Tagged with Recipe

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

I’ve tried a few recipes for gluten-free cupcakes but I keep going back to this one.

gluten-free vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from: 500 Cupcakes edited by Fergal Connolly

Ingredients

225g/8oz unsalted butter, softened
225g/8oz caster sugar
225g/8oz gluten-free self-raising flour mix (I like Orgran Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour)
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter slightly, then add sugar, flour, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Spoon mixture into 18 – 24 patty cases. (Fill only to half full to avoid muffin tops.) Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Remove trays from oven and cool 5 minutes before removing from tray to cool on a rack.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Australian Red Cross Big Cake Bake August 2012

Want to bake the world a better place? It’s something I try to do. That’s what the Australian Red Cross is asking this August. The Big Cake Bake is aiming to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross to help those in need locally and overseas. Just sign up, bake a cake or two and share them with your friends, family or co-workers. Your Big Cake Bake host kit will include a donation box so everyone who samples your delicious baked goods can give generously to the cause. The official date of the Big Cake Bake is August 27, 2012 however you can hold your event at anytime in August.

Go to the Big Cake Bake site to get more information. Register now to receive your host kit and get planning your event.

Here are some of my favourite cakes to help you get baking!

Can you help bake the world a better place? $150 will help give vulnerable young families around Australia basic support and skills so that they can provide their kids with the best start in life.
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Chocolate Orange Mousse

I had such high hopes. I love anything chocolate orange flavoured, but alas it was not to be. This is a delicious mousse, it’s just not a chocolate orange mousse. More juice next time? Some zest perhaps? I used freshly squeezed juice in the mousse but omitted the candied orange garnish after discovering the mousse wasn’t quite flavoured the way I’d hoped. This recipe is by Curtis Stone. Have you made it and had better results? Or do you have a chocolate orange mousse recipe I can add to my to-do list?

Perhaps I’ll have to stop by Rockpool for another serving of jaffa mousse cake. If I remind hubby of Rockpool’s mac and cheese I may just get that little slice of heaven soon!

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White Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yesterday was Mother’s day here in Australia. I honored the memory of my mother by participating in an annual fun run which raised money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. While my mother has been gone too long for me to remember the sound of her voice, some of the strongest memories I have of her contain her baking and her cooking.

Her roast dinners with Yorkshire puddings, the thin, speckled crepe-like pancakes with golden syrup on Shrove Tuesdays and the amazing birthday cakes she made for my brother, father and I each year. Today the scent of freshly-squeezed lemon juice reminds me of something she would make in the kitchen, I just can’t remember what it was she added lemon juice to. Perhaps it was the cheesecake she made with Philadelphia cream cheese or the warm lemon pudding she baked in a large oval-shaped Pyrex dish.

 Katie in the kitchen, 1984

Today I mix my cakes with the same metal spoon she did, the one I’m holding in the photo above. I made these white chocolate cupcakes with her in mind, and shared them with the friends who ran with me yesterday. We raised over $900 for the fight against the disease that took my mother too soon.

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Chocolate Cake

Happy birthday Elise!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Ingredients

For the classic chocolate cake

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting 

180g dark chocolate, chopped
180g milk chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tbs light corn syrup or golden syrup

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 1/4 cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl.

Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture.

Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the chocolate frosting

Place the chopped chocolate and milk chocolate in the bowl of am electric mixer. In a small saucepan bring cream and syrup to the boil, remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, gradually add the butter and mix until well combined and smooth. Chill frosting for a few minutes until it can hold its shape.

To assemble the cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups frosting on top.

Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as the crumb coating and will help you keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.)

Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm it up.

The cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature for up to 3 days

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Anzac Biscuits

April 25 is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, a day of remembrance for those who served our countries. These sweet, oaty, crispy biscuits were said to have been sent to Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers during World War I by their wives and families.

Recipes for Anzac biscuits don’t vary too much, just remember they never contain egg and are never to be called cookies. Golden syrup is a pale-coloured treacle, similar in colour and consistency to honey. It is widely available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. I’ve also read a version of golden syrup is popular and locally produced in Louisiana, so US bakers may have luck finding it in that area. Light corn syrup is a suggested alternative, but true Anzac biscuits always contain golden syrup.

Anzac Biscuits
Recipe from Woman’s Day magazine

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, chopped
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Directions

Preheat oven to moderately low, 160°C. Line baking trays with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut.

In a small pan, combine butter and golden syrup. Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes until melted.

In a small jug, combine water and bicarbonate of soda. Stir into butter mixture. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix well.

Roll pieces of mixture into walnut-sized balls. Arrange on prepared trays, leaving a 4cm space between each biscuit to allow for spreading. Press lightly to flatten.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Biscuits will harden on cooling.

