak over night.
Make 1 litre of custard and allow to cool.
Put over the soaked cake.
(I let mine get very cold in the fridge, before adding the cream.)
Whip cream until it forms peaks.
Spread over the custard.
Decorate with fresh strawberries.

Do hope you have fun with making yours and do visit that web site. They have some lovely recipes there. I am a big VOK fan now, and will be getting the Melon next.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Carrot Cake

I found the original recipe of this on http://www.taste.com.au by Tracey Rutherford dated August 2004. But when I came to make it, found I only had 1 small carrot, it asked for 2. What to do? As I really wanted to make this. So I added crushed pineapple. Also, it asked for 3/4 cup of oil, I used Rice Bran oil. And instead of greasing the tin with olive oil, I used butter.
And for the icing, I added some crushed pineapple to the soft cheese and dressed it with candied pineapple.

My ingredients...

Butter (to grease tin)
1 Carrot (finely grated)
1 tin Crushed Pineapple.
1 1/2 cups S.R. Flour.
1 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda.
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon.
1/2 cup Brown Sugar.
3/4 cup Rice Bran Oil.
1/2 cup Golden Syrup.
3 Eggs.
1 tsp. Vanilla Essence.


250g Soft Cream Cheese.
1/2 cup Icing Sugar.
(A little of the juice and crushed

Pineapple, from above)
Candied Pineapple for decorating.

What to do....

Preheat oven to 170c.

Butter a 20cm cake tin.
Peel and grate carrot (set a side)
Sift flour, cinnamon and bicarb into
a large bowl.
Put sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs
and vanilla in to another bowl.
Use a balloon whisk to combine.
Pour the oil mixture into the

dry ingredients.
Use a wooden spoon to stir gently
until well combined.
Stir in grated carrot and drained
pineapple (remember to save a little
for the icing)
Pour the mixture into the pan and
bake for 1 hour.
Allow to cool completely before
turning out of tin.

To make the icing, place the cream cheese, icing sugar and some saved crushed pineapple and juice in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined. Spread over the cooled cake and decorate with candied pineapple.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Choc/Orange Cake

I actually saw this on another blog http://ohmy-applepie.blogspot.com The lovely Erica had made it for herself as a treat. And I thought I needed treating too, so to change it a little, I added a rich choc/orange icing and added lotza booze in the form of Orange Curacao. I have just discovered this little delight and now drink it with ice and lemonade.

What you will need to copy me.
250g S.R. Flour.
225g Butter (room temp)
175g Caster Sugar.
50g Cocoa.
3 Eggs (beaten)
Juice, zest and some pulp from 2 Oranges.
A good slurp of Orange Curacao.

For the icing.
1 bar good quality dark Chocolate.
50g Butter.
1 cup Icing Sugar.
Juice, zest and some pulp from 1 Orange.
And, a good slurp of Orange Curacao.

Preheat the oven to 180c.
Grease a large loaf or cake tin.
In a mixer combine the sifted flour, butter, sugar, cocoa and eggs.
Stir in the orange zest and pulp.
Pour in the juice and booze, mix well.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until the skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool before turning out on to a cooling rack for yet more cooling.

While this is happening, do the icing.
Over a sauce pan of simmering water, melt the
chocolate and butter together.
Add and mix in the orange zest, pulp and juice.
Sift in the icing sugar and stir well and last,

the booze. Mix well.
Spread over the cake while the icing is still warm.

Do hope you indulge in this fabulous cake, and again THANK YOU Erica.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Curried potatoes with minted peas

Another simple dish to make. I have loads of potatoes at the moment and am a little fed up with the standard way of serving them. You know, mashed, roasted and chips. Although we do love our potatoes any way they are cooked, so had a bit of a play today in the kitchen. There is quite a wind blowing here and when hubby came home, he said he could smell what I was cooking out on the road.

You will need....

4 large Potatoes. (cut smallish)
1 Onion. (diced)
A handful of peas. (I used minted frozen)
Olive oil.
Large knob of butter.
Curry powder.


