Default

GenevieveF

Home-Made Trifle

I said there would be trifle, and there was trifle!

12

Something about this dessert reminds me of the “good old days”.  Though really, these are the good old days aren’t they?  What a wonderful thought!

I think it’s because this dessert is kind of old fashioned, and it’s been around for generations.  Another wonderful thought!

15

That is a big part of the beauty of food, and baking / dessert making in particular for me.  The tradition, the legacy, and of course, the beautiful memories invoked, and the new memories made and shared.  Food has a way of taking us to places we had forgotten about, dreamt of, fantasized about, loved, laughed at, cried at, and places we are yet to see and feel and hear and touch.   It’s so much more than a bite, it’s a journey!

9

And this is the perfect dessert to form part of that journey, that shared moment, that memory, that legacy.  Because like life, Trifle is layered, it’s bitter, and sweet, and no bite tastes like the last.  And, you can give it your own twist, it’s really up to you how you choose to make it your own!

16

I made this trifle this weekend for the man in my life, who flew halfway around the world for business and got home exhausted, and who deserves every bit of life’s sweetness.  The whole family gathered Sunday evening in the kitchen to chat over tea and trifle, and it was exactly that, a moment in time that we got to share together, safe, healthy and happy, and one that will always be remembered for me personally, when I make this trifle for us to share, again and again.

And by the way, we all enjoyed it the following day too, because this really is the dessert that keeps on giving.

8

Home-Made Trifle

Components:

  • Home-Made Vanilla Cake (recipe below)
  • Home-Made Custard (recipe below)
  • 3 cups of Berries (Store bought) I used fresh cherries, strawberries, and a tin of pitted cherries
  • 4 T Strawberry Jam (Store bought) to coat the berries and soak overnight
  • 1 cup heavy cream (Store bought)
  • 2 cups fresh Cream (store bought)

Cake Ingredients:

(makes 2 round 8” cakes)

2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour

2t baking powder

½t salt

¾ cup salted butter (softened)

1 cup granulated (caster) sugar

4 egg whites

2T vanilla extract

2T vanilla essence

1 cup full cream yoghurt

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, grease the sides of the cake tins and line the bottoms with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter for about 3 minutes. Then add the sugar in small amounts whilst mixing on a low speed, and once all is added, beat on a high speed for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. Whilst the butter and sugar is mixing, in a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk to mix well.
  4. Once the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, beat the egg whites by hand for a couple of minutes until foamy, then add to the butter mixture and combine on a medium speed for about one minute, scraping down the sides to ensure the mixture is incorporated and smooth.
  5. Add the vanilla to the butter mixture and mix again to incorporate.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Alternate adding the flour and yoghurt to the butter mixture in 3 parts, cutting and folding the ingredients together with a spatula after each addition.  This method should ensure fluffier cakes, so you don’t want to overmix the batter.  Just ensure the ingredients are incorporated through the folding.  Alternatively, if you prefer you can use your mixer and add the flour and yoghurt in 3 parts, mixing after each addition.
  7. Evenly distribute the batter into the cake tins, and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the tops are looking golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow them to cool for about 20 minutes in the tins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. If you are making them the day prior to building the trifle, once cooled, wrap them tightly in cling film and place them in an airtight container.

Custard Ingredients:

2 ½ cups full cream milk

2 ½ cups cream

2T vanilla paste (optional)

2T vanilla essence (optional)

8 egg yolks

1 ¾ cups granulated (caster) sugar

2 ½ T cornflour (cornstarch)

Method:

  1. Place the milk, cream and vanilla into a pot over a medium heat, and just bring the ingredients to the boil.
  2. In a large bowl fitted to an electric mixer, combine the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour and whisk on a medium speed until pale and smooth – approximately 2 minutes.
  3. Once the milk mixture has been brought to the boil, pour it carefully and slowly into the egg mixture, whilst keeping the mixer on a low speed, and whisking continuously until all the hot mixture has been added. Then continue to whisk for 1 minute.
  4. Clean the pot used, or get a new one out and place over a low heat. Put the custard mixture into the pot, and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon (approximately 5 minutes, stove top, and pot dependent). Do Not Boil!
  5. Pass the custard through a sieve, then place in a container with cling film placed to touch the top of the custard surface to avoid a skin forming.
  6. Cool the custard in the fridge overnight, or for a couple of hours.

