spice cake with lemon butter
food, home

Not Your Average Carrot Cake

I was racking my brains to find the location for a recipe for Carrot Cake I had saved somewhere. It has been sitting in my file notes for I think, several years.

Last week, I made it. The M.o.t.h. loves Carrot cakes as he figures as it is a vegetable, it is all healthy and he can have a larger helping! Although it doesn’t work like that, at least he is getting a bit more fibre in his diet!

The added bonus of cardamon gives it an aromatic hint of something more. Something a little Nordic.

Research online tells me that this recipe is adapted from the bakery of the iconic Rosendal trädgården (a horticultural garden in front of Rosendal Palace) in Stockholm.

city of stockholm across the water

I don’t ever ice my cakes, they are sweet enough, already – for me. And cake icing and a sub tropical climate doesn’t make a good marriage. It is melts everywhere and is so messy.

If you do want to ice the cake the cream cheese icing works really well and provides a slightly savoury and sweet combination, so popular in Scandinavian cuisine.

Carrot and Cardamon Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 225 ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 310 g caster sugar
  • 170 g grated carrot
  • 3 eggs
  • 240 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 40 g chopped walnuts

Icing

  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 180 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Cook’s notes (Source: sbs.com.au)

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC – (390º F) bit lower if using a fan-forced oven.

  • Beat the oil and sugar together in a large mixing bowl for 5 minutes, until light yellowish white.
  • Keep beating while you add the carrot and the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Mix for a few minutes
  • Stir in the walnuts with a spatula.
  • Using a greased 23 cm round cake tin or an 11 x 6 ” loaf pan, bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool in its tin for 10 minutes then turn out. If using the loaf pan, you might have enough over to make a smaller friand loaf as well – (around 5″x3″) – good to pop in the freezer if needed later.

To make the icing by beating together all the ingredients until smooth.

Recipe originally from The New Nordic by Simon Bajada

Linking to the Trent’s Weekly Smile and Curl’s and Skirls Tea Party

A Home by the Sea
fig
food, home

Forget the Banana Bread

Forget the Banana Bread, that is so yesterday! The new kid on the block at the Home by the Sea, is a breakfast Fig and Walnut Loaf.

Never having with Figs before, I was convinced to give it a go when my local cafe shut down. One of their signature breakfast dishes was a delicious Fig and Walnut Loaf. Not to be defeated, I decided to replicate this delight on my own.

The recipe was simple and straightforward, however I recommend exercising restraint with the quantity of figs. 250 grams of Figs constitutes a a whole packet and I only added half of that amount to this mix. That was more than enough and still leaves you with a very figgy loaf, which is fine, but I would suggest reducing the figs to 100 grams and adding a tad more walnuts.

But that is just my personal taste.

Suggested Variations

A nice variation would be to substitute a blend of Dried Apricots and Figs, or a mix of nuts. I suggest hazelnuts or pecans as well as walnuts.

I am sure you will absolutely love this dish for breakfast. As it takes 90 minutes to cook a deep loaf, I used two small loaf tins and a long 20 x 10 cm pan. The smaller pans were done in 30 minutes, whilst the larger took 75 minutes at the recommended temperature.

Fig and Walnut Loaf Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125 grams or 1/2 cup unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk or Kefir
  • 250 grams or 1 cup Dried Figs**
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups Wholemeal Spelt Flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • 1 cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dessicated Coconut

Method

  1. Grease and line a large Non-stick Loaf Tin
  2. Place butter and water in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  3. When butter is melted, add figs. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. 
  4. Transfer figs and butter mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Add buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, flour, baking powder and mixed spice to bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Add walnuts and coconut and stir one last time.
  7. Pour into prepared tin.
  8. Bake in 160c oven for 90 minutes.
  9. Slice and serve with butter, and Garnish with mint, strawberries and dusting of icing sugar.