Peel and cook the potatoes in water until almost done, but still firm.

Then drain them and just leave for a while.

In a fry pan, put the olive oil and butter, add the curry powder and turmeric, and cook off a little, add the diced onion and cook these until soft. Now add the potatoes, toss and turn until all is coated with the curried oil and onions. Last add the peas and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

This can be eaten cold or hot, I served it with curried sausages for dinner tonight.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Muffins, again.

Blueberry this time.

This time I added a cup full of unfrozen blueberries. This fruit is out of season at the moment here, so frozen was the next best thing.

Again, it's the basic muffin recipe that you can find under my labels. Do have a try of it, it has never failed me, as a sweet or savoury muffin.

But to be truthful with you, these could have done with a few more minutes in the oven as they are not as browned as I would have liked.

Still tasted very good though.

More Muffins

Oh, these were so delicious but they didn't last long. Maybe something to do with son and grand daughter visiting. Made 14 and the next day there was 2. Great straight from the oven or slightly warmed in the microwave.

Basic recipe can be found under my labels.

To this I added..

1 cup diced fresh Strawberries.

1 cap of Strawberry essence.

And a few drops of red food colouring was folded in at the end just to give a swirl effect.

These were so good. If you have a good recipe, I say "Stick to it" Have been making these now for a long time, and never had a failure.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Harissa Chicken Pieces.

Well, I know I have spoken about this before, but I can't not mention it again as I am so wrapped in this spice. (Oh that is such good English, LOL)
This time I used chicken breast cut into odd shapes and washed it in egg, then dunked it into a mix of flour and Harissa spice.(About half and half) Cooked it in Rice Bran Oil and Butter for just a couple of minutes each side. Drained it on kitchen paper towel.
I served it with a dipping sauce of sour cream and Harissa spice. And on the side was a potato salad, pasta salad, and (the first of the season) cherry tomatoes and chopped spring onion. Also celery and carrot roses.
Everyone enjoyed it. Including the men who are painting our pool at the moment, they could smell it and wanted to know what I was cooking. So of course they had a few pieces, which left plenty for the family. My son said, he wasn't going back to K.F.C.. So I'll take that as a compliment.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dark Choc Slice and White Choc Cherry slice

I actually found a variation of this on another blog. The Oh
so clever Violet from http://violets-homecooking.blogspot.com/

Vi used two sorts of chocolate in one slice. I used one chocolate for each of the two slices.
Putting smashed biscuits, sultanas and dark choc together for one, and white choc, glazed red cherries, smashed shortbread biscuits and flaked coconut for the other.

For these you will need...

1 bar dark cooking chocolate (melted)
1 pack of sweet tea biscuits (smashed up)
1 cup of sultanas.

Combine the biscuits and sultanas in a bowl, add the melted chocolate and stir well until all is covered. Place mixture into a tray and press down firmly. Put in the fridge for half an hour to set.
Then cut into slices.

For the white slices, you will need...
1 bar white cooking chocolate (melted)
1 pack glazed cherries. (roughly chopped)
1/2 cup flaked coconut (most for mixture and some for the top)
1 pack shortbread biscuits (smashed)

Same directions as before and adding the coconut to the top and squashing down a little just
before you put them in the fridge.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


My Dad will be so proud of me. I think I have the spelling right this time. There's Ratoutille, and Ratatouille and my way Rat-a-two-ee. Having spent most of the afternoon looking to see how to spell it, I finally got to make it just in time for dinner tonight. Just as well it's quick and easy.
We don't like eggplant, so didn't put any in. This is not traditional, but it's my way.
You will need....
A splash of good E.V.O.O.
1 tablesp. Butter.
1 Onion.
1 each of red, green and yellow Capsicum.
1 orange banana Capsicum.
2 Zucchini.
3 Roma or egg Tomatoes.
6 gloves Garlic.
3 Garlic shoots. (Optional)
1 tablesp. Sugar.
Cracked Pepper.
Prepare the vegetables in to large bite size pieces. Dice the garlic. Put the E.V.O.O. and butter into a fry pan and heat. Stir the oil and add the onion, cook for a few minutes only and then start adding the remaining vegetables, remembering to stir so nothing catches and burns. Lastly, add the garlic and tomatoes. You really want these just softened not going mushy with over cooking. Now, my secret ingredients, the sugar. Sprinkle over the Ratatouille with the cracked pepper. Stir, and you are ready to eat.
I served ours tonight with trimmed Pork chops with an apple and onion topping, and new potatoes with butter and parsley. Very tasty indeed.

