Caramel and Banana Layer Cake

Being the party animals that we are, we decided to ask a couple of friends over to our place for New Years Eve.  Even though we were all still getting over the excess of food and goodies we had been consuming during the past week, I still wanting to make something yummy – and a little naughty for our New Years dessert. I’ve made this cake a few times now and the recipe is from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2.  This time I decided to add banana to the layers in the attempt to bring a little bit of goodness to an otherwise sweet and yummy dessert.

It was a lovely night, spent with some great friends.  Alas our toddlers partied more than we did, with the adults happy to sit back and watch them expend what seemed to be a never ending supply of energy…..  If only they could have passed some on to us, we were all in bed by 11pm!

I hope you are all having a great start to the year

xx

caramel and banana layer cake

1 1/4 cups plain flour

6 eggs

3 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

125g butter – melted

2 cups thickened cream

vanilla essence

2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 banana – sliced thinly

caramel sauce – cooled

Caramel Sauce

– 3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup of single or pouring cream (I’ve also used thickened cream in the past and it has still turned out fine).

 

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line and grease a 18cm square tin

– Sift the flour three times and put aside.

– Put the eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl and beat together for 8-10 minutes with an electric mixer until mixture is pale and thick and has tripled in size

– Sift flour over the mixture and fold together gently, then fold in the butter.

– Using a spoon, put mixture into tin, and bake for 25 minutes.

– While cake is baking, make caramel sauce by stirring together brown sugar and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Increase the heat and simmer for around 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Let the sauce cool slightly in the saucepan, before transferring to another container and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to cool completely

– Cool cake in tin for 5 minutes and then turn onto a cake cooling rack – leave until completely cooled before slicing cake in half

– Beat together cream, drop of vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar until cream is whipped

– Spread half of cake with cream, cover with half of the banana slices, and half of the caramel sauce

– Carefully place top layer onto the cake and repeat.

– I like to leave this cake for an hour or so in the fridge, then remove around 15minutes prior to serving.  It’s best eaten the day of/day after making.

Orange and Ginger Cake

Thanks to The Multitasking Mummy, we recently collected our prize ‘The Cookbook’ by Ella’s Kitchen from our local post office (we were home when they so called ‘attempted’ to delivery the parcel.. don’t even get me started!).  The book is filled with lots of recipes for toddlers and kids, and has given me some great ideas to mix things up a bit.

We – well really ‘I’ decided to try the ‘Awesome Orange and Ginger Cake’ since we had all of the ingredients.  It was a good recipe to make with a little helper, Liam had a ball sifting the flours, adding the egg (and shell) and stirring all the ingredients together.  I felt the sugar content was a little high, so I halved the amount of golden syrup, and reduced the amount of marmalade to 175g (next time I would try making it with orange zest and juice).  We also decided to add some shredded coconut on top, a job which Liam really enjoyed. When we were licking the bowl, Liam commented the the mixture was ‘hot’ – I think he was referring to the ginger which isn’t used to.

Liam was a bit impatient waiting for the cake to bake, and spent a lot of time staring through the oven door, whilst telling me the oven was ‘hot’ and ‘ouch’.  When the cake was out of the oven and had cooled, he was very excited to try some of ‘his cake’.  Our version was quite moist, and still quite sweet with a strong orange flavour, despite altering some of the ingredients.  The shredded coconut on top really went well with the flavour, and I’d include it next time we make this.

Given I had a very enthusiastic little helper, the cake turned out quite well.  We cut it up into small toddler sized pieces and popped them in the freezer, they will come in handy for a special treat.  We are looking forward to trying our next recipe!

Orange & Ginger Cake

75g unsalted butter

150g golden syrup (I used 75g)

225g self raising flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

225g coarse cut orange marmalade (we used 175g)

1 egg beaten

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin

* Melt the butter and syrup in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring well to combine. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside

* Sift the flour, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl, slowly pour in the syrup mixture and stir to combine

* Add the marmalade, egg, orange juice and 1 tablespoon of hot water and mix until combined. Add a further 1 – 2 tablespoons of hot water if you feel it’s needed (i.e. mixture is too stiff)

* Pour into the cake tin and spread evenly, bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden.

* Cool in tin for 15 minutes, before removing and placing onto a wire rack to cool completely

Linking up with The Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

Yoghurt Cake with Raspberry and Pomegrantate Jam Glaze

I may have gotten a little carried away at the Maggie Beer stand at the Good Food & Wine show recently.  It was a little hard not to, there were so many yummy products, the staff were lovely and there were heaps of samples to suck you in.

When I visit our local cafe, my standing order is an extra large double shot skinny iced latte (keep that in your memory bank if anyone ever feels like dropping by) and two slices of raisin toast with a beautiful homemade raspberry jam.  So when I spied Maggie’s (I can call her that since I know her so well from watching her on tv) Raspberry and pomegranate jam, it was a no brainer that I was going to buy it.

IMG_8851

As well as saving the $4.50 I normally would spend, and being delicious on my toast at home, it has the added bonus of using as a glaze over cakes – yoghurt cake specifically as that is what Maggie recommends on the side of the jar.

