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.

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.

Island Cookies

It’s been a while between posts, hasn’t it? Life’s gotten busy lately. But I have managed to find the time to squeeze in some baking and to have a play with the ice cream maker, at which I have had some success. I suppose it isn’t much of a consolation to know that I’ve got a few recipes here just waiting for me to create the posts, either.

Hopefully this recipe will help. It comes from my favourite cookie cookbook, Best-Loved Cookies, that I found in the North Melbourne newsagent a number of years ago. I recently made these for my mother the last time she visited. Mum loves macadamia nuts and always misses out on my baking because she lives interstate. She loved this variation of the chocolate chip cookie.


1 & 2/3 cups plain flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

190g butter, chopped and softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 & 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips

1 cup flaked coconut

3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 190C oven. Line biscuit trays with baking paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sift together into a bowl. Add salt and set aside.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugars and vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in egg until combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, stir in choc chips, coconut and macadamia nuts until well combined.

Drop a slightly rounded tablespoon of cookie dough onto the prepared tray.

Bake in preheated oven for 8 – 11 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand for 2 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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.

Rocky Road Easter Eggs

Easter will be here before you know it, so I thought it best to get in early with the Easter recipes. The first recipe is of course, a rocky road one. I almost decided to not to post it this year, as I know I’ve posted a few rocky road variations already, but I think this is a great gift for Easter.

The recipe below is enough to make 8 medium-sized eggs, but I made 1 giant and 4 medium eggs instead. If you do choose to make a larger egg, allow more time for the egg to set in the fridge.

Also, this post constitutes my entry into Kitchen Wench’s competition to win a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Imagine the things I could make with that!

400 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
100 g raspberry lollies, halved
2 tablespoons pistachio kernels, chopped
2 tablespoons raw cashews, chopped
½ cup mini marshmallows, halved
2 tablespoons shredded coconut

Using a small pastry brush, coat 8 holes of an 8cmx6cm (1/4 cup-capacity) egg-shaped moulds with melted chocolate. Refrigerate moulds for 20 minutes or until set.

Combine raspberries, pistachios, cashews, marshmallows, coconut and melted chocolate in a bowl.

Spoon mixture into moulds, pressing lightly with the back of a spoon.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.

Very carefully remove eggs from moulds.

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.

Rocky Road Bark

For the Christmas just gone by, I tried to be a little smarter with my hamper making time, and so I chose to make Rocky Road Bark instead of plain old Rocky Road.  Bark is another simple yet effective gift food which lends itself to many variations. Another that I like is dark chocolate with roasted hazelnuts and craisins.

Rocky Road Bark


150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted & roughly chopped
1 cup raspberry lollies, halved

 

Line a tray with baking paper and set aside. Melt the milk and dark chocolates together a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.  Heat on high for 30 seconds bursts, stirring in between bursts until melted and smooth.

Stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of the marshmallows, 1 cup of the pecans and 3/4 of the raspberry lollies. Scrape the mixture onto the tray and spread out with a spatula to approx 2cm thickness. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows, pecans and raspberry lollies over the top, gently pressing them into the chocolate to adhere.

Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, which is about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks for serving.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Hummingbird cake is rather delicious, but cupcakes are a little more fun and quicker to make, so I thought I’d have a go at making Hummingbird cupcakes.  The results were a delicious success.  I have since made these at @dragnflydreamz‘s request, and so they were my donation to his Movember fundraiser.  That the cupcakes were gone in 10 minutes, and resulted requests for the recipe, is a sure indication of a winner.  The recipe makes 24 – 30 cupcakes depending on how much you fill the patty cases.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

 

2 cups self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup shredded coconut
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
1 ⅓ cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 medium bananas, mashed
440 g can crushed pineapple, drained

 

ICING
200 g cream cheese, softened
40 g butter, softened
1 lemon zest
3 cups icing sugar

 

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin trays with paper cases.

Sift flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl. Stir in desiccated and shredded coconuts, pecans and sugar. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and eggs. Blend into flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Add the banana and pineapple, stirring until well combined.

Divide mixture between patty cases.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and dry. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

ICING

In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Slowly add sifted icing sugar, beating until well combined. Spread icing over cupcakes to serve.