At the Home by the Sea, I am always looking to incorporate more vegetables in our diet.
If you have read this blog before you might be aware of my penchant for sweet treats. Especially those with brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon, such as the Danish Spice Cake, or Walnut Streusal Cake.
Fellow blogger Sandy just had to go and post a delicious recipe of Chocolate and Zucchini cake with just those aforementioned ingredients that I love so much.
Clear the hallway! I said when I read the post.
“I am headed for the kitchen.” No sooner had I read the post then the cake was in the mixing bowl.
Here is the result:
Sandy’s Chocolate and Zucchini Cake
Health Benefits of Zucchini or Squash to your Diet
Zucchini is low in calories, fat, and sugar and is a great source of antioxidants and Folate. It also contains Vitamins (A, E and C) that improve skin integrity, alleviate puffiness, build collagen and fight damage from free radicals. So Zucchini make us look younger!
I reduced the zucchini – I use 2- 3 zucchini amounting to about 500 ml shredded – squeezed it out a little then added a 2- 3 tablespoons of extra flour to Sandy’s recipe.
Never buy a packet cookie or cake mix again! Many of them are just flour, sugar and dehydrated egg or fat.
You can easily make good quality cake mixes on your own in a food processor, or by hand, if you relish manually rubbing in butter to flour; (I don’t). But it does save you money and assist in building a zero waste household!
Buying larger bags of flour and sugar, in order to make up a few batches of cake mix will save money in the long run, as you can access cheaper prices for buying in bulk. Think how much each individual box of cake mix costs. I estimate you could save at least 2/3 of the retail price. So in effect, 3 for the price of 1!
These pre-made mixes can be made up immediately they’re removed from the fridge, but it will take a little longer than if the ingredients are at room temperature when you make them up. Use this time well by preparing pans, trays etc. whilst waiting for the mix to acclimatize.
Hints on Making Your own Baking Mixes:
Measure ingredients accurately.
Place mixes into sealable plastic bags: large zip lock bags are great.
Mark down the date prepared and the contents: eg.Chocolate cake/ orange cake, on the label. You might even want to add some simple directions on preparing or baking and give these mixes as gifts to friends. A marble cake pre made mix is welcomed by my friends.
Sealed well these mixes will store in the freezer for 3 months.
Foundation Cake Pre-Mix
*NB: Self raising flour is the equivalent of 1 cup of plain or all purpose flour mixed with 2 teaspoons of Baking powder sifted and mixed thoroughly.
Cake Mix Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Self-raising Flour*
3/4 cup (180 g) castor sugar
2 tablespoons skim milk powder
125 g (4oz) butter, straight from fridge and chopped into small cubes
Combine sifted flour, sugar and milk powder in the bowl of food processor fitted with a metal blade for blending the butter.
Blitz dry ingredients for 2- 3 seconds to mix.
Add the chopped cold butter.
Process 10 to 20 seconds until butter is evenly distributed in dry ingredients.
Seal and store or continue to make a completed cake.
Making up the Cake from the Pre-Mix
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract or Vanillin Sugar
1/2 cup water
Prepare Foundation Cake Mix in a mixer bowl as instructed above.
Add the eggs, vanilla and water.
Beat on low speed until ingredients are combined.
Increase mixer speed to medium and mix for three minutes or until mixture changes in colour and is smooth. (There should not be any lumps in the mixture; if there are, beat til they’ve disappeared).
Spread mixture evenly into well-greased 20 cm Round, Bundt, Ring, or a 28 x 18 cm, (11x 7 in) lamington tin.
Bake in moderate oven 30 minutes and leave for 10 minutes before turning on to wire rack to cool.
Add 2 teaspoons grated orange rind with the water and eggs and omit vanilla.
Top cake with Orange glace icing when cold.
Dissolve 1 tablespoon instant coffee with 1/4 cup boiling water, and make up to 1/2 cup with cold water but leave to cool before using. Use this in place of the 1/2 cup water in original recipe.
Top with glace icing of your choice, or coffee icing.
Sift 1/3 cup Cocoa into a small basin, gradually blend in 2/3 cup water, stir till smooth. Use in place of water in original recipe. (The extra water is needed in this recipe to absorb the cocoa.)
Top with chocolate icing.
