Friday, November 26, 2010

Slightly less deadly but just as delicious- carrot cake

Carrot cake deceptively sounds like something that should be super healthy. It's not. Especially not considering most of the recipes I found online, where there was 300ml oil in the dough and 880g sugar, half of it in the frosting! So, I made my own recipe, using kefir instead of most of the oil and leaving out most of the sugar. I also reduced the amount of cinnamon to a minimum because to me, cinnamon tastes of evil. Here's my version:

Slightly less deadly carrot cake:

For the dough (*- optional ingredients):
4