Original recipe from newideafood.com.au

walnut cake
food, home

Walnut Streusel Cake

Finding an energy-dense food that is not only rich in fibre and omega-3 fats but also contains higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods and could improve brain health, sounds like a valuable addition to our diet. If we aren’t allergic, we can gain these benefits by adding walnuts to our diet.

Even though walnuts are rich in calories, studies indicate that they don’t increase obesity risk when replacing other foods in your diet… [and they] are the only nuts that contain significant amounts of Alpha Linoleic Acid or ALA. ALA is considered especially beneficial for heart health. It also helps reduce inflammation and improve the composition of blood fats.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514264

If you don’t like simply snacking on Walnuts, and there is only so much Waldorf Salad you can eat, incorporate walnuts in a sweet baked delight such as Streusel Cake.

Streusal Cake Recipes

  • 113g Butter
  • 198g Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 240g Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 227g Yogurt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

Streusel Mix Topping

  • 100g Sugar – I used a mix of brown and fine white sugar
  • 2tsp Cinnamon
  • Minimum of 1/2 cup of Walnuts, chopped

Prepare a 8 inch bundt pan or 9″x9″ pan and pre-heat oven to 350F – 175 C
Cream together room temperature butter with the sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Fold flour mixture into the creamed butter, alternating flour and yogurt until well mixed.
Spoon half of the batter into a prepared pan, sprinkle with half of the streusel and cover with remaining batter.

Sprinkle remaining streusel on top. *(I omitted this step)
Bake at 350F for 30 to 40 minutes or until cooked through.

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out.

Variations to the Recipe:

I am going to increase the ratio of brown sugar to white sugar in the streusel topping mix and put in a thin layer in the bundt pan first, before adding the cake batter. That way, the cake will turn out with a streusel topping insitu.

I used a mix of fermented kefir and vanilla yoghurt, and it worked fine, so I am pretty confident any yoghurt, or even sour cream, will work with this recipe.

Here is how my variation turned out. Simply Delicious.

For full enjoyment, break out a gourmet leaf tea to accompany like this Royal Ritz flavour from The Tea Centre.

Thanks to Sandy for her recipe which was originally sourced from King Arthur’s Flour.

Linking to a Virtualteaparty over at Su’s blog

food, home

Pumpkin Scones!

They’re healthy, contain a vegetable and decadent with jam and cream:

They are Pumpkin Scones.

For Americans, do you call them Pumpkin biscuits?

The following is not my usual recipe.

But it is a great way to gain some of the benefits of eating pumpkin, particularly if you don’t like it or have children who dislike it.

Pumpkin is a great source of potassium and beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid that converts to vitamin A. It also contains some minerals including calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins E, C and some B vitamins.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-pumpkin

The following recipe comes from a controversial figure – a wife of a highly conservative politician, known for Electoral Gerrymander, who became a conservative Federal Senator herself, Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen. The recipe is good, but I do prefer my recipe for Pumpkin Scones.

She could make a good pumpkin scone apparently, but the higher oven temperature on the following recipe, is way too high and will result in burnt scones. I would err on the lower recommended temperture rather than the highest.

Tip: I also pat a little milk on the top of each scone so that they brown up nicely. There is nothing worse than a pallid scone – it looks uncooked.

Here is a link to my usual scone/biscuit recipe:

Pumpkin Scones

Multiple Scone Recipes

Something nice for morning tea whilst we are cooped up.

Eat sign
building, food, home

Ju-Lyn’s Orange and Blueberry Cake

Firstly, this is not a post about Corona, so if you want something a little juicier, you might check out some recent posts on StPA.

Ju-Lyn’s wonderful Orange and Blueberry Cake


Truthfully though, I have to admit that I was tempted to call this Corona cake, not just because I cooked it for the first time, in these panic-ridden days, when the Corona virus is causing havoc around the world, but primarily because of the stunning way my blogger friend, Ju-Lyn presented it. There are several layers to this cake and it is decorated with blueberries like a crown – (hence the reference to ‘Corona’, which means ‘Crown’). But then, I was worried that Ju-Lyn might take offence at my referencing something like that, so I will call it- Ju-Lyn’s Mini Cakes.

