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Cover: Make your cake…and eat it

05Jul 12

Spicy Pound Cake

A bit of an exotic twist on your traditional pound cake recipe, this spicy pound cake is a breeze to make and a real delight to eat. My favourite way to eat it is dipping a big chunk into my Chai tea latte, though I realise that this may be a bit too rich and spicy for some palettes! Tangerines are really better than oranges in this recipe, so if you can get them, use them! If not, it still tastes perfectly good with regular  oranges. Another option is to use half and half orange/tangerine and lemon or lime. If you’re feeling extra-adventurous, try scooping a dollop of pistachio ice-cream (Malai Kulfi) on top of the cake while it’s still warm (or reheat it in the microwave first). For a chocolaty orange recipe, you can try my yellow layer cake with orange chocolate frosting or this dark chocolate and orange […]

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03Jul 12

Nutty Meringue Cake

This nutty meringue cake is a light and nutty delight that makes for a perfect treat on a hot summer’s day. Although the end result is quite impressive and looks like it was difficult to make, the process itself is actually rather simple.  Just be careful to not leave the meringues in the oven too long so that they don’t burn! For a fruity meringue flavour, try this iced fruit mountains and hot chocolate snow recipe. Print Nutty Meringue Cake Author: Sarah White Recipe type: Dessert Prep time:  20 mins Cook time:  20 mins Total time:  40 mins Serves: 8   Ingredients 150g granulated sugar 1.5tbsp cornflour 55g peanuts, shelled 55g almonds 6 stiffly beaten egg whites 125g cream cheese 250g icing sugar 50g cocoa powder 1tsp vanilla extract Instructions Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Butter and flour a baking sheet and two standard sized flan rings (about 23cm wide by 2-3cm deep). […]

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29Jun 12

Pear and Nut Bread

This sweet and spicy pear and nut bread makes for a great Christmas cake and also works very well as a carry-along snack for school or a car-trip out in the country.  It also goes great with a nice warm cup of tea, especially Earl Grey or English Breakfast.  I like to use hazelnuts, but walnuts also work very well. (For a chocolaty treat, try these poached pears with a hot white chocolate liqueur sauce.)   Ingredients: 4 pears, peeled and cored 110g butter, softened 300g granulated sugar 1tsp vanilla extract 4 eggs 240g cake flour 1tsp baking powder 1/4tsp salt 1tsp cinnamon 1tsp nutmeg 250g seedless raisins 250g chopped hazelnuts   Instructions: Cut two of the peeled and cored pears into 1.5cm slices. Place the pears in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, uncovered over high heat, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, […]

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26Jun 12

Basic Sponge Cake

This is a basic sponge cake recipe which can be eaten on its own with a cup of tea or topped with fresh fruit. It freezes very well, so I like to have some around to take out as a quick base for any sponge cake recipe when time is of the essence. As it’s just a plain sponge cake, it really goes well with just about any topping or frosting you can think of, so use your imagination and get creative!  Drizzle some dark chocolate ganache over the top, smother it in whipped cream, or pour a cappuccino on it. The possibilities are endless! If you decide to freeze it, wrap it in aluminium foil and then clingfilm for best results. Ingredients: 7 egg whites at room temperature 7 egg yolks 300g granulated sugar 145g cake flour 1tsp vanilla extract 1/2tsp cream of tartar 1/2tsp salt 65ml cold water   Instructions: Preheat the […]

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21Jun 12

Almond and Chestnut Cake

A traditional Czech dessert, this almond and chestnut cake (called Dort Kastanovy in the Czech Republic) is very hearty and rich.  Chestnuts are not easy to find most of the year except in the autumn, so this is a great seasonal recipe to keep in mind when the leaves start turning colour. I really like the combination of chestnuts and almonds, but if you prefer just almonds, I recommend this almond cake with orchard fruits recipe.   Ingredients: 500g chestnuts, washed, shells and skins left on 500ml whole milk 70g butter, softened 200g granulated sugar 6 eggs, yolks separated from whites, whites stiffly beaten 175ml almonds, blanched, peeled and ground 500ml double cream, whipped   Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter a 20cm spring-form cake pan and dust with breadcrumbs. Make an incision on the rounded sides of the chestnuts with a sharp knife and roast them on a […]