Assembling the Trifle:

**Note, I suggest baking the cakes day prior, coating the berries in jam and refrigerating overnight, and making the custard the day prior to assembling the trifle.

I also suggest assembling the trifle well in advance of serving to allow the cake to absorb the delicious berry juices and custard.  You can leave the piping of the whipped cream to just prior to serving.

  1. Cut large chunks of one of the vanilla sponges, and place at the bottom of your dish.
  2. Pour half the custard generously onto the cake.
  3. Pour half the berries, including the juice onto the custard.
  4. Pour or spoon the cup of heavy cream onto the berries.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 3.
  6. Whip the cream, and pipe generously onto the top of the trifle.

14

Until next time…

Whiskey Cocktails with Citrus and Lemongrass

It’s Friday, the weekend is upon us, I miss the Summer, let’s have a delicious cocktail.

3

Guys, whether you’re experiencing cold temperatures in the Winter months like us (not that we have a severe Winter in South Africa or anything – but humor me, I’m a coastal girl living inland), or you’re sunning yourselves in beautifully warm rays and basking in the glory of Summer days, these cocktails will certainly brighten your weekend!

1

I needed something that said “comforting and a little spicy, but also zesty and invigorating”.  That’s what you’ll get with this citrus, honey, lemongrass whiskey combo.  The flavors work really beautifully together, they are not too sweet, and they hit the spot!  Ideal and easy to make for a little weekend get together.

7

You could substitute the whiskey if you are not a fan, and use rum instead, that would be equally delicious.

4

Cheers to the weekend!

2

Whiskey Cocktails with Citrus and Lemongrass

Makes 6 to 8 short tumblers (pouring strength dependent)

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups freshly squeezed Orange Juice

½ cup freshly squeezed Lime Juice

2T Honey

1T dark brown sugar

4 Slices of Orange (and peels for decorating)

2 Slices of Lime

4T Water

1 Stick Lemongrass (and more for swizzle sticks)

Good Quality Whiskey

Soda Water

Ginger Ale

Method:

  1. Place the orange juice, lime juice, honey, sugar, orange and lime slices, and water into a pot over a medium heat.
  2. Break a stick of lemongrass into the mixture.
  3. Allow the liquid to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes in the pot.
  5. Once slightly cooled, pour the mixture through a sieve and into a bowl, and cool further in the fridge.
  6. When you are ready to pour the cocktails, put ice into glasses, pour the whiskey shots, followed by 1/3 cup of the citrus/lemon grass mix.
  7. Fill the balance of the glasses with half soda water and half ginger ale.
  8. Garnish with orange peel, and lemongrass (having cut the stems to release flavour).

6

Until next time…

Coconut Milk Cupcakes with Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting

Here, have a cupcake that tastes like a delicious, sweet, fluffy cloud floating on top of a little cake.

7

And then, have another one.

1

Aren’t they so pretty?  I made these cupcakes fresh today.  A little while ago, I baked a coconut cake for Kyle.  I used coconut milk in the cake batter, instead of using regular milk, or sour cream, or buttermilk.  The coconut milk gave the cake a really subtle coconut flavor, nothing overwhelming at all, in fact you may not even know unless I told you, but it’s light and sweet and so nice for a change.

But the real hero of these delights is the fluffy, puffy, airy marshmallow frosting.

3

It’s been a long time since I have made marshmallow frosting.  And I had forgotten just how delicious it is.  It took me completely by surprise.  I had just finished whipping it and removing the whisk attachment from my kitchen aid.  I took a moment to swipe a finger over the whisk and taste it, and I literally floated away on a marshmallow frosting cloud.  I know, it’s totally cheesy, but that is how I felt.  The texture is just so delightful, soft and glossy, smooth and sweet, but light at the same time.