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Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake

This recipe is my new favourite chocolate cake recipe. Chocolate cake with mousse-like chocolate frosting and dark chocolate ganache drizzled on top. I think I’ll tweak the recipe a little further but it’s pretty darn good just the way it is.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Ingredients

For the classic chocolate cake

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2  2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1  ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting

180 grams dark chocolate, chopped
180 grams milk chocolate, chopped
1  ½ cups heavy cream
2 tbs light corn syrup or golden syrup
1  ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, chopped into 1 inch pieces

For the chocolate glaze

180 grams good quality (60-72%) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 ¼ cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl. Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture. Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the chocolate frosting

Place the chopped chocolate and milk chocolate in the bowl of am electric mixer. In a small saucepan bring cream and syrup to the boil, remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, gradually add the butter and mix until well combined and smooth. Chill frosting for a few minutes until it can hold its shape.

To assemble the cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups frosting on top. Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as the crumb coating and will help you keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.) Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm it up.

Make the chocolate glaze

Place the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir the glaze to release excess heat. Cool until it is still pourable but not hot to the touch. Otherwise you may melt your frosting right off your cake. Drizzle glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake about 15 minutes to set the glaze before serving.

Glaze the cake

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your cake on a wire rack over the baking sheet. Slowly pour about 3/4 of a cup of the glaze over the cake. Use a small offset spatula to smooth it out to the edges. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the glaze. Remove from the refrigerator and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the cake. It should run down the sides in thick streams. You should be able to control the size and length of the streams by the pour. Feel free to experiment, and have no fear in playing around. This is the fun part, and there is no right or wrong way. Chill the entire cake for approximately 20 minutes, or until glaze is set, then transfer to a cake plate. Serve at room temperature.

The cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature for up to 3 days

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Kitchen Sink Cookies

Yes, I make these often don’t I? Another batch today – Easter M&Ms and McGrath Foundation pink-and-white M&Ms.


More kitchen sink cookies –

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 40

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Any variation of chocolate, nuts, candy etc like –
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
2 cups M&Ms

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended. Stir in oats, M&M’s, chocolate chips and chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto trays, about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. (I roll into balls). Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes (8-10 minutes in my oven). Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.
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Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

Mix smooth peanut butter (softened, about 1/4 cup) with icing sugar (sifted, about 1/4 cup). Chill mixture, then shape into egg or ball shapes (about 8). Insert lollipop sticks into peanut butter eggs, chill again. Dip eggs into melted chocolate and chill until set. Then enjoy!

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Chocolate Cake with Coffee Buttercream Frosting

This recipe is from Baked Explorations. I just love this cookbook. I love both of the Baked cookbooks. If you haven’t already got these two cookbooks on your shelf I highly recommend you fix this. If you like cake. And chocolate. And American desserts, pies and cookies. Oh my.

I didn’t make any major substitutions on this recipe. It’s a delicate cake so be careful when removing the layers from the tins. My frosting did have a slightly odd texture, but was more than usable and tasted great if you like coffee. I had to rush the chocolate topping onto the cake as guests were waiting, otherwise it is worth the time to let the chocolate cool slightly before adding to the top of the cake. The cake looks quite spectacular, chocolate sauce running down over the caramel-coloured frosting.

I found coffee essence in the baking supplies aisle of my supermarket, next to vanilla extract. Happy (belated) birthday Dad.

Chocolate Coffee Cake
Recipe from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Recipe found and reviewed at Modern Domestic

For the classic chocolate cake

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

For the coffee buttercream

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (three sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbs coffee extract

For the chocolate glaze

8 oz good quality (60-72%) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbs light corn syrup

Assembly
10-12 chocolate covered espresso beans

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment, Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 1/4 cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl. Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture. Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the coffee buttercream

In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool (this takes about 7-9 minutes; however, you can speed up the process by pressing bags of frozen berries or frozen corn around the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl). Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about another 1-2 minutes.

Add the vanilla and coffee extracts and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

To assemble the cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups frosting on top. Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as the crumb coating and will help you keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.) Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm it up. 

 Make the chocolate glaze

Place the butter, chocolate, and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir the glaze to release excess heat. Drizzle glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake about 15 minutes to set the glaze before serving.

Glaze the cake

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your cake on a wire rack over the baking sheet. Slowly pour about 3/4 of a cup of the glaze over the cake. Use a small offset spatula to smooth it out to the edges. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the glaze. Remove from the refrigerator and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the cake. It should run down the sides in thick streams. You should be able to control the size and length of the streams by the pour. Feel free to experiment, and have no fear in playing around. This is the fun part, and there is no right or wrong way. Garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans. Chill the entire cake for approximately 20 minutes, or until glaze is set, then transfer to a cake plate. Serve at room temperature.

The cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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