Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TWD - Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake

For Tuesday with Dorie (Baking Chez Moi) this week, our recipe is Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake.

This cake was simple to make, amd took just over an hour, including preparation.  My baking time was more like 40 minutes than the 20 minutes stated by Dorie. I started making the cake batter while the rhubarb was stewing in its juices so that I could streamline the process (as you do when you start baking at 9pm).

The resulting cake was beautiful, light and moist with a caramel flavour from the brown sugar, and the tangy rhubarb topping worked a treat as a contrast to the sponge.  I used raspberry jam as a glaze and that worked fine too.

To see what the other TWD bakers thought of this cake, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Totally Unicorn Beetroot Cake for 8th Blogiversary

Wow, I can hardly believe it - I have been blogging in this space for 8 years today.  My blog started with modest aspirations - I just wanted to chronicle what I cooked.  I had been a "lurker" for a couple of years beforehand after discovering food blogs through a newspaper article on cupcakes.  The first blogs that I read were Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit and 52 Cupcakes by the Cupcake Queen.It all grew from there.

After I while, I figured that there was no reason why I couldn't start my own blog.  The beginnings of this blog were humble, and it still is - I keep it because I enjoy chronicling my food adventures, and since joining various cooking groups online, it has also become a social activity for me.

To celebrate the 8th birthday of this blog, I have made Poh Ling Yeow's Totally Unicorn Beetroot Cake which I saw on her charming show, Poh &Co:

What is not to love about this cake - chocolate, beetroot, cream cheese, cream and more chocolate:

My cake batter probably wasn't quite right as it was so thick, I pressed it into the pan rather than poured it, but no matter - the cake seemed to turn out alright in the end, and any dryness was more than compensated for by the cream cheese filling and ganache.
Poh's ganache recipe worked out really well - you could apply it straight away without it running all over the place.
In case you wondering about the name of this cake, it comes from the  name of a heavy metal band in which Poh's brother-in-law, Mikey, is the drummer - Poh makes this cake for the band whenever they stay with her.  
If you fancy a chocolate cake with a difference, then the Totally Unicorn Beetroot Cake is definitely worth a go.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Plum Jam

I recently made some plum jam using yellow plums.

To make jam, the general rule is one part fruit to one part sugar.  In this case, I also added the juice of a lemon to up the pectin content (which helps the jam to set).  I removed the plum stones but left the skins on to give some texture to the jam.

Once you have your fruit, sugar and lemon juice (if using) in a saucepan, you bring it all to a rolling boil and continue to boil until it thickens sufficiently that when you place a drop of it on a plate that has been in the freezer and run your finger through it, it wrinkles and a gap remains where your finger had been.  If the jam runs back into the gap and doesn't wrinkle, it is not ready yet, so you have to keep boiling it.

Once the jam is ready, pour it into jars that have been sterilised (by placing in the oven for 1 minutes or by boiling in a pot of water) and seal.

Making a jam is a great way to use up surplus fruit, or to preserve a slice of summer for the winter months ahead.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Coconut Cream Cake

I hate wasting ingredients, and I find that Google is my friend when I am looking for ways to use up odds and ends of perishable ingredients.

Recently, I found myself with the best part of a can of coconut cream to use up.  Turning to trusty Google, I found this recipe for coconut cream cake by Anne Thornton.

It is quite a decadent cake, being a double decker glory, so instead of coating the whole cake in icing, as suggested by Anne, I just filled the middle of the cake and iced the top with the cream cheese frosting:

This cake is beautifully moist and very coconutty in flavour.  I would definitely make it again.

Friday, May 22, 2015

FFWD - Last recipe - Chicken in a Pot – the Garlic and Lemon Version

Well folks, it's been a wild ride, but here we are - the last one.  We are up to the very last recipe in Around My French Table - Chicken in a Pot - the Garlic and Lemon Version.  This is the cover recipe, so it is fitting that it is the last recipe that we make. The recipe has been posted online here.

You can see pretty easily from the photos what comprises Chicken in a Pot - roast chicken and vegetables with broth steamed in a pot in the oven, with a basic dough used to seal in the steam.  The vegetables are the classic combination of carrots, onions and celery, with sweet potatoes and whole garlic cloves thrown in for luck.  The broth is comprised of chicken stock, white wine and herbs.

The dish is served with bread on the side - for soaking up the broth, of course!!! 

There is nothing not to like here - who doesn't like roast chicken?  It was an easy to dish to make - not much chopping, and the chicken and vegetables being browned before going into the oven to give them some colour and flavour.

For the last time on our almost five year journey, go visit the LYL section of the FFWD website to see what the other Doristas thought of Dorie's Chicken in a Pot – the Garlic and Lemon Version.

However, don't despair - we are partying on for another four weeks to reminisce about the highlights of our Around My French Table odyssey.  Join us for the fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

EwE - Shrimp Creole

It was my turn to pick for Eating with Ellie this week, and I chose Shrimp Creole.

I went seriously off piste with this recipe.  I found I had no onions, so I used leek.  I bought a yellow, not a green, capsicum.  I used Cajun seasoning as Creole seasoning is not a thing here, and Cajun sounded pretty close.  I also used frozen spinach instead of fresh baby spinach, as I used up all the baby spinach on something else, not realising that I needed it for this.

I really enjoyed this dish.  It had a bit of zing, with the Cajun seasoning and tabasco sauce, and tasted really good.  This is definitely one I'd make again.

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WWDH - Hot Potato Mustard Dressing

For Wednesday with Donna Hay this week, Kayte chose Hot Potato Mustard Dressing from p143 of Off the Shelf.  This involves boiling kipfler potatoes, and while they are still hot, tossing them with a mustard based dressing (ingredients here).  I don't like red onions, so I swapped them for shallots.  The dressing was very tasty.

As suggested by Donna, I served my potatoes with some pan fried salmon.

To see what the other Donna cooks thought of Hot Potato Mustard Dressing, visit the LYL section of the WWDH website.