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Cover: Make your cake…and eat it

25Apr 12

Banana Cake with Orange Frosting

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her daughter’s birthday party,  but it turned out that her daughter didn’t like chocolate, vanilla, or any of the other typical birthday cake flavours.  At first I was at a bit of a loss about what to make, but after a bit of thinking, inspiration struck.  This banana cake with orange frosting was the result, and her daughter absolutely loved it! The cake is really just a traditional banana bread recipe, but doubled and baked in a round tube pan instead of its usual rectangular shape.  The frosting is cream cheese-based and flavoured with the juice and rind of a fresh orange.  If you don’t happen to have any fresh oranges at hand, you can substitute with store-bought orange juice.  It won’t be quite as tasty and tangy, but it’ll do in a pinch. If […]

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24Apr 12

Mint Chocolate Cake with Almond Frosting

Chocolate and mint, it’s a combination made in heaven!  This mint chocolate cake with almond frosting is so delicious it’s hard to resist a second or even third serving, so if you’re watching your waistline, you’ve been warned! (Also try these chocolate lava cakes.) I used to make this sponge with mint chocolate frosting too, but I eventually had to admit it was too rich even for my taste and decided to try almond flavour frosting instead.  I think the result speaks for itself, so get baking and let me know what you think! Ingredients: For the sponge: 220g butter 600g granulated sugar 3tbsp instant coffee granules 2tsp coffee liqueur 3 eggs 285g cake flour 2tsp baking powder 1/4tsp salt 250g cocoa powder 315ml buttermilk 2tbsp fresh mint  leaves For the frosting: 375g icing sugar 6tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 60ml water 1tsp almond extract 20g almond shavings Instructions: For the […]

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18Apr 12

Yellow Layer Cake with Orange Chocolate Frosting

This yellow layer cake with orange chocolate frosting is a small variation on your typical yellow sponge cake.  I was getting a bit bored of plain old chocolate or vanilla frosting and decided to get a bit more adventurous.  Of course, if you prefer, you can just make the sponge and use whatever frosting you prefer, but where’s the fun in that?! This recipe uses only two layers of sponge cake, but I sometimes use three, depending on your mood. You could also make fun shapes, like in this chocolate orange Valentine’s cake. Ingredients: For the sponge: 4 eggs, whites separated from yolks 225g butter, softened 400g granulated sugar 240g cake flour 2tsp baking powder 1/4tsp salt 250ml milk   For the frosting: 125g cream cheese 315g icing sugar 125g cocoa powder 1tsp vanilla extract 3tbsp orange juice Grated rind of 1 orange   Instructions: Preheat the oven to 175ºC. […]

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16Apr 12

Marvellous Marble Cake

This marvellous marble cake is really great for impressing your friends and family as it looks quite complicated to make, although in reality, it’s actually quite simple.  The cake is so moist and delicious that it can be served on its own, but it can also be served with chocolate or vanilla icing if you like. For a chocolaty version of this delectable dessert, try a chocolate marble cake with chocolate icing.   Ingredients: For the white part: 4 egg whites 200g granulated sugar 110g butter, softened 250g flour 2tsp baking powder 1/2tsp salt 125ml milk 1tsp vanilla extract For the brown part: 110g butter, softened 130g brown sugar 4 egg yolks 1/2tsp baking soda 150ml molasses 250g flour 2tsp baking powder 1/2tsp salt 1/2tsp nutmeg 1tsp cinnamon 1tsp ground ginger 60ml milk Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter and flour an 8cm deep x 20cm wide cake pan. Make […]

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11Apr 12

Caramel Cake with Butter Cream Icing

Caramel is a wonderful flavour. I love it with fruit such as in this Caramel Peach recipe. I am also partial to this caramel cake with butter cream icing. It is a bit tricky to make and takes a bit of time, but the result is absolutely fantastic, so grab your apron and let’s get baking! Ingredients: For the cake: 290g sifted flour 2tsp baking powder ½tsp salt 110g butter, softened 300g granulated sugar 250ml water 3 eggs, yolks separated from whites, whites stiffly beaten For the caramel syrup: 100g granulated sugar 125ml boiling water For the butter cream icing: 120g unsalted butter, softened 565g icing sugar 90ml single cream 1tsp vanilla extract 2tbsps caramel syrup (see above) Instructions: Preheat oven to 180ºC. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the sugar to the butter, then mix with an electric mixer at […]

