Sophie wins: BurdaStyle 03/2018 #117

M of Nonsuch and I have just enjoyed a delightful sewing weekend. One of the daughters benefited more than either of us planned.

So. How does that work?

Something to do with everything looks good on her perhaps?

M made Tessuti’s Alice top in a delighted watermelon linen from Spotlight. It was remodeled into a cropped top and claimed by her daughter. Read all about it here.

I made BurdaStyle’s Cardigan 03/2018 #117 in a smudge-y gray oyster knit from my stash.

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I know. It looks like a shapeless garment. It is. I was seduced by Meg’s version and I thought it might work as part of a corporate wardrobe.

Mmm. No.  It is really so much better on S as part of a casual outfit than it is on me as something to wear to work.

And in other news, Smitten Kitchen has the best recipes for delicious cake!

This weekend we enjoyed her Cannoli Cake

.and just in case the link doesn’t work, here’s the recipe, with the very minor changes made by He who Cooks;

Cannoli Pound Cake
1 cup caster sugar
Finely grated zest from 1 orange
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
250 grams ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pinches allspice
1 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup mini-chocolate chips
about 1/4 cup walnuts and the same of apricots, chopped small

Heat oven to 175°C. Coat a standard (8 1/2-x-4 1/4″) loaf pan with butter.

Place sugar in a large bowl, and add zest. Whisk in olive oil, ricotta and eggs. Sprinkle baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice over wet ingredients, then whisk to combine. Gently stir in flour, then chocolate, nuts and apricots until just combined.

Scrape into prepared loaf. Bake in oven for 55 to 65 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter free. Let cool on wire rack in pan for 15 minutes, then invert out onto rack to finish cooling. Cake is great the first day, and even more amazingly moist on the second and third. Just ask the craft ladies!

Very yummy.

Mmmm. Delicious autumn food

[is it still autumn??!]

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Who knew cauliflower could be so delicious?

Twice-baked cauliflower souffles

Ingredients

  • 200g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 350ml milk
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 120g plain flour
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 140g gruyere, grated
  • Radicchio leaves to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C and grease four 1-cup (250ml) ramekins. Place the cauliflower, onion, bay leaf, thyme and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 8-10 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Strain, reserving cauliflower and milk, and discard the other solids.
  • Melt butter in a clean saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, then gradually whisk in the reserved milk. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes until thickened and combined.
  • Whisk in the egg yolks, 1/2 cup (125ml) cream and half the cheese until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Whiz the cauliflower in a food processor until smooth, then add cheese sauce and pulse to combine. Season.
  • In a large bowl, using electric beaters, whisk eggwhites to stiff peaks. Fold one-quarter of eggwhites into cauliflower mixture to loosen, then gently fold in remainder. Divide among prepared ramekins, place in a deep baking pan and fill with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  • Remove from pan and set aside to cool slightly before turning out onto a baking tray (they can be covered and refrigerated for 24 hours at this stage).
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Pour some of remaining cream over souffles and scatter with remaining cheese. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until souffles rise again and sauce bubbles.
  • Place in radicchio ‘cups’, drizzle with remaining sauce grind some black pepper over and enjoy.

from Taste.com.au

 

Prefer something different as an appetizer?

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Herb and feta bread

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 150 grams (1 1/4 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 large  eggs
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 150 grams plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 200 gramssheep’s milk feta cheese
  • 1 bunch fresh herb leaves (flat-leaf parsley, basil, chervil, chives, mint, fennel preferably a mix), about 20 grams or 1 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  • Butter or grease a 24-by-12-cm  loaf pan and sprinkle half the sesame seeds onto the bottom and sides, shaking the pan to coat.
  • Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cheese and herbs.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, level the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.
  • Put into the oven to bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the loaf is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes and run a knife around the pan to loosen. Unmold and transfer to a rack to cool.
  • Cut in slices or cubes just before serving, slightly warm or at room temperature.

from Chocolate and Zucchini

 

Now lets talk about main course – enough to have delicious leftovers in your lunch box the next day.