My original plan was to toast the frosting with a blow torch, but that felt like a totally unnecessary move after tasting the frosting, and seeing them piped.  Sometimes, less really is more.

6

When I sat down to unwrap an individual cupcake, and make a short video of it for Instagram, my plan was to have one bite, two max, because I am trying hard to save my sugar rush for the weekend.  Well one bite and I was a goner.  The cupcake took over and I was at it’s mercy.  I usually have pretty good will power, but I stood no chance today, four bites…that’s all it took.  No regrets.

I highly recommend giving these little beauties a try sometime.  They are well worth the slightly stiff whisking arm (think of it as a way to work off the cupcake you’re about to eat)!

8

Coconut Milk Cupcakes with Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

3t baking powder

½t salt

1 ¼ cups salted butter (softened)

1 ¾ cups caster sugar (granulated)

6 large egg whites

1t vanilla paste

1 plus 1/3 cups coconut milk

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line cupcake trays with paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to mix well and set aside.
  3. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, beat the butter until light in colour (about 4 minutes).
  4. Add the sugar to the butter in small amounts, mixing well. Once all the sugar is added, beat on a high speed until the mixture turns pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  5. Crack your egg whites into a bowl, then add the vanilla paste to the egg whites, and whisk by hand until frothy (about 2 minutes).
  6. Add the egg white mixture to the butter mixture, and beat on a medium speed until incorporated and smooth. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the mixture.
  7. Alternate adding the flour and coconut milk to the butter mixture in three parts, mixing on a low speed after each addition. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are combined.  Do not overmix the batter.
  8. Scoop the mixture into the paper cups no more than 2/3 of the way full.
  9. Bake for approximately 15 minutes (ovens vary so watch when the top of the cupcakes begin to turn golden), testing the centre of a cupcake with a cake tester or toothpick to ensure it comes out clean.
  10. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:

8 egg whites

2 cups caster (granulated) sugar

½ t cream of tartar

1t vanilla extract

Marshmallows to decorate

Method:

*Tip – read through instructions first and prepare necessary equipment upfront

  1. Put a large pot on the stove and add some water to cover the bottom. Turn on the heat so the water begins to warm up.
  2. In a bowl that will sit comfortably on top of the pot of simmering water (it should not touch the water), add egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar, and whisk the mixture to combine.
  3. Once the water in the pot begins to simmer, place the bowl over it, and whisk the mixture continuously by hand, until the sugar dissolves over the heat (took me 5 minutes but time may vary).
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat continuing to whisk, and pour it into a bowl fitted to an electric mixer.
  5. Beat the frosting on a high speed for 5 minutes, until it thickens, and then add the vanilla before giving the frosting a final mix.
  6. Using a piping bag with nozzle attached, pipe two circles of frosting around the cupcakes, and fill the centre with marshmallows.
  7. If you want to toast the outside of the marshmallow frosting, use a blow torch moving lightly and quickly around the frosting.

2

Until next time…

Peanut Butter, Choc Chip & Banana Muffins

The opening line I had in mind for this post seemed inappropriate, so I deviated.

What?

Let’s talk muffins.  Can you get any better than the triple header of Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Banana?

1

Speaking of Muffins, I’ve been getting some questions lately on how I avoid “muffin topping” with all the baking I do, and the assumed eating of the delicious goods that come out of the oven.  So, if you’re remotely interested, I’ll tell you in brief, if not skip this paragraph and go to the recipe.

I love baking so much it hurts, and there is nothing better than seeing a perfectly risen cake, cupcake, muffin, etc. come out of the oven, and then once cooled, tasting it to ensure the texture and flavour is just right, to find it is, and then the excitement that builds around serving it to people.  Now sometimes of course it’s not that successful, so the tasting is imperative to recipe improvement.  But the real pleasure is seeing my loved one’s really enjoy something I have made, that’s what gets me everytime.  That is why I do this.  And, as often as I bake, we have a variety of willing testers and judges to distribute to.  So it’s less about me, and more about sharing the love and the joy, and getting constructive feedback.  I couldn’t compare eating something delicious I created, to experiencing someone else eat it instead.

