Friday, July 31, 2009

Cakes for the School Fete

Devils Food Cake

115g butter
115g dark chocolate
115g golden syrup
55g brown sugar
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
4 tablespoons of milk
225g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg

Gently melt together butter, chocolate, syrup and sugar, stirring regularly. Set aside to cool. Dissolve soda in milk. Sift flour and salt together. Beat in the chocolate, milk and egg. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 for 30 minutes.

Let Cool and Ice


1cup of chocolate
1 cup of cream

Melt chocolate take off heat and beat in cream. Spread on cake.

They went to the school in box's we had decorated with pictures from various school activities. The ribbon was made out of candy strap and the coat of arms in marzipan.

Carrot Cake

1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups grated carrot
1 cup of chopped walnuts
2 ½ cups of self raising flour
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
Juice and zest of one orange

Beat together wet ingredients, add carrot and walnuts then add dry ingredients
Place in lined cake pan place in a 180 oven

Let cool before icing


30g butter
80g Softened Cream cheese
1 ½ cups of icing sugar
Zest of an orange

Beat all ingredients together until smooth

Monday, July 27, 2009

Orange Babycakes

Orange Cake

1 Cup self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
90g softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup of caster sugar
2 eggs
Juice and zest of one orange

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl, add orange then eggs. Sift in dry ingredients. Mix. Pour into cupcake tray, lined with patty cases.
Bake at 180 for 20 -30 minutes. Allow to cool.

30g butter
1 ½ cups of icing mixture
Zest of an orange

Cream together, top with more zest.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Bake with Garlic and Sage

Peel the sweet potato and cut into cubes. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Place in a casserole dish.

Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic, a handful of sage, a sprig of rosemary, and oregano.

In a saucepan melt 3 tablespoons of butter
Add garlic herbs and salt
Mix in ¼ a cup of flour
Cook off for about 5 minutes stirring continually

Very slowly add 2 cups of milk. Add about a tablespoon at a time, stirring well, until a smooth sauce.

Add Salt, pepper and any spices to taste.

Pour over vegetables and top with cheese a mix of cheddar and parmesan is good.

Bake at 180 for 30 minutes until vegetables are soft and top is golden brown

End of the Week Cous Cous

Mix together two cups of dry cous cous, spices, salt, a tablespoon of olive oil add two cups of boiling water

mix cover and set aside for 3-5 minutes

Fluff cous cous with a fork, and set aside

Gather together all the vegetables in your fridge that are starting to look a bit sorry for themselves. Cut into smallish pieces.

I ended up with

String Beans
Corn cut off the cob
And Carrots

In a large non-stick thick bottomed pan; fry off the vegetables until cooked. Starting with the ones that require the most cooking such as pumpkin and adding one by one until you finish with the ones like corn that only take a moment.

Lower heat and add cous cous and any herbs. Toss together and serve.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baked Cheesecake

I used this recipe:

Topped with whipped cream, with a little vanilla and suger. Strawberrys, kiwifruit, passionfruit and cherries. Starfruit placed on the plate, as a garnish.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mushroom Tartlets

Anyone can buy the ingredients and follow a recipe. What’s exciting is when you’re faced with a pile of random ingredients and you make something, of which you have no idea if it will work or not. When it does its good and when it doesn’t you quietly throw it in the bin and try to wash the taste out of your mouth. Ice cream works well, preferably chocolate with brownie pieces and nuts, but I digress.

I made 8 little tart things from these amounts. I had some button mushrooms which where looking a little sorry for themselves, so I washed and peeled them. Cut out bread circles to create croutons.

In a bowl mix
1 clove of crushed garlic
Two heaped tablespoons or a small handful of finely chopped salami
6 finely chopped black olives
Half a cup of grated cheese
Salt and pepper
A large tablespoon of butter

Make it into a goop and pile it into the mushrooms. Sprinkle with polenta.

Place the bread rounds into a lightly greased cupcake tray, place a mushroom on top and bake at 180 for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with Chilli Chutney, just cuz its good.

You could put pretty much anything you happened to have lying around in these little guys. Very good finger and beer food and ridiculously easy.


I made scones the other day. The ones in the picture aren't mine, I didn't take a pic, but they looked very similar. It all started with pancakes. I had bought a packet of frozen mixed berries and heated them with some sugar, so we could enjoy the ooze purplish goodness. I simmered what was left down to a jam like consistency. It was very strong, put seemed like it would be perfect for scones. I had never made scones so I was interested to try a recipe that seemed too simple to work.

2 Cups of Self-raising flour
1 cup of cream
1 cup of lemonade

Mix together, roll out, cut out circles and bake for 10 minutes.

Of course being me I added the following
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 knob of butter - crumbed into the flour

The secret of scones is to mix the ingredients with a knife, until just mixed. You want to handle them as little as possible. try to roll the dough out only once defiantly no more then twice. This means you have to get tricky when cutting out your circles. You can place the rounds on the tray just touching each other. Brush with milk, egg or melted butter and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with jam and cream.

