Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Cake with a difference

I was hunting around for a cake recipe recently and came across one for a Red Velvet cake. But when I was looking through the ingredients, realised the only thing that distinguishes it from a regular old cake was red food colouring.

Sure it looks nice, but I wanted something with a bit more substance. and not not just food colouring. So I found this recipe and it's probably the most delicious and fool proof cake I have ever made. In fact it's so easy I've passed it on to a number of friends...and the proof must be in the pudding - or cake - because they've all reported back that they love it.

So here it is...

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

The cast:

425g can beetroot - drained
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
100g dark chocolate - melted
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons bi carb soda


Pre-heat the oven to 180 or 160 degrees fan forced 

Finely chop the drained beetroot in a food processor
In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy, then gradually beat in the oil until well combined

Stir in the cooled, melted chocolate and the chopped beetroot. Then in another bowl, sift together the flour, bicarb and cocoa, then stir into the egg and beetroot batter

Let it sit for at least 5 minutes. This helps the gluten in the flour to relax and will minimize the cake cracking on the top. Also, the batter will be quite runny. Don't panic, it's supposed to be.

Pour the mixture into a 25cm cake pan that's been lined with baking paper.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes - check with a skewer to see if the centre is cooked.
When it is, cool the cake slightly in the pan before removing it

For the frosting:

I haven't actually measured this when I've made it, so these measurements are approximate.

Put about 3/4 cup of cream into a heat proof container and microwave for about 30 seconds until it's hot. Put about 100g  chocolate melts into the cream and stire until it's melted. Then put 3 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar in and stir until it's all combined. I then pour the icing mixture over the cooled cake and let it set.

All you have to do now is eat and enjoy

You can play around with the recipe a bit. Sometimes, I've added half a jar of drained cherries just for something different.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Orange cake with real oranges

This is also a great cake made with an oranges and lemons... instead of using 2 oranges, swap one out with a couple of lemons...delicious and tangy.

This is a lovely moist cake that is great with a cuppa or as dessert...

First though, you'll have to boil your oranges!

You'll need...

2 oranges  (or 1 orange and 2 lemons)
250 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
5 eggs
200 g almond meal
1/2 cup self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup olive oil
icing sugar 

Preheat the oven to 160 deg fan forced and grease and line a 20cm cake tin

Boil the oranges in some water for about an hour, or until soft,  then let them cool completely

Once cool, process them until they are pulp

Beat the eggs, sugar and oil until light and creamy then add the pulped oranges, almond meal, flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown

That's it.

Easy and delicious

The orange and lemon cake...a little lighter with a bit of "tang"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

make it up as you go along cake

I haven't been doing much cooking of any note lately, nothing worthy of posting about anyway...I mean who wants to see a photograph of a cooked lamb chop or piece of fillet steak with a salad on the side

But today I thought let's get cooking, or baking to be more precise

I decided to make a cake. A "make it up as you go along" cake.

Then I decided to put some of the mix in patty cake pans


I had bananas and a can of boysenberries.

Now I have to tell you it's true what the Chaser boys on their new ABC show The Checkout report...what's in the can looks nothing like the photograph on the label. In fact, it's much worse than they claim, at least it was in my can of fruit. The boysenberries were a sloppy, dark, gooey mess when you poured them out of the can and into a bowl...really only good for a cake

I can't give you measurements for this cake or a real honest to goodness recipe, because I really did make it up as I went and I made it "by feel"...but if you have a good banana cake recipe, or have used mine posted here before, then you get the idea...just add whatever fruit you like and see how it goes

I used about 200 grams butter, some olive oil and some sugar...foofed it up till it was light and creamy, added two eggs, three mashed up bananas i had in the freezer and the can of boysenberries.

Some self raising flour, plain flour, bi-carb soda mixed with a large dollop of yoghurt and a splash of milk made it look downright awful!

But hey, it's just a cake batter. A grey cake batter, but a cake batter nonetheless

Put the mix into patty cake pans and put them in a 180 degree oven for 17 minutes..

This is how they turned out

Moist, light, soft and really delicious!

