While pondering on this recipe and what I was actually creating, the old Superman saying came to mind, ‘is it a bird…is it a plane…no its…’ Well it’s a Heinz 57 cross breed with a flapjack which is a British oat slice and and a desire to have an apple tart with a difference. If you aren’t familiar with the flapjack it a moreishly sweet, chewy centre and crispy outer oat slice. If it wasn’t for the ton of golden syrup or brown sugar that goes into it it would be rather good for you. I have sandwiched apples in between my slice, pressing the bottom layer into a base and crumbling the the second layer over the top. It has proved to be quite versatile this week as a dessert hot with ice cream or yoghurt and the left overs made a great lunchbox slice and even a substitute breakfast crumbled in a bowl with yoghurt. Of course you could substitute pears or stonefly it when it is in season.
150g rolled oats (finer flakes)
150g whole oats
50g wholemeal flour
100g soft brown sugar
3 large granny smith apples
2 tsp cinnamon
Pre heat oven to 180C and grease a 22cm tart tin with a loose removable bottom.
Core the apples, and chop into approx 1 inch pieces. If you read my blog regularly you will know I don’t peel apples and pears but you can if you prefer.
Put the sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat. Once melted add all the oats, flour and cinnamon and stir to combine.
Press two thirds of the mixture into the prepared tin with a metal spoon, if the mixture sticks to the spoon, rinse and use the wet spoon to continue pressing.
Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.
Cover the part baked base with the chopped apples.
Cover the apples with the rest of the mixture by crumbling it over the top.
Bake for another 30 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream or yoghurt. Stays fresh for a week.
This Pear & Ginger Upside Down Cake recipe is part of my ‘winter white’ photo series, I’m branching out from my, what I call ‘medieval styling’ with its moody tones. Although my preference is for the darker photos with their depth and shadows I think I need to expand my repertoire and try new lighting and styling. I have never been very good producing the bleached white photo effect that is so popular, I have no idea why I find it much harder, probably because I still have a lot more to learn which is why I am starting a new photography course tomorrow. I hope over the next month you will be able to notice improvements in my photography but at this stage I am wanting to jump straight back into that medieval look!
Winter would not be the same without heart warming, spicy puddings that stick to your ribs. Take advantage of all the seasonal pears and make a ginger upside down cake. You don’t need to peel the pears, why throw away the fibre that is important in our diets. It may not win you Masterchef leaving the skin on but once baked in the cake the skins go soft, you don’t even notice you have left them on.
4 small to medium pears
50g unsalted butter
80g dark muscovado sugar
100g black treacle or molasses
100g runny honey
2 free range eggs, lightly beaten
150g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ gas mark 4.
Grease and dust with flour a round cake tin 22cm in diameter.
Sprinkle the tablespoon of moscovado sugar on the base of the tin.
Slice and core the pears.
Arrange pears around the tin, stalk end of pear to the centre.
Melt together the butter, 80g sugar, treacle and syrup either in a pan or microwave, then allow to cool.
Add the eggs to the sugar and whisk with electrical whisk.
Sift together the flour and ginger then add to the mixture and stir until smooth.
Pour into the greased tin to cover the pears and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
Serve as is or with custard, ice cream or cream.
And here’s a pic from our local beach; winter surfing.
I have been following Raymund’s blog Ang Sarap for a few years now and watched his blog change and grow over the years. Raymund is originally from the Philippines, the name of is blog means ‘delicious’ in Tagalog and the dishes he creates and shares with us certainly are delicious. We have a lot in common, he is a fellow Auckland blogger but we both bring our homeland food and culture to our blogs and sometimes we both feature our spouses recipes too! We have both developed a passion for food photography which is evident when you look at the then and now on our blogs.
Raymund thought it would be good if we could share a traditional dish, he knows I am a big dessert girl, although I have been know to do more savoury dishes these days so I decide to make and share a Bakewell cake which is a twist on the English Bakewell Tart. The difference is, I have skipped the pastry base with this recipe and I used berries instead of jam and added a little decadence with ground almonds where traditionally only almond extract would have been used. A nice simple cake to make, perfect with a pot of tea on a cold afternoon.
So if you would like the recipe or to find out more about our lovely Raymund and his blog, pop over to Ang Sarap.