Truely amazing Birthday Cake.

All the credit goes to the lady who made this cake.
Emmcee (Gail) from the great blog called....
It is her Birthday on the 4th of September and she made this cake to celebrate the fact.
She says she is not a professional, but looking at that cake and others she has done, it's hard not to believe her.
Please go and see her blog, and look at the others she has made. The *BOOB* cake made for her father's birthday is amazing too.
Am leaving the type black here so the picture really speaks for itself.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Thai Green Chicken Curry

This was a delight to make and photograph. However, next time I will use half the amount of green curry paste. As it was a little too hot for my liking, although my men found it just right. Go figure! I also used for the first time, Garlic shoots.(See little picture at the bottom) I used them in the stir fry along with the green beans, Bok Choy and onions. They gave a gentle hint of garlic to the dish and stayed crunchy. A nice find at my local greengrocers.

For the Thai Green Curry....
You will need....

2 Chicken breasts (skinned and chopped into large pieces.)
1 Onion (diced)
3 tbsp Green Curry paste (or a little less if wimpy like me)
1 tin Coconut cream.
Juice of 1 Lime.
1 tin Water Chestnuts (optional)

Dry fry the chicken pieces until all but done, toss in the onion and stir. When the onion is a little cooked, add the curry paste and stir again. Now add the lime juice, and then the coconut milk and stir. Let simmer for a few minutes. Or turn the heat off and let sit while you do the stir fry and rice. I added a tin of sliced water chestnuts at the end, just to bulk it out a little and give an added crunch to the dish.

Veg Stir fry......
I used...
Bok Choy.
Round long Beans.
Garlic Shoots.

Prepare your vegies by washing them and cutting into largish pieces.
Heat the wok and add a little oil. I used a garlic and chili infused
oil. Onions in first, then bok choy, green beans and garlic shoots.
Toss and turn until all have cooked but not sloppy and soft. Leave a little crunch to them.
You are done.

I served mine with Jasmin rice. Once plated up, dress with a little pickled ginger over the chicken and coriander.
This fed 4 hungry adults, 2 of which wanted more, but there was none.

Spring has sprung.

And the garden is alive with new shoots, citrus blossom, wisteria is showing a little colour in it's buds, the roses have their bronzed new leaves appearing. Lets hope we can keep the bugs off them this year. Daffodils a plenty in the shops, but not in my garden, as I don't have any. The jasmine is in full flower and making me feel a little giddy with the gorgeous perfume.

The birds are singing and making eyes at each other, they will soon be nesting. My parrots are looking for nesting material too, so must get some together for them. They seem to like my *old mans beard*. Thankfully I have loads. So won't miss it.

This is just the best time of year in the garden, so many things are happening. And there's not enough hours in the day to get everything I wish done.

We are having our pool renovated at the moment too. We are going from a pale (boring) blue, to a bright and happy colour called WISTERIA. Which should look very good as we have the plant growing along the back fence of the pool area.

Would love to show you some pictures of the flowers I picked today,some I bought from the florist, some of my parrots, and a few others of the garden. Which I am very proud of.

That is a pic of my Tibouchina, fantastic isn't it? The parrot is a blue Princess parrot and the two together is a green Princess parrot and a female King parrot.

Spring has sprung The grass has riz I wonder where the boidies is The boids is on the wing! Don't be absoid! Da wings is on the boid!

Attributed by many to Spike Milligan of the BBC's "Goon Show"