Monday, 31 December 2012
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Each year when cherries come in season our Nonna buys them by the bucket load. Several times this past month we've gone over to find she's left a bag of cherries waiting for us on her kitchen sink. We're not just talking about a handful of cherries...no a giant overflowing bag, each and every time.
Heidi from 101 cookbooks has come up with a fabulous, must try, macaroon cherry tart recipe, which for several years has been an amazingly delicious solution to our cherry overload. There are so many reasons why we love this tart. For starters its easy and no fuss. The pastry doesn't have to be rolled out or chilled. That means less waiting around- YAY! When baked you're presented with the crunchy peaks of macaroon topping, the juicy cherries and the butterscotchy, chewy crust...need we say more.
We used a round 23cm pie tin which was perfect for the amount of pastry. We also added a drizzle of dark chocolate once the tart was baked. 4-6 squares of chocolate (20-30g) once melted is sufficient.
Friday, 21 December 2012
We thought that it would be a good idea to start a new family tradition this Christmas. We decided onmaking a gingerbread house. So though not a very original choice, it's sparkly, colourful and delicious, so why not?Admittedly we got off to a questionable start this year by deciding we were too lazy to make the gingerbread from scratch (I know shock horror considering this is a baking/cooking blog). Instead we bought one pre-made from the lovely place that is IKEA and went crazy with lollies and icing.
Will you be starting any new holiday traditions this year?
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Lemon layer cake for mum's birthday. Easy, delicious and not too sweet, just the way she likes it. The lemon flavour wasn't as strong as I had anticipated, so I recommend adding more lemon rind to the cake if your after a stronger lemony hit. This cake tastes best the next day, served at room temperature. The iced cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Lemon Layer Cake
Lemon butter cake recipe by Margaret Fulton in Margaret Fulton Baking which can be purchased here.
Lemon icing recipe by Julie Goodwin as seen in Our Family Table which can be purchased here.
Lemon butter cake
160g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 2/3 cups (250g) self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup of milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 if you have a fan-forced oven.
Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar with the rind until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs beating well after each.
Add the lemon juice and beat until it is just mixed in. Don't worry if the mixture appears curdled.
Sift the flour and salt and fold into the creamed mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Take care not to over beat the mixture.
Add a little more milk if necessary so that the mixture drops easily from the spoon.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and gently smooth the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
Lemon butter icing
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (300g) icing sugar mixture
11/2 Tbs lemon juice
Using electric beaters, beat the butter until light and creamy.
Gradually add the icing sugar, beating constantly.
Add half the lemon juice and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining lemon juice a little at a time until you achieve a spreadable consistency.
When the butter cakes have cooled to room temperature the cakes are ready to be iced. assembled and decorated.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Yes, this is another chocolate and banana recipe! Bear with me here though, because I guarantee you won't regret making these bananalicious babies! Unlike our previous banana and chocolate post, this one is a lot sweeter, it really makes your sweet tooth - or if you're like me: sweet teeth - ecstatic.
My father should be awarded a prize in the category I just made up in my head called 'Person who buys ALL the bananas when they're on special at Woolworths' category. It is literally impossible for us to eat all the bananas he buys before they go bad and go all oozy and sugar-spotted and blech. Bad for my brothers' school lunches but perfect for my 'let's get rid of these festering things in the fruit bowl and turn them into cake' recipes. When I created this recipe on the spot while trying to get rid of the gross bananas, it was originally a loaf cake. I made it a few times as a loaf cake but it became really obvious that the cake was WAY too moist and crumbly to slice, so while I was trying to cut it it turned into a pile of crumbs and squish. A delicious pile of crumbs and squish though, to be more accurate. Just for convenience I decided that to avoid destroying nice things in the future, I'd make them into muffins instead.
Banana and Chocolate Muffins:100g of caster sugar
150g of butter, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup self-raising flour
3 brown bananas, well-mashed
100g of chopped good-quality dark cooking chocolate
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Mix butter and caster sugar on high speed until light, pale and fluffy. Add vanilla essence.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add a little of the milk, alternating adding flour to the mixture, until you achieve a light and fluffy batter, similar to the consistency of the mixture in the first photo in this post.
Add the mashed banana to the cake mixture, folding it in well with a spatula. Don't use the electric mixer for this or you'll over-work the flour.
Add the roughly chopped chocolate and mix through.
Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
And that's it! Next time you forget about including fruit in your diet because you've been baking too much, just chuck the gross bananas into a cake! Fruit and cake - here at Smorish, we aim to keep your diet balanced.