Cooking times vary so here is a guide to tin sizes and cooking times:
20 cm (8 inch) ring tin – 35 minutes
2 x 25 x 8 cm (10 in x 3 in) bar tins – 30 minutes
20 x 10 cm (8in x 4 in) loaf tin – 50 minutes
23 x 12 cm (9in x 5 in) loaf tin – 50 minutes
25 x 15 cm (10in x 6 in) – 45 minutes
Basic Cake Icing
Vanilla Glace Icing
1 1/2 cups Icing or Confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons Butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract or Vanillin sugar
2 tablespoons Milk, approximately
Stir Icing sugar into small heatproof bowl
Stir in butter, vanilla and enough milk to make a thick paste.
Stand basin over hot water, stir constantly until icing is of spreading consistency.
Spread over cold cake with spatula.
Orange Glace Icing: Use 2 tablespoons strained orange juice in place of milk and omit vanilla.
This week’s Cake at the Home by the Sea is delicious served with tea or coffee or can be versatile enough for a dessert treat if served with some vanilla yoghurt, cream or ice cream drizzled with Raspberry Coulis.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake Recipe
130g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
145g sugar, plus a further 1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup (approx 140g) fresh or frozen raspberries
1 dessertspoon butter, (melted)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (sprinkled over the top)
Preheat oven to 205°C/400°F
Butter and flour a 20cm round cake pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
Beat the butter and first measure of sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add the egg and beat well.
Switching the mixer to a low speed, mix in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Ensure that each time you only mix until just combined.
Transfer the batter into the cake pan and gently spread to fill the pan. Scatter the raspberries over the top and sprinkle with the final 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, which should take between 30-35 minutes.
Cool the cake for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, then brush melted butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Variation: Add 100g white chocolate buds to the mix prior to adding the raspberries.
Speciality delicatessens and bakeries in my part of the world offer Lemon Yoghurt cupcakes to die for. Mostly they come from one or two bakeries, ones that are Italian in origin and their product offerings. Yet, it seems that the Lemon and Yoghurt Cake may have been French in origin:
Grandmother all over France are renowned for Lemon and Yoghurt Cake. In French, this cake is called Gâteaux de Mamie, which translated is: Granny Cake. The part of the story I love, is the way these French grandmothers measure the cake ingredients – with yogurt jars!
You can try that version of the recipe out at this site.
This week, the cake for #onecakeaweek comes from Best Recipes, however, I wanted to produce a cupcake experience, rather than make another ring cake. My ingredients vary slightly from the French version in that there is more yoghurt and sugar, but less eggs and oil. Yeah – nah! – probably evens out, doesn’t it?
LEMON and YOGHURT CAKE RECIPE
1 3/4 cups fine or Caster Sugar – I only used 1 & one-half cups
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.
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
225 ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
310 g caster sugar
170 g grated carrot
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
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
Chocolate and raspberries are a match made in heaven.
There is nothing more satisfying, more of a comfort food than a moist chocolate cake.
But perfection is never perfection and can handle change. That is why I added raspberries to this recipe and I am more than happy with the result.
This is really light cake, moist and with a healthy dose of antioxidants from the raspberries. Adding raspberries has many health benefits for us.
Health benefits of Raspberries
Raspberries are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They may protect against diabetes, cancer, obesity, arthritis and other conditions and may even provide anti-aging effects. Raspberries are easy to add to your diet and make a tasty addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.
180 g (around 3/4 American cup) of softened butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g sour cream (around 1 American cup)
1/2 cup or so of frozen organic raspberries
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. (160 fan forced), 350 degrees F.
Grease and line sides and base of small loaf tin/s that you wish to use.
Combine cocoa and boiling water in a heatproof jug stirring until a thick sauce forms. Set this aside to cool.
Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and beat on medium for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time until well combined.
Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda together and add to the butter mix.
Add cocoa mix and sour-cream and using a large spoon, gently fold together until well combined.
Spoon mix into prepared cake pans. Smooth the top.
Place the raspberries, one by one, evenly around onto the top layer and press down lightly. As the cake rises, the mix will envelope them. * Tip: Placing them rather than mixing them in, will mean that the raspberries will keep their shape nicely .
Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean, depending on the size of pan you are using.
To Serve: Simply dust with icing sugar – the raspberries add to the choolately sweetness.
N.B. I don’t usually ice my cakes as I feel that they are sweet enough, and we all want to cut down on sugar, but you can add your own desired frosting for more decadence.
A useful conversion table, for American measurements, is included here.
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!
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.
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.