I went searching online for a yoghurt cake recipe and found a reader’s recipe on Nigella Lawson’s site.  The cake was easy to make and as soon as it was out of the oven I eagerly covered it with a layer of Maggie’s jam – not too generously though, as I didn’t want to ‘waste’ my special jam.  After only 10 minutes I was too impatient any longer and cut the cake….  I was a little disappointed, the cake wasn’t the best and I was starting to get annoyed that I’d wasted my jam on it.  Thankfully I went back to the website to read through some of the comments (probably should have done that originally) and noted it said the cake was best eaten cold.

The next day when I returned to it, I could see why eating it cold was recommended.  It tasted much better, and the jam on top turned it into something a lot more special.

Look at that lovely jam!

Look at that lovely jam!

1 cup natural yoghurt

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

½ cup oil

3 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees, and line the bottom of a round 25cm cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides.

* Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.

* Pour into cake tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and it’s cooked through

* While cake is still warm, brush Raspberry and pomegranate jam over the top.

* Allow the cake to completely cool before cutting and serving.

Milk Chocolate Mousse Tart

I have again gone over to the dark side…. I bought another packet mix this week!  In my defence, after the delicious success that was Adriano Zumbo’s Salted Caramel Macarons, when I saw this Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake, I knew I had to try it out.

Another packet mix!

Another packet mix!

I’m calling my version a tart, I didn’t have a small enough cake tin, so mine is a bit bigger and thinner. Regardless of this, it turned out well and tasted divine.  Even the mixture tasted great, with Liam and I licking the bowl clean, and him asking for ‘more’ when it was all gone.

Yum!

Yum!

As I’ve mentioned before, when I’ve made Adriano’s mixes, I still feel as though there is a little cooking and skill involved, rather than just pouring the pack straight into a bowl and adding water.

This was $7.95 well spent, the only problem is it’s calling out to me from the fridge just begging to be eaten!

milk chocolate mousse tart

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

It feels like it has been awhile since I have made something truly decadent.  When searching for a recipe to rectify this, there is no better book to turn to than ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson.  This is now the second recipe I have made from this book, where she suggests leaving the cake for a day or so for the flavours to develop (see lemon and almond cake), and while this is VERY frustrating for me – I like the instant gratification baking brings, it it truly worth waiting!  This cake is extremely moist, and although I used a mixture of milk and dark chocolate to make up the 100g required, it was still very rich.
I highly recommend putting the cake tin on another tray, as even though I used the cake tin suggested, it still leaked over the sides…. and yes, I will admit to eating the overflowed cake pieces!

Chocolatey Goodness x

Chocolatey Goodness x

225g soft unsalted butter

375g dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g dark chocolate – melted

200g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

250ml boiling water

* Preheat oven to 190 degrees and fully line a 23 x 13 x7cm loaf tin.

* Cream the butter and sugar, then gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating together well

* Fold in the melted chocolate, being careful not to over beat

* Gradually add the flour, alternating with the boiling water which you need to add the bicarb soda to – the batter will be quite runny

* Pour into the lined tin – it’s also a good idea to place tin on a baking tray lined with foil/baking paper as there will be drips!

* Bake for 30 minutes, then turn down oven to 170 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes.  When you test the cake it will still be quite moist, so a skewer won’t come out completely clean

* Leave cake in the tin to completely cool before turning out.  It can even be left for a day or so as the flavour will improve.  Also don’t worry – the middle of the cake will sink, as it’s so moist, this just adds to it’s charm!

Throwback Thursday – Wholemeal Mocha Cake

I’m still enjoying making the old recipes from my Nan’s McAlpins cookbook.  The recipes are pretty basic, and they stick to tried and true flavours and techniques.  When I saw this recipe, I thought it was a winner before I had even tasted it!  It goes without saying that a coffee and a piece of cake go together – so why not combine the two?  The addition of chocolate icing literally tops off the flavour of the cake, and I love the walnuts too.  Before I started making the recipes from this book, I’d never used coffee essence before in my baking.  Whilst it did give this cake a good flavour, next time I think I will substitute the essence for an espresso shot…  or maybe two!

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

chocolate + coffee = winning combination

 

6oz Wholemeal self raising flour

pinch of salt

3oz butter

4oz caster sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 dessert spoon coffee essence

walnuts to decorate

* Sift flour & salt

* Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs gradually

* Mix in sifted ingredients alternatively with milk and coffee essence

* Pour into a greased and lined 20cm tin and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees)  for 20 – 25 minutes.

* When cake has cooled, top with a simple chocolate icing and decorate with walnuts if you wish.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Sometimes I crave just a simple cupcake.  No indulgent added extras, just a plain simple vanilla cupcake with frosting.  If you feel the same, then these are for you.  To add to the simplicity, this is an easy recipe where all ingredients are added and mixed together.  These cupcakes are super light and fluffy, you can have them with just icing or turn them into butterfly cakes with jam and cream.

Simply perfection

Simply perfection

120 grams unsalted butter – softened

2/3 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 eggs

* Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases

* Put the butter, sugar, flour, milk, vanilla and eggs in a bowl and beat with electric beaters on a low speed for 2 minutes or until well mixed

* Increase speed and beat for a further 2 minutes or until smooth and pale

* Spoon mixture in to cupcake tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden

* Allow to cool completely on a wire rack

* Ice/decorate as desired and enjoy!!

Butterfly cupcake with strawberry and cream - yum!

Butterfly cupcake with strawberry and cream – yum!