“This cake came about when I was asked to make a gluten-free cake for a catering gig. I wasn’t happy with the texture of my mud cake when I use GF flour so I decided to try something else. It’s a combination of a carrot, banana and hummingbird cake with added crunch from nuts, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips. The layers are smothered with moorish cream cheese icing and it’s decorated with toasted coconut and pineapple flowers. Needless to say it’s a real show stopper and utterly delicious! Enjoy”
“For as long as I can remember Mum has made a sago plum pudding for our Christmas meal. Â I thought it was about time that she taught me how to make it! You may notice there doesn’t seem to be any plums in the recipe, but I assume theÂ original version did.Â Sago is an ingredient made from the starchy centre of a tropical palm. In this recipe it acts as the binding agent in place of eggs. As there is no flour, the gluten comes from bread crumbs making the pudding incredibly moist! Â We’ve always eaten it with lashings of custard and whipped cream. Flaming the pudding is an optional but exciting addition, just make sure there is a fire extinguisher handy. Enjoy!”
Put sago and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and cook while stirring for 10-15 minutes. The mixture will go quite gluey and the sago will plump up and become slightly translucent.
Stir in the butter, sugar and bicarb. Set aside to cool slightly
Mix together the remaining ingredients.
Add the sago mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Butter a steamed pudding tin and place a round of baking paper at the bottom.
Transfer the pudding batter into the tin and smooth the top. Put on the lid.
Bring about 5cm of water to the boil in a large stock pot, then carefully place the steaming tin inside with the pot lid on. Simmer for 4 hours. You may need to top up the water level as it cooks. I check every 30 minutes.
Turn the pudding onto a serving plate.
To flame the pudding bring 1/4 cup of vodka, brandy or any other clear alcohol to the boil in a small saucepan. Carefully light the alcohol and pour over the pudding. (This is best done with the lights dimmed for best effect.)
Serve slices of the pudding with custard and whipped cream.
“I’ve decided I need to master gluten free baking! When I cater I always have to do some gluten free items and tend to fall back on things like a chocolate flan with hazelnut meal or an orange almond cake. Â I decided to try a gluten free lemon bar because I love the non GF version and it seemed to be easy to make using almond flour and corn flour. The result was delicious! You can also substitute lime or passionfruit juice or as I did, a combination of two juices. It also works brilliantly as a dessert with fresh berries and a dollop of thick cream. Enjoy!”
Ingredients for the base
200g almond meal
25g corn flour
75g white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g cold butter
Method for the base
Preheat your oven to 180 C.
Line a 20cm square baking dish with baking paper making sure the paper comes all the way up each side. This makes it much easier to remove from the tin once it’s baked.
Cut your cold butter into 1cm squares and add to a food processor with the other ingredients.
Blitz the mix until its come together.
Press into your baking tray and smooth the top with a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Ingredients for the custard
200g white sugar
100g lemon, lime or passionfruit juice (I used 50g lemon and 50g passionfruit)
20g corn flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Method for the custard
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined.
Pour over your cooled base.
Bake in a 180 C oven for 15-20 minutes or until the custard has just set.
Allow to cool on the bench then cover with cling wrap and let cool completely in the fridge.
Once cool, Cut into bars and serve sprinkled with icing sugar or serve as a dessert with fresh berries and thick cream.
“Who doesn’t like a spotted dick. (Insert giggling here). This traditional English steamed pudding is delicious on a cold night and very moorish. I’ve omitted the suet and added some sour cream and boozed-up the sultanas. You can use other dried fruit or nuts if you want and I’ve changed out the traditional custard for a French style Sabayon. Enjoy!”
Spotted dick ingredients
1 cup muscat
250g frozen butter
400g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
150g white sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
Place your sultanas and muscat in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer an cook for 15 minutes. Allow them to cool in the liquid.
Grate 250g of frozen butter into a bowl. Add 400g of self-raising flour and gently mix through with your fingers so the butter is coated in flour.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 150g of white sugar and the zest from 1 lemon and mix to combine.
Drain the sultanas and add to the mix. Keep the soaking liquid for the sabayon.
Whisk 6 eggs with 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup milk. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Butter the inside of your steaming tin then put in 1 tablespoon of plain flour and shake so it coats the butter.
Transfer the batter to the tin and smooth the top.
Cut a piece of baking paper to fit over the batter and cut a few slits in the top. Smooth this over the batter and put the lid on the tin.
In a large pot place a small ramekin or heatproof bowl inside and pour in boiling water to just cover it.
