Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Anna Polyviou x Green's Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes

I do not generally buy packet cake mixes because I know full well I can make cakes quite well from scratch.  However, when I discovered that Anna Polyviou, a pastry chef at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, had teamed up with Greens to produce a couple of different cupcake packet mixes, I was keen to try them out. 

There are two different cupcake mixes designed by Anna - Raspberry Trifle and Lolly Gobble Caramel varieties, sold exclusively at Coles supermarkets:

All of the dry ingredients to make the cupcakes are included in the box - you just need to add the wet ingredients at home.  I was pretty excited when I discovered that the box even contained these groovy Anna-print cupcake papers:

I tried out the Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes first.  They comprise a vanilla cupcake:

swirled with raspberry jam:


filled with custard: 

then decorated with custard-flavoured whipped cream, and crowned with an optional fresh raspberry:

I  loved these cupcakes - they tasted so fresh with the cream on top, which was not overly sweet and balanced the sweet cupcake beneath.

I would happily make these again, and judging by the response to these at work, people would happily eat them again. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Cinnamon Tea Cake in honour of Margaret Fulton

Today is a sad day for Australian cooks, as the great Margaret Fulton passed away today at the age of 94.  Margaret is legendary in Australia, and many people grew up with their mothers cooking her recipes, or owning her cookbooks themselves.  My mother received the first edition of The Margaret Fulton Cookbook for her 21st birthday, and she still uses it, albeit it long ago having lost its cover and numerous pages hanging by a thread from the binding.

I bought the revised and updated edition of The Margaret Fulton Cookbook when it was first issued in 2004, when I was living in Sydney.  It was the first new cookbook I had ever bought, and I felt very proud to own it because I now had the same cookbook as my Mum.  The first recipe I made from it was Margaret's cupcakes, which I made and took to work iced with green icing, and a jaunty spearmint leaf lolly on top of each for St Patrick's Day.  I did not tell anyone that I made them, and I remember my then boss coming in to show me one, quite amused.  (I did not let on that I had made them!)  

I have made a number of different Margaret Fulton recipes over the years.  The Beatles birthday cake is probably my favourite because it is so fun - I saw the recipe in an exhibition of Beatles memorabilia and scoured the Internet to find it. However, there are Aussie staples like Anzac biscuits and lemon delicious, as well as plenty of Christmas recipes.

In 2012, I even saw a musical called Margaret Fulton: Queen of Desserts, celebrating Margaret's life and work.  There was audience participation involved in the form of being handed mini Australian flags and being required to wave them at the right time.

I thought it only fitting that I celebrate Margaret's life on this sad day by baking one of her recipes from the original and still the best, The Margaret Fulton Cookbook. In keeping with Margaret's mission to make cooking accessible to all, I decided to make a very simple cake - the Cinnamon Tea Cake.  Her book marks the recipes with dots in the heading so you know at a glance how complex or not they are to make, and the Cinnamon Tea Cake is indicated to be easy by a single dot.

While this cake is simple to make, it is not at all skimpy on flavour. It is light and buttery, and given a spicy, crunchy boost with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar on top.  Served fresh out of the oven while it is still warm, it is absolutely heavenly. It was very hard to limit myself to one slice.   

To make your very own Cinnamon Tea Cake according to Margaret's recipe, you will need:

1 egg, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
30g melted butter

For the topping:

2 teaspoons melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.  Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.

Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form, then beat in the egg yolk.

Gradually beat in the sugar.  Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a cup, then slowly beat it into the egg mixture.

Using  a rubber spatula, fold the flour and melted butter into the cake batter.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden on top.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon from the topping ingredients together.  

Immediately on removing the cake from the oven, brush the top of the cake with the melted butter from the topping ingredients, and sprinkle over the combined sugar and cinnamon.

Turn the cake onto a wire rack, right side up.  Serve warm or cooled. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

TWD - Marscapone Mousse

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, the recipe is Marscapone Mousse.  This is a delightful dessert that is, as its name suggests, light and foamy. The mousse is comprised of marscapone, whipped egg whites and cream, gently sweetened with honey.  A small amount of gelatine is added to help set up the mousse.

