Tag Archives: dessert

Apple Cake with Earl Grey Apples

I don’t know exactly how it happened but somehow I ended up with three bags of apples in my refrigerator.  Luckily I have children that love apples and eat them as a staple.  Now who am I to complain if they want to keep the doctor away?

Although I also like nibbling on these crunchy lovelies, woman can’t live of fruit alone… That is why I was quite exited when I stumbled onto this recipe in an old Ideas Magazine’s little extra booklet.  This  is definitely one of my favourites I have ever made and I am therefore dying to show it off to all of you!

Apple cake with Earl Grey apples

Apple cake with Earl Grey apples

The cake is beautifully moist with little pieces of apple every here and there and  of-course the must-have cinnamon adds a lovely homely feel to it.  The cherry on …. or rather the apple on the cake, and show-stopper, is definitely the delicate, citrussy, Earl -Grey-Apples.  Trust me this is heaven on a plate!

Apple cake with Earl Grey apples

Apple cake with Earl Grey apples

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of soft butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 10 ml grated lemon zest
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 1 cup natural low-fat yoghurt
  • one Granny Smith apple peeled and diced
  • 260 g cake flour
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 170° c
  2. Grease and line a 20 cm round cake tin.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light   and fluffy
  4. Add the lemon zest and vanilla
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until mixture is light and fluffy
  6. Add the yoghurt and beat very slowly to mix in
  7. Stir in the apple
  8. Sift together all dry ingredients and fold into the butter mixture.
  9. Spoon into cake tin and bake for 50 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean
  10. Cool down and decorate with glace icing and Earl Grey apples

Glace Icing:

  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • a little water
  • zest of the rest of the lemon
  1. Just add enough water to get a runny consistency and pour over the cake.
  2. Top with lemon zest

Earl Grey Apples:

  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 Earl Grey teabags
  • 250 ml castor sugar
  • 2 Pink Lady apples
  1. Bring water to a simmer together with the teabags for  5 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags
  3. Add sugar
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes until reduced and a syrup has formed
  5. Cut the apples into thin slices and place in syrup, remove from stove
  6. Leave for at least 1/2 an hour
  7. Place onto cake just before serving

Enjoy with your favourite cup of tea.

Apple cake with Earl Grey apples

Apple cake with Earl Grey apples

Easy Cuppa Pudding for Vacations

Easy cuppa pudding

Easy cuppa pudding

Well, as most of my dear readers will know by now we are currently on those few rare, but very precious, days of the year namely vacation.   I really find that these times just bind our family spontaneously together.  As I am typing away I’m listening to my beautiful kids laugh and giggle at their dad kicking a rugby ball.  A child’s laughter must be one of the most enjoyable sounds on all the earth.  There are times when I wish I could capture the sounds thereof with all the joy and carefreeness for years to come when they will grow into adults and have to weather the world.  Oh!  If I could just teach them to always laugh like a five year old.  The sky seems to be limitless and there is nothing that can’t be fixed by dad and a cable-tie and the best cure for falling down and hurting yourself seems to be one of mom’s cookies.

My daughter and I have also been spending some time together yesterday.  We made these very easy, very sweet but delicious puddings:

Easy cuppa pudding

Easy cuppa pudding

These guys are really easy to make as they require very little baking utensils.  This could therefore be whipped up in the simplest of kitchens even by little hands.  I found the recipe in one of my favorite foodie magazines Sarie Kos June/July 2012 edition and we adapted it ever so slightly.  They tasted great out of the oven with a sweet apricot flavor and a sauce that caramelized on top.

Cuppa Pudding

Cuppa Pudding

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 1 t of baking powder (the original recipe called for 11/2 t  Bicarbonate of soda which is dissolved in the milk)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 free range eggs whisked
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° c
  2. Butter 4 enamel cups
  3. Mix the flour and baking powder
  4. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix in the milk and the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Spoon into the enamel cups and place on a baking tray.  Bake for 45 minutes
  7. When in doubt if the puddings has been baked through do a skewer test

Sauce:

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg whisked

Mix all of the above and pour over the puddings when they are done baking.  Place back into the oven and bake for another 20 minutes untill the sauce has thickened and caramelized.  Serve piping hot.      