These only last a day, and not only because everyone scoffs their fluffy goodness.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Potato Salad topped with Green Beans

The dressing is half a good mayo and half greek yogurt with mustard, pickles, salt, capers and a splash of lemon. Easy, classic and yummy.

Death by Chocolate

Death By Chocolate

300gm Dark Chocolate
1 ½ cups of castor sugar
2 tablesp strong black coffee
1 eggs separated

Melt chocolate and coffee in a bowl over a boiling pot of water. Do not allow any water to be touching the bowl and use a metal spoon.

Take off heat allow to cool slightly and beat in egg yolks

Whisk egg whites until stiff and gradually add the sugar, continue whisking until it has a satiny finish

Fold into chocolate mixture

Pour mixture into 2 12inch/30cm pans lined with greaseproof paper

Bake at 180c/350f for 45 minutes

Allow to cool and the turn out. Cut each cake in half length ways and set aside


1 ½ kg dark chocolate
900ml cream
1 heaped tablespoon coffee powder

Melt all the ingredients together

Assemble by alternating layers of cake and ganache

Top with whipped cream, sweetened with sugar and vanilla

Roast Chicken and Pumpkin Pasta Salad

Cook pasta and cool

Make your favorite roast chicken
(or make mine - ) cool and cut into bite sized pieces

Slice pumpkin into thin strips. Melt a tablespoonfull of butter and one of honey in a pan add pumpkin and cook gently untill pumpkin is soft and golden.

Steam a handful of snow peas untill just cooked and cool

Roughly chop cucumber, shallots and corriander

Toss all ingredents together and serve

Spicy Chicken Tenderloins

Cut two chicken breasts into thick strips

Grind together the following Fresh Spices

½ teaspoon Sugar
3 teaspoons Paprika
2 tablespoons Salt
1 tablespoon Oregano
2 teaspoons Lemon zest
Dried chilli to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Cumin

juice of one lemon
Tblsp Olive oil


Buy a jar of 'Portuguese BBQ spice' or any roasting Mexican, South American type dry spice, read the back of the bottle for one with the above ingredients. Mix with juice of one lemon, Tblsp Olive oil, Salt

Coat with a dry spice mix, allow to sit for 10-20 minutes before roasting off on a wire rack in a 180 oven for about 15 minutes or until fully cooked.

Serving suggestions

Wrap in a flat bread of your choice, with a smear of natural yogurt, cucumber, mixed leaves and tomato.


Roast off chunky wedges of sweet potato, carrot, parsnip and pumpkin, sprinkled with salt pepper and oil. Serve with steamed green beans or other fresh green veg.

Four Layer Chocolate Cake


400 g white sugar
220 g all-purpose flour
65 g unsweetened cocoa powder
7 g baking powder
7 g baking soda
6 g salt
2 eggs
235 ml milk
120 ml vegetable oil
10 ml vanilla extract
235 ml boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut each cake into two


2 2/3 c. confectioners' sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
6 tbsp. butter
5-6 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa in a small bowl. Cream butter with 1/2 cup of the cocoa mixture in a small bowl. Alternately add remaining cocoa mixture and milk; beat to spreading consistency.

Roasted Pumpkin and Hazelnut Salad

Honey roasted pumpkin
Mixed greens
Grape tomatos
Marinated Feta

Layered together and drizzled with Balsamic

Mint Cous Cous

Mix together two cups of dry cous cous, spices, salt, a tablespoon of olive oil add two cups of boiling water

mix cover and set aside for 3-5 minutes

Fluff cous cous with a fork

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a flat pan, add cous cous and gently warm while fluffing. Treat it gently it's sensitive.

Take off heat and add half a cup of finely chopped mint a squeze of lemon and a chopped cucumber or 1 cup of fresh cooked peas


Furikake ( and rice, easy lunch box treats.

To cook rice:

Place two cups of rice and 1 1/2 cups of water in a pot with a little salt. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn heat down and continue cooking until the water is no longer visible on the top of the rice. The rice will often have bubble holes on the top similar to pancakes. Take off heat. Place lid on pot and set aside for 15-20 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.

For this recipe allow to cool. Mix in Furikake and shape into balls with your hands.

To stop the rice from sticking to your hands, have a bowl of water nearby and wet your hands regularly.

Carrot and Walnut Babycakes

Carrot Cake

1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups grated carrot
1 cup of chopped walnuts
2 ½ cups of self raising flour
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
Juice and zest of one orange

Beat together wet ingredients, add carrot and walnuts then add dry ingredients
Place patty pans in babycake tin. Dollop a tablespoon of mixture in each one.
Bake at 180c for 15-20 minutes

Let cool before icing

Softened Cream cheese
Icing sugar
Juice of one orange

Sprinkle with dessicated coconut or chopped walnuts

Bruschetta 4 Ways

One: Boccochini, Grape tomatos, scallions, balsamic vinager, olive oil and basil

Two: Avocado, yellow capsucuims, corriander, lemon and salt

Three: Maranated Olives

Four: Grilled zuchinni, maranated feta and herb olive oil

All served on roasted garlic cabbata

Grilled Prawns

Drizzle prawns with balsamic vineger and olive oil, grill. Easy and delicious.
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