The “Everything” cake

Photo by Gary Corbett

“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”

You can watch the video here:

https://youtu.be/MOpNdupeArE

Cake ingredients

  • 150g GF plain flour
  • 150g almond meal
  • 150g desiccated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g olive oil
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 100g soft butter
  • 80g yoghurt
  • 200g crushed and drained pineapple
  • 400g mashed banana
  • 200g grated carrot
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 60g pumplin seeds
  • 80g chocolate chips
Cake method
  1. Heat your oven to 180 Celsius
  2. Combine GF lour, almond meal, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, mixed spice and salt. Mix and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer whisk together oil, brown sugar, eggs, butter and yoghurt until combined.
  4. Add the pineapple, banana and carrots and mix to combine.
  5. Stir in your dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  6. Stir through the walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips.
  7. Spray and line 3 x 20cm cake tins and divide the batter between them, smoothing the tops.
  8. Bake at 180 Celsius for 40-45 minutes then allow to cool.

 Cream cheese icing ingredients

  • 300g soft cream cheese
  • 300g soft butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon coconut essence
 Cream cheese icing method
  1. Whip the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest and coconut essence together until combined.
  2. Add the icing sugar in stages and beat until smooth.
  3. Refrigerate until needed
Pineapple flowers method
  1. Peel your pineapple and remove any eyes or blemishes.
  2. Cut into thin disks and lay on a lined baking tray.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes at 100 Celsius.
  4. Remove and flip the pineapple and bake for another 30 minutes.
  5. Place each pineapple ring in a muffin tin and bake for a further 30 minutes. You can turn the heat off and let them cool in the oven.
To make the cake
  1. Cut each cake in half.
  2. Spread a layer of cream cheese icing between each slice.
  3. Spread icing on the top and sides of the cake and smooth down with a cake scraper or offset spatula.
  4. Decorate with toasted coconut and pineapple flowers.

French toast 3 ways

Photos by Gary Corbett

“You can’t beat French toast for an indulgent breakfast, brunch or even dessert. I’ll be making this with my nieces on a Facebook live this Mother’s Day. I’ve given you three recipes to choose from but you can get your creative juices going with many different culinary alternatives. I’ve also given a vegan alternative for the custard and you can use a non-dairy spread instead of butter. Enjoy!” 

Ingredients for egg custard

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
Ingredients for vegan custard
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Version 1 – with mixed berries
  • Thick cut fruit toast
  • Mixed berries
  • Maple syrup
  • Thick cream or coconut yoghurt
Method
  1. Put berries in a container and pour over some maple syrup. Set aside.
  2. Mix custard ingredients together until they are well combined. Put in a shallow bowl good for dipping.
  3. Put a tablespoon of butter or non-dairy spread in a frying pan and heat up until it’s melted.
  4. Cut your fruit toast in half, dip in the custard on both sides and put in the frying pan. Let one side go golden (about 1 minute) before turning over.
  5. Place on a plate, top with a dollop of cream or coconut yoghurt, some berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Version 2 – with coconut bananas

  • Thick cut fruit toast
  • Bananas
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Thick cream or coconut yoghurt
  • Toasted almonds
Method
  1. Mix custard ingredients together until they are well combined. Put in a shallow bowl good for dipping.
  2. Cut your bananas in half then slice them lengthwise so you get a flat side.
  3. Put some coconut on a flat plate. Dip the flat side of the banana in the custard then place in the coconut.
  4. Put a tablespoon of butter or non-dairy spread in a frying pan and heat up until it’s melted.
  5. Place the banana flat side down in the frying pan and cook until the coconut has gone golden. Remove and set aside.
  6. Clean the pan of coconut then put a tablespoon of butter or non-dairy spread in a frying pan and heat up until it’s melted.
  7. Cut your fruit toast in half, dip in the custard on both sides and put in the frying pan. Let one side go golden (about 1 minute) before turning over.
  8. Place on a plate, top with a dollop of cream or coconut yoghurt, the coconut bananas, some toasted almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Version 3 – with figs and spiced yoghurt
  • Thick cut fruit toast
  • Fresh figs
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Toasted almonds
  • Honey
Method
  1. Mix custard ingredients together until they are well combined. Put in a shallow bowl good for dipping.
  2. Put yoghurt and spices in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Cut your figs into quarters.
  4. Put a tablespoon of butter or non-dairy spread in a frying pan and heat up until it’s melted.
  5. Cut your fruit toast in half, dip in the custard on both sides and put in the frying pan. Let one side go golden (about 1 minute) before turning over.
  6. Place on a plate, top with a dollop of spiced yoghurt ,fresh figs, some toasted almonds and a drizzle of honey.