Raymund is also doing a series of guest posts so if you keep and eye on his blog he will introduce you to some blogs you may never have seen before.
These are definitely a Little & Fridays inspired cake, we visited a few weeks ago and although I didn’t buy their lemon and coconut cake because I can never get past the raspberry ganache one, I thought I could make my own version. I haven’t yet bought their book but it is definitely on my wish list, there are so many yummy delights I would like to make from their cafes. If you live in Auckland and haven’t yet been to Little & Fridays you have no idea what you are missing out on, the best cakes and tarts in town. But feel free to share other top cake eateries with me as I love to try new places.
I am also submitting this recipe for our monthly Sweet New Zealand event that is being hosted by Jemma over at Time For A Little Something
125g SR flour
50g coconut thread or desiccated
2 tbsp milk
zest & juice of 1 lime
For the filling and topping
200g cream cheese
zest & juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp icing sugar
Grease and flour 6-8 standard cup cake tins and preheat an oven to 180C
Place butter & sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk or good old fashioned wooded spoon until light and fluffy.
Add one egg at a time and whisk in between both additions.
Add the coconut and zest and juice of one lime.
Sift flour into mixture and fold gently through with a metal spoon so not to loose all the air that has been beaten in.
Spoon mixture into cupcake tins, generally it is advise to fill them three quarters full. I was offered a great tip from someone who read my blog and suggested using an ice cream scoop to get a consistent size, brilliant.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out of the sponge clean.
Allow to cool before removing from tins or frosting them.
Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and zest & juice of 1 lime.
Once the cupcakes are cool, slice them in half across the centre and fill them with a generous teaspoon of cream cheese mix. Stick the top and bottom together and spread another generous teaspoon on top of cupcake.
You can sprinkle more coconut or lime zest on top to decorate them if you wish.
It’s been a beautiful weekend out at the beach, I’m glad I was able to spend it at home surfing, running classes and squeezing in some baking too. After two months back and forth to Sydney, it is heaven to be home again for a week, it’s so quiet here compared to our office in Parramatta where the noise never seems to stop, it makes me appreciate where I live, there is not a car to be heard after dark after the beach goers have gone home. No street lights either which means great star gazing with no light pollution and the frequent sighting of shooting stars….bliss
For my sweet NZ post this month I am submitting a boysenberry honey yoghurt cake. Frances is hosting this months collection of goodies on her blog Bakeclub where you will find a round up of kiwi yummyness at the end of the month so do pop over.
200g SR Flour
100g ground almonds
150g liquid honey
250ml plain yoghurt
1tsp baking soda
100ml canola oil
3 small free range eggs
100g boysenberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp lime juice and zest of 1 lime
3 tbsp icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and flour a 22-24cm cake tin.
Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
In another bowl whisk all the wet ingredients, including honey and eggs together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and briefly whisk together.
Spoon half the batter into the cake tin, sprinkle with boysenberries over the batter then pour over the rest of the batter to cover berries.
Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven once cooked and allow it to cool.
Whisk together the icing sugar and lime zest and juice to make the glaze. And pour over the cooled cake.
For those who are familiar with the German Christmas cake Stollen you will understand where this idea comes from. European Christmas treats are my favourite but what does that have to do with Easter? Well in NZ I find it too warm over Christmas for all those hearty winter cakes so I don’t tend to make many or buy any over that period but as the summer comes to a close here in New Zealand my UK brain still ticks over and thinks winter….and that means Christmas….and that means lots of marzipan, fruit cakes, spiced biscuits. The problem is, its only April here so I have decided to roll my Christmas goodies into Easter which will be dangerous to the waist line as I will no doubt eat my fair share of chocolate too!
This is an easy sweet dough mix with the addition of a little butter and milk for a richer brioche crumb. It’s perfect just cooled from the oven but if you can’t manage it all in one day it’s also good lightly toasted the next.
3 cups high grade flour
1 & 1/4 cups warm milk
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tbsp honey
50g candied/glacé citrus peel
20g butter, chopped
Extra flour for rolling
1 egg for glaze
Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add the yeast and warm milk to the well in the centre and allow the yeast to dissolve for a minute.