So I’d rather save my last cupcake for a loved one or friend.

Aside from that approach, I do taste of course, and sometimes I indulge, but I train.  I believe in healthy body, healthy mind, so it’s really important to me to keep fit, and balance my love for food and sweets, with my love for exercise.  I run, I gym, swim and mountain bike (Q the eye-rolling) haha.

Back to these muffins.  Don’t they just look so comforting in all their golden deliciousness.

7

They say muffins are the cupcakes poor cousin, but I disagree.  I think that muffins can be even more glorious than a cupcake if created right.  And frosting is really not for everyone, so a warm, freshly baked muffin topped with some melted butter and even a bit of jam and or cheese is just heavenly.  And, muffins are cake disguised as breakfast – WIN!

The feedback I got on these, is that they were scrumptious.  I have to agree having eaten one myself.  The flavour combination with the giant chocolate chips is top.  They are best served warm, so you can reheat in the microwave, and smeared with butter.  The chunky chocolate chips then melt into the fluffy crumb, and served with a cup of coffee, it’s honestly a moment in time worth pausing to enjoy quietly.

5

Peanut Butter, Choc Chip & Banana Muffins

Makes 12 large muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2t baking powder

1t salt

1t cinnamon

3 whole eggs

4 medium bananas mashed

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup canola oil

¼ cup maple syrup

2t vanilla essence

4T chunky peanut butter (or smooth)

¼ cup whole milk

1 cup large chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, grease and flour dust muffin pans.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to mix before setting aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs.
  4. Put the mashed bananas into a large bowl, and whisk in the egg mixture until well combined.
  5. Add the sugar, oil and syrup to the banana mixture and whisk again to combine, followed by the vanilla and peanut butter.
  6. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the banana mixture, and add small amounts of milk in-between.
  7. Once the mixture is combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
  8. Pour the batter into the muffin tray 2/3 of the way full, and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm!

9

Until next time…

 

Chocolate Marquise, Hazelnut Praline & Orange Cake Dessert Glasses

Also known as “the dessert that will give cause to you making questionable sounds whilst eating it”….

Because it’s THAT GOOD!

4

And please, before I tell you the story behind it, don’t be put off by the four elements (one only being whipped cream people), thinking this is a mission, it’s honestly not time consuming or difficult to make given the result.

And what it will do, is make you a freekin rock star!!

1

Like many, I am an avid fan of Masterchef Australia.  And Gary is my favorite judge.  I think I like him the most because he has this gentle, yet very honest approach to the contestants, and to food, and he looks like he gives great hugs (that sounds weird when I read it back).  Anyway, a few years back, during a masterclass (which I only watch when they make desserts), Gary made a Chocolate Marquise, a rich chocolate mouse and fluffy chocolate sheet cake layered into a loaf pan and set. He sliced it and served it with poached plums and mascarpone cream. I mean, can you deal?  If you’re interested, you can find his full recipe here

From the moment I saw it, and how easy he made it look, I knew I had to try it.

And so I did, for a dinner party a few years back, minus the plums, and let me tell you it was magnificent!  So the other day, when I had some egg yolks left over, and felt inspired to construct something, I decided to use the “mousse” part of the recipe and do something interesting with it.  The result….

These

3

7

Now, if you want to make life easier on yourself, you could make the marquise from scratch, and buy a cake and some cashew or peanut brittle or similar, and layer it up using those two elements ready made, or, you can give yourself the work and have the satisfaction of making it all from scratch.  Either way, the marquise is the hero, and making it is hugely satisfying, AND it’s a truly delicious dessert!

5

What I can tell you, is that this recipe makes a lot of the marquise or mousse, but the good news is that whatever you don’t use, you can freeze, or eat, or you could use in a mousse cake, or mouse shots, or some other dessert idea you may have.  I personally find the mousse quite rich, and I even cut back on the cocoa powder in the recipe.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a rich chocolate mousse that actually tastes like real chocolate, but the feedback I got from T, R and K is that it’s light and smooth and not as intense as I suggest.  They all agreed the combination of orange, hazelnut, chocolate and cream worked a dream.