Cuppa Pudding

Cuppa Pudding

 

Easy cuppa pudding

Easy cuppa pudding

 

Orange Cake For A Dreary Winter’s Day

Orange Cake

Orange Cake

The weather has been horrifically cold this weekend and I find myself longing for summer days with hot weather and a long glass of icy orange juice beside our pool.  Don’t get  me wrong, winter certainly has it’s perks as well, as I am writing this I am sitting in front of the fireplace with a cup of my favourite tea.  The kids are playing around me and hubby, who’s reading, and our pooches are snoring away in front of the blissful heat all while the wind is howling around the corners…  I have some soup going in the slow cooker and I am counting my many blessings.  Happiness!  Another  beauty of the cold season is that it brings it’s own fresh produce including citrus fruits.  I have been fortunate this season to have some oranges (not much, just 4) on my little orange tree that I keep in a pot close to my back door.  What better way to use these pretty orange jewels than to place them in an orange cake?  Instant comfort I’m telling you!

My own home grown oranges

My own home grown oranges

The great thing about this cake is that the longer it sits on your kitchen shelf the more flavor it develops.  Not that cake ever tends to just stay on the shelf in my house… no matter, it is delish all the time, from the point where it is taken out of the oven up to where the very last crumb is eaten…

My own home grown oranges

My own home grown oranges

Not being too sweet and extremely moist this is sure to light up your dullest winter’s day!  This will also work very well as a warm winter dessert, heated up with custard and some cream.  I added some zest for decoration to zoosh it up a bit.  Make sure that you use a plate with a rim to keep all of the sweet, orangy syrup where you want it:  Close to the sponge that will eventually slurp it all up, locking in all the moist flavor of the cake.

Orange Cake

Orange Cake

I found this nifty recipe here as I did not have a recipe as a starting point.  It was definitely not disappointed.   This recipe makes one ring sized orange cake.  Here is how I went about:

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Orange cake:

  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 free range extra large eggs, separated (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t bicarbonate of soda
  •  zest of one orange
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180° C
  2. Grease a ring pan well
  3. Beat the sugar and butter with an electric beater until fluffy and it turns pale yellow (I usually do this for 15 minutes to ensure that it turns fluffy)
  4. Add the sour cream and the egg yolks and continue beating until light
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the orange rind
  6. Add to the butter mixture and beat until just combined
  7. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold into the batter
  8. Place the mixture into ring pan and bake for an hour
  9. Remove from heat and let it cool down for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan and placing it on a rimmed plate to reserve the syrup
  10. Pour the syrup over (see below)
Orange juice

Orange juice

Hot Orange syrup
  • freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes

Pierce a few holes in the cake with a fork and slowly pour the orange syrup over the cake drenching it in the syrup.

Slice of Orange Cake

Slice of Orange Cake

If your family is like mine it will probably not see the next morning to have the first golden, sweet, orangey slice taken from it, which is okay, no harm done, it is delectable freshly baked out of the oven as well.

Enjoy!

0ranges

0ranges

Pistachio-, Choc chip- and Oats with White Chocolate and Cranberry Holiday Cookies

In less than a week we will be packing our car, locking our house and heading off to the seaside for the Easter Holidays.   It’s been a long-standing tradition in our house to take along a tin of rusks and biscuits to nibble on.  Here is what I have filled our cookie-tin with.

Holiday cookies

Pistascio-, Choc Chip- and Oats with White Chocolate and Cranberry cookies.