Add the honey and citrus peel and bring the ingredients together to form a soft but not sticky dough. If it is too dry add a little more milk or likewise if too wet add a little more flour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
Press the chopped pieces of butter into the dough and continue to knead for another 5 minutes.
It gets a little greasy at this point but eventually the butter melts and combines fully into the dough.
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover bowl with a plastic wrap to stop it drying out.
Let the dough prove till double in size. Once double in size roll the dough out into a flat oblong 14inch x 6inch, a bit like a fat baguette.
Roll the marzipan into a cylinder shape to fit the length of the dough and place in the centre.
Fold the dough over the marzipan and press closed at one side, the seam is at the side rather than underneath.
Preheat the oven to 200C and flour a baking sheet.
Place the loaf onto the floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap but ensure it doesn’t touch the loaf otherwise it will stick.
Let the loaf to prove again till doubled in size.
Whisk egg and brush top of loaf with egg which will give it a nice golden shine.
Bake for 35 minutes. It should sound hollow when tapped so you know it is cooked.
The topping it just a sugar icing with a few extra citrus peel scattered over the top.
I have had the Donna Hay 10th Birthday App on my IPad for ages tempting me with the chocolate recipes, particularly these brownies. The problem is when I open this App the photos are so incredible and life like that I end up spending hours just looking through them, analyzing them and dreaming about replicating them one day. The actual cooking gets forgotten as the time whips by but I finally got round to making them this weekend. I only had mocha chocolate in the house left over from a cooking workshop so I decided to make it with that but you can use any food quality dark chocolate.
Check out the amount of chocolate in these babies, they have to be a chocoholics dream!
The final product was everything Donna Hay promises in her photographs, the only disappointment was my photos didn’t look like hers…ah well, more practice behind the camera and more eating of brownies ;0)
This is also my submission for Sweet NZ which is being hosted by Emma over at My Darling Lemon Thyme
300g dark chocolate 70% or mocha chocolate is what I used, chopped
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
Preheat oven to 180C and line a 20cm x 30cm cake tin with baking paper.
Melt butter and half the chocolate in a pan over a low heat.
In a large bowl add the eggs, sugar, flour and rest of the chopped chocolate and briefly whisk together.
Pour the melted butter and chocolate into the bowl with the flour mixture and whisk again to combine.
Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. If served slightly warm the chocolate bits will ooze out which is rather delicious but they are pretty dam good cold too.
The combination of ginger and apple has been banging around my head for a few weeks and finally this weekend I managed to satisfy my imagination and tummy at the same time making these brioche style rolls. I have used quite a bit of ginger in this recipe as I like to the hot bite of ginger but if you prefer it a bit milder then used less.
I can be quite impatient waiting for bread dough to rise, a bit like the watch pot never boils but as I had finished rolling these up and putting them in the muffin tins my surfing buddy called. It was like Malibu surf out at Muriwai, for those not familiar with Muriwai that means a drop in waves from a regular 5-7 foot to a mini 2 foot, perfect for a lazy Sunday surf after a busy week at the office and a wedding catered for on Saturday. So no pot watching…well dough watching today, the dough had risen perfectly by the time I came out of the surf, in the oven and ready to eat after a shower, maybe even two after all that exercise. Then enough time to fit a siesta in before getting dinner on.
3 cups high grade flour
2 tsp dried yeast grains
1/2 cup warm milk
50g butter, soft
2 small eggs
3 tbsp castor sugar
1 apple, cored and grated
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp ginger powder
2tbsp sugar & 2tbsp water for the sugar glaze
Preheat oven at 180C and cut 8 squares of baking paper to fit 8 muffin tins.
Place the flour and castor sugar in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
Put the yeast into the well and pour the warm milk over the yeast and leave to dissolve for a 2 minutes. It will start to bubble.
Stir the milk into the flour, it will be quite dry at this stage.
Add the butter and eggs and bring the ingredients together to form a bread like dough. If it is too sticky (depends on egg size) add more flour so you can knead the dough without it sticking to your hands.
Knead for 5-8 minutes, the longer you knead the better.
Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a plastic bag to stop dough from drying out. Rest for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, place the grated apple into a bowl with the brown sugar and ginger and mix together.
