Sunday, May 23, 2010

Get some kiwi in ya!

Seams to be I get board if I don't bake something at least once a week. But over recent weeks it's been more like two or three times in a week.
My younger brother-in-law is going over to America for a few months and were had a family dinner to say 'goodbye' and 'happy travels'. So the best way to say that of course is with home baking or in this case...cupcakes.
I wanted a bit of a kiwi theme so that when he remembered his last meal with us he was reminded of home. I think Pineapple lumps are a great kiwi icon. So I made chocolate cupcakes with a pineapple cream cheese icing, sprinkled with grated chocolate and topped with a pineapple lump. Oh everybody loved these, but just encase somebody wanted something else I made Boysenberry cheese cake cupcakes. I didn't have a recipe for either of these, but I did have a picture of something similar I had seen.
I made Vanilla cupcakes to be a little bit crumbly like a cookie base. Topped with a cream cheese icing, then melted a little bit of jam to pour over the top. Next I crushed a Shrewsberry biscuit to sprinkle over.
I just loved the way these looked and they tasted wonderful too. I don't know if they were kiwi inspired but I don't know anyone that doesn't like a good cheesecake.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A cake filled weekend

So this is the second wedding cake I have done.
A lovely friend of mine was without a wedding cake maker just 3 weeks out from her wedding date. So I put my hand up for my mother and I to make it for her and the groom to be.
She asked for a caramel mud cake and a chocolate mud cake, having done a lot of chocolate mud cakes before I didn't think this would be a problem and threw myself into a test run of baking the caramel mud cake for my family to try.
I put 2 recipes together to create what I thought would be the best caramel mud cake. Turns out my family love to be guinea pigs to my baking and this was one of the best mud cakes I had made.
To put the wedding cake together the bride asked for ribbon and pearls and pillars between the layers, with flowers to go on top.
It was a busy couple of days baking and with my mother and sister Kim in the kitchen it proved a test of patience and cooperation. But looking at the end result I couldn't of been happier. The bride and groom loved it too.

The next day was my little sister Jessie's sweet 16th birthday and I knew I wanted to make her a cake. I had plenty of bananas in the freezer and some icing left over from the wedding cake.
Early Saturday morning I began baking. Then created the coloured balls and dress from some ready to roll icing I had left over in my pantry. My sister Kim that had stayed over to help out with babysitting the children, loving iced the cake while we were at the wedding. I got home to find the cake with stand and coat hanger waiting for us, ready to go.
We added some glitter and took it to one very happy Jessie.
(p.s: you will have to excuse the picture was taken at tenpin bowling.)

Well my daughter has been begging me to make some banana cookies, so off to the kitchen...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Somethings are worth a try

The carrot cake is something I never like when I was younger. I don't eat walnuts and carrot in a cake was always something I second guessed. Was it meant to taste nice, or just a ploy to get people to eat carrots? So in my years of baking I never really made it (I don't think it counts standing in the kitchen when someone else makes it).
Then when I got older I thought it would be to simple and boring to make. Just a cake with cream cheese icing, where's the challenge in that?

Well the other week my husband requested a carrot cake and the only thing standing between me and this cake was, I started to get nervous, could I really do it? Was it going to turn out moist and taste good?

So I hesitated for a week. The following Monday I decided there was no time like the present and dove straight in.
It turns out it was easy and yes it was moist. Even the family seamed to like it. So there was no need to procrastinate. Who's knows what you can do when you give it a go!

So here is the recipe I used...go on give it a go!

Carrot cake:
150g self-raising flour
150g plain flour
2tsps ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp nutmeg
1tsp baking soda
200ml vegetable oil
230g brown sugar
4 eggs
125ml golden syrup
500g grated carrot
60g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 160c. Brush a deep 22cm (9") round cake tin with melted butter or oil. Line the base with baking paper.
Sift flours, spices and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and syrup. Gradually pour into the well, stirring into the dry ingredients until smooth.
Stir in the carrot and nuts. Spoon into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Leave in the tin for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream cheese icing:
2Tbs butter softened
1/4C cream cheese
1c icing sugar
1/2tsp grated lemon rind

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Mix in icing sugar and lemon rind, beating well to combine.
Spread over cooled cake.