Decide for yourselves?  Because whilst I know you want to eat the screen, the real thing is so much better!

6

Chocolate Marquise, Hazelnut Praline and Orange Cake Dessert Glasses

Makes 10 Dessert Glasses (plus chocolate marquise left over)

Chocolate Marquise:  adapted from Gary’s Chocolate Marquise

100g dark chocolate chopped

50g milk chocolate chopped

240g egg yolks

1t vanilla paste

250g granulated (caster sugar)

100g honey

275g butter (softened)

150g cocoa powder

1t salt

500ml cream (whipped to soft peaks)

Method:

  1. In a bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk together  the egg yolks, sugar, honey, vanilla and chocolate, whisking constantly until smooth for approximately 5 minutes.  Once smooth, remove it from the heat so it begins to cool.
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter for about 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the coca powder and salt to the butter and mix to combine.
  4. Spoon the butter mixture in parts into the warm chocolate mixture and stir in until smooth.
  5. Add about 1/3 of the whipped cream and fold into the chocolate mixture.  Then add the remaining cream and fold in until incorporated.
  6. Line a loaf tin or a cake tin with plastic wrap, ensuring the sides hang over, and gently spoon the marquise into the pan.
  7. Cover the top so the plastic wrap sits gently touching the top of the marquise, and refrigerate for about 3 hours, or overnight.

Orange Sheet Cake:

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 t salt

1/2 t baking powder

3T salted butter (melted)

1/2 cup granulated (caster) sugar

1t vanilla essence

3 egg whites

zest of 1 orange

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup Amaretto

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to mix and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest.
  5. Alternate adding the flour and milk to the butter mixture, whisking to combine.  The mixture will be quite thick but don’t worry.
  6. Add the egg whites to the mixture in three parts, folding into the batter, at this point the mixture should soften.
  7. Spread the batter onto the baking tray so it covers the tray thinly, and bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool completely, and reserve the orange juice and amaretto for assembling the glasses.

Hazelnut Praline:

Ingredients:

1 cup Hazelnuts (skinless)

2 cups caster sugar

Method:

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and toast the hazelnuts in the oven (I put my oven onto grill and toast them quite quickly for about two minutes, turning a few times in-between until golden).
  2. Remove the tray from the oven, and place the hazelnuts onto another piece of baking paper on a cool surface.
  3. In a pot over a medium heat, place the sugar and leave it to caramelize.  Do not stir it.  However once the sugar begins the melt you can swirl it gently to avoid parts of it burning.
  4. Once the sugar is completely melted and a bronze like colour (careful not to burn it), remove it from the heat, and pour it over the hazelnuts on the baking paper.  You need to work fairly quickly as it will begin to set once it begins cooling.
  5. Once the sugar has set, break the praline into shards and keep enough aside for decorating.  Place the balance into a food processor and pulse until a crumb forms.

Assembly:

  1. Whip about 750ml of fresh cream until stiff enough for piping, and place into a piping bag with nozzle fitted.
  2. Cut the sheet cake into squares or rectangles, and layer the bottom of your glasses with it.
  3. Combine the orange juice and Amaretto in a cup, and spoon 2 Tablespoons into the dessert glasses for the cake to absorb.  (if you would like them stronger use extra)
  4. Sprinkle some (about a tablespoon) of the praline crumb into the glasses.
  5. Take the chocolate marquise from the fridge, and using two warm tablespoons, or a warm ice-cream scoop, form a ball or quenelle with the marquise, and place carefully into the glass.  If you have a blow torch, use it to give the marquise a nice glossy shine.
  6. Pipe the cream into the glass around the marquise, and then sprinkle more praline to decorate.
  7. Place a piece of the broken praline into the marquise.
  8. Serve and prepare yourself!

2

Until next time…

 

Chewy, Chocolate Cherry Cookies

I have never been great at equations, but I do know that C x 4 = Delicious!

