Moist Butter Cake

I decided to bake something simple but satisfying today. After multiple projects of intensive decorating and fiddling, it was time to return back to the basics – a moist butter cake.Butter Cake

The recipe is basic and simple enough – as follows:

250g butter
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
250 self raising flour
60ml milk

1. Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add eggs in one at a time as well as vanilla.
2. Fold in flour with milk.
3. Pour into a 8″ square cake tin lined with greaseproof paper and bake at 160 Celcius (fan forced) for around 45 minutes or until when skewer is inserted, it comes out clean.

I had it with a cup of French Earl Grey tea (my favourite) and it did not disappoint. Not one bit.

Maple Walnut Macarons

Are people sick of my macarons? Maybe. But I am most certainly not! Decided that I’d make some maple walnut macarons to celebrate autumn here in Australia.

 

I was particularly pleased with the results of these macarons mainly because of the coloring – I sprayed it with some orange food spray that resulted in an ombre effect. Loved it!

Recipe for filling as follows:

50g butter
30ml maple syrup
20g chopped walnuts

  1. Cream butter and maple syrup together until well combined and light in colour. Add chopped walnuts and pipe into macaron shells.

Plunkett & Fowles, Avenel

I headed to the country for the ANZAC Day holiday and on the way up we stopped at the Plunkett & Fowles Winery. Decided to have lunch there as well and here’s what we got:

I ordered the wine flight, which was essentially 4 glasses of wine with 4 tastes of different things. Have I ever mentioned that I get drunk on half a drink? My friend had to assist me with the disposal of those wines and towards the end of the meal I was tipsy. No matter – it was worth it. The terrine (second from left, top right picture) was a disappointment however. Steak was delicious and my friend’s kangaroo met the expectations.

It’s a nice winery to stop at if you’re in a hurry and can’t be bothered driving off the Hume in search for other destinations. Definitely worth a visit.

Rockmelon Sago Dessert

One of my favorite chinese desserts is rockmelon sago. Fresh rockmelon is pureed and is combined with a sugar syrup, sago and coconut milk. The combination is served chilled and I just can’t get enough of it!

Had some extra sago hanging around in the house (you will notice that I tend to come up with recipe ideas based on what’s leftover in my pantry) and decided to go for it.

 

Recipe from here.

Apple Cinnamon Macarons

I headed out to Country Victoria for a couple of days over the ANZAC Day holiday. Bright was lovely as usual – bathed with its beautiful autumn leaves. I decided to bring some home as well as some wild apples that were growing on some of the trees. Kudos to my friend who went down to the riverbank to retrieve the biggest and prettiest one.

I decided to make some apple cinnamon macarons to match the palette. Recipe for filling below:

1 small apple, skinned and cubed (I chose Pink lady, you can choose whichever)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp water

Pot all ingredients in a pot and leave to stew for about 10-15 minutes or until soft. Puree in blender and use to fill macarons.

Kaya Macarons

One of my favourite childhood sandwich spreads was kaya – a spread very similar in flavour to salted caramel, except coconut-y in flavour. I decided to make some kaya macarons because I had some coconut cream available.

I made these with the French method with the oven just a bit too hot – the tops browned a little. Other than that though everything turned out the way I wanted it to. I decorated the shells with some dessicated coconut.

You can get the kaya recipe here. For the kaya buttercream, recipe is below:

50g butter, softened
50g kaya

Cream butter and add kaya until incorporated. Pipe into macaron shells.

Salted Nutella Mousse

I wanted to make something simple and sweet today and settled for some Nutella mousse. 3 ingredients – how much simpler can a recipe get?

Recipe below:

40g nutella
40g cream
Finishing salt, for garnishing

  1. Whip cream into soft peaks.
  2. Add nutella to the mix and continue whipping until firm peaks are achieved.
  3. Scoop or pipe into glasses.
  4. Sprinkle some salt of choice on top.

I decorated mine with a hazelnut and some black lava salt (the latest addition to my salt collection). The flakes were nice and big and I think the contrast is lovely. I love adding salt to my desserts these days – I feel it brings out the subtle flavours and cuts through the excessive sweetness.

Coffee Macarons

I decided to try to make some coffee macarons as the flavour of the week. Where does one acquire coffee beans? I wasn’t up for buying an entire bag of beans just so I could use a few so my options were limited – beg, borrow or steal. I requested for some from a barista at a cafe that I had brunch at and he was nice enough to give me some. I was very pleased.

I made these with the French method and to be honest I think I’m just better off using the Italian method from now on – the shells were slightly uneven and the texture was a little cake-y. They tasted delicious though – rich coffee buttercream with a very intense burst of coffee from the bean.

Recipe for super easy buttercream below:

50g butter
20g caster sugar
half a pack of instant coffee

  1. Cream all ingredients together and pipe into shells.

 

Cornflake Cookies

I have a few busy days ahead of me and I’ve been busy in the kitchen baking things for little gifts to various people in my life. Decided to continue working away on my cornflake stash (about 1/3 of the box to go! Getting there!) and make some cornflake cookies.

These cookies remind me of my childhood in Malaysia where this was one of the staples during Chinese New Year celebrations. I still remember rolling these cookies and packing them into little plastic jars to give away during that festive season.

Recipe as follows:

100g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
150g plain flour
15g corn flour
cornflakes, crushed

  1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan forced)
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until incorporated.
  3. Add the plain flour and corn flour in and mix by hand. Drop teaspoonfuls of the batter into crushed cornflakes and cover.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

To be honest, I found this recipe to be a little bland, although texturally wonderful – crunchy and light. I would suggest adding in some crushed nuts for a second dimension of flavour.

Chocolate Truffles

I am not the best with guessing ingredient quantities so after I made a batch of chocolate ganache cupcakes I was left with half a bowl full of ganache. When life gives you leftover ganache, make chocolate truffles.

 

You could of course make the ganache specially for truffles. Recipe below:

200g chocolate
100ml cream
3 tbsp cocoa

Bring cream almost to a bowl in a saucepan. Take off heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Leave to cool at room temperature until ganache is firm enough to roll. Shape into balls of desired size and roll in cocoa.