Ju Lyn blogs at All Things Bright and Beautiful and very kindly shared her recipe for this delicious sounding cake with me, before it was posted on her own blog. That is a measure of her kindess. Thanks, Ju-Lyn!

Cake Recipe

I have to admit that I changed the original aesthetic slightly, as I was a little pushed for time, and I am not a big fan of butter cream icing, even though the Moth, (the “Man of the house”), just loves it. [He does better to watch his calories, you see.]

Ju-Lyn’s Orange Blueberry Mini Cakes

Ingredients

  • 130 g Self Raising Flour
  • 110 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of one orange and a little juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 150 g Sour Cream
  • 40 g melted butter
  • 50 g fresh blueberries
  • Few extra blueberries for cake toppers

Method

  1. Mix flour sugar and baking powder together in a bowl
  2. Mix together eggs, the zest of orange and a little juice – I used a teaspoonful
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix throughly
  4. Mix in melted butter and sour cream.
  5. Gently fold in the blueberries
  6. Place in muffin trays, lined with paper cases, if you wish.
  7. Scatter a couple of extra blueberries on top of each cake.
  8. Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes
  9. Testing with a skewer to see if the cake is cooked.
  10. Allow to cool and serve with a dusting of icing sugar if desired.

Insider Tips:

  • You can make one large cake with this mix but bake for 40 – 50 minutes.
  • Double the ingredients for a layer cake and ice all over with buttercream.

More Cake Recipes

I have previously posted another of Ju-lyn’s wonderful recipes for Honey Spice Cake, which is now a staple on Sunday mornings, at the Home by the Sea.

spice cake with lemon butter
building, food, home

Size Does Matter – Eggs in recipes

Recently, I wanted to make one of Ju-Lyn’s fabulous cake recipes and only had jumbo sized eggs that I had purchased at a farmer’s market.

Would it matter if I used them? I was making a cake, after all and I didn’t want it to flop as our new neighbours were coming over, for morning tea.

After a little research, it seems that size does matter, when it comes to using eggs in cooking.

Substituting Eggs in Baking Recipes

If you are using Jumbo eggs and the recipe calls for large or extra large:

Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly beat until both yolk and white is combined. Measure off the amount of the egg mix that would equate to the volume of egg the recipe requires.

  • 1 large egg, beaten = 3-1/4 Tbs.
  • 2 large eggs, beaten = 6-1/2 Tbs.(1/4 cup plus 2-1/2 Tbs.)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten = 9-2/3 Tbs.(1/2 cup plus 1-1/2-Tbs.)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten = 12-3/4 Tbs.(3/4 cup plus 1 tsp.)
  • 5 large eggs, beaten = 1 cup

Eggs in Non Baking Recipes

In non-baking recipes, if you’re substituting only one, two, or three extra- large or medium eggs for large eggs, simply make a one-to-one direct substitution. Beyond that, use these equivalents:

• in place of 4 large eggs, use 4 extra-large or 5 medium
• in place of 5 large eggs, use 4 extra-large or 6 medium
• in place of 6 large eggs, use 5 extra-large or 7 medium

https://www.dvo.com/newsletter/weekly/2015/5-15-224/cooknart9.html

Altering Ingredients in Baking and Cooking

Eggs + yolks: Extra YOLKS means more fat which gives the cake ultra moistness! Add the amount of eggs called for in the recipe but add two extra egg yolks. The extra yolks add the density and moisture you’d find in a bakery cake!

Egg WHITES: Not adding the yolks to the cake makes the cake fluffy and whiter!