I only use real butter and genuine vanilla extract when I bake.  Once you have tried it you will never look back to the ordinary block of margarine  and artificial vanilla.  Remember to always buy the absolute best ingredients you can afford and can get hold of.Holiday Cookies

I have found these recipes on a few nifty pages on the net.  It didn’t take too much persuasion for me to make the following:

  1. Pistachio Cookies

Pistachio Cookies

Pistachio Cookies

I really enjoy the green color and the lovely aroma these cookies have!  I bought the ready shelled Pistachios from Woolies and ground them in my food processor. These greenies are light in texture and practically melt away in your mouth.  They are quite fast to make as well, which is an added advantage when you don’t want to slave the whole day for something sweet and delicious.  I got approximately 24 biscuits from this batch.

Recipe

( Adapted from Taste .com.au)

 Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of shelled pistachios (150g)
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar (sifted)
  • 1/3 rd cup of cake flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar
Method:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180°c  and line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone sheets
  2. Place 3/4  of  pistachios in a food processor and process until finely ground
  3. Add flour and 1/2  cup of  caster sugar and pulsate a few times to mix well.  Transfer to a mixing bowl
  4. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually add the remaining caster  sugar
  5. Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture on the baking sheets and sprinkle the remaining pistachio nuts on
  6. Bake for 12 minutes.   Remove from the oven.  Let it cool down for a few minutes before placing on a wired rack to cool down completely
  7. Dust with some icing sugar

  2. Choc Chip Cookies

Choc Chip Cookies

Choc Chip Cookies

O sweet joy! Crunchy, buttery cookies with melty chocolate chips!  Choc Chip Cookies extraordinaire! My favorite, any time of the day!

Recipe

I adapted the following recipe from Betty Crocker.   The original recipe made 4 dozen. I halved it so I would only get 2 dozen.

Click (here) for the original recipe

Ingredients:
  • 95 ml white sugar (1/4 cup+2 Tbsps+1 tsp)
  • 95 ml brown sugar (1/4 cup+2 Tbsps+1 tsp
  • 125 ml soft salted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 free range egg
  • 280 ml cake flour (1 cup+ 2 Tbsps)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of roughly chopped nuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°c and line baking tray with baking paper or a silicone sheet
  2. Beat sugar, butter,vanilla and egg in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater
  3. Stir flour and baking powder with a balloon whisk
  4. Add to the butter mixture and stir well until stiff dough forms
  5. Add choc chips and nuts and stir in
  6. Spoon tablespoon size dough onto baking sheet.  Place them 2 cm apart from each other
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown
  8. Remove from the oven.  Let it cool down for a few minutes before placing on a wired rack to cool down completely

  3. Oats ,White Chocolate Chips and Cranberry Cookies

Oats with white choc chips and cranberries

Oats with White Choc Chips and Cranberries

These cookies are filled with the goodness of rolled oats and cranberries.  They are chunky, slightly chewy and really tasty with the sweetness of the white chocolate chips that contrast  with the tartness of the  cranberries.   This recipe makes about 24 yummy cookies.

Recipe

Adapted from taste.com.au

Ingredients:
  • 150 g of butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 free range egg (room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup cranberries
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°c and line baking tray with baking paper or a silicone sheet
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until light and creamy
  3. Stir flour and baking powder with a balloon whisk together
  4. Add the oats choc chips and cranberries and mix in
  5. Spoon tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet.  Flatten slightly.   Place the cookies 2 cm apart from each other
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until light brown
  7. Remove from the oven.  Let it cool down for a few minutes before placing on a wired rack to cool down completely
Home Made Cookies

Home Made Cookies

pistachio cookie

Pistachio Cookie

Summery Banana Ice Cream

I have to admit, I am more of cake person than an Ice cream gobbler. Yes, I am the type that would rather find comfort in chocolate cake than ice cream.  Off course not all the members of my family feel this way. My children would after all, eat it for breakfast if this mom would allow it.  Luckily my own dear Mom gave me an Ice cream maker for Christmas last year.  I have to admit that this was a great gift…Thanks Ma!

Image

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