To serve, the mousse is spooned into low ball glasses, and optionally decorated with fruit.  I put fresh raspberries in the base of my  glass, with roasted rhubarb on top.

As you can see, the mousse is quite foamy:

I was pleasantly surprised by this mousse - it is not heavy like chocolate mousse can be, and its lightness makes it a perfect to complement the fruit.

To see what the other Dorie cooks made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Lemon, Almond and Raspberry Cake for Carolyn's Birthday

My colleague, Carolyn, is turning 50.  This is an important milestone birthday, so I decided to make her a cake.  Carolyn follows a gluten free diet, so the cake that I chose had to fulfil this criteria.  Luckily, these days, there are many delicious gluten free cake recipes around.

A quick Web search brought up this recipe for Lemon, Almond and Raspberry Layer Cake from The Brick Kitchen.  This recipe has been adapted from one of my favourite bakers, Jordan Rondel of The Caker.

Claudia from The Brick Kitchen had created her cake as 3 x 15cm layers.  I went back to a single layer in 9" form, using half of Claudia's recipe:

This cake certainly smelled devine when it came out of the oven.  To decorate it, I made half of the icing recipe, and decorated the cake with crushed freeze-dried raspberries pressed  into a "50" stencil I created just from paper and a template I found on the Web, and also pressed up the sides of the cake:

Pressing on the freeze-dried raspberries was a messy exercise, but I am happy with the end result.  It ain't perfect, but I think it looks pretty good.

To make this cake my way, you will need:

1 x 9" cake tin, greased and lined

150g butter
150g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
150g almond meal
37g gluten free plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
zest and juice of a lemon
2/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almond meal, flour and baking powder followed by the lemon zest and juice.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin and even the top with a metal spatula.  Place the raspberries on top of the cake at random intervals, pressing in lightly.

Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing:

112g butter, softened
75g cream cheese, softened
167g sifted pure icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon

Beat the cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth.  Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.  Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

Spread the icing evenly over the top and sides of the cooled cake.

Decorate with crushed freeze-dried raspberries if desired.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

TWD - Fudgy Mocha Bars

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, our recipe is Fudgy Mocha Bars.  These are effectively a nutty, chocolatey brownie, based on cocoa but also studded with chocolate chips to up the chocolate "oomph".

The brownie mixture is quite stiff, and it accordingly requires some elbow grease to spread it into the far corners of the pan.  They are baked in a 9" square pan, and rise quite high, so you end up with a satisfyingly chunkie sized brownie.

I gave some of these brownies to my friend and her children, and gathering from the enthusiastic response, these are good brownies.   

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins for Queen Baking Club

A recent Queen Baking Club challenge was Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins.  As the name suggests, these muffins were full of mashed pumpkin goodness, with added nuts for texture, and topped with an oaty streusel topping.

You can find the recipe for these delicious muffins here.

I substituted the pecans for walnuts because I had walnuts already in the pantry.  I also used some leftover streusel from another project and added some oats to give it texture and make it more like the recipe streusel.

These were absolutely delicious muffins, and I would make them again.  Given the dire wintry weather here at present, these muffins are a perfect way to warm the soul.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Hairy Bikers‘ Pogacsa (Hungarian Cheese and Bacon Scones)

Recently on SBS Food, they showed The Hairy Bikers Bakeation, where  the Hairy Bikers rode and ate their way through Europe. (Yep, this show is 13 years old, but I have never seen it before.)  They made a number of fabulous looking dishes along the way, inspired by the countries they were visiting.  

I was taken with a number of the dishes the Hairy Bikers made, but one which particularly caught my eye was Pogacsa (Bacon or Crackling Scones), from Hungary.  Crispy bacon is mixed with sour cream, caraway seeds, parmesan cheese and the usual scone ingredients to create these tasty, filling scones:

A pogacsa spread with butter while it is still warm is just the ticket for breakfast:

If you would like to make your own pogacsa, you will need:

60ml milk
1 sachet dried yeast (~7g)
250g chopped bacon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
500g plain flour
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
120g butter
120ml sour cream
2 beaten eggs
1 egg beaten with a splash of water for egg wash

Heat the milk gently until it is just lukewarm, then stir in the yeast.  Set aside for 15 minutes or so to allow the yeast to froth the milk.