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Moroccan slow cooked lamb

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds trimmed boned lamb shoulder, cut into 5 cm cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped ( or a can of tomatoes)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Method

  • Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl.
  • Add lamb and toss to coat.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large frypan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add lamb to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally and adding 2 more tablespoons oil to pan between batches, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to slow cooker after each batch.
  • Add onion and tomato paste to drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth, garbanzo beans, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and lemon peel and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.
  • Transfer everything to slow cooker and cooke for at least 4 hours on low
  • Serve with pearl couscous and coriander.
  • Enjoy leftovers the next day at work.

From epicurious

 

Looking for something sweet to finish? How about a piece of cake? ( yes, pomegranate seeds make two appearances on the blog today)

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Blackberry ricotta cake

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen blackberries, divided

Method

  • Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a 22cm-diameter cake pan with baking paper.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by ¾ cup berries, taking care not to crush them. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining ¼ cup berries over top.
  • Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.
  • Sprinkle with more berries to serve. Make sure you also have lots of cream, Add pomegranate seeds to make it look extra pretty.

from bon appetit

Returning  to regular programming of sewing soon..

 

 

 

 

Gluten free lemon friands

Thank you for all your lovely comments about Felicity’s Formal Frock made from Funky Fabric with some Flares of Frustration but now Finally Finished.

Clearly, I like F-words, and need to keep using them.

Words like Friands.

These were made by He who Cooks. And they were Fabulous!

Ingredients

  • 180 g butter melted, plus extra for greasing
  • zest of 2 large or 3 medium lemons
  • 200 g pure icing sugar
  • 80 g gluten free plain flour
  • 125 g almond meal
  • 5 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • flaked almonds to sprinkle on top
  1. Preheat fan forced oven to 165°C (180°C for conventional oven)
  2. Grease 12 hole friand tin with extra melted butter
  3. Combine melted butter and lemon zest, then sift in icing sugar and flour, and almond meal ( if it will go through the sieve)
  4. Add egg whites and mix until combined and smooth
  5. Spoon into the holes of the friand tin and top with flaked almonds.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.

Makes 12.

Recipe from For my Senses

Delicious with raspberries too.

Perfect autumn fare!

Chai Carrot Cake and Floral Nettie

This blog needs to be renamed from He Cooks… She Sews! to He Cooks…. She Shops, She Bakes and (just sometimes) She Sews…

The Shopping.

See previous post.

The Baking.

Chai Spiced Carrot Cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 175g honey
  • 125g gluten free SR flour (2/3 cup)
  • 155g grated carrots (2 to 3 carrots)
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g almond meal
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (150°C fan forced). Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put all the cake ingredients in a large bowl, mix until well combined, then carefully pour the batter into the cake tin. Yes, that’s all you have to do!
  3. Bake for 40 minutes.

Recipe adapted from My Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich (Murdoch Books) accessed at redonline.co.uk

I iced mine with the same cream cheese icing as the ‘real’ red velvet chocolate cup cakes then sprinkled a mixture of pepitas, sesame and sunflower seeds on top.

The Sewing.

Another Nettie bodysuit

Worn here with Burdastyle’s soft pleated waist skirt 05/2011 #116A

Pattern: Closet case Nettie Body Suit.

Size: 2-18. Same as last time; graded from a size 12 shoulders to a 14 bust, then 10 waist and then out to 12 hips.

Fabric: A slinky polyester knit from Spotlight. The knit version of silk chiffon. Utterly horrible to sew.

This fabric has 80% stretch widthwise but only 40% lengthwise. Heather Lou says at least 50% stretch both ways is needed for the fabric to work as a body suit.

So I decided to experiment.

Not always a good idea. But hey, what was the worst thing that could happen? Sewing it and then having to chop it off the bottom to make a regular top?

I added 4 cm total to the length of the front and back pieces

  • 1 cm just below the scoop neck( just below the armscye)
  • another 1 cm mid way between armscye and waist,
  • another 1 cm just below waist
  • the last 1 cm between the waist and the bottom edge/hip

I also added 2 cm to the sleeves, but turned up the hem 1 cm more than the instructions, so really just 1 cm extra length.

It worked! This bodysuit is firm fitting but comfortable enough to wear.

 

And whats next?

I need to sew some of those lovely new fabrics.

First up is a ‘poodle’ coat for Felicity. The plan is to use this fabric

in BurdaStyle 10/2012 #131, without the scarf

Autumn baking and Downton Abbey dress WIP

Ginger nuts

This great recipe is thanks to Jorth.