Roll the dough out to 12 inch x 8 inch with the longer side closest to you.
Spread the apple and ginger mix over the dough.
Roll the dough up, away from you, into a sausage shape so that once rolled it still measure 12 inch.
Slice the dough into 8 rings and place each one in the middle of a square of baking paper. Put each one into a muffin tin/cup and allow dough to prove and double in size.
Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
Put the sugar and water for the glaze in a pan and bring to the boil for 1 minute.
Brush brioche rolls with sugar glaze and its best to eat them warm.
Diesel is a little exhausted after all the baking and surfing too!
There is nothing better than a slice of good old fashioned ginger cake and how remiss of me to neglect it for the past ten years. A Jamaican Ginger Cake is what I had in mind with it’s heavy, sticky texture and dark molasses flavour. It’s an iconic British tea time cake but I have no idea where it got its name from. Did the recipe derive from Jamaica, was it the ginger that came from Jamaica or did a Jamaican in the UK invented the recipe. Or was it just an exotic name given to it by McVities (who produce the cake) and has no story behind it at all? If you do know drop me a line, I couldn’t find anything on the web.
Most recipe call for golden syrup but I prefer to use honey these days particularly since I have a constant supply from a bee keeper friend. If honey is too expensive in your neck of the woods you can substitute if back for golden syrup.
This is also my submission for Sweet New Zealand which is being hosted by the lovely Shirleen over at Sugar & Spice & all Things Nice. Pop over to her blog and see what other treats our fellow Kiwi bloggers are submitting this month.
250 g self-raising flour
3 tsp ground ginger
200 g honey or golden syrup
125 g butter
100g preserved stem ginger, chopped
100 g dark muscovado sugar
2 tbsp molasses or treacle
2 large eggs
200 ml milk
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper.
Melt the honey, sugar molasses, stem ginger and butter in a pan over a low heat.
Sift the flour and ground ginger into a separate bowl.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs and the milk.
Once the sugar mixture has melted pour it into the bowl with the flour and stir together to make a smooth paste.
Add the eggs to the flour mixture and beat together, the mixture will be quite runny.
Pour mixture into prepared cake tin.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Allow to cool in cake tin before removing it.
Ginger cake is always better if you can leave it a day or two before eating it, the cake becomes a lot more sticky!
Happy New Year everyone and welcome 2012. New Years morning, even before breakfast, hubby and I write a list of goals for the year ahead. Some people have New Year resolutions but i like a list! A little pedantic some think but I am a great believer of if you verbalize it and put it out there the universe will help you achieve it. Do you do anything like this at the beginning of a new year?
Here is my Christmas cake recipe that I rushed to make the week before Christmas. I’m glad I did, even without the maturing in booze for several months it turned out scrummy, this years twist was adding chocolate and ginger to the mix which is my favourite so far.
200g pitted chopped prunes
300g chopped figs
150g glace cherries
150g chopped crystalized ginger
200g dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
280g chopped almonds
1 cup brandy
1cup orange juice
250g butter, chopped
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup treacle
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
¼ cup of cocoa
1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Extra 1/2 cup port or brandy for pouring over cake.
Soak all fruit, orange juice and brandy in a bowl for several hours (or overnight) until all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven on bake to 150C (do not use fan bake as this will dry the cake out). Line the sides and base of a deep 23cm-round tin with two layers of baking paper (help prevent drying out), bringing it 5cm above the rim of the tin.
In a bowl combine the flour, spices, cocoa, chopped chocolate and chopped nuts.
In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until is pale yellow light and creamy. Then beat in the treacle.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the fruit to the creamed mixture and mix together.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Stir with a metal spoon until just combined but do not over mix.
Spoon a layer of mixture across the base of the tin and gently spread so the lining doesn’t move. Spoon and spread the rest of the mixture into the tin.
Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the top to help prevent the cake from drying out.
Wrap brown paper around the tin and tie with string. My Nan always did this to prevent it from drying out and I have done it ever since.
Bake for 2-2.5 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Check at two hours and then every 15 minutes.
Once cake is cold pour over port and wrap in clingfilm/gladwrap and place in a tin and store in a dry place.
You can substitute any of the fruit as long as you keep the quantities the same. I use prunes & figs since they produce a more moist cake.