Monday, 29 October 2012

Tzatziki

Posted by Kim Fong On 1:41 pm



How good is Turkish food! Following the hummus from before, we decided to give it ago and try recreate another of our favourite dips at home. Here is Tzatziki -  a very simple, quick and easy cucumber dip and great served on pita or Turkish bread, and or with grilled meats. 

I based this recipe from Donna Hay's online recipe with a few additions. You can adjust the ratios according to your taste. So the tip is to try as you go. I've tagged this post as “sugar free” as you can substitute honey with about 2 to 3g of Stevia. But the sweetness does balance out the flavour in this dish.

Ingredients
2 cups thick Greek natural yoghurt
1 Lebanese cucumber, grated
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed/grated
1/2 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 lemon/lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and cracked pepper

Other optional flavours
Dill
Parsley
Cumin
Coriander

Method
Place the yoghurt, cucumber, mint, garlic, honey, oil, juice, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir to combine. Serve.
Yep that simple! Enjoy!







Thursday, 25 October 2012

Raspberry & Almond Upside Down Cake

Posted by Kim Fong On 6:08 pm

cake4

Yep, another birthday cake. This blog has been a birthday cake library for the past months' posts. This cake is for my dearest Mum! Mum is the main reason I love baking. She was my first teacher in many ways, but especially in the kitchen. Before I could even see over the kitchen bench, Mum has allowed me to help her out, with mixing, sifting, cracking eggs, licking the beater and more. While doing so, she's taught me so much about cooking and baking. She is my "phone a friend" when I have a kitchen "situation". She is also my second biggest critic (Dad’s my first!).
mum&sienna
Like me, Mum loves being inspired by recipes in magazines and on product packaging. Must be where I got it from. This recipe is adapted from Donna Hay Magazine issue #65 – page 14 of the bonus section – Best of baking classic cakes. When I first saw the picture of this cake in the magazine, I could not stop drooling! I showed Mum and she was happy for me to try this out for her birthday cake. I made a few significant changes to this recipe, below is my version. This cake is not too sweet, fruity and nice & moist.





Ingredients
Raspberry layer
500g frozen raspberries – defrosted
1/4 cup caster sugar

Cake layer
290g butter – softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 tspn grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1 vanilla bean – split and seeds scraped
3 eggs
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn bicarb soda
1 1/2 cups (180g) almond meal
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease and line 24cm round tin.
Insure you use a regular, non-springform cake tin. As the base can leak.

2. Layer raspberries over the base of the prepared tin. Sprinkle 1/4 cup caster sugar all over raspberries and set aside.
raspberry

3. With an electric mixer, in a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla seeds until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add almond meal.

5. On low speed, slowly add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture. Mix until just combined.

6. Spoon mixture over prepared raspberries and smooth the top with a palette knife (or the back of a spoon).

7. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool to room temperature for a couple of hours or until just warm. Invert cake onto serving plate and carefully remove the tin (and stuck on baking paper) to serve.

The original recipe says to cover with foil after 45 minutes and bake for a further 40 to 45 minutes. After testing it at 45 minutes, I found it was pretty much cooked. If this doesn’t happen to you, I suggest following the original recipe but check regularly (every 5 or 10 minutes).


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I used a heart shaped cake tin


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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Raspberry Sugar Free Crepe Cake

Posted by Kim Fong On 12:34 pm

cake3

Birthday cake time! This time it's for my wonderful friend Anna. She recently quit sugar. Yes – crazy but I’m so proud of her for doing so. But you can't not eat cake for your birthday! Right? So I bring you sugarfree crepe cake. This was loved by all who ate it. 

Admittedly it does have Stevia, but only a little bit. This recipe, you'll need to taste as you go to get the right level of “sweetness” and flavour.  I’m sure you could add other flavours – including bananas, cocoa, cherries, coconut, cinnamon. I know Anna loves her berries, I stuck with raspberries.

I adapted this recipe from mainly two blogs: 1. Cream Puffs in Venice 2. I Breathe… I’m Hungry. Unlike Cream Puffs in Venice, I didn't really refrigerate the batter overnight – only briefly (2 hours). But you're better off refrigerating overnight for smoother batter. However I was a little disorganised and short on time. Woops!

As you make these, you can either make all the crepes them build the cake or build as you go. If you decide the latter – ensure the crepe is cooled before layering the cream.

Ingredients
Crepe
85g butter
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
10 x 3g stevia sachets
1/2 tspn vegetable oil for frying


Cream
200g raspberries, frozen
6 to 10 x 3g stevia sachets
1/2 tspn raspberry essence (optional)
1 tbpsn butter
250g cream cheese
300ml double cream
1 tspn vanilla essence

3/4 cup almond meal

Method
Crepe
1. For the batter, melt and brown the butter in a small pan until brown like hazelnuts. It will boil rapidly to get to this stage. Set aside.

2. In another small pan, heat the milk until steaming; allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

3. In a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the eggs, flour and stevia. While mixer is still going on low speed – slowly add the hot milk and browned butter. Mix until just combined.

4. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight (or a couple of hours if you're short on time like me).

5. To make the crepes, bring the batter to room temperature. Place a nonstick 9-inch crepe pan (or ordinary fry pan is fine) over medium heat. Swab the surface very lightly with the oil. Using a laddle, add batter and swirl to cover the surface. Approximately 1/3 of a cup.

6. Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully lift an edge and flip the crepe. Cook on the other side until golden. Flip crepe onto a cooling rack, trivet or clean tea towel lined plate until cooled, then stack on another plate. Repeat from step #5 with remaining batter. This should make approximately 20 crepes. 

Note: As mentioned earlier, you can either make all the crepes then build the cake or build as you go. If you decide the latter – ensure the crepe is cooled before spread the cream.

Cream
1. In a small saucepan, under medium heat gently bring to boil raspberries, raspberry essence and ~3 stevia sachets. Strain mixture through a sieve. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and cream in a mixing bowl and mix on medium-low speed until creamy. Ensure not to over mix. Mix in strained raspberry syrup.

3. Add stevia a sachet at a time and gently mix in on low speed to ensure not to over beat and splitting the cream cheese. Add enough to desired taste.

Assembling cake
1. Place a crepe on a serving plate. Spread about a heaped tablespoon of cream over crepe to cover surface. Sprinkle with almond meal. Place next crepe on top and repeat for remaining crepe layers. Ensure to finish with your best looking crepe.

2. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight until ready to serve.
Tip: I used a springform cake tin to refrigerate to give the vessel some rigidity.

3. Serve on its own, some whipped cream, berry coulis or fresh fruit.

cake1

cake2

cake3

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Friday, 12 October 2012

Really Moist Banana Bread

Posted by Kim Fong On 7:37 pm


You can call this banana bread but its so moist you would call it banana cake.

This is an ol' fav from my Mum's repertoire. She’s given me a long way and a quick way. Why you would do the long way I don't know. The outcome is always the same – yummy yummy 'naana bread in my belly! This recipe below is the quick way. You don't need an electric mixer.

Quick tip: really really old bananas are perfect for this. If you don’t buy many bananas, its fine to put the odd one in the freezer until you have enough for the recipe.

Ingredients
125g butter (you can also use oil)
1/2 cup sugar (raw or white)
5 to 6 large bananas, mashed (about 600g or 1 to 2 cups of mashed bananas) – Mum always said you can never have too many bananas.
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tpsn cinnamon powder
1 tspn vanilla essence
2 large eggs (or 3 small ones), lightly beaten
1/2 tspn baking soda
2 Tblspn milk (cold is okay)

Method

whole31. Preheat oven to 160 to 170C. Prepare a loaf tin by greasing side and base and line the base with baking paper.

Tip: Sometimes I use the paper from the butter packet.

2. Melt butter in a large bowl. Add sugar while butter is still hot. Stir to dissolve sugar.

3. Add mashed bananas and vanilla. Mix with whisk.

4. Add eggs and continue to whisk.

5. Stir in sifted flour and cinnamon powder, and almond meal until just combined.

6. In a separate vessel, dissolve baking soda in milk. Then add to the remaining mixture. Stir until mixed in.

7. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 to 45 minutes or until cooked. Test by inserting a skewer/toothpick in the middle and it should come out clean. The sides should come away from the pan slightly. If the cake starts cracking on the top, turn the oven down slightly.

8. When cooked, remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes, invert and turn cake out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool. Serve warm or cold. Keep in airtight container for a few days or fridge for longer – if it lasts that long.




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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Key Lime Cupcakes

Posted by Kim Fong On 11:00 pm


Cupcake day again! For those who aren't aware of what cupcake day is, it's a fundraiser for the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). For me its another excuse to bake. Here are a couple of snaps I took of the different cupcakes on sale.



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My parents had a surplus of limes from the garden's tree. Which made picking what flavour easy! Key Lime! Most Key lime recipes call for "key limes". A breed of limes commercially grown in the Florida Keys. I just used ordinary limes. What makes this "key lime" though, is the combination with sweetened condense milk and coconut that is signature to "Key Lime Pie". I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found from the Food Network.

The frosting I adapted from my trusted ol' white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Recipe here.

Ingredients
For the cupcakes
175g butter, room temperature
3/4 cups caster sugar
zest of 2 limes
2 eggs at room temperature
3 tbpsn lime juice
1 1/2 tspns pure vanilla extract
1/2 tspn coconut essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut (can reduce or add, depending on batter's moisture level)
3 tbpsn sweetened condense milk

For frosting
250g cream cheese, room temperature
125g butter, room temperature
100g white chocolate
1 tspn vanilla extract
Juice from 1 lime, (less or more depending how lime-y you want it to be)
2 cups icing sugar, sifted (less or more depending how sweet you want it to be)

For garnish
3 tspn shredded coconut (heaped)
1/2 tpsn green food colouring (yellow and blue)

Method
For cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 160C.
2. In a large bowl and mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape down bowl after each addition. Add vanilla, coconut essence and lime zest and juice. Mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda.
4. Alternating mix until just combined: a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then half the buttermilk, then another third of the flour mixture, then the rest of the buttermilk, then finish off with the remaining third of the flour mixture.
5. Fold in condense milk and shredded coconut.
6. Line a muffin pan with patty pan (paper lining). Fill each cavity almost to the top with batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Remove cupcakes from oven, sit for about 5 minutes in the pan then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack.


Garnish
1. Place coconut in a cup, add colouring and mix with a teaspoon until consistent colour.

For frosting
1. Melt white chocolate and allow to cool. Read my chocolate melting tips.
2. Using a mixer beat together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla, white chocolate and lime juice. Mix well. Mix in icing sugar in batches. Taste as you go to ensure you got the right sweetness.
3. Frosting cupcakes and garnish with coloured coconut.




 
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