With Valentine’s Day around the corner there a lot of amazing recipes springing up. I have had this red velvet cake waiting in the wings for a while now. Unsure when it would be appropriate to share it and all its quirkiness.
Now I see it’s a perfect contrast to the other more typical Valentine Day recipes around.
And of course, what you bake for your loved one will say a lot about you, and your relationship. Actually, in this bloggers opinion, that’s a load of bollocks. If pizza, a bottle of bubbles and a DVD is your thing – then you rock that. If you love fancy restaurants, degustation menus and shiny jewellery – then own that (and book ahead!).
In this case if you like clowning around. May I suggest red velvet MONSTER cake! (more…)
I made this blueberry upside down cake for my brother as a goodbye and good luck cake. He is now in Europe, and will be gone for many months. I felt a cake that is made upside down is appropriate when someone is putting their life in a bag and travelling to the other side of the globe.
Because I am hi-lar-ious I told him that when he comes back I’ll make him a cake that’s up the right way. (more…)
It takes a village to make a chocolate layer mudcake with swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
It takes a village to even say something that long.
I hadn’t made a layer cake or swisse meringue buttercream frosting before, so this took a bit of research.
This recipe was passed on to me by an Aunty. It was passed to her by her Grandma. And now I’m passing it on to you!
Great-grandma Beatrice was a farmers wife with four sons and one daughter. Practical recession-busting recipes like this were very much the go. But this recipe is by no means cheap on taste.
The pumpkin makes this cake lovely and moist, and the spices and mixed fruit remind me of Christmas.
I never met my Great-grandma as she passed away before I was born. I really like the idea of making a cake that she made. This to me is what cooking is all about.
To complete the little loop I’ll be taking some of this cake with me on a walk in the English countryside with the Aunt who gave me the recipe. Then it’s all tied up with a nice little bow.
Note: I used dried cranberries, dried cherries, almond, sultanas and the rind of a lemon and orange for my mixed fruit component. I’d usually use a bag of mixed fruit, but the bag of mixed fruit at the supermarket was 80% sultanas and 15% currents. How is that mixed? That’s just sultanas and currents. Pffft. And yea, I know almonds aren’t fruit. But I like them, so they went in.
I also didn’t have mixed spice and am trying hard to not accumulate things as I’m leaving London so soon, so used a combo of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. It was lovely. I hope my Great-grandma was OK with all this. I think she would be.
Mixed fruit and the rind of a lemon and orange for extra zest
250 grams pumpkin, cooked and mashed
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
250 grams of mixed fruit
1 teaspoon mixed spice (lacking this – I used a combination of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Preheat oven to 200C and grease a 18cm round or square cake tin.
- Into the hot cooked pumpkin, add the butter and allow to cool.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
- Pour in to your prepared cake tin and bake for 50-55 minutes. It’s done when a knife comes out clean and it’s nice a golden on top.
Healthy? Cut up into 16 peices to take to work with tea makes them 165 calories a slice. The whole cake is 2,650 depending on your fruit choices.
Gluten free? I think you could easily swap in a GF flour and it would bind well. But I haven’t tried it.
Storage: In an airtight container. It also freezes beautifully.
I hate missing out on a party. The idea that all the people I know, or, a whole lot of cool people I don’t know, are having fun somewhere without me drives me batty.
I especially like birthday parties because it combines presents, food and cake. Total win-win.
I like throwing parties too. Especially ones where I make my guests dress up. Then I get to feed them all heaps of colourful punch and food. My favourite trick is to put party food in the oven, then attach the timer to a merry guest, and tell them to come and find me when they start beeping. Simple things…
It’s my friend’s Derek’s 30th and I can’t go to his party.
Derek’s raspberry and almond birthday cake
You see his party is in Melbourne, which I call home. (Quiet in the cheap seats, Perth, it’s not me, it’s you.) But I am currently on an extended holiday – it’s a tough life – and am living and working in London.
So I can’t go.
So this lovely cake, full of raspberries, almond meal and topped with rich mascarpone cream icing, is to say happy birthday. As I am a good friend, I have made you this cake Derek, and eaten it on your behalf. Happy Birthday!
I halved the below recipe, as even sharing it out with the girls at work and an Irish house guest, it was a lot. But don’t worry, I finished if off! No cake goes to waste in my house. The original recipe comes from my friend Felicity, so this was a team effort.
The raspberries in London at the moment are unbelievably lovely, so I used fresh ones. But frozen works just as well with these things.
The cake is rather heavy so you only need to eat a little, but the good thing is it lasts in the fridge for days so you can savour some later.
Preparation time: 20 minutes to prepare
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: Serves 10 or more
250 grams butter, softened
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
1 cup (150g) plain flour
½ cup (75g) self raising flour
1 cup (110g) hazelnut meal
2/3 cup (160g) sour cream
300 grams fresh or frozen raspberries
fresh raspberries, extra, for serving
Note: If using frozen raspberries, don’t thaw them; frozen berries are less likely to ‘bleed’ into the cake mixture.
Mascarpone cream icing
1 cup (250g) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
2 tablespoons Frangelico (any nut flavoured liquor would work, or maybe just a tablespoon of vanilla essence if it is what you have)
½ cup (120g) sour cream
½ cup slivered almonds, put in the oven for 10 minutes to brown
Note: I upped the amount of icing sugar from the original recipe (1/4 of a cup to 1/2 a cup as above) as it just seemed too runny. Friends have also substituted this icing with lemon buttercream icing with great success too.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a deep 22cm-round cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar in medium bowl with an electric mixer (or, as I did, go crazy with a wooden spoon because I refuse to buy an electric beater while living away from home) until light and fluffy; add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined between additions. (The mixture will curdle at this stage, but will come together later.)
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in sifted flours, almond meal and sour cream. Fold in raspberries and spread mixture into pan.
- Bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes. Stand cake in pan for 10 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
- Combine mascarpone, icing sugar, liqueur and sour cream in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth; stir in nuts.
- Place cold cake on a serving plate.
- Spread cake all over with mascarpone cream. Top and serve with extra fresh raspberries, if desired.
Healthy? Raspberries are healthy? It’s a cake, just enjoy.
Gluten free? I’m pretty confident that switching out the self-raising flour for GF flour would work well. Especially considering how moist it is and all the eggs.
Storage: Icing the night before works well. Store covered, in refrigerator. Unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to 3 months.
This recipe is adapted from a Raspberry hazelnut cake from Australian Woman’s Weekly. I like almonds better.