  • 200g butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten (or 4 eggs -see update note below)
  • 3 1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 6 teaspoons ground ginger (yes, I know that’s a lot, but ginger nuts need to be gingery!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C and line baking trays. This recipe makes 60 biscuits. I used three trays in the first bake one and two in the second.
  2. Melt the butter and syrup together in a saucepan.
  3. Add the sugar and beaten eggs to the melted butter mixture.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking soda and ginger together to mix and then add that too.
  5. Mix together well. My mixture was a bit dry. Looking at my biscuits and Jorth’s, I think my less perfect and more cracked at the edges biscuits are because I should have added some liquid or another egg. Or perhaps its because I used raw caster sugar, and more might have fitted in the cup. I should have trusted my instincts and added another egg. They are very yummy though!
  6. Roll into balls about 3cm diameter, place on trays and squish flat with a fork. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra raw sugar. I used demerara sugar, because raw caster sugar is too small to look good
  7. Bake for 12 minutes.

These are deliciously crisp the next day. Perfect for dunking in a cup of tea.Or hot milk before going to bed. Or cold milk after school. Or..

 UPDATED August 2020

This is what they turn out like when you double the amount of eggs

Stickier dough. I blobbed them onto the baking tray rather than rolled the dough into balls. And there was no way you could squish them with a fork without removing half the dough. So I didn’t do that either. Or sprinkle with sugar.

But they are delicious! Soft and chewy.

Berry cream cheese coffee cake

This recipe is from Food Wanderings in Asia

I fell for Jo-Ann’s strawberry version whilst ‘researching’  on Pinterest. Her photos are delicious!

Butter Cake & Crumb Topping

  • 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (a mixture of two parts of cream of tartar to one part of bicarbonate of soda)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flakes

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 250 g (a bit more than 8oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg

Berry Filling

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries and blackberries, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1.5 teaspoons cornflour
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 20 cm round spring form pan with baking paper.
  2. Prepare the berry ‘jam’. Combine the cornflour and water. Add the berries and sugar to a pan and cook over low heat until the berries release their juices (about 5 minutes), then add the cornflour mix and stir until well combined. Stir for another minute or two until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the cake.
  3. Prepare the cream cheese filling. Beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add in the sugar and egg and beat until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the cake. Rub butter into the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside (this will be the crumble topping). Add the baking soda and baking powder to the remaining mixture and mix well. In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Put it all together. Spread the batter in the pan, about 1 cm higher up the sides and leaving a 1 cm border around the edges (like making a well). Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter, being careful not to go beyond the border. Spread the berry jam on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the berry filling and top with the almond flakes.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.

This is a bit of a time consuming recipe. It’s not light in texture or calories, but makes a delicious cake.

 

Downton Abbey dress (BurdaStyle 08-2013-109)

Like the cake, this is a time consuming project too.

Lots of different fabrics (stretch cotton, silk chiffon, velvet, satin lining) and notions (button, piping, velvet ribbon, zip, iron on interfacing and organza).

It should be worth it in the end though… Just like the cake was.

 

 

Cappuccino cake

Yes, more baked goods!

(If you are here for the sewing, click away now! or scroll to the bottom to see what’s in progress..)

with my sister-in-law’s gorgeous red roses (Papa Meilland– stunning to look at and to smell)

Ingredients

  • 220g butter, softened
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 220g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon coffee granules (instant coffee) dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease and line two 20 cm round sandwich tins.
  3. Put all ingredients and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix until combined (don’t over beat, just make it smooth).
  4. Divide between tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make icing, dissolve another tablespoon coffee granules in 2 tablespoons boiling water then beat with 200 g softened unsalted butter and 400 g icing sugar until smooth and pale. Use half to sandwich the cakes together and the rest for the top. Dust with cocoa.

Recipe from David Herbert, The Weekend Australian Magazine October 19-20, 2013

 

Metric to imperial conversions and other explanations:

  • 220 g =8 ounces
  • 20 cm = 8 inches
  • 180°C =350°F
  • 200g = 7 ounces
  • Self-raising flour is plain flour with a raising agent added. Convert plain (all purpose) flour to self-raising by adding one teaspoon of cream of tartar (tartaric acid) and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to every cup of plain flour.
  • Baking powder is a mixture of two parts ( e.g. two teaspoons) of cream of tartar to one part teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (e.g. one teaspoon)


This cake has an excellent effort to impact ratio; a small amount of work for a large amount of yum. My guess is that it would also be excellent as cupcakes too.

