Author Archive

  1. Healthy Apple, Yogurt and Oat Breakfast Bars

    by Shell

    1 cup rolled oats
    1 cup plain yogurt
    55g unsalted butter, softened (1/4 cup)
    2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
    1 egg
    1/2 cup applesauce
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup plain flour
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    pinch salt
    1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
    1/4 cup raisins (or blueberries)

     

    Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a brownie pan with baking paper.

    Stir together the oats and yogurt and set aside.

    In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon.

    Add the egg and beat to combine. Stir in the applesauce. Mix in the yogurt oat mixture.

    Stir in both flours, the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt until just incorporated.

    Mix through the apple and raisins gently.

     

    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 20 bars once cut.

    I’ve tried them with mashed banana instead of some of the applesauce and put in frozen blueberries instead of the raisins. raspberry and white chocolate is also a winner in my book!


  2. Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

    by Shell

    Ingredients

    For the cake:
      • 1 1/4 cup (295 milliliters) hot coffee
      • 1 cup (110 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
      • 2 1/2 cup (330 grams) all-purpose flour
      • 1 1/4 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
      • 2 1/2 teaspoon (11 grams) baking soda
      • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
      • 3 large eggs
      • 1 1/4 cups (282 grams) sour cream
      • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (267 milliliters) vegetable oil
    For the icing:
    • 15 ounces (425 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
    • 2 cups (450 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
    • 1/4-1/2 cup (59-118 milliliters) light corn syrup
    • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Instructions

    1. To make the cake, preheat oven to 150 degrees . Butter and flour 2 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with baking paper.
    2. In a bowl, whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder until no lumps remain. Set aside. In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
    3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until smooth and pale yellow in color. Stir in the sour cream, followed by the vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir until combined. Stir in the cocoa mixture and mix until smooth.
    4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
    5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate and instant espresso (if using) in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla extract, and corn syrup. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Taste for flavor and add additional corn syrup a tablespoon at a time to reach the desired sweetness. 1/4 cup was just the right amount for me. The icing will have a thin consistency. Refrigerating it for about 10-15 minutes will help it firm up a bit.
    6. To frost the cake, place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate and cover the top with about 2/3 cup of the icing. Place the other cake layer on top and frost the entire cake. Store the cake in the fridge until ready to serve, along with any leftovers.

  3. Carmel Apple Cake

    by Shell

    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Recipe Notes
    Pan: Three 8? Round Layers Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 160 deg Storage: Cover and Refrigerate
    Ingredients
    Batter:
    • 4 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2½ cups granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 4 cups sweetened applesauce
    Caramel Sauce:
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • ½ cup water
    • ¼ cup light corn syrup
    • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1½ cups whipping (heavy) cream, room temperature
    Caramel Butter cream:
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • ? cup all-purpose flour
    • 1½ cups milk (preferably whole milk)
    • ? cup Whipping (heavy) cream
    • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • ? cup caramel sauce
    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 160 degrees F. Prepare three 8 inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
    Batter:
    1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
    3. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
    4. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the applesauce, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and applesauce, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
    5. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
    Caramel Sauce:
    1. In a medium size heavy-bottomed pan combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. Use a pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to remove any stray granules of sugar. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 300 degrees F, a hard crack stage. While the syrup is cooking, wash away any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by wiping upwards with a damp pastry brush so the sugar crystals don’t fall back into the syrup. Immediately remove pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Let stand about 1 minute to let the bubbling subside. Be careful, the caramel is extremely hot and will cause serious burns if you touch it.
    2. Add the butter and whipping cream and stir until combined. Tip: if any caramel mixture is stuck to the bottom of the pan, place the pan on low heat and stir until the caramel liquefies and blends with the butter and cream. Remove from the heat.
    3. Let cool completely. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
    Caramel Buttercream:
    1. In a medium size heavy-bottomed pan add sugar and flour; whisk together to mix. Add the milk and whipping cream and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil; boil and whisk for another minute. Remove from pan from the heat.
    2. Transfer the hot sugar mixture to a large bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture at high speed, about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture is cool. Tip: Touch the mixture and make sure it has cooled to room temperature. Also the outside of the bowl should feel cool to the touch.
    3. Reduce the mixer to medium speed and add the butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time and mixing 20 to 30 seconds after each addition. While adding the butter, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. The Buttercream may look curdled after the butter is added, but it will become smooth as you continue to beat it. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the Butter cream is thick and smooth, about another 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the caramel sauce and continue beating another minute.
    Assembly:
    1. Place one of the layers on a cake plate. Using an offset spatula spread about 1 cup of the frosting on top. Repeat with the second layer. Place the last cake layer on top. Cover the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting.
    2. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of caramel sauce in a small plastic freezer bag. Put a little piece of tape on corner to reinforce the tip, and then roll over top of bag to keep neater. (You could also use a plastic squeeze bottle with a tip available in decorating stores or a pastry bag with a small decorating tip), Twist the top of the bag to create some pressure to make easier to squeeze out. Cut a tiny corner off the tip of the bag.
    3. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the cake. To make the web design, drizzle the caramel in circles, starting in the center of the cake and moving to the outside edge of the cake. Use a wooden toothpick and drag the tip of the toothpick from the center of the cake to the outside edge like a spoke.
    4. Refrigerate the cake 30 minutes before serving to firm the frosting and caramel before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

