A selection of my latest bakes

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thinking about our MOTHERS

Chocolate dipped Cherry Cake. (Picture courtesy of Google and BBC Good Food)

Mothers day here in Australia, was the 10th of May. I received some lovely Lillies from second son and first son gave me a portable drive for backing up my pooter pictures and documents. Wonderful gifts. Thank you boys. Inside one of the cards was a cutting from a newspaper which is so lovely and thought provoking, I would like to share it with you. So here goes....

And when it comes to the way we think about our mothers, the stages of life can generally be summarised as follows:

  • 4 Years of age: "My mummy can do anything."
  • 8 Years of age: "My mum knows everything. She's better than your mum."
  • 12 Years of age: "My mum knows a fair bit but she doesn't know everything."
  • 14 Years of age: "Mum thinks she knows everything but she knows nothing."
  • 16 Years of age: "Mum's such a dag. She's got no idea about anything."
  • 18 Years of age: "Mum's so far out of date and out of touch, She's got a lot to learn."
  • 25 Years of age: "Mum's got a few good ideas, she seems to have picked up a few over the years."
  • 35 Years of age: "Before we decide, let's get Mum's opinion."
  • 45 Years of age: "Wonder what Mum would have thought about it."
  • 65 Years of age: "Wish I could talk it over with Mum."

I remember each one of these "ages" except for the last two. Thankfully at almost 60 Years of age My Mum is still here with us and I speak to her everyday, usually for advice. TO ALL THE MUMS OUT THERE, THANK YOU.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Madeleines (3 sorts)

I have been wanting to make these for such a long time, and finally last week I managed to buy the proper baking tray. Then it was a hunt through Google to find that perfect recipe, and I found it finally on http://www.taste.com.au Thank you Dixie Elliott.


3 Eggs
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
1 Lemon, rind only, finely grated
1 large Lime, rind only, finely grated
3/4 cup plain Flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
60g unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
Icing Sugar, to dust


Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-hole Madeleine baking pan. Place eggs, sugar, lemon rind and lime rind into bowl. Using an electric hand beater, beat mixture until thick, pale and doubled in volume. Gently fold in flour, baking powder and butter using a metal spoon.

Place tablespoons of mixture into prepared Madeleine moulds. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and cakes spring back when pressed in the centre. Cool slightly before removing from moulds. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar. This is for the Citrus Madeleines.

For the chocolate Madeleines, I left out the lemon and lime rind. I replaced 1 tablespoon of flour with Cocoa powder and added some grated cooking chocolate. Then when cooled I dipped the Madeleines in melted chocolate.

And for the Cinnamon Madeleines, again I left out the citrus and added 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon and when cooled I dusted with Cinnamon sugar.

Chocolate Madeleines dipped in

Cinnamon Madeleines.

Citrus Madeleines.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

This recipe was found in a lift out magazine called Sunday Life, dated May 2004. The cake is based on a prize winning recipe from Peter Bennett, a regular entrant in the cooking section of the Royal Melbourne Show.

Dead Easy Chocolate Cake.
200g S.R. Flour.
25g Cocoa Powder.
250g Dark Brown Sugar.
125g Butter (at room temperature)
2 Eggs.
2 tsp Vanilla Essence.
160ml Water.
200g fresh or thawed Raspberries.

Chocolate Glaze:
80ml Pouring Cream.
150g good quality Dark Chocolate. (chopped in to small pieces)

Preheat oven to 170c. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
Place all ingredients (except the raspberries) in a large mixing bowl and mix for 2-4 minutes until all combines , light and fluffy.
Fold in most of the raspberries (keep back some for decoration if you like). Pour the cake mix in to the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Stand cake for 5 minutes in tin to cool a little, then turn out on to a rack to cool more.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze.
Heat the cream in a saucepan until almost simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate that is in a heat proof bowl. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth.
Pour over the now cooled cake and decorate with the spare raspberries. Allow the glaze to set a little before cutting. Enjoy, we did.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Broccoli and cream cheese soup.

BROCCOLI CREAM CHEESE SOUP - Taken from Delia`s Smiths Christmas, and adapted.

225g head Broccoli
1 medium Onion, chopped.
2 whites of Leek, chopped.
40g Butter.
570ml veg Stock.
150g low fat cream Cheese.
2 tablespoons Oatmeal.
570ml Milk.

Trim broccoli into tiny florets of approx 5mm (keep aside) and chop stalky parts quite small.
In large pan, melt butter, add leeks, onion and broccoli stalks, stir well and cover to sweat for 10 minutes.
Stir in oatmeal, add milk, a little at time, stirring well after each addition. Then add stock and seasoning if required, whisk well and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn of heat and cool a little. Pour into food processor and add cheese and blend. Steam florets and add to soup.