Sewing stuff

This fabulous Maggy London fabric (from Gorgeous Fabrics) is being constructed into BurdaStyle 08-2012-113 and 08-2012-111 for Felicity.

Hopefully there will be a photo shoot on the weekend..

School lunch box food

Bland, a bit stodgy but very moist and the kids like them.

Just right for back to school tomorrow (pity we already ate them all…)

Ingredients

  • 125g (one stick) butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs one at time beating well after each addition.
  3. Fold in the mashed bananas and yoghurt.
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder and then fold gently into the yoghurt mixture until just combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into 12 1/3 cup muffin cases or a greased 22 cm (8 1/2 inch) springform pan.
  6. Bake 180°C (350°F) for 25 minutes or 40-50 minutes for the cake.

Recipe adapted from Australian Good Taste – February 1997 , Page 79

Orange and poppy seed cake

Can I offer you a slice of sunshine? Moist orange and poppy seed goodness?

This recipe is from the September 2007 issue of Australian Good Taste, Page 114

Cake

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) fresh orange juice (1 orange wasn’t enough, two oranges were plenty)
  • 130g (1/2 cup) Greek-style natural yoghurt (that’s the secret of this cake’s moistness, methinks)
  • 60g (1/4 cup) poppy seeds
  • 250g butter
  • 270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
  • 2 tbs finely grated orange rind (about three oranges)
  • 4 eggs
  • 340g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 25cm (top measurement) kugelhopf pan.
  2. Combine the orange juice, yoghurt and poppy seeds in a small bowl.
  3. Cream butter, caster sugar and orange rind.
  4. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until just combined.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and mix
  6. Add the yoghurt mixture and mix in.
  7. Bake in oven for 1 hour

Icing

  • 1 orange
  • 150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
  • 1 tbs fresh orange juice
  1. Zest the orange,
  2. Combine the icing sugar and extra orange juice in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Pour over the cake and sprinkle with the orange zest.

If you’re worried about the zest drying out, you could do what He who Cooks did (as always, he improves my cooking): combine a bit more orange juice and caster sugar in a saucepan and heat on low until the sugar is dissolved, add the zest to coat it in the sugar syrup and then add the zest on top of the icing.

It was delicious with a dollop of double cream flavored with Grand Marnier. Eating it on the lawn with the spring sunshine on my back might have helped..

Recipe from Australian Good Taste – September 2007 , Page 114

 

Instead of baking (and eating cake in the sun), I should have been sewing. These two garments are cut out and waiting for me…

Camel stretch cotton as this skirt (without the pockets): Burdastyle 08-2011-122

Patterned silk as this blouse (without the ruffles): BurdaStyle 07-2010-121

 


Little lemony syrupy polenta cakes

Craft night at my place = gluten free yummy things (one of the crafty peeps is a coeliac). Tonight we had individual serves of nachos and these little cakes.

The cakes have that distinctive grainy polenta texture with moist lemon syrupy goodness.

Lemon polenta syrup cakes

  • 160g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup fine polenta
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
  2. Grease a 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pan with butter. Remember to grease just outside the holes too.
  3. Cream butter and sugar with lemon rind
  4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Mix polenta, almond meal and baking powder and then add to butter mixture with lemon juice and mix gently.
  6. Spoon mixture into prepared holes. It will come almost to the top of the holes. Smooth tops.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Cool in pan for at least 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack over a baking tray.

Lemon syrup

  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  1. Combine sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons cold water in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Boil, without stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Carefully pour syrup over cooling cakes on the wire rack.

from Super Food Ideas – May 2009

And what’s on my sewing machine?

BurdaStyle 10-2012-118 in a navy and oyster striped stretch cotton

I’m not doing the bias cut layout for the front skirt, but placing the thicker navy stripes of the fabric at the hem. I’m using the thick stripes on the sleeves too, and made them short sleeves, not ¾ length as in the photo. Its looking good so far!

 

Nutmeg cake

This wonderful cake is even better with some cream.

This latest version was made in the evening after work for a colleague’s birthday the next day, in between a load or two of washing, and other domestic stuff. It really is that easy!

