A selection of my latest bakes

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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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jessie Tweddles Fruit Loaf.

Who is Jessie Tweddle?

Jessie Tweddle was a friend of the mother of Rhyleysgranny. Rhyleysgranny writes the excellent blog at http://teandwheatenbread.blogspot.com
This is a very old recipe and has been used many thousands of times, all with great success.
Both ladies have since pasted over and it is up to Rhyleysgranny to keep this recipe going.

Here is the original recipe.

4 oz marg/butter.
4oz brown sugar.
8 oz mixed fruit.
1 Teacup cold tea.
1 level teasp Bicarbonate of soda.
8 oz SR Flour.
1 teasp mixed spice.
1 egg.

Simmer marg/butter, sugar,fruit,
tea, soda bic. for 20 mins.
Allow to cool, add egg flour and spice.
Bake in a loaf tin at 350.F/180.C/Gas 4
until skewer comes out clean.

Cherries and nuts can be added if desired.

Now, I had no mixed spice, so used ginger and cinnamon.

Also, we are not that keen on mixed dried fruit, so pineapple and sultanas were used.
And before putting into the oven, I sprinkled raw sugar over the top of the uncooked cake.
This loaf/cake is just fabulous, not too sweet, moist, and ideal with a cuppa in the afternoons. In future, I shall be making two at a time. One for now and one for the freezer.
A BIG Thank You to Jessie Tweddle and Rhyleysgranny, who hopefully soon will do a write up on her blog, all about this dear lady.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Chorizos and Capsicum Muffins

I make savoury muffins quite often as they freeze so well and are excellent in packed lunches.
That's if you get them to the freezer quick enough, before the family sees them!

2 1/2 cups S.R.FLOUR.
1/2 teasp. SALT.
1 cup MILK.
1/3 cup RICE BRAN OIL.
1 cup diced GREEN CAPSICUM.
1 cup diced RED CAPSICUM.
1 small diced ONION.
2 CHORIZOS SAUSAGES (cut into small pieces and dry fried.)

Preheat oven to 180c. Grease 12 large muffins tray.
Mix the eggs, oil and milk together first, sift the flour and add to the wet mix, gently fold in and then add the rest of the ingredients. Do be light handed here or they won't rise as much.
Spoon in to the prepared muffin tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Or until a light golden colour.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Little Coffee Sponge Cakes.

These little darlings are so easy to make and were eaten up in minutes. I have never been a big sifter type person, but this recipe has changed my mind. S.R. Flour is sifted three times and it is well worth it. The eggs and sugar is mixed together for ten minutes, so it triples in size, and is light and fluffy.
You will need....
2/3 cup S.R.FLOUR.
1 tablespoon INSTANT COFFEE.
1 tablespoon HOT WATER.
50g BUTTER (melted)

50g BUTTER (softened)
1 tablespoon INSTANT COFFEE.
1 tablespoon HOT WATER.
2 cup ICING SUGAR. (sifted so there's no lumps)

Preheat the oven to 180c. Sift the flour 3 times and set aside. Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for 10 minutes, or until pale and tripled in volume. Fold through half the flour into the egg mixture, when that is taken in do it again with the remaining flour. Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and fold through with the melted butter into the batter mix.
Divide mixture into 8 1 cup muffin holes that have been well greased. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or the cakes feel spongy to touch. Cool on wire racks.
To ice the little darlings.
Mix the softened butter with the dissolved coffee in water, sift in the icing sugar and mix well. I forked my butter icing on because that's the look I wanted and then decorated with chopped walnuts and chocolate sprinkles.
I wonder how long they will last in your home?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh, so very lucky.

I must be the luckiest lady in the whole of Australia. I now own this book. YAY. It is not being released here in Australia, until the 3rd of November 2008.
But, Thanks to the very generous George from http://culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess.wordpress.com
I received it last week. Wasn't that nice of her? So I now own 3 books by Nigella. Nigella's EXPRESS was also sent to me way ahead of release time here, by George. And the lovely lady from http://teandwheatenbread.blogspot.com sent me a copy of Nigella's FEAST.
Thank you again, Granny and George, for the wonderful gifts and keeping me up to date with the very latest of her books.
I have had a very quick look through this latest book and have a long list of recipes I wish to try. The BOOZY BRITISH TRIFLE on page 42 is a must, looks so pretty with the Pistachios and Crystallized Rose Petals on top of the cream.
Another is RED ONION AND POMEGRANATE RELISH on page 73. And as Nigella says, this would be lovely served with cold turkey and a fluffy-fleshed baked potato.
There are so many more recipes, I could be typing for days, so take a look at the book yourself. Hope you enjoy it as much as I shall.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Spicy Orange Slice.

This is just perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon, when you have to think of making dinner. Munch on this spicy, fruity cake and sip on your tea, and think of far away places. Then, when it's finished, you might be inspired to do some thing special. ( I shall be making a vegetable curry. The veggies are good for you and my day dreaming took me to the spice markets in India)

Enough of that, on with this slice.