1

As Roxy rightly pointed out, these cookies could also be called “Chocolate Cherry Brownie Cookies”, because they are so moist, gewy and delicious, and if you don’t over-bake them, they have a very “brownie / moist cake like” texture.

3

They are therefore, in summary, like a combination of cookie, cake and brownie, could life actually get any better?

7

If you prefer a more biscuit like texture (less chew and more crunch), bake them for a couple of minutes extra. Dammit I wish I had one of these right now!

6

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Makes approximately 24 large cookies

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup good quality cocoa powder

1t baking soda

1t salt

1 cup butter (melted)

1 cup dark brown (caramel) sugar

1 cup granulated (caster) sugar

2 large eggs

2t vanilla extract

¼ cup strong coffee (3T coffee in ¼ cup hot water)

1 cup fresh cherries (chopped)

1 cup milk chocolate chips (or roughly chopped chocolate)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, whisk to mix then set aside.
  3. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown and white sugar on a low speed until well combined (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs to the butter mixture and combine, followed by the vanilla and the coffee, and mix to incorporate.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, missing on a low speed, until a dough like mixture forms.
  6. Remove the bowl, and stir in the cherries and chocolate chips.
  7. Using two table spoons, form ball shapes with the dough, and place on the baking tray well apart to allow for baking expansion. Use your hands to smooth further into balls once on the trays.
  8. Bake the cookies for approximately 12 to 14 minutes, remove from the oven to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

8

Until next time…

Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

Strawberries are back on shelves, YES!

3

One of my favourite fruits had been out of sight for a while.  So it’s great to see it just in time for the approach of Wimbledon, my very best tournament in tennis, albeit one of two I actually watch throughout the year, (the other being the French Open).  I love the adverts for strawberries and cream in-between game breaks, where they show the plump red fruits being drenched in thick pouring cream, and they always inspire me to grab a bowl myself.

When I saw these luscious beauties I felt a wave of early Wimbledon inspiration come over me, hence the cupcakes.

9

I was privileged enough to visit an old school friend of mine late last year in the UK, who lives just down the road from the Wimbledon arena (hey Kris), so we took a stroll down there and had a mini-look around.  Of course we couldn’t see much as everything was closed up, but it was still exciting to just be outside the gates, and imagine how a-buzz it must be when the avid fans are queuing and watching from inside, and the surrounds.  It’s a very special place, and one day, hopefully, I’ll get to enter and watch a match.  Bucket-List!

For now, seat of our couch with my strawberries & cream will do nicely.

2

Onto these cupcakes, which are really not screaming winter in the Southern Hemisphere are they?  But really, do we have to be so heavily ruled by the seasons?  I say not!  Let’s keep things bright and cheerful, at least at intervals throughout the colder months.

These cupcakes are fruity, fresh, sweet, and delicious.  Having said that, my guy was not a huge fan of the generous amount of frosting, he said it was too much for him, however let me just temper the situation but telling all of you, that he is endearingly fussy and very honest, which I appreciate greatly, and we always agree we have different taste buds so we can’t all love the same bakes.  Interestingly, he still ate the whole thing…

Rox on the other hand just loved them, and the generosity in the way of the frosting, as did I, and we agreed it tasted like ice-cream.  She took them to work with her to share among colleagues and friends, and they didn’t last more than a few minutes.

7

The sponge is quite light, and hints at strawberry flavor, but is balanced with vanilla so doesn’t overwhelm.  If you bake them, you’ll get a hit of that sweet, strawberry smell wafting through the air.  It is truly delightful.  The frosting is of course cream cheese buttercream, a strawberry match made in heaven.  It is sweet, but it’s really delicious, and when I was making it, as hard as I tried not to because #waistline, I just had to go back for an extra taste.

These cupcakes are perfect for a sweet treat, gathering of the gals, birthday, celebration party, you get my drift.