It is good as a cake to have with coffee (that was us today, happy birthday Kate!), or as dessert with some butterscotch sauce, ice cream and poached fruit.


Here’s the original post by Chris [with my changes]:

I have a cake recipe from Joan Campbell (Vogue Food and Wine cookbook, 1991) that I have used over and over in emergencies, there are just a few ingredients and they all go into a food processor, nothing fiddly, not much to wash up and a cake that works every time. [that is, if you cook it the right length of time…]. I fluffed it once by pulling the cake out too early and it of course sunk in the middle. Luckily I had some hazelnuts on hand so I quickly roasted them, piled them in the middle, drizzled honey all over and ta da a new cake… phew that one was close.

Nutmeg Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups flour sifted
  • 125g butter
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Method

  1. In a food processor, combine sugar, baking powder and flour and then rub in butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs [this means do it all in the food processor: add 2 cm cubes of cold butter to the dry ingredients in the food processor and process].
  2. Spread a little less than half [a third? enough to give about a 1cm thick layer] onto the bottom of a greased 20cm spring form pan. Set aside
  3. Add the soda, milk, egg and nutmeg to the remaining mixture and mix on low speed just until combined.[Use a container you can shake liquids in, like a Tupperware Quick Shake, and “lightly beat” the egg by adding it to the milk and shaking, then add the soda and nutmeg, shake a bit more then pour the lot into the food processor and mix]
  4. Pour onto prepared crust [Blanch finely sliced pear in the microwave and add to the top of the batter, sprinkle some more nutmeg on top]
  5. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 180°C for 60 minutes.

Winter comfort food

Let’s start with dessert

Chocolate cake

I think you know what my priorities are. Yes. Chocolate is one of them. It’s a vegetable with lots of antioxidants. What’s that you say? Something about fat and sugar? Surely not!

This is the second time I’ve made this cake. First time was for craft night and exactly to David Herbert’s recipe. There were 8 lovely crafters and everyone had a slice. There was more than a quarter of the cake left.

Second time was in a smaller tin just for Sunday lunch (5 people). My cut down recipe was a little less than half of everything and is just right for a 16 cm tin. It also looks cute on He Who Cooks new mini cake stand. This time there was half a cake left. Its very rich!

Cake
70g butter, plus extra, melted, for brushing
90g dark chocolate, broken up
2 large eggs
90g granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (I make this by combining two parts tartaric acid with one part sodium bicarbonate).
70g ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g caramel chips

  • Preheat oven to 170°C (mine is fanforced, 180°C for regular ovens).
  • Line base of a 16cm-round springform tin with baking paper; and butter the sides ( squish a small piece of butter all the way round with your fingers).
  • Melt butter with chocolate carefully in the microwave (mid to low power, check every minute or so and stir, until smooth).
  • Crack eggs into a mixing bowl then add sugar, baking powder, almonds and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  • Pour in chocolate mixture and beat until creamy, then fold in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into tin, place on an oven sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes (don’t do what I did: set timer for 20 and then another 5 and another 5. The top should spring back when pressed. Mine almost did and I thought it should be cooked because the full size one was in this time so I took it out. Gooiness ensued. I did have fennel roasting in the oven at the same time. Perhaps that changed the timing?)
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool for 1 hour.

One way to disguise the sunk-in centre:

Topping
25g butter
50g dark chocolate, broken up

  • For topping, melt chocolate and butter and drizzle over top. Leave to set for 2 hours.

Roast lamb for main course

He Who Cooks put a crust of garlic, re-fried beans and taboulleh (parsley, onion and cracked wheat salad) on the lamb and roasted it on a rack above a bed of borlotti beans with stock, cherry tomatoes, diced celery and carrot. He also roasted root vegetables (heirloom carrots, butternut pumpkin and potatoes) in the same pan.

Pork Belly starter

  • Rub Chinese five spice liberally over the skin of the pork belly.
  • Use a slow cooker to braise the pork belly for about 4 hours in a 50/50 mix of cider and soy sauce (enough to come up the sides about 1 cm).
  • Drain the fat off and then reduce the cooking juices on the stove top with a splash of port until thickened slightly.
  • Crisp pork belly skin up in a hot oven.
  • Slice and serve with a drizzle of the reduced sauce and blanched greens (we used slivers of snow peas and the outer leaves of young brussels sprouts).

