If I am ever asked for a carrot cake recipe, I just have to share this recipe. This recipe was first published by Readers Digest.
I’ve recently started ordering fruit and vegetables from a supplier that delivers directly to my door. Each week, I receive a box of carrots. Having two bags of carrots in my fridge, presented the perfect opportunity to bake this cake for my sister’s birthday.
I am usually quite good at using up vegetables before they spoil. I wish I could be more like Alex, and plan my weekly meals, but I am much more of a reactionary cook based on what ingredients are present and what inspires me. Let me tell you, this is where Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion is an absolute gem – being able to search an entire chapter based on one ingredient means it is often the first cook book I turn to.
This week however, between Easter and a few cheat days last week, I was left with a fridge full of vegetables. Not wanting to dispose of anything, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make stock for the very first time!
As I type I have stock pot simmering away. Quite excited by the prospect of home-made stock, I am now joyfully flicking through cook books and planning on what to cook this week.
Who knows, maybe I’ll actually plan a weekly menu!
Readers, do you regularly make stock? Any tips for a novice?
As mentioned in my Cheesecake post, I recently attended a BBQ with colleagues and was left with the task of making dessert. Having made a cheesecake, I also made this ridiculously easy fruit tart. Published in Nigella’s Kitchen, this recipe is perfect to make a day ahead, and easily impresses.
Be generous with the fruit. I used strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and pomegranate seeds, but you could easily alter according to taste/what is in season.
Christmas always includes two desserts: cheesecake and chocolate ripple. I have been fascinated by this Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake recipe by Mary Berry for it’s combination of two favourite recipes. I decided to use a BBQ with some work colleagues to finally try the recipe.
This cake is decadent but delicious. A small piece goes a long way!
I’m always hesitant to try cheesecake recipes. I always use my mum’s recipe and it has never failed me. I have managed to produce cheesecakes without cracks and without the use of a water-bath countless times. I need not have worried, having no issues with this recipe. The cake survived transportation and transfer onto platters without a crater or crack in site (even though Mary Berry did warn it may crack).
The recipe below is for a 20cm tin. Having only a 22cm tin, I had to use more biscuits and butter in order to make enough base to cover the pan.
I was also enchanted by the top of the cake, and found it hard to sink the knife for that first slice!
One of the wonderful things about writing a blog about cooking, is people sharing their recipes with you. I love nothing more than collecting recipes people love and want to share. I have a book of recipes which friends, co-workers and acquaintances have passed on. Each proclaiming these recipes are easy and provide flawless results.
It is is with great joy I share this recipe, that Alex’s mother Pauline shared with me. The chocolate sponge really is perfect. It’s light and fluffy. I love the process of beating the egg whites to stiff peaks and then adding the ingredients to this mixture, rather than folding in the egg whites at the end. I filled the cake with blueberries, and iced it with Joy the Baker’s The Best Chocolate Butter-cream Frosting.
One tip I do wish to share, one I picked up from a cooking class I did years ago, was when measuring and sifting flour, use sheets of baking paper. This method makes it easy to slide the dry mixture into the bowl and also saves you having to dirty extra bowls.
When I think of pie, I think of America. A few years ago I read ‘American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads.’ The book chronicles the authors journey for the perfect pie. While I don’t have the luxury of travelling across America, I think this pie is pretty delicious. The pastry is buttery and soft, the blueberries simply melt in your mouth.
You may however ask how I came to bake a blueberry pie in the middle of summer? It starts with a trip to Costco with a friend who has a membership card. In the produce section, was a 1kg punnet of blueberries for $9.99. To compare my local supermarket is currently selling 250g of blueberries for $5. After making smoothies and enjoying them with yoghurt and breakfast, I decided to bake with them. I consulted one of my food encyclopedias “The Essential New York Times Cook Book’, and couldn’t look past this recipe by Amanda Hesser.
I used a 3:2 ratio of fresh blueberries and frozen cranberries I had left in my freezer from Christmas. It was the perfect combination. Sweet, yet tart. I was skeptical about the pastry method, which does not blind bake the pastry, but followed Hesser’s advice; cooking it in the lowest rack in the oven and that seemed to work well! Continue reading →
Hello, faithful reader! Sunday was the conclusion of the Australian Open, and the end of my summer of tennis. With trips to Perth and Sydney, and 12 hour days, I can finally breath a sigh of relief, and more importantly get back into the kitchen! The last month has been a diet of sandwiches, toast, bbq’s and sever lack of vegetables.
So in celebration of all things tennis I baked! This is once again from Mary Berry’s near perfect 100 Cakes and Bakes. It’s called a Wimbledon Cake. I’m not sure if the name is named after the city, or because of the tennis tournaments famous strawberries and cream! I do however know, that this is a delicious cake.
It may look like a Victoria Sponge, but it lacks butter and using semolina instead of flour to provide a lovely texture! It also using passion fruit to provide a nice tang to the creaminess of the whipped cream. I added raspberries because I couldn’t walk past them in the supermarket.
It is a delicate cake, so take care when assembling it. You can some of my edges are a little rough!
I love Tessa Kiros, her cookbooks are wonderful. I own Falling Cloudberries and Apples for Jam. This recipe comes from Apples for Jam. I’ve made it a few times, and I love it. As someone who doesn’t eat bananas, I love the concept of apple bread instead. It’s perfect for either breakfast or an afternoon snack.
I have always thought choux pastry would be more difficult to make than it actually turned out to be. While the method is a little more involved in that the mixture is essentially cooked on the stove and then again in the oven, anyone who has ever made a bechamel sauce need not fear this delicious pastry. It was my mum who gave me sound advice and encouragement as I gave these eclairs my first attempt.
I followed the recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook Companion. I have such trust in Alexander’s recipes, especially in those set out in the first chapter, that it gave me enough confidence to tackle my baking fears and I was thus rewarded with a lovely petit four.
The eclair had a lovely crunch on the outside and the custard inside was a perfect accompaniment. I followed mum’s advice; as soon as the pastry was out of the oven, I poked it with a small hole, just to allow all the steam to escape and ensure the middle did not become soggy.
This cake is delicious. I was expecting a dense cake, and was surprised by its light and fluffy texture. I made this on a lovely lazy Sunday afternoon.
When I first leisurely flicked through Nigellissima, I was instantly drawn to this recipe. It reminded me of the Vegan Chocolate Cake I love.If I had to compare, the Vegan Chocolate Cake is lighter and cakier, where the Chocolate Olive Oil cake is denser as it uses both oil and eggs as binding agents. However, both are wonderful.
This is the second recipe I’ve made from Nigellissima. I don’t love the format of the recipes. The book is definitely more polished and glossier than her previous publications but I feel it lacks something. Also for some strange reason, I find the recipes harder to follow. Has anyone else had similar experiences? I’m not giving up, and will continue to cook from it, and I hope I become used to the formats.
While this recipe is published with the use of eggs, I instead used egg replacer for the first time. I was very much pleased with the result. I do love that this cake can be made with ground almonds, to make it gluten free as well. It’s the prefect allergy friendly cake. Continue reading →