The changes I made are... Had no Oatmeal so added 2 tablespoons of Cornflour to the milk, which thickened it in the same way.
Also doubled everything, and I am so glad I did. This is truly ORGASMIC. Hubby and I ate the lot between us with a fresh buttered roll, mind you, we had no room for anything else. Ha ha.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Clean house

I am having BIG problems with my hard drive and a new one is being fitted next week. So.... No posts for a while, I am sorry. But do keep reading my posts and hopefully I will be back very soon. In to the kitchen I go for a lot of baking and I shall have a clean house and all the gardening will be up to date too.
That will be a first for some while. Te He.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May Birthdays

Happy birthday to Pink Bytes. It has been 1 year already, since the girls of Violet's Pantry persuaded me to start a blog. Being a two finger, search and peck typer, each post I do takes me ages, but I am getting quicker. Just wish those keys on the keyboard would stay in the same place. Ha Ha.
A special THANK YOU should go to a few Food Porn sites I am a member of. TasteSpotting, FoodGawker, RecipeMuncher, Food Photography and Serious Eats. All these sites and a few more can be found in my side bar. And also a BIG Thank you must go to Ron of The Merlin Menu for showing me the light, pun intended ha ha. See post on Light box.
And a special THANK YOU goes to YOU, my visitors, my supporters, my followers. I love reading the comments you leave.

20th of May is my Dad's Birthday. A special Dad indeed, a chosen Dad in fact.(Too long a story to go into here, but glad he came in to our lives) A truly lovely man who is there for you any time with loving advice and support. HAPPY BIRTHDAY M.

And I have left the best to last. My dear cyber friend B. has her birthday on the 28th of May. She has given me encouragement and support over a few years now, she writes the blog TEA and Wheaten Bread (also in my side bar) Please go and visit her, for some delish recipes for scones, breads and cakes. Thank you B. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

The first 3 pictures were obtained from Google images (Thank you)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chocolate Cola Cake

I am totally in love with James Martin, a yorkshire lad who knows his way around a kitchen, and the way to my heart with a wonderful selection of cakes and desserts. This cake is from his book called DESSERTS
I did change the icing a little though, used softened butter only and added the icing sugar cocoa and cola, then mixed until smooth. The sugar flowers on top of my cake are from my 50th birthday cake and were not made by me.


oil, for greasing
250g self-raising Flour
generous pinch of Bicarbonate of soda.
3 heaped tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder.
300g golden Caster Sugar
2 Eggs, (beaten)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
250g Butter.
175ml Cola
250ml Milk.

For the frosting:
200g Icing Sugar.
100g Butter.
2 tbsp Cola.
2 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease a 24cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Mix in the bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and sugar.
3. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract.
4. Put the butter in a saucepan and melt over gentle heat.
5. Add the cola to the butter and stir to mix, making sure mixture does not boil. Stir in the milk and remove from the heat.
6. Quickly whisk the cola mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix gently but thoroughly.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
8. Leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Put the butter in a saucepan and melt over gentle heat. Stir in the cola and cocoa powder. Bring the mixture to the boil, then pour it over the icing sugar. Beat until smooth.
10. With the cake still in the tin, pour the frosting over it and leave in the tin until completely cool.
Hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did, have eaten 2 pieces now in an hour. YUM YUM

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yummy, Gooey, Fudgey Slice.

This is so easy, and can be made up, chilled and sliced in well under an hour. Very sweet, and fudgey, and very moreish.

The recipe..
8 oz of Butter.
8 oz of Sugar. (I used half brown and half white)
8 oz of Digestive Biscuits (crushed)
1 tin Condensed Milk (395 gms)
8 oz melted Milk Chocolate (I had more 'cos wanted a thick layer on top)

How to make..
Line a Swiss roll tin with foil and crush the biscuits, set a side.
Melt the butter, milk and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and continue boiling for 3 - 5 minutes. Add in the crushed biscuits and stir. Melt the chocolate over simmering water in another saucepan. Pour the milk/biscuit mixture in to the prepared tin and level out with a spatula. Then pour the melted chocolate over the mix in tin and again, level out. Decorate with sprinkles or coarsely grated chocolate. Chill in the fridge. When chilled, remove from pan and slice to your desired size. Stores well in the fridge for a few days in a covered container. I bet you don't just make this the once.
Next time I shall try different biscuits, like ginger snaps maybe, and change the chocolate from milk to dark.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Award time (Premios Dardo)

After a little blog research I have managed to find that Premios Dardo translates from Spanish to mean Dart Award in English and that it can really mean one of two things when given to a blogger.
1..This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.
2..The Premios Dardo is designed to recognize unique voices and visions on the Web as well as to promote fraternization amongst bloggers of all sorts. (Copied directly from George of

GEORGE, thank you so much for this award, very happy to receive this and pass it on, as the rules state, to five other bloggers.
So they can partake in the excitement that I have, as soon as possible and in no particular order, they are...
Kerry of....http://kerry-meandmythree.blogspot.com/
Rose of....http://bakingcakesgalore.blogspot.com/
Sarah of....http://thehankeringpalate.wordpress.com/
Granny of....http://teandwheatenbread.blogspot.com/
Ron of....http://themerlinmenu.blogspot.com/
Again, THANK YOU GEORGE and the chosen five, please come and get your award.