A fabulous Sunday lunch.

Now its time to go up to the sewing machine and make a casual winter coat (BurdaStyle 12-2011-114). In a boule style, to give plenty more room for more cake and other comfort food.

Burda uses faux fur, but I’m going to use this poly wool knit.

Looks like it’s going to be a great Sunday!

Chocolate mousse cake with coffee icecream

This is why elastic waists were invented.

Chocolate Mousse cake

  • 500g dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon (T) golden syrup
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T caster sugar
  • 1 T plain flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 220°C. Grease and line a 20cm round spring-form cake pan.

Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.

Beat the eggs with the sugar until very thick and pale (about 10 minutes on high with an electric beater). Gently fold in the flour then fold in the melted chocolate mixture until combined.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 12 minutes. (Yes that’s all! It will be cooked at the edge but runny in the middle, but don’t worry).

Remove cake tin side from cake pan and transfer the cake to the fridge for 1 hour to cool (this is were the runny middle turns into a cake).

Coffee icecream

  • 500 ml double cream
  • 395g tin condensed milk
  • 30mL espresso (a double shot)
  • 2 T Kuhlua

Whisk everything together until soft peaks form and then freeze for 6 hours. No churning required! Serve straight from the freezer.

Yum. The cool sweetness of coffee icecream, the crunch of crostoli and the gooiness of chocolate mousse in a cake.

Would you like a piece?

 

Cake from Valli Little, icecream adapted from Nigellas version

More daughter cooking: Rhubarb ‘Snacking’ Cake

I hope this is turning into a pattern.

Felicity turned her hand at one of Smitten Kitchen recipes.

This is what she did.

Cake

  • 560 grams rhubarb
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 120 grams butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

Crumb

  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 60 grams butter, melted

Make the cake:

Print off the recipe from Smitten Kitchen site and get all your stuff out, except your baking pan. Realise you have to find an inch ruler before you can even find your pan. Realise you also have to convert from °F to °C before you can preheat the oven.

Finally, preheat your oven to 170°C and line a 30 x 25 cm baking pan.

Chop the rhubarb into about 1 cm pieces.

Zest the lemon before you juice it. Hah, see, not just a pretty face. Err, perhaps not so clever, using the zesting thing that makes long strips of peel. Ask mum to help and get slightly annoyed when she says she’s too busy unpicking the grey dress of doom. Mum does remind you that there’s a better thing for making fine zest. Don’t tell her that she has not been completely useless. Later, say nice things about her dress when she tries it on to check the fit.

Stir together rhubarb, lemon juice and 2/3 cup sugar and set aside.

Cream butter, remaining sugar and lemon zest. Add eggs one at a time.

Sift flour, baking powder, and ground ginger, add one third of this to batter, add half of the sour cream and then add another third, more sour cream and then the last bit of the flour mixture. Try to get a bit on your face so that Grandad knows you’re cooking.

Dollop batter into pan, then spread the cake into an even, thin layer.

Pour the rhubarb mixture over the cake. Dad didn’t buy enough rhubarb, so add something else, like blackberries from the freezer from February’s blackberry picking day. Eat all the leftover blackberries and remember the scratches.

Now start the crumb topping.

Stir together the the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then stir in the melted butter.

Scatter the crumble evenly over the rhubarb and blackberry layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean and the top is golden. Let Dad worry about this bit, because you have books to read, er, homework to do.

Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and bask in the compliments from your very lucky family. Tell them not to expect this often!

Sephardic Flourless butter-less orange-and-almond cake

Pssst Can you keep a secret? Yes? Good…. now what I am about to tell you must NEVER be told to anyone that is not a cook. Here it is …the secret handshake of the food lovers fraternity…. we share recipes….yep its true …and we pass little jars of quince paste, capsicum relish, greens picked from a home garden, a slice of the best fruit cake you could dream of, super fresh eggs, figs and more…(by the way, thank you, you know who you are)… it’s like our secret motto, our handshake or symbol, it helps define who we are. So now that I have told you my secret, what has someone clandestinely slipped your way recently?… saying ‘try this’ or thanks for inviting me please have this little jar of something? hmmm go on tell us!.

