Monday, October 25, 2010

First time - Hummingbird Cake

I've always heard of how moist Hummingbird cakes can be, and simple to make as well (and no butter, oil is used instead) so i had to try & make one myself, one Friday evening James my new baking companion & I started really late around 10pm or so and took about two hours including the cooling down time, and it was fun and the cake was certainly moist & superb tasting i will come back to this cake in the future again im sure :O)


250g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
270g brown sugar
440g can crushed pineapple, drained
50g desiccated coconut
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250ml (1 cup) sunflower oil

Cream cheese icing

100g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, to garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 170°C.

Grease and line the base of a 23cm square cake pan. Sift flour and spices into a large bowl. Add sugar, pineapple, coconut, banana, walnuts, eggs and oil. Stir to combine.

Spread into lined pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Place on a rack and set aside to cool.

To make icing, place cheese, butter, vanilla and icing sugar in an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Spread on top of cooled cake. Garnish with saultana's.

Thanks to James for helping make the cake & take photo's as well :D

Monday, October 18, 2010

Profiteroles - My first time

Profiteroles are something I always thought was very tricky and time consuming to make, so I never thought to make them, only bought them!

Until one day my mom asked, if i knew how to make these, as they were here favourite.. so one Saturday afternoon - me and mom in the kitchen - tackled on this project together :O)

Surprisingly, it was very quick, and simple as well. One thing i'd do differently is probably to do the puffs first, and once they are out of the oven, to start on the filling, as you need to keep checking the puffs AND the filling as well, one of the other could burn or over cook - but luckily my mom was around to keep everything in order hehe.

We made about 25 bite sized profiteroles, and my mom loved them! Personally i like eating them a couple hours after so that the pastry goes slightly hydrated and soft from the filling, but they were nice eaten straight away as well. Will definitely make these again in the future.


For choux pastry

75g butter
3/4 cup (180ml) water
3/4 cup (110g) plain flour
3 eggs

For creme filling

2 and 1/4 cups of whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour, sifted

For choux pastry

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and water and bring to the boil.

3. Add the flour whilst constantly beading with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the side of the saucepan and forms a smooth ball. Remove from heat.

4. Transfer mixture to mixing bowl and beat in eggs, one at a time, with an electric mixer until the mixture because smooth and glossy.

5. Drop rounded tablespoons full of choux pastry dough onto the prepared trays leaving 4cm between each one. I used 2 spoons for this - filled a tablespoon with the mix and used the back of a dessert spoon to scrape and plonk it onto the paper. It was a bit sticky so I used the back of the spoon to smooth out the balls and make them nice and round.

6. Bake for 7min or until pastries puff up.

7. Lower the heat to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 10min or until lightly browned and crisp.

8. Cut an opening in the side of each profiterole and bake for a further 5min until they dry out.

9. Cool the puffs on a rack till room temperature.

Making the filling

1. Bring milk and vanilla extract to the boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and set aside for 10min.

2. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until thick. Beat in the sifted flour. With motor operating on low speed, gradually beat in the hot milk mixture. Once the milk is incorporated, return the mix to the saucepan.

3. Stir over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens.

4. Cover surface of bowl with plastic wrap (prevents skin from forming) and refrigerate until cold.

5. Once the puffs are cooled and your custard is cold, you can fill them. Either spoon them into the slits you cut before or using a piping bag and straight nozzle.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blueberry Olive Oil Cake

Grocery shopping on a Sunday night i found punnets of blueberries at $5 a pop - usually they are $10 so i grabbed a punnet, and found this recipe :O)

Brought it into footy the next night for everyone, i hope the team liked it hehe. The cake is different, with the olive oil its denser yet tastes lighter then a normal butter based cake, and i find it stayed moist after one or two days as well.


Moro Extra Light Olive Oil Cooking Spray
1 cup Moro Extra Light Olive Oil
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup milk
1 cup frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Spray a 6cm deep, 19cm square cake pan with oil. Line base and sides with 2 layers of baking paper.

Place oil, eggs, sugar and extract in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Add half the flour. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with blueberries.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean (cover cake with foil during cooking if over browning).

Stand cake in pan for 10 minutes. Line a wire rack with baking paper. Turn cake top-side up onto a wire rack to cool.