 

 


Easter Chocolate Crackles (Cooking with kids)

(Photo by Gary Corbett)

“It’s time to think of what to do with all those leftover Easter eggs!…said no one ever!  Well, if by chance you do have any leftover you could get your kids to make these super easy Easter chocolate crackles. They don’t require any cooking except to heat up the copha and are a great treat kids can make themselves for parties. I’ve included sultanas (to make them vaguely more healthy) and optional nuts. Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • 250g copha
  • 4 cups rice bubbles
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • Sprinkles
  • Easter eggs
Equipment
  • Big mixing bowl
  • Stirring spoon
  • Cup measure
  • Dessert spoon
  • Microwave bowl or jug
  • Cupcake pan
  • Cupcake papers
Method
  1. Chop the copha into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl or jug. Microwave for bursts of 30 seconds until fully melted. Mine took about 2:30 from the fridge but if it’s at room temperature should take less.
  2. Into the big bowl put the rice bubbles, Icing sugar, coconut, cocoa, sultanas and almonds. Using the big spoon mix it together until its we’ll combined. (This could also be done in a food processor)
  3. Add the melted copha to the bowl and stir until it’s all combined.
  4. Put the cupcake papers in the cupcake pans and spoon mixture into each one. I found this mixture made 17 chocolate crackles.
  5. Sprinkle the sprinkles over each one.
  6. Peel the foil off the Easter eggs and push down into each chocolate crackle.
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour to solidify.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Zesty Coconut Loaf

“Is it okay to make a new years resolution in May?  Better late than never I suppose!  So here it is: I plan to try to post recipes at least once a fortnight from now on.  (Let’s see how long that lasts).  So, to start the ball rolling I’ve been trying a new coconut loaf recipe that is great for anyone lactose intolerant or vegan…or just hungry.  And it’s super easy!  Just throw all the ingredients in a mixer and stick it in the oven.  While testing it I tried 2 variations of different ingredients and both loafs were fabulous, moist and tasty.  I think this will be my new standby for those last minute baking emergencies. Enjoy!”

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients for loaf

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 100g shredded coconut
  • 100g white sugar or coconut sugar
  • 50g coconut oil or olive oil
  • 300g coconut cream
  • zest of 2 limes or 1 lemon
Ingredients for icing
  • juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 20g shredded coconut
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Grease a loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  3. Put all loaf ingredients into a mixer and combine.
  4. Transfer to loaf tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in the tin
  6. Lightly toast the coconut in a pan until just golden.
  7. Combine Lemon or lime juice with icing sugar until all lumps are gone.
  8. Spoon mixture over warm cake the sprinkle with toasted coconut.

 

 

 

 

 

Fudging it!

“I love it when you find a recipe that is simple and easy to adjust to your taste.  A recipe where you can let your creativity go wild and make beautiful creations to tempt the taste buds with the minimum of fuss and effort.  Making fudge fits into all these categories.  The basic recipe is a can of condensed milk and chocolate.  After that it’s up to you.  This Christmas I’ve been making fudge for presents and for sale at some local cafes so I’ve tried to get a varied selection that should satisfy everyone’s palette. A few pointers before we start: don’t walk away when you’re heating the condensed milk.  It can go from hot to burnt in a second!  To make it easier to stir the chocolate in you can cut it into smaller pieces or stir it in two batches.  And finally, try not to eat it before it makes it into the fridge!  It’s very addictive and impossible to stop at one piece.  Enjoy!”