To clarify: Eggs + yolks: Extra YOLKS means more fat which gives the cake ultra moistness! Add the amount of eggs called for in the recipe but add two extra egg yolks. The extra yolks add the density and moisture you’d find in a bakery cake!

https://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/18513_cake_over_how_to_make_boxed_cake_mix_better

Milk: Add MILK, not water, when your mix calls for liquid. The milk adds density, fat and, most importantly, extra flavor to your mix. So add extra tablespoon or so of butter if you are short on milk.

Egg WHITES: Not adding the yolks to the cake makes the cake fluffy and whiter! But taking out the egg yolks removes fat so add an extra two tablespoons of butter above (or, one tablespoon of melted butter per each removed egg yolk).

Vanilla: Freshen up the cake mix with a dash of VANILLA EXTRACT! Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract for enhanced flavor. I feel the cake keeps better with vanilla in it, but that could be false.

Melted Butter: Use BUTTER instead of oil. They’re both fat but butter has better flavor! Muffin recipes call for vegetable oil. Melting butter in the microwave, as this adds a richness and depth of flavor.

Sprinkle with Sugar: Sprinkling the top with SUGAR not only gives it a sweet crunchy texture to yoru cake, but the weight of the sugar prevents the cake from rising too much while it bakes.

You can even make a layer cake or one for now and one for later. Pour the cake batter into two cake pans and sprinkle the top with sugar. It’s important for your cake to rise but you don’t want it to rise too much or you will have to cut off a lot of it if you layer it.

Results

It worked out beautifully at the Home by the Sea.

Recipe to follow shortly. As it is Ju-Lyn’s recipe, I wish to wait for her to publish it first.

blogging, building, home

Join me for Tea – Spice Cake

Tomorrow it will be six weeks since I moved into the Home by the sea and I haven’t really cooked a lot since then. Besides working and unpacking, and showing visitors around my new home, I haven’t found time to do any leisure baking. By that I mean more than what is required to sustain life!

I travel a long way to work so I often get back home late in order to avoid the peak hour traffic jams. On those nights, the MotH [Man of the House], improvises or uses the spouse-approved, (and proven), C.Y.O. method. Read: (cook your own).

First cake in the New Home

Having a quiet morning this week, meant I was ready to bake something and Ju-Lyn, over at All Things Bright and Beautiful, provided the final piece of motivation I needed to get me started, posting her Honey Spice cake recipe, (which she had adapted from Anita Bean).

I was determined to try it this morning. The MotH loves having a morning tea with freshly baked treats to the point that morning tea, with him, has become something of an art form.

Sitting together over a cuppa gives us a good chance to talk in a way that we don’t do, for the rest of our busy day – he is often at the hardware, Hi-fi shop, or pet store and I am busy pottering about getting the house in order, if I am not at work.

So back to the delicious cake. It was a throw-it-all together kind of recipe – they are really the best kind, aren’t they? No stress and it cooked beautifully in my new Westinghouse oven. [smile]

I was a little short of ground almond for this recipe, so I topped the measure up with a little extra flour. The recipe adapted beautifully.

With a light dusting of vanilla or icing sugar on top, to serve, this Spice Cake is light and tasty and just the perfect accompaniment for tea.

Ju-lyn had topped the cake with lemon icing, whereas I added a dollop of home made lemon butter, on the side, for a decadent indulgence.

As the recipe worked so well, I was thinking I could even be a little adventurous and add walnuts, next time. Or even try a gluten free version for my diet conscious son.

Will you try it?

Morning Tea Spice Cake Recipe

Adapted from Ju-Lyn’s Honey Cake which was adapted from Instagram @anitabean1

Ingredients

  • 165g self-raising flour
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50g runny honey
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 eggs (mine were 700 grams each)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • glace icing (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line a 20cm baking tin, I used one with a hole in the middle.
  3. Mix all the ingredients until well combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth surface with spatula.
  5. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Leave the tin to cool for at least 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  7. Dust top with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of cream, or lemon butter.

I have got to go have another piece now. Join me for morning tea at the Home by the Sea. I will begin posting weekly morning tea recipes.

Will you join in – posting a recipe? #joinmefortea