What I’ve been cooking this summer

This summer I’ve discovered a fabulous new salad, two great cakes and a new gluten free cookie recipe.

Carrot and edamame salad with soy ginger dressing

Salad:

  • 1  x 450g packet of frozen shelled edamame beans
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded or grated
  • 2 spring onions or half a red onion, finely sliced
  • a generous few handfuls of salad greens, some shredded
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the edamame for 2-3 minutes or until tender (they float to the surface). Drain well and run under cold water to stop them cooking further.

To make the dressing, put everything into  screw cap jar or small bowl and mix well to combine.

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Mix well then drizzle over the dressing. There will probably be more dressing than needed, but it is delicious with whatever salad you are making the next day, or over cooked rice or noodles.

This is a slight adaptation of a recipe by Emma Galloway published in Cuisine in issue 197, Nov/Dec 2019.

Chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

Cake

  • 120 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300 grams caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 390 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt

Filling and Topping

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 175°C.

Butter a by 23 x 33 cm baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper. This makes a big cake! I used a roasting pan because none of my cake tins are that large.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 300 grams sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

Whisk flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl.

Alternately mix in sour cream and then dry ingredients into butter mixture until both are used up and the batter is smooth and very thick.

In a medium bowl with clean beaters, beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold gently into batter.

In a small dish, combine the cinnamon and remaining 100 grams caster sugar for filling and topping.

Spread half the cake batter in the bottom of prepared pan and spread smooth. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon-sugar mixture and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Dollop remaining cake batter over filling in spoonfuls. Use a spatula to gently spread it over the filling and smooth the top. Sprinkle batter with remaining cinnamon-sugar and remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/chocolate-chip-sour-cream-cake/

Lemon blackberry yoghurt loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) + 1 tablespoon (10 grams) plain flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 255 grams) blackberries, frozen
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a 22 by 11 by 7 cm loaf pan. Line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the sides of the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Mix the berries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/lemon-yogurt-anything-cake/

 

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten free)

Makes 26 to 28 cookies with a 1 2/3 tablespoon scoop. I used a 1 1/4 tablespoon quenelle scoop loaded up generously and made 25 cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter
  • Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smoothie and completely incorporated. Yes, that’s all you need to do. So easy.

Scoop out mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.  I had an appointment to attend to I put the scooped out cookies on the baking tray into the freezer for over an hour before I baked them. This is recommended to get the tallest cookies and the striations across the top of the cookies, but I did it out of necessity and poor timing.

Sprinkle the cookies lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake cookies for 14 to 15 minutes. When finished, cookies should be golden at edges.

They’ll need to set on the sheet for a minute or two before they can be lifted intact to a cooling sheet. Once they have cooled completely they are crisp outside and soft inside. Delicious!

This recipe is also from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/10/salted-peanut-butter-cookies/

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

Carrot cake

Carrot cake is one of the world’s most popular cakes. It makes the top 5 on google trends, beaten only by cheesecake and chocolate cake. So let’s take a vote what would be your top 5 cake recipes? Mine are:

  1. Cheesecake (baked)
  2. Chocolate cake (flour-less)
  3. Carrot cake (must have cream cheese frosting)
  4. Sponge cake
  5. Angel food cake

…well that wasn’t as easy as I thought, I swapped the top 3 around for several minutes and I am still not sure I have got it right!

Seems everybody has a carrot cake recipe, not unusual I guess as most people I have come across like carrot cake, not like banana cake… that seems to polarize people into two groups; those that love banana cake, banana bread and all other ways “to use up bananas past their prime”, and those that don’t like overripe bananas whichever way they have been disguised.

Carrot cake is a moral dilemma… picture a demon one shoulder whispering in your ear “go on have another it’s got carrot in it so it is healthy…it’s kind of good for you….go on you know you want to”

…and an angel on the other, arms crossed sternly whispering…

“tut tut don’t give in… think about all the sugar, butter and flour…think about how much exercise you will need to do to keep your weight down…say no…walk away”…

The decision is difficult and you struggle with your angels and demons for some time, then the demon comes out with the killer blow…

“ooooh look at that cream cheese frosting…it’s got lime in it … limes are full of vitamin C and antioxidants… and the ‘tangy-ness’ (is that a word?) adds just that little extra flavor…oh go on have another piece”

Sigh,… the demon is right, this recipe made a heavenly cake , ( should that be devilish?) moist, not too crumbly but not dense either. A very good friend made this cake to take to work and it was so good she got several orders! I have played with the ingredients a little.. You can be far more generous with the carrot. Add walnuts, and or pineapple. I like to use brown sugar rather than white for a darker richer colour and deeper flavor.


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200g carrots, finely grated (about 2 large carrots)
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 orange (about 2/3 of a cup)
  • 55g flaked coconut, toasted

Lime icing

  • 175g cream cheese
  • 100g (2/3 cup) icing sugar, sifted
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lime

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake pan.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Sift in flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. Stir in carrots, desiccated coconut, rind and enough juice to make a dropping consistency. Mix to combine and pour into cake pan.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  4. For icing, beat ingredients, spread over cake and garnish with coconut

Recipie from Delicious magazine. – April 2004, Page 66
Adapted from Recipe by Valli Little