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07Apr 12

Orange Cake with Strawberries and Cream

This light and fruity orange cake with strawberries and cream is the perfect dessert to serve on a hot summer afternoon.  The orange rind gives it a subtle citrus flavour which is counterbalanced perfectly by the strawberries and cream. Ingredients: 4 egg whites, beaten 110g butter, softened 145g cake flour 2tsp baking powder 200g granulated sugar 1/3tsp salt 4tbsp orange juice 185ml buttermilk 1tbsp grated orange rind Icing sugar for dusting 1tsp vanilla extract 500g strawberries, chopped 150g granulated sugar 100ml double cream   Instructions: Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Grease and flour or line a cake pan with baking parchment. Set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed, blend the butter and sugar until light in colour.  Add 2 tablespoons of the orange juice, the rind and the vanilla. Blend well. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately […]

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04Apr 12

Poached Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Lately I’ve been trying to get away from standard chocolate and white cake varieties and getting more into fruit-based cakes, like this almond cake with orchard fruits.  I guess I’m trying to fool myself into thinking they’re a bit healthier, which they are, albeit only slightly!  This poached pineapple upside-down cake is one of the more difficult ones I’ve tried and I have to admit that my first attempt didn’t turn out very well.  However, I gave it another try and it came out beautifully!  The poached pineapple offsets the brown sugar and pecans perfectly and its appearance is quite impressive too. So arm yourself with patience and give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed with the result! Ingredients: For the poached pineapple: 5 fresh pineapple slices, poached and drained. 400g granulated sugar 200ml water 50ml strained orange juice For the sponge: 200g granulated sugar 6tbsp hot milk […]

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02Apr 12

Grandma’s Apple Pie

Although there are many versions of this traditional apple pastry, this is my grandmother’s original apple pie recipe. Rather than using traditional red baking apples, this recipe calls for tart Granny Smiths, which in my mind provide the perfect balance to the high sugar and cinnamon content in the filling.   I’ve provided instructions for making the pastry from scratch, but if you prefer, you can go ahead and use ready-made chilled or frozen crusts. I won’t tell anybody, I promise! Another popular fruit dessert is an apple and walnut crumble. I suggest serving the both the pie and the crumble with vanilla ice cream on top. Ingredients: For the crust: 312g (2 1/2 cups) sifted white flour 1/2 tsp fine salt 226g (1 cup) butter, chilled and diced 120ml (1/2 cup) ice water For the filling: 113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 60ml (1/4 cup) water 100g (1/2 […]

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30Mar 12

Spectacular Strawberry and Cream Cake

This spectacular strawberry and cream cake makes a great summertime dessert, but since these days strawberries can be found year-round, why should you wait?!  Get yourself some fresh strawberries and get baking; I guarantee you won’t regret it! (For an extra fruity flavour, try this strawberry and raspberry tart.) Ingredients: 240g sifted cake flour 330g granulated sugar 4tsp baking powder 1tsp salt 115g butter 315ml milk 1tsp lemon extract 1/2tsp vanilla extract 5 egg yolks 1 litre fresh strawberries 500ml double cream, whipped with 50g granulated sugar and 1tsp vanilla extract 175ml redcurrant jelly Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter two 23cm layer-cake pans and line with baking parchment. Sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and half of the milk. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. […]

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25Mar 12

Chocolate Roll

This rich and creamy chocolate roll, similar to a chocolate roulade, is a bit labour-intensive, but I guarantee that the result is worth it! Ingredients: 150g of semi-sweet milk chocolate 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar 30ml (¼ cup) of water 6 eggs with the yolks separated from the whites and the whites stiffly beaten 1 tsp. instant coffee granules 356ml (1 ½ cups) of double cream 2 tbsp. of icing sugar ½ a tsp. of vanilla extract 2 tsp. Kirsch (or neat cherry brandy) 1 tbsp. cocoa powder Instructions: Preheat the oven to 190ºC and line a jelly-roll pan with buttered and floured parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in a double saucepan over simmering water. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for two more minutes over medium heat. Place the egg yolks in a bowl in the meantime. Pour the hot […]

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