The recipe for this cake was given to me recently on a little slip of paper… “really weird orange cake” it said, and it was a bit like Alice in Wonderlands bottle saying ‘drink me’ …except this recipe was whispering ‘bake me’. Now a cake recipe that has no wheat flour and no butter does sound weird so I did a little research. The recipe here is based on the Sephardic orange-and-almond cake in Claudia Roden’s comprehensive book A New Book of Middle Eastern Food (yes you may borrow it if you want). The recipe was originally Jewish and the cake was baked during Passover.

This cake is a winner for me for two reasons; firstly all the ingredients can be bunged ( is that a cooking term?) into the food processor, saving on washing up ( though if you do it properly it could just be that little bit nicer) and secondly because Claudia Roden says that the cake can never fail ( you have to like that). Claudia says that if the cake is not cooked enough, it is moist enough to became a pudding served with a dollop of cream or mascarpone, and the moistness helps prevent the cake becoming too dry if it is overcooked ( I proved this having not checked oven temp properly and it had been set too high)

I have found several variations to the ‘original’ recipe that you could try; Jill Dupleix separates the eggs, making a cake that is lighter, my good friend who gave me the recipe said that a heaped tablespoon of poppy seeds added to the batter was good, and I made mine with a sort of almond brittle topping.

So have a go and remember keep on sharing those recipes and other goodies, oh and thanks again Mr R.

Ingredients

2 large or 3 medium oranges

6 eggs

225g caster sugar (or make it sugarless too and use 3/4 cup honey)

200g ground almonds

1tsp baking powder

Method

Place the clean, whole and unpeeled fruit in a little water, and bring to the boil. Simmer for at least 1½ hours or until soft, adding more water when necessary.

Drain the oranges, cut into quarters, discard any major pips, and whiz (including peel) in the food-processor, then cool. Throw in the rest, egg*, sugar, almonds, and baking powder.

Heat the oven to 180C

*Jill Dupleix  says to just add the yolks then beat the egg whites until softly peaky and fold gently into the mixture.

Pour into a 23cm (9in) springform cake tin and bake for an hour, until firm to the touch (cover with a loose sheet of foil if over-browning). Cool in the tin and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Lime Coconut Cake

Limes are in season said the magazine, sure enough the greengrocer had them bagged up ready to go, shiny and green and cheaper than usual. The ones ‘on special ‘ were smaller than the ones I had been buying so I did a bit of research… seems the ones currently ‘in season’ were probably Mexican limes (there goes my cred for only using local ingredients) Mexican limes are small, with bright green skins and are harvested all year round (so always in season!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All you bakers (yes I am looking at you) will recognize this as a classic butter cake made the ‘easy’ way by adding melted butter to the dry ingredients. I like this method, it is fast and relatively foolproof, though many bakers remain unconvinced that the results are as good as creaming the butter and sugar or the rubbing in method, but what the heck I say… the cake soon disappears so it can’t be all that bad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have used shredded coconut rather than desiccated because I think it gives a better finish to the cake, what do you think? Perhaps desiccated would make the cake look ‘finer’ like an afternoon tea cake rather than a desert style cake. The final result had a nice acid tang from the lime but to be honest was a bit dry ( I am a sucker for moist…almost gooey cakes). I would recommend pouring lime syrup over the cake especially if serving the cake as a desert. I have added a recipe for the syrup if you want to try it and you can spare the limes.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • Melted butter (optional), for greasing
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 155g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cups desiccated (or shaved) coconut
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) fresh lime juice (approx 3-4 limes)
  • 1 tbs finely grated lime rind

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line an 18cm square pan.
  2. Process flour, sugar, baking powder and 2/3 cup of coconut in a food processor for 20 seconds
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently until light and well combined.
  4. Spoon cake mixture into the cake pan and smooth surface with back of spoon. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Recipe from Australian good taste March 2011 pg29

To make lime syrup:

  • 4 limes
  • 165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 185mls (3/4 cup) water

Peel rind from 2 limes with a vegetable peeler. Remove white pith from rind with a small, sharp knife and then cut rind into very thin strips. Juice all 4 limes.

Combine lime rind, 80mls (1/3 cup) of lime juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, remove rind from syrup with a fork, set aside.

When cake is cooked, remove from oven and Stand in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Place rack over a large plate or tray to catch any drips and pour hot syrup slowly and evenly over cake. Cool