Place the steaming tin inside on top of the ramekin and put a lid on the pot.
Bring your water to a simmer and let the pudding steam for 90 to 120 minutes. Every half hour check the water level and add more boiling water if necessary.
Carefully remove the steaming tin and test to see if the pudding is cooked by putting a knife or skewer in. If it doesn’t come out clean then put the tin back to steam for another 10 or 20 minutes. (In the size tin I have this took 2 hours)
3 eggs (or 6 yolks)
150ml muscat (from soaking sultanas)
120g white sugar
Mix all ingredients together until completely combined.
Transfer to a saucepan and continuously stir on Â medium heat until the sabayon has thickened.
Serve a slice of spotted dick with the sabayon and a dollop of thick cream. Enjoy!
“These corn, cheese and herb muffins were one of the earliest things I remember baking (once I left home). Â They’re incredibly moorish and fabulous warmed up with a bit of butter. Â They also freeze really well so you can throw one in your bag straight from the freezer for morning tea. You can use whatever fresh or dried herbs you have to hand, so I used a combination of sage and parsley. Â Good luck eating only one! Enjoy!”
You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.
“This recipe came from necessity. Â I needed a dessert for a catering job that was Christmas themed and gluten free, so I adapted my mud-cake recipe to include some Christmas flavours. Â The result was a super moist cake that works brilliantly as a warm dessert served with ice cream or custard and a hearty cake for your Christmas celebrations. Â If you don’t need it gluten free thenÂ substitute regular flour. Â For the dessert cake I slightly undercook it so it is still fudge and moist inside. Enjoy”
375g dark chocolate
600ml water (or red wine)
300g almond meal
200g gluten free self raising flour
400g dark sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
150 chopped walnuts or almonds
1kg Christmas mince (Recipe on “Christmas Mince Pies” post)
Place chocolate, butter and water (or red wine) in a saucepan and bring to a medium heat, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are melted and combined. Â Allow to cool.
Combine in a mixing bowl the almond meal, GF flour, sugar and spices.
Beat the eggs and mix into the cooled chocolate mixture.
Add the Christmas mince to the chocolate mixture and stir through.
Pour the chocolate mixture and the nuts into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour into a large flat lined dish or several smaller ones. Â I use one that is 35cm by 24cm. Â If you try to use a traditional cake pan it will take ages to cook and burn around the edges. Â You want the cake to be about 4cm tall (It won’t rise much at all)
Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 45 minutes or until just set. Â As long as there’s no movement in the cake when you move it and a skewer comes out relatively clean it should be fine.
Allow to cool in the pan in the fridge before turning out and cutting.
“This is one of the most popular cakes I’ve made in ages. Â The recipe I adapted seemed tooÂ weird not to try it, but the combination of soft sweet potato and white chocolate makes for an amazing texture. Â I also love the rustic drizzle of the warm ganache flavoured with apricot jam. Â Very Moorish! Enjoy”
(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)
For the cake
400g peeled sweet potato
300g white chocolate
300g dark brown sugar
100g golden syrup or molasses
100g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla essence
375g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the ganache
150g white chocolate
70g apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Peel the sweet potato and cut into 2cm cubes. Â Place in a steamer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft. Â Remove from steamer and allow to cool.
Melt the butter and white chocolate over a low heat, stirring regularly until combined. Â Allow to cool.
In a mixer beat the eggs, sugar and golden syrup until combined.
Add the yoghurt and vanilla and beat until combined.
Mash the sweet potato or process in a food processor until no lumps remain.
Add sweet potato to wet ingredients and beat until combined.
Add the flour and baking powder to wet ingredients and stir through until combined.
Grease and line a 25-30cm springform pan. Â Pour in cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. Â I found I needed to cover the cake with aluminium foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent burning the top.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the cake tin.
For the ganache
Bring the cream to a light simmer and add the jam. Â Stir or whisk until the jam has dissolved into the cream. Â Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth. Â You may need to put the pan back on a low heat if the cream has cooled down too much.
Allow the ganache to cool slightly. Â While the ganache is still runny our slowly over the cake. Â I applied a thin layer first and allowed it to cool on the cake before drizzling the rest over.
“In an attempt to find a good white chocolate brownie recipe and use up a surplus of lemons I ended up with a delicious combination I’ve called “Lemon Lemonies”. Â It took three Â attempts to get the combination right, but the final one has the moist consistency of a brownie and a tangy kick from the lemons. Â And they’re gluten-free! Â Great for a morning tea with a cup of English Breakfast tea with a slice of lemon. Â Enjoy!”