MONT's already eaten 4 of them!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Limoncello - bottled and ready to drink

It's all done and looks fabulous

And yes, it tastes pretty good too

Line a funnel with some gauze and place it in the bottle...then  pour the lemony liquid in...

That's all there is to it really.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Limoncello - the wait continues....

Here's the rest of the Limoncello process...

After making the sugar syrup and allowing it to cool the vodka/lemon zest mix and sugar syrup into a large container.

Mix around a bit, seal ...

...and place in a dark cupboard for the next 30 days

Now all you have to do is wait...

So far though, it's looking good!

The final process:  Now I know I said you only let this stand for another day before straining and putting the mix into bottles...but I'm changing it a bit. Let the entire mix stay in the container in the back of the cupboard for a month to let the flavour intensify.

Time now to drain the Limoncello into sterilised bottles. Use a funnel lined with cheesecloth to make sure you remove all the zest

Seal the bottles, put them in a dark place or fridge and let sit for a few days until ready to drink....on Christmas Day!! The night before Christmas, put the bottle in the fridge so it's nice and chilled for the big day

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Limoncello - pure sunshine

Making Limoncello is easy just need lemons and alcohol...oh and patience

The process is long but oh so worth it.

Here's the recipe for 2 litres.

I'm making just the one at the moment

Ingredients for 2 litres of Limoncello

- 10 lemons
- 1 kg of sugar
- 1 litre vodka
- 1 litre of water

Grate the lemons with a fine grater and put the zest in a couple of jars with lids. Pour in the vodka and close the containers tightly, letting the mix rest for 15 days in the dark. Make sure you shake it every two days to help distribute the flavour

At this stage, the alcohol will remove all the colour and scent from the lemon zest.

Not a difficult recipe at all huh?

I haven't made the syrup as yet...but here's the rest of the recipe if you'd like to get started

To prepare the syrup... juice the zested lemons, add 1 litre of water and sugar and mix together in a pot. Bring it to the boil then let simmer for a few minutes till it thickens a little and resembles a syrup. Let it cool and refrigerate

After 15 days, it’s time to mix the lemony alcohol with the syrup. Put all the liquid in a large container or bottles and let stand for another day

Time to drain the Limoncello into sterilised bottles. Use a funnel lined with cheesecloth to make sure you remove all the zest

Seal the bottles, put them in a dark place or fridge and let sit for another month...then drink...on Christmas Day!!

Happy Happy everyone

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I seem to have been making soup a lot over winter....and I haven't eased off even though it's Spring

Saffron - purchased in Morocco 

This is a lovely, easy recipe that I first saw on French Food safari on SBS. It's Guillaume Brahimi's Bouillabaisse recipe, which is basically a rich fish soup. He originally didn't mention quantities so I just played around until I thought it looked right, but I've since seen it in recipe form on the SBS website

To make the Bouillabaisse you'll need.....

Whole fish- red mullet, rock cod, leather jackets, flathead whatever is cheap and you can source.

For this recipe I used leather jackets and flathead. I also bought 2 kilograms of mussels and all up it cost me $17.00

So, chop the fish into large pieces and fry it in a little olive oil then add a strip of orange peel, a chopped fresh fennel, 4 chopped tomatoes, 2 crushed garlic cloves, sprigs of thyme, 2 chopped celery stalks 2 large spoons of tomato paste, fennel seeds, a pinch of saffron and a good splash of pernot.

It's looking very colourful at this point.

Add some hot fish stock (I used a litre of vegetable stock and some water that I simmered the fish heads in) to cover it all and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Let it cool for a few minutes then put it all in a blender (bones and all) and whizz it till it's smooth. Strain it through a sieve into another pot and heat through. Now I have to say, at this stage I was tasting it and it was amazing! ... in fact I really liked it as a broth and will be making another version of it in future to see how it goes.

Add some mussels and let them cook then place in bowls and eat with some gutsy bread.

Guillame's recipe called for a Rouille and some scallops and crab meat placed in the bottom of the bowls that you spoon the soup over. I didn't have them so we just made some garlic bread and devoured it all.

MONT loved it so much he's taken all the left overs out with him to work today to share with friends.