5

Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

3t baking powder

1t salt

1 ¼ cups unsalted butter (softened)

1 ¾ cups granulated (caster) sugar

5 large egg whites

2T vanilla essence

300g strawberry yoghurt (full cram)

¼ cup full cream milk

2T good quality strawberry jam

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line cupcake trays with paper cups.
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter for approximately four minutes until pale.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to mix, then set aside.
  4. Once the butter is pale, add the sugar in small amounts while mixing on a low speed. Once all the sugar is added, whip the mixture for another four minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg whites to the butter mixture and mix on a medium speed for one minute, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another minute so they ingredients come together and look smooth.
  6. Add the vanilla and strawberry jam to the butter mixture and combine.
  7. Alternate adding the dry ingredients, yoghurt and milk in three parts, mixing after each addition on a low speed. Once incorporated, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again for a few seconds.  Do not over mix.
  8. Scoop the batter into the paper cups 2/3 of the way full, and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean (suggest testing about three cupcakes to be sure).
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes in the trays, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups unsalted butter (softened)

500g good quality cream cheese (slightly softened)

3 cups powdered sugar

¼ t salt

1t pink colouring

1t vanilla paste

Method:

  1. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth, then whip it for abut four minutes so it turns pale. Remove the butter from the bowl.
  2. Add the cream cheese to the mixing bowl, and mix until no lumps appear.
  3. Sift the powdered sugar and then add it to the cream cheese in small amounts, mixing after each addition.
  4. Once the sugar is incorporated into the cream cheese, add the butter back into the mixing bowl, and mix on a low speed.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the vanilla, salt, and food colouring (suggest adding slowly to achieve desired colour). Mix again until incorporated.
  6. Frost the cupcakes as desired, and add fresh strawberries just before serving.

**Note/Tip, as mentioned above,it is winter here at the moment, so given the colder than usual room temperature, my stainless steel mixing bowls are colder than usual too.  This means, if you are in a similar environment, there is a chance your buttercream or cream-cheese frosting could split whilst mixing (mine started to, I caught it early).  If you find it starting to look like it’s curdling or splitting, you can save it!  Grab a hair dryer, and whilst the mixer is on a low speed, simply apply heat to the outside of the bowl, moving the dryer around the outside, as it mixes.  This should give you a nice frosting that comes together with a glossy finish.  Alternatively, wrap a warm towel around the bowl whilst keeping it on a low speed.  The key is in the warmth.

6

Until next time…

Journey

Mavericks, certainty in course, thoughtfully graceful, deliberate and steadfast they forge ahead, the horizon beckoning through deafening whispers.

Night into day, day into night, opaque skies are their playground, dancing under stars.

A luminescent trail follows, and in it’s depths the faint imagery of dreams.

They hasten forward with exhilaration as the wind breaks firmly at their back, carrying with it into the distance echoed laughter and salted tears.  The sun on their face, stealing light from their bright eyes so it may warm the earth, they are beauty, they are the sun.

He leads her through waters that shift tirelessly beneath them, carrying in their depths an unpredictable fate, and not a drop spills up onto her thirsting flesh.

And when he is weary, she anchors him for a while, giving him rest, embracing without touch.  They pause for a moment, and together they remember.

This earth is a place for their souls to crash together against the rocks, erupting in a swell of ecstasy.  Such magnificent glory to have the waves carry them to wherever they wish to go.

Lemon Dream Layer Cake

When life hands you lemons, make this lemon dream layer cake!

1

I first made this dream cake a couple of years ago.  I had made a fresh batch of Martha Stewart’s lemon curd and decided to make a lemon layer cake, and use the delicious zesty sweet curd as filling, in combination with a creamy buttercream frosting.

The result was so cake-a-licious, I just had to replicate it again for the fam, and for my blog.  Just look at that shiny lemon curd gloss covering this moist, fluffy layer cake!

2

The cake itself is a vanilla sponge, one of my all-time favourite go-to recipes, with just a hint of lemon zest.  The lemon curd really is the hero, so the lighter cake and creamy buttercream are there to simply compliment it’s richness and texture.

3

A tip for making this cake, is to prepare the lemon curd the day prior and refrigerate it to set.  I also prepared the cake layers the day prior, and wrapped them in cling film.  I find that with layer cakes, it’s better to assemble and frost morning after baking them as they are firmer and easier to work with.  There is less risk of breaking them when assembling, and less crumbs when frosting.  You can however make the cakes fresh on the day of serving, but just ensure you give them a good few hours to cool and stiffen slightly.  My buttercream was made fresh just before piping.