  4. Salted-Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake by Martha Stewart

    by Shell

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 4 cups granulated sugar
    • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
    • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 3 cups granulated sugar
    • Coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • Coarse salt
    • 1 tablepoon baking soda
    • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled
    • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
    • Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Coarse salt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    Directions

    1. Step 1

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons course salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

    2. Step 2

      Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

    3. Step 3

      Make the caramel: Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream (mixture will spatter); stir until smooth. Return to heat, and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees, about 2 minutes. Pour caramel into a medium bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool completely.

    4. Step 4

      Meanwhile, make the frosting: Whisk together cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a bowl until cocoa dissolves. Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and a generous pinch of coarse salt in a clean bowl with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted chocolate and then cocoa mixture until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes before using.

    5. Step 5

      Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Cut each in half horizontally to form 2 layers. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter, and spread 3/4 cup caramel over top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with remaining caramel and cake layers, leaving top uncovered. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

    6. Step 6

      Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.


  5. Sugar Cookies

    by Shell

    Ingredients

    • 227 grams unsalted butter
    • 175 grams icing sugar
    • 1 egg {room temperature}
    • 1.5-3 teaspoons extract or emulsion {any flavor}
    • 400-425 grams all-purpose flour

    Instructions

    1. Cream together butter and sugar.
    2. Add eggs and extract and mix well.
    3. Mix  flour, in to wet mixture little by little until well incorporated.
    4. Roll and cut cookies into desired shapes, dusting with flour as necessary.
    5. Bake cookies at 200 Celsius for 7-8 minutes until tops are appear dry rather than shiny. Do not brown.

  6. Raspberry and white chocolate mudcake

    by Shell

    • 250g butter, chopped
    • 200g white chocolate, chopped
    • 495g caster sugar
    • 375ml cups water
    • 300g plain flour
    • 100g self-raising flour
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

    Preheat the oven first, to 120°C and grease a 22cm round cake tin or a similarly sized square cake tin like I did.

    Place the butter, chocolate, water and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat and stir until melted and smooth. Then, pour the mixture into a large bowl.

    Whisk the flours into the mixture, then the eggs and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the raspberries, and pour into the cake tin.

    Into the oven it goes, for around 2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean…

    Let it sit in it’s tin to cool for 15 minutes or so. Once the tin has cooled down enough to touch, gently and carefully remove it and place on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.