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20Jun 12

Almond Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries

A bit of a twist on the classic pound cake recipe, this almond pound cake with fresh strawberries is the perfect treat for a summer afternoon.  I like to use brown sugar to sweeten the strawberries as I find it gives them a more nuanced flavour, but if you don’t like the taste, you can substitute normal white granulated sugar.  In fact, if the berries are sweet enough, you can omit the sugar altogether for a slightly more healthy version. (Also try strawberries with Grana Padano and honey.)   Ingredients: 165g butter, softened 190g cake flour 180ml almond paste 2tsp baking powder 200g granulated sugar 1tsp salt 4 eggs 180ml milk 1tsp vanilla extract 500g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thinly 100g brown sugar 150ml double cream   Instructions: Preheat oven to 175ºC. Grease and flour a 25cm x 15cm x 7cm loaf pan, or line with parchment paper. Set […]

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16Jun 12

Banana and Blueberry Cake

This banana and blueberry cake is so full of fruity goodness that I find it hard to resist snacking on every time I go into the kitchen, although I generally prefer to eat it at breakfast along with a cup of coffee or tea.  Another fruity option in the morning is this berry messy breakfast. If you want to make it a tad heartier and healthier, try replacing a bit of the flour with bran or rolled oats.  The bananas should be very ripe for best results, but don’t worry too much as long as they’re not still green.  The recipe calls for fresh blueberries, but the frozen ones will work just as well, and you can hardly notice the difference. Ingredients: 120g butter, softened 400g plus 1tblsp granulated sugar 3 eggs 125g bananas, mashed (about 2 small sized bananas) 375g plus 1tbsp flour Pinch of salt 1.5tsp baking powder […]

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14Jun 12

Apricot and Pecan Cake

This apricot and pecan cake is a dense butter cake that updates the classic fruitcake for modern times.  As with most cakes containing fruit and/or nuts, be sure to coat the apricots and pecans with flour before adding them to the batter.  This well help to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking. (Also try this chocolate and apricot wrap cake.)   Ingredients: 185g pecans, coarsely chopped 185g dried apricots, coarsely chopped 170g cake flour 110g butter, softened 200g granulated sugar 1tsp vanilla extract 2 eggs 1/2tsp baking soda 185ml sour cream Icing sugar for dusting   Glaze: 60ml dark rum 120ml orange juice   Instructions: Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Grease and flour a 25cm x 15cm x 7cm loaf pan or line it with baking parchment.  Set aside. Combine nuts and apricots in a small bowl and toss them with 3 tablespoons of […]

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11Jun 12

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Cake

This sour cream and cinnamon cake recipe is so good I recommend you at least double the recipe as you’re sure to want more when it’s finished, which will be sooner than you think!  This is of course partly due to the fact that it really is delicious, but also because the whole house smells fantastic from the cinnamon while it’s baking. Your mouth starts to water and your tummy to rumble well before it comes out of the oven! Since almonds are a principal ingredient in this recipe, you might want to try almond ice cream to go along with it! Ingredients: For the filling: 100g granulated sugar 2tsp cinnamon 125g peeled roasted almonds, finely chopped   For the sponge: 115g butter, softened 200g granulated sugar 3 eggs 250ml sour cream 1tsp almond extract 1tsp vanilla extract 285g cake flour 3tsp baking powder 1tsp baking soda 1/2tsp salt   […]

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08Jun 12

Apricot Squares

I love making cakes; they’re my favourite food bar-none, but sometimes for a party it just seems like too much bother to have to serve it on plates with a fork and knife, as well as all the extra washing-up this means later on.  So for my latest party, I decided to make squares instead, as they can be served on a napkin and eaten with your fingers if need be.  They’re not any more difficult to make than a regular cake, but just as tasty! As an optional “extra,” you can also concoct an orange icing to top it off. Depending on your sweet tooth (or that of your guests), you can give it a try. With the icing, the mix of apricots, almonds and orange in these apricot squares is truly astounding, as I’m sure my guests would attest to! For those who like to combine fruit with […]

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