Fry the bacon until crisp, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, parmesan and caraway seeds in a medium bowl.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the sour cream, beaten eggs, bacon and milk mixture.  Pour the liquid ingredients into a large bowl, then add the dry ingredients, in several batches, and mix with a spoon and then your hands until everything is well combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured bench and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic (~ 5 minutes).  Put the dough into a well oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough back out onto the floured bench and punch it down, then press or roll it out to ~ 1 1/2 inches in thickness.  Cut out rounds from the dough using a scone cutter, and place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.  Make a cross-cross pattern on the top of each scone using a sharp knife, then allow the scones to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Brush the top of each scone with eggwash, then bake the scones  for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Serve warm spread with lashings of butter.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

TWD - Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters.  This recipe is what it says on the tin - chopped rhubarb, macerated in sugar, and flavoured with bitters before being roasted in the oven.

The resulting ruby roasted rhubarb is a perfect accompaniment to icecream for dessert, or on porridge for breakfast.  It's sweet and it's simple - you can't go wrong.

To see what the others made this week and what they though of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Helen Goh's Chocolate, Pear and Olive Oil Cake for World Chocolate Day

Today is World Chocolate Day, thought to be the date of introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550.  I am all for a day that involves the consumption of chocolate, so I baked a cake in which chocolate features front and centre for the occasion.

This cake is Helen Goh's Chocolate, Pear and Olive Oil Cake.   It appeared magically from my pile of recipes when I was tidying up yesterday, which as far as I was concerned was a sign.

This cake comprises a soft, velvety chocolate cake base, topped with sliced fresh pear, then crowned with a sandy chocolate crumble - perfect!  The moist sweet pears really make the cake for me, although I did enjoy the soft, melting texture of the cake itself. 

To make this cake, you will need:


75g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
45g brown sugar
50g slivered almonds (I used flaked almonds)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons olive oil


80g chopped dark chocolate
125ml boiling water
2 eggs
150g brown sugar
100ml olive oil
120g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 small ripe pears, peeled cored and cut into 1cm thick slices

For the crumble:

Put all of the dry ingredients into a small bowl.  Pour over the olive oil and mix together with a fork until a sandy crumble forms.  Chill in the fridge while you make the cake.

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin, leaving some paper overhanging on each side of the cake tin to help to remove the cake later.

Put the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pour over the boiled water.  Allow the mixture to stand for 30 seconds before whisking together until smooth. Allow to cool.

Beat the eggs, brown sugar and olive oil together in the bowl of a stand mixer until pale and creamy.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a small bowl.

Reduce the mixer speed to low.  Beat in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture, then repeat, alternating the flour and chocolate, with the final third of the flour last.  Beat until just incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf tin.  Top the cake batter with the pear slices, overlapping them to cover, and finally, scatter over the cocoa crumble.

Bake the cake in your preheated oven for 60 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack, before lifting the cake carefully onto a serving plate, using the baking paper overhang to assist.

Serve with cream or icecream.

Happy World Chocolate Day!      

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

TWD - Triscuity Bites

This week's Tuesday with Dorie is a savoury cookie known as Triscuity Bites.  They are named after a whole wheat cracker called Triscuits.  I am not aware of any true substitute for Triscuits in Australia, so I used Vitawheat, which are wholegrain crackers - as close as I think I am going to get.

The Triscuits are crushed in a food processor and mixed with flour, butter, sugar and cream cheese, so that the finished product does taste somewhat like a cracker with cheese in one.

I didn't have any trouble with the dough, and my cookies broke apart readily along the cut lines once baked.  They also had a pleasing snap.  I quite liked the flavour, and would not be adverse to making these again.

To see what everyone else made this week and their thoughts on it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.