340g white chocolate
Rind and juice from 2 lemons
Pinch of salt
215g almond meal
135g slivered almonds
50g extra white chocolate for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line and grease a 20cm brownie tin.
Melt the white chocolate and butter in a saucepan then leave to cool for 20 minutes.
Beat the eggs and sugar until combined then add the lemon rind and juice.
Fold in the salt, almond meal and slivered almonds.
Transfer to brownie tin and smooth the top.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly brown and cake is cooked through. Â It should still be a little moist when you take it out and will firm up once it’s cooled.
Once cooled melt 50g of white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each. Â Put in a piping bag or sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Â Pipe the white chocolate onto the lemon lemonies.
“I’m embarressed about how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything here! Â What with work, catering, cake design and the installation of a new kitchen, It’s been shunted to last priority. Â I’m determined to turn over a new leaf and have a few recipes in my back-log to post in the coming weeks. Â I made this cake for a work colleague’s birthday when I had a surplus of lemons. Â The flavour and texture was brilliant but I decided to tweak the recipe to give it a bit more texture. Â Feel free to use whatever fruit you like for the compote. Â I think the strawberries and cherries were a great colour splash for the finished dish. You can also substitute lemons for limes but personally I liked this version better. Enjoy!”
(Photos by Gary Corbett)
250g room temperature butter
1 cup castor sugar
3 room temperature eggs
zest from 3 limes
3/4 cup sour cream
50g diced pistachios
1/2 cup plain flour
Juice from 3 limes
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup strawberry liquor
Preheat your oven to 140 degrees (Fan forced).
Grease and line a 20cm spring-form tin.
Cream the butter and sugar. Â Add the eggs one at a time until combined.
Add the sour cream and lime zest and beat until combined.
Fold in the pistachios and flour.
Spoon mixture into prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatular.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
While cake is baking place lime juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
When cake is done remove from the oven and pierce numerous holes with a skewer.
Pour over lime syrup and refrigerate.
For fruit compote cut the strawberries into quarters, de-seed and halve the cherries.
Add fruit, sugar and liquor to saucepan and heat until fruit has just softened. (If you cook it too long you’ll get jam!) Â Leave to cool.
Decorate the cake with pistachios then serve a wedge of the lime cake with some fruit compote and a dollop of cream.
“This would have to be my new favourite cake!Â I’ve always loved a good mud cake but adding the red wine and spices adds a new dimension to this devilishly good dessert.Â The smell while it’s cooking is intense and indulgent, filling the house with a mulled-wine aroma that’s hard to beat.Â The addition of the port buttercream adds another dimension but I also make it with a basic ganache.Â The best news is it’s so simple to make (although the decorating has taken a while for me to get proficient).Â This is also one of those recipes that works just as well as a cupcake and lasts really well for up to five days without losing it’s texture.Â Enjoy!”
(Photos by Gary Corbett)
375g dark chocolate
600ml red wine
400g dark sugar
450g self raising flour
1 tbsp mixed spice
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
Place chocolate, butter and red wine in a saucepan and heat on medium stirring occasionally until all the ingredients have melted and combined.Â Allow to cool for 1/2 and hour.
Beat the eggs and the sugar until combined.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat until combined.
Stir in the flour and spice until combined.
Pour into 2 lined 20cm cake tins and cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out dry.
Allow the cakes to cool.“If you plan to decorate your cakes in fondant, cover cakes in glad wrap and refrigerate until the cakes become completely cooled and solid.Â This makes slicing them much easier.Â If you want to make a simpler version, slice the cakes in half and fill with cream, ganache or butter cream or use sliced strawberries or fresh raspberries. But for pure indulgence I’ve included my port buttercream recipe.Â Try not to eat more buttercream than goes in the cake!”
1 cup port
1/2 cup white sugar
200g room temperature butter
400g icing sugar
a splash of port
place port and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.Â Stir until the sugar has dissolved then reduce to a low heat and let the port reduce to 1/3 of a cup.
Place the reduced port in a container and refrigerate until cool.
Add butter and cooled port (it will be very thick and sticky!) to a food processor and mix until combined.Â (You may have to stop the machine several times to help combine the sticky port mixture into the butter).
Add the icing sugar and a splash of port and mix until smooth.
Remove the cooled cakes from the fridge and cut off the domed tops.Â Slice the cakes in half and fill with port buttercream making sure the top level of the cake is the bottom of one of your cakes.
Cover the cake in chocolate ganache and decorate with fondant.
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!