Salted Dark Chocolate with Rum and Raisin

“A very adult fudge!  The longer you let the raisins soak in the rum the better the result.  It’s worth using really high quality chocolate and getting a good flaked sea salt to sprinkle on the top.”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g dark chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • Flake salt

Method

  1. Place raisins and rum in a sealed container and let them soak for a couple of hours or overnight.
  2. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  3. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  4. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  5. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the raisin and rum mixture, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  6. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  7. Sprinkle a small amount of flake salt over the fudge.
  8. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  9. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1.5cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.

White Christmas Fudge

“What’s Christmas without some white Christmas in the fridge?  Here’s a fudge version full of dried fruit and nuts.  It makes a great standby present when going to Christmas parties.”

Ingredients

  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g white chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • 80g pistachios
  • 150g dried apricots, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup rice bubbles
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Method

  1. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  2. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  3. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  4. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the cranberries, pistachios and apricots, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  5. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  6. Cover the top with coconut and press into the fudge.
  7. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  8. Remove from the fridge and cut into diamond shapes.  Keep refrigerated.

Fudgy Rocky Road

“Rocky road is a favourite with several members of my family, so the fudge version should go down a treat!  I used mini-marshmallows in this recipe but you could use regular sized ones if you prefer.”

Ingredients

  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g milk chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • 100g mini-marshmallows
  • 200g glace cherries
  • 200g roasted peanuts

Method

  1. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  2. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  3. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  4. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the cherries and peanuts, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  5. When the mixture has cooled slightly add the marshmallows. (If you add them while the mixture is hot they melt!)
  6. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners.  Press your fingertips into the top of the fudge for an uneven finish.
  7. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  8. Remove from the fridge and cut into bars.  Keep refrigerated.

Peanut Butter and Roast Almond Fudge

“This would have to be my all-time-favourite fudge!  The combination of sweet fudge, salty peanut butter and roast almonds is a winner.  I’ve had to limit myself to one piece a day.  Damn you self control!”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g white chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • 2 tbsn vanilla extract
  • 300g crunchy peanut butter

Method

  1. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees c for 10 minutes or until the nuts start to turn an amber colour.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  4. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  5. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  6. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the peanut butter, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  7. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  8. Cover the top with the roasted almonds and press into the fudge.
  9. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  10. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1.5cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.

Caramel and Macadamia Fudge

“This fudge recipe is slightly more complicated than the rest but worth the effort.  You need to heat the butter and sugar mixture to a high temperature to get the caramel flavour so a small amount of vigilance is in order.”

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 80g golden syrup
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 375g white chocolate (1 x 375g bag)
  • 200g macadamias cut into quarters

Method

  1. Place the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup and heat in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the butter and sugar have melted.
  2. Stir in the condensed milk and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat slightly and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has changed to a darker colour.  This should take about 10 minutes.
  4. Finely dice the chocolate and stir into mixture until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted.
  5. Fold in the macadamia nuts.
  6. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  7. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  8. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1.5cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.

Honeycomb Fudge

“If you’re not feeling adventurous you can buy honeycomb at the shop for this recipe, but making it is so much fun!  I decided this fudge needed to be cut into smaller pieces than the others because it’s so rich and the honeycomb is very sticky.  Of course that means you’ll have to have 2 pieces.”

Ingredients

  • 160g honey
  • 50g water
  • 200g white sugar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g milk chocolate (2 x 375g bags)

Method

  1. Line a cake tin or roasting dish with baking paper.
  2. To make the honeycomb put the honey, water and sugar in a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil stirring to combine.
  3. Once at the boil insert a sugar thermometer into the liquid.  Let the mixture increase in temperature until it gets to 150 degrees c.
  4. When the temperature is reached add the bicarbonate and whisk quickly into the mixture.  It will immediately bubble up.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin and let cool completely at room temperature.
  6. Once cool break 2/3 of the honeycomb into chunks and the remainder into small shards.
  7. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  8. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  9. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  10. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the chunks of honeycomb, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  11. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  12. Cover the top with the honeycomb shards and press into the fudge.
  13. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  14. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.