Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dan Lepard's Honey Carrot Cake

I love a good carrot cake, and it is even more fun when I find a recipe that is a little different to the usual.   So it was with Dan Lepard's honey carrot cake recipe - a deep dark cake with tahini ad grated apple, among other unusual ingredients.

I like how the cake looked fresh out of the oven, brushed with a honey glaze to make it shiny.

The cake is topped with cream cheese frosting - I used a different one to the recipe that is linked to in Dan's post, but it did the trick nicely:

This cake was put out at work at 8.30am and by 10am, it was all gone I think that says it all. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sempre Pizza e Calzone, Bourke St, Melbourne

A little while ago, Tim and I had dinner at Sempre Pizza and Calzone on Bourke Street, Melbourne.  The name pretty much sums up that it is a fancy pizza place.

The friendly waitress gave us prompt service. 

We ordered the  Zucca salad ($14.50) - pumpkin, baby spinach, feta, red onion, pine nut and balsamic:

This made sure that we had a balanced meal with some greens.

Tim's pizza was the Snow White ($19.50) - buffalo mozzarella, goats cheese, potato, pumpkin and sage:

I couldn't go past the Calzone Francesco ($19.50) - tomato, mozzarella, ham, artichoke, olives and capers:

My calzone looked magnificent, but sadly was still cold in the middle:

For dessert, we ordered a tiramisu ($10.50) to share:

There were no complaints there!

We enjoyed our meal at Sempre Pizza, but next time I think I'd skip the calzone and go for the pizza.

49 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: 03 9654 9909

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weekend in French Kitchen (Cafe Boulud) - Mushroom and Cheese Tart

This week's Weekend in a French Kitchen (CafĂ© Boulud) recipe is Cremini and Fontina Tart.  To translate that for the uninitiated, it's a mushroom and cheese tart.

I have never heard of cremini mushrooms until this week, which made it a pretty fair bet I wouldn't be able to buy them.  Apparently they are brown mushrooms, and might be something like Swiss browns.  However, my research showed that button mushrooms are an acceptable substitute, and much cheaper than Swiss browns, so I just used white button mushrooms.

Also, Fontina cheese was a little too fancy for my local supermarket, and I couldn't be bothered hiking to the market, so after another piece of research, I learned that Gouda would be an acceptable substitute.  Done - even the Woolies express near work had Gouda.

I wasn't sure whether I'd like this tart much or not, but was pleasantly surprised.  Despite the absence of meaty filling, it is still a very tasty tart, which I put down to the preparation of the ingredients, which seemed fussy at the time, but worth it in the end.

As this tart is awash with butter, cream and cheese, it is hardly diet food, but was tasty for a change.

To check out whether anyone else made this tart and what they thought about it, check out the LYL section of the WIAFK (CB) website tomorrow, Australian time.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Coffee Cake

Recently, my friend Sandra gave me a pile of magazines to read.  After reading them, I tore out the good recipes for a rainy day.  One of those recipes was for a delicious coffee cake, found in Womens' Day

This coffee cake was extra special because it contained a caramel swirl - yum!  I happened to have some Caramel Top'n'Fill to use up, so this was the perfect cake for that purpose.

The cake was delicious and disappeared at work very quickly - a sure sign of a winner.

To make this cake, you will need:

185g chopped butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup strong black coffee
 2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup Caramel Top'n'Fill

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 10cm x 20cm loaf pan.

Melt the butter and sugar together in a medium saucepan, then add the coffee and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the eggs and sour cream, then stir into the butter mixture alternately with the flour.

Pour half the cake batter into the prepared tin.  Swirl the caramel through the batter, then top with the remaining batter, and smooth the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, before removing from the oven and cooling in the tin for 5 minutes.  Unmould onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, combine 1 cup icing sugar and 10g butter in a heatproof bowl.  Stir through  just enough strong, hot black coffee to make a paste (~ 2-3 tablespoons).   Place over a saucepan of simmering water and heat gently until the mixture is spreadable.  Spread over the cooled cake and top with chopped nuts (they said almonds, I used walnuts).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

EwE - Pasta with Prawns, Peas, Herbs, and Feta

For Eating with Ellie this week, Margaret chose Orzo with Shrimp, Peas, Herbs, and Feta.  Orzo was a little too exotic for my supermarket so I just used up whatever pasta was in my cupboard - in this case, a little bit of wholemeal penne and some bowties.

I liked this pasta recipe with prawns, peas, lemon, and feta.  This one is a keeper.

To see what the others thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Coconut Grapefruit Bundt Cake

In the September edition of Taste magazine, there was a recipe for Ruby Grapefruit and Coconut Bundt Cake on p64.  I would not normally be taken by a recipe containing grapefruit, but on this occasion, I just happened to have most of a red grapefruit left over from something I had made for one of my cooking groups.  This cake seemed to be a fortuitous solution to the problem of what to do with the remaining grapefruit.

I did not make the elaborate caramel topping for this cake suggested in the magazine, and I thought it was delicious as is.

To make this cake, you will need:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar (I used panela sugar)
1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups spelt flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
270ml light coconut milk
1/3 cup strained red grapefruit juice

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 26cm bundt tin. 

In a stand mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, zest and vanilla until pale and creamy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a bowl, and sieve half of this mixture over the oil mixture.  Add half the coconut milk and juice, and mix the ingredients together.  Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture, coconut milk and juice.

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared bundt tin and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.  Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Cakes

One of the things I like about Taste magazine is its, "Wait, You Mean I can Eat That?" section.  It features "better for you" dessert recipes.

In the September 2015  edition of Taste magazine, the "Wait, You Mean I can Eat That" section featured a recipe for spiced pumpkin molasses cakes on p66.  I already had the ingredients (or I thought that I did!), so I couldn't resist making them.

The issue that I had is that the recipe calls for buckwheat flour.  What I thought was buckwheat flour in my pantry was in fact rye flour.  Oops.  I decided to forge ahead anyway, using the rye flour in place of buckwheat flour.

The end result justified my continuing on, regardless of not having the right flour.  These cakes were delicious - dense, yes, but moist and sweet, thanks to the pumpkin.  They were really good.

To make them according to the recipe in the magazine, you will need:

 700g pumpkin, deseeded
1/3 cup macadamia oil + 2 teaspoons (I used hazelnut oil)
175g buckwheat flour (I used rye flour)
80g panela sugar + 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup molasses (I used golden syrup)
2 eggs
150ml reduced fat milk
1 tablespoon pepitas

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line with baking paper.    Put the pumpkin on the tray, cut side up, drizzle with the extra 2 teaspoons of  oil, and  roast for one hour and 40 minutes.  Allow to cool, then scoop the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and process until smooth.

Grease 8 x 175ml mini loaf pans.

Combine the flour, sugar, almond meal, coconut, coconut flour, baking powder, ginger, cloves and 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon in a bowl, then make a well in the centre.

In a jug, whisk together the molasses, eggs, milk and pumpkin puree.  Pour the mixture into the well in the dry ingredients, and stir until well combined.

Divide the batter among the loaf pans.  In a small bowl, combine the pepitas, extra sugar and remaining cinnamon, then sprinkle over the top of the cakes.

Bake the cake sin the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.  Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before unmoulding  onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Serve as is or with butter or non-dairy spread.