Norwegian Apple Cake

After I’d made this recipe a couple times I thought I should do a little investigation and see whether it had anything in common with Norway’s ‘Eplekake’. While I’m not Norwegian, I think the main elements are there -sponge cake made with a mixture of hot milk and butter, a crunchy cinnamon topping and of course the apple slices.

When preparing the cake, take care not to over mix when incorporating the hot milky mixture into the creamed egg/sugar mixture, or the cake will have a peaked instead a flat top.

Do use a metal spoon, not a wooden spoon,  when folding the flour into the cake mixture as this will keep the batter aerated and ensure a lighter sponge cake.

2 large pink lady apples

2 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

125g butter, chopped

2/3 cup milk

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/3 cup slivered almonds

ground cinnamon

2tsp demerara sugar

~ * ~ * ~

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 15x20cm lamington pan with baking paper, allowing the edges overhang for use as handles.

Use an electric mixer to beat eggs and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the butter and milk

until the butter melts and the mixture just comes to the boil.

Gradually add the butter mixture to the egg mixture, beating until well combined.

Sift over the flour and use a metal spoon to fold through until just combined.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Core and cut apples in half and then into thirds. Arrange the apples slices over the cake mixture.

Sprinkle with almonds, dust with cinnamon and sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Bake in the prepared oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool. Remove cake from the pan and use a serrated knife to cut it into slices.

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Banana & Pecan Cupcakes

I know bananas are still pretty expensive right now. But if you happen to have a couple of well ripened bananas lying around, why not put them to good use in this lovely recipe.

Cakes

225g plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 bananas
115g butter, roughly chopped and softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 tablespoons sour cream
55g pecans, chopped

Lemon Icing

135g butter, roughly chopped and softened
2 ½ cups icing sugar
juice of ½ a lemon
25g pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 190C.  Line a 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin tray with paper cases.

Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a mixing bowl, then set aside. Peel and roughly chop the bananas into a small bowl, mash with a fork and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in mashed banana and sour cream with a wooden spoon.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture and chopped pecans.  Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each of the prepared paper cases.

Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

Lemon Icing:

Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Sift icing sugar over the top and add lemon juice. Beat until combined.

Spread icing on top of each cupcake and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans before serving.

Cheesecake Brownies

I was genuinely surprised that I hadn’t already posted this recipe, and only realised this oversight while looking for things to make for the Biggest Morning Tea event we held at work. These brownies were one of the three items I chose to make, another were the Coconut Ice Cakes, with hot pink icing, which I’ve blogged about before and Norwegian Apple Cake which will be blogged about sooner or later.

Pro tip: I have found that the chocolate mixture sets while the cream cheese mixture is made. If this occurs, just put the chocolate mixture (still in the saucepan) back onto the stove on the lowest heat and stir constantly until it has returned to a spreadable consistency. This will only take a couple of minutes.

150g butter, chopped

300g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

3 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/4 cup sour cream

250g cream cheese, chopped and at room temperature

≈ ≈ ≈

Place the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat.

Stir for 5 minutes or until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.

Whisk 2 of the eggs in a small bowl then add to the chocolate mixture

along with 2/3 cup of sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add sifted flour and sour cream and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add the remaining egg and beat until just combined.

Spoon the chocolate and cream cheese mixtures alternately over the base of the prepared pan.

Use a skewer to swirl the mixtures to create the marbled effect.

Bake in an oven for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in pan for 1 hour to cool. Cut into squares to serve.

Blueberry & Lemon Syrup Cake

I do have a fondness for fruit in my baking. There are just so many flavour combinations to be made. This lemon syrup cake dotted with whole blueberries makes a lovely dessert. The warm lemony cake is nice and soft and sweet with the syrup soaked all through it.

225g butter, softened
225g raw caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
250g self raising flour, sifted
1 lemon, zested & juiced
25g almond meal
200g frozen blueberries

LEMON SYRUP
2 lemons, juiced
115g raw caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs until combined. Beat in the  lemon zest.

Fold through the sifted flour and almond meal with just enough lemon juice to give it a dropping consistency.

Fold 3/4 of the blueberries through the cake batter and then spoon it into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface and scatter the remaining berries on top.

Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare the syrup: Add lemon juice and sugar into a small bowl and mix together. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer and pour over the lemon mixture.

Allow the syrup time to soak into the cake. Remove the cake from the tin just before serving, while it’s still warm. Cut the cake into squares to serve.

Cherry & Citrus Muffins

These little muffins are delicately fruity, with lemon and orange flavours and a crunchy top made from flaked almonds and sugar.  Each bite contains a burst of whole cherry which is just wonderfull, if you’re a fan of cherries like I am.

2¼ cups self raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil
½ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 orange, zested & juiced
½ cup caster sugar
300g frozen cherries

TOPPING

¼ cup flaked almonds
¼ cup caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole 1/3 cup muffin pan with paper cases.

Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, zests, juices and sugar.

Tip cherries into flour and toss gently to coat.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour and cherry mixture and stir until combined.

Fill paper cases about 3/4 full of cake batter. Combine almonds and extra sugar in a small bowl, then spoon a little over each muffin.

Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, until golden and tops spring back when gently pressed. Allow to cool in pan for 1 minute, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Berry Passion Cheesecake

I’ll admit I’m pretty proud of this one.  It’s a bit more impressive looking than what I’ve made lately, and it tastes amazing! The cheese part of the cake is creamy and has a delicate lemon flavour dotted with bursts of raspberry while the top layer has a tart fruity bite to it.

Truthfully, I don’t have a lot of experience working with gelatine, powdered gelatine in this case, which I find can be a little tricky.  I think it’s a bit difficult to get rid of the lumps before it’s cool enough to use. It might be cheating, but I like to add more powdered gelatine and then remove the lumps of gelatine once it’s cooled enough to use.  I haven’t added any extra gelatine to the ingredients below but I think I added less than half a teaspoon.

olive oil cooking spray
250g Nice biscuits
125g unsalted butter, melted

500g light cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
300ml light thickened cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
300g frozen raspberries

3 teaspoons gelatine powder
¼ cup boiling water
2 passionfruit, halved
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
¼ cup water

Release the base from a 20cm round springform pan. Lightly spray the base and sides of the pan with oil then line with baking paper.

Break up and process the biscuits in a food processor until finely crushed. Add the melted butter and process until combined. Transfer to the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread and press the biscuit mixture firmly over the base and most of the way up the side of the pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the cream and beat until well combined.

Place the boiling water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle with gelatine and use a fork to stir until it dissolves. Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool.

Add the gelatine mixture and lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until combined. Fold through half of the frozen raspberries. Pour into the prepared pan and quickly smooth the surface.

Cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours or over overnight to chill.

Once the cake is nearly, or has set, defrost the remaining raspberries and process in a food processor until smooth. Press through a fine sieve into a small saucepan.

Stir in the passionfruit pulp and extra sugar.

Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl. Add to the pan. Stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour over and spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake.

Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours until set.

Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cupcakes

1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¾ cup milk
⅓ cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons peanut oil
⅔ cup dark choc chips

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING
½ cup smooth peanut butter
60 g butter, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a 12 hole 1/3 cup muffin pan with patty cases.

Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add brown sugar, milk, peanut butter, egg, and oil. Stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir.

Fill prepared cases 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add icing sugar and milk. Spread icing liberally over cupcakes and serve.

Raspberry & Almond Cake

This is a delicious cake. It has an appealing golden brown and chewy crust-like exterior with the surprise crunch of flaked almonds that are baked into it.  The yellow almondy cake is complimented by the soft, tart raspberries that are found scattered within.

This cake is definitely best served fresh out of the oven and still warm.  My only regret with this is that I didn’t have any custard on hand – as I think it would have been the best accompaniment.

25g flaked almonds
250g butter, at room temperature
2 cups caster sugar
6 eggs
1 cup plain flour
½ cup self raising flour
120g almond meal
⅔ cup sour cream
300g frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 180C (160C if fan forced). Lightly grease a 25cm springform pan. Line base and side with baking paper. Sprinkle half of the flaked almonds over the base of the pan.

In a medium sized bowl sift together flours and gently stir through the almond meal and set aside.

In a separate large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the prepared dry mix, sour cream and frozen raspberries.

Pour cake batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top and sprinkle with remaining flaked almonds.

Bake for 1 & 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the tin. Serve while warm.

Coconut Ice Cakes

Here are some itsy bitsy coconut cakes with a sweet coconut ice topping which are just right for serving at party or gathering.
The cakes can be made up to 2 days ahead. while the topping should be made and the cakes iced on the day of serving.  This recipe will make about 30 or so cakes.

Cakes

80g butter, chopped and softened
⅔ cup caster sugar
2 tsp. vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
⅔ cup desiccated coconut
1 cup self raising flour, sifted
⅔ cup milk

Coconut Ice Topping

1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups icing sugar mixture, sifted
1 tsp. butter, softened
food colouring

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole, 2 tablespoon (40ml) capacity patty pan with paper cases.

Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg.

Add coconut, flour and milk. Using a wooden spoon, mix well to combine. Spoon level tablespoons of batter into paper cases.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean. Stand cakes in pan for 1 minute.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Coconut Ice Topping:

Combine coconut, icing sugar and butter in a bowl. Gradually stir in 1/4 cup hot water until mixture is a spreadable consistancy (you may need to add a little more water). Stir in a few drops of food colouring.

Spread topping over cakes. Stand at room temperature until set. Serve

Banana & Raspberry Bread

When I bake, I know what I like, but sometimes it is hard to tell what other people actually like.  I regularly take baked goods into work and people there can be quite effusive in their praise even at times when I don’t agree.  But I guess when someone asks for the recipe because they’ve been looking for a banana bread that is”moist but not too sticky” you know that you’re onto a winner!

Also, I just adore the combination of raspberries and bananas!

Banana & Raspberry Bread

2 egg whites
3 medium bananas, mashed until smooth
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ cups frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line a 14x21cm loaf pan with baking paper.

 

Lightly beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Combine egg whites, banana, sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl.

Sift in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and bicarbonate of soda.

Fold together until just combined. Fold through raspberries and spoon mixture into prepared pan.

 

Bake for 1 1/4 hours, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice to serve.