Just another note, which you’ll see in the recipe below, is that making the cake layers and curd on the same day allows the benefit of using both the egg whites in the cake, and the yolks for the curd, fresh at the time of seperating.  I am all about maximizing ingredient use.

4

This cake is the ultimate for an event or get together, easy to make and sure to impress.  The family all loved it when they tucked in last evening and gave me such amazing feedback on how delicious it is.  I hope you give this one a try sometime, and let me know how it turns out!

5

Lemon Dream Layer Cake

Makes three 8″ round cakes

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

3t baking powder

½ t salt

1 ¼ cups salted butter (softened)

1 ½ cups granulated (caster) sugar

7 egg whites (keep yolks aside for lemon curd)

2t vanilla essence

2t vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup full cream yoghurt (plain)

¾ cup whole milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line the bottom of the cake tins with baking paper. Grease or spray the sides of the tins.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to mix and set aside.
  3. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and pale (approx. 3 minutes).
  4. Add the sugar in small amounts to the butter, mixing on a low speed. Once all the sugar is added, place the mixer on a high speed and beat for about 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  5. Separate eggs, and then add the vanilla to the egg whites.
  6. Using a fork, beat the egg white mixture until frothy (approx. 2 minutes), then add to the butter mixture and beat on a medium speed until combined. Ensure you scrape down the sides of the bowl at this point and mix well.
  7. Alternate adding the yoghurt, milk and dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 parts, mixing after each addition, but not over-beating.
  8. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated, add the lemon zest, and give a final quick mix.
  9. Scoop the batter into the cake tins and smooth out evenly using a spatula.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. If making the cakes in advance, once cooled, wrap them in cling film and place in a tupperware to keep fresh.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients:

Zest of 2 lemons

1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

8 egg yolks

1 ¼ cups granulated (caster) sugar

10 tablespoons salted butter

Method:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  2. Place the ingredients into a pot over a medium heat, and start whisking immediately.
  3. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, whisking until the butter melts, then adding the next tablespoon.
  4. Continue to whisk over a medium heat for approximately 8 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Continue to whisk whilst taking off the heat, and pour the mixture into a bowl.  (If you prefer the curd to NOT have the zest in it, strain it through a sieve first, I skip this because I like it with the zesty bits).  Once the curd is in the bowl, place cling film over the bowl, pressing it gently onto the top of the curd to form a “skin”.
  6. Refrigerate the curd for a couple of hours to set, or overnight.

Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups salted butter (softened)

¾ cup cream

2 cups powdered sugar

3t vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and pale for approximately 3 minutes.
  2. Sift the sugar and add to the butter in small amounts, along with small amounts of cream, whipping well after each addition.
  3. Finally add the vanilla and whip for a further minute.

Assembly of the Cake:

  1. Once the cake is completely cool and firm, slice the tops off the cakes (if domed) to allow for a flatter cake surface.
  2. Place the first layer onto a cake stand or plate.
  3. Using a piping bag and plain nozzle, pipe the buttercream in circles starting from the outside and working your way inwards. Using a palette knife, or back of a spoon, smooth the buttercream to form a flat surface.
  4. Using another piping bag and plain nozzle, pipe the lemon curd generously onto the buttercream layer, following the same format of circles from the outside in, then smoothing the curd.
  5. Repeat this with the next cake layer.
  6. Once assembled, smooth the curd up the sides of the cake, giving it that glossy external shine.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the cake with granulated (caster) sugar.

*Note – if you don’t have a piping bag and nozzle, you can use a spatula to frost, just ensure the buttercream is soft to smooth onto the cake so crumbs don’t stick.  If necessary, heat the buttercream in the microwave to soften for just a few seconds.  Be careful not to melt!

 

6

Until next time…

Hi, I’m Genevieve


This is where I create.

Learn more about me here
Subscribe