You will need....
1/2 cup softened BUTTER.
3/4 cup RAW SUGAR.
Grated peel of 1 ORANGE.
1 tablesp. ORANGE Juice.
1 1/2 cup of PLAIN FLOUR.
1 1/2 teasp. BAKING POWDER.
1 teasp MIXED SPICE.
3/4 cup SULTANAS.
3/4 cup chopped WALNUTS.


Cream butter until smooth and gradually add the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and orange rind and juice. Sift in the dry ingredients and blend in to the mixture. Fold in the sultanas and walnuts.

Spread in to a greased tray (about 29cm x 19cm) And sprinkle some more raw sugar over the top before baking in the oven (180c) for approximately 30 minutes. Cool slightly after removing from the oven, and cut in to fingers or squares.

You could, if you wanted to, put some orange icing on this slice, just remember not to put the raw sugar on top before baking.

Do hope you enjoy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Vanilla Fairy Cakes

Well, I had some icing left over from the Chocolate Guinness Cake, so I quickly knocked these up, to use the icing. I hate waste.

You will need...
2 cups S.R. Flour
3/4 cup Castor Sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup softened Butter
2 teasp Vanilla Essence

Set oven at 180c. Get the cake tray ready with around 20 papers. (That's how many I made)
Mix eggs, butter and milk first until well combined. Then add in the sugar and vanilla essence. Last, fold in the sifted flour until smooth only. Do not over work the flour. Put into the prepared paper cases and bake in the oven for around 12-15 minutes.
When cool, ice with your favorite icing and decorate.
I used up the icing from the other cake as I already said.
Philadelphia cream cheese, double cream and icing sugar.

My son visited just as I was icing these, and he stuck around so I could finish them and then he took half home for my grand daughter.

Chocolate and Guinness Cake

From Nigella's Feast page 286. Nigella describes this cake as *Magnificent in it's damp blackness* And I can't better that. It truely is a gorgeous tasty cake and I shall be making this one again and again.

I would make one change though. Nigella used plain flour and bicarbonate of soda. It rose beautifully, but when cooled, it sank all over (nice and evenly thankfully). Next time I shall use S.R. Flour.

Here's the recipe as in Nigella's book for those of you that don't have *FEAST*

For the cake.

250ml Guinness.
250g unsalted Butter.
75g Cocoa.
400g Castor Sugar.
142ml Sour Cream.
2 Eggs.
1 tblsp Vanilla Extract.
275g Plain Flour.
2 1/2 teasp Bicarbonate of Soda.

For the topping.
300g Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
150g Icing Sugar. 125ml Double or Whipping Cream.

Preheat the oven to 180c, and butter and line a 23cm springform tin.Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter, in slices and heat until the butter has melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb. Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake. When the cake is cold, sit it on a cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar, then beat them both together. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it looks like the frothy top of the famous pint.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Rocky Road indeed.

The always lovely Nigella, has a new book out called Nigella's Christmas. It's full of fascinating recipes and one of which has been adapted by http://culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess.wordpress.com/
I have now adapted it again myself, purely by accident as I forgot to add the golden syrup she had used. But it really is sweet enough to give that a miss anyway.
I also learnt another lesson here, well two actually. Always line your cake tin, as this is really hard to get out. The second lesson is, marshmallows melt in heat. YES, so I added more when it had cooled down some more.

This is what I did...
175g soft unsalted Butter.
200g dark Chocolate (into pieces)
200g milk Chocolate (into pieces)
200g Hobb Knobs (or a wheaten biscuit)
100g mini Marshmallows.
100g glazed Cherries.
100g chocolate coated Sultanas.
Icing sugar (to dust, optional)


Heat the butter and chocolate in a heavy based saucepan over a gentle heat.
Crush the biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, so you have both lumps and crumbs mixed.
Fold the crushed biscuits into the melted chocolate in the saucepan, remembering to take off the heat, allow to cool a little before adding the marshmallows and fruit.
Put the mixture into a lined 9 inch square tin or similar, and smooth down a little with a wet spatula.
Put into the fridge to set for a few hours. Cut into manageable size pieces and dust with icing sugar. (I did not do this) It's up to you really, though it would be more festive if you did.
Now the photo at the top! I didn't get mine as smooth as I would have liked, so, raided my son's old toy box (he's now 24) and found this smashing car. So a bit of mucking around really.
Do hope you enjoy making yours, and Thank you Nigella and George for giving me the inspiration.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Parmesan Crisps.

I had a load of Parmesan that needed to be used or frozen, and on advise from a few friends, from the Foodie forum I belong to, I decided to do some cooking with it, freeze some (grated) and leave one kilo whole in block form in the fridge.
Now, these Parmesan Crisps have got to be the simplest thing ever, to make. But as always, if there's a hard way of doing something, then I will try it.
Grated Parmesan does not hold it's shape. Lesson learnt. But I tried, as you can see by the pictures.
Below is the pictures of *shapes* before and after the oven.

And these are just simply, a tablespoon full of Parmesan, in a mound and then flattened a little.

So, what to do...
Preheat oven to 180c.
Line trays with baking paper.
Put the grated Parmesan, by the tablespoon full on to the baking paper, not too close to each other. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool before removing them from tray.

Hubby came home from work to a lovely little snack, that he had with a glass of Cabernet Merlot from South Eastern Australia.
The rest are in a container in the fridge.