  7. Passionfruit Mud Cake

    by Shell

    Ingredients:

    • 300g White Chocolate
    • 200g Butter
    • 250ml Milk
    • 165g Caster Sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    • 2 large Eggs
    • 300g (2/3 cup) Self-Raising Flour
    • 450g (1 cup) Plain Flour
    • 1/2 Passionfruit pulp
    • 225g Cream Cheese
    • 5 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
    • 3 teaspoons Passionfruit Pulp
    • 2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

    Method:

    1. Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.
    2. Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth.
    3. Allow mixture to cool for at least 15 minutes.
    4. Lightly beat eggs and add vanilla, then add to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.
    5. Sift flours into large bowl and add one cup of chocolate mixture at a time, stiring well until it forms a paste.
    6. Once all the chocolate mixture has been added, stir until smooth.
    7. Use an electric beater for a couple of minutes to eliminate any lumps.
    8. Pour mixture into a greased pan lined with baking paper.
    9. Add even drops of passionfruit pulp on top of the cakes and using a knife, gently stir it through.
    10. Bake in a 145 degree oven (fan forced) for around 1 hour 20 mins to 1 hour 40 mins, until a knife comes out relatively clean.
    11. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
    12. Making sure the cream cheese is cold and butter at room temperature, cream cheese, butter, passionfruit pulp and sugar into a food processor and pulse until just combined, pulsing for a couple more seconds longer. The goal not to over processing it or it will be ruined.
    13. Beat with an electric mixer for a minute or so if lumps remain.

  8. Anne’s Lemon Sour Cream Cake

    by Shell

    250g  butter
    2 teaspoons lemon rind
    2 cups caster sugar
    6 eggs
    2 cups plain flour
    ¼ cup self raising flour
    200g sour light cream
    Cream together butter and sugar with electric beaters until really creamy.
    Add eggs and mix well.
    Add dry ingredients alternatively with sour cream and mix well.
    Bake for 1 hour to 1 and ½ hours on 150 deg. Make sure cooked in centre as this will take longest.
    Ice with cream cheese icing or dust with icing sugar


  9. Cherry Ripe Mud Cake

    by Shell

    Makes 1 8 inch round or 2 x 6 inch round

    Ingredients

    250g unsalted butter
    1 tblspn instant coffee powder
    1 & 2/3 cup coconut milk
    200g dark chocolate
    2 cups caster sugar
    3/4 cup self raising flour
    1 cup plain flour
    1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use dutch cocoa)
    2 eggs
    2 tspn vanilla extract
    2 x 85g cherry ripe bars, chopped coarsely

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 150C. Line tins with baking paper.
    2. Combine butter, coffee powder, coconut milk, chocolate and sugar in a saucepan and stir until melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature
    3. Sift dry ingredients in a bowl, add chocolate mixture, whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, whisk. Stir in cherry ripe (set aside a small amount).
    4. Pour into tins and scatter remaining cherry ripe over the top of batter.
    5. Bake in slow oven for about 1hr and 45 minutes.
    6. Remove from oven and cool in tin.

    I chose to divide the cake in half and fill with dark chocolate ganache and then covered it in ganache too. As I made 2 six inch cakes I am keeping one at home, this is below and I didn’t bother to fill it, just iced with the ganache.
    This cake improves each day and is at it’s peak on about day 3. It also freezes really well, although it never lasts long enough to make it into the freezer!!


  10. Pineapple Boiled Fruit Cake

    by Shell


    Ingredients:
    • 650g Mixed fruit (any combination of sultanas, raisins, dates apricots etc)
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 125g butter
    • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
    • 1/4 cup sweet sherry
    • 1 small tin crushed pineapple
    • 1 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate
    • 2 beaten eggs
    • 1 cup  Self Raising flour
    • 1 cup  Plain flour
    Method:
    1. Combine fruit, sugar, butter, mixed spice, sherry and pineapple in a saucepan.
    2. Slowly bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
    3. Add the sodium bicarbonate, beaten eggs and sifted flour to the fruit mix.
    4. Bake in a lined 20cm cake tin at 170c (150c fan forced) for approximately 11/2 hours or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
    5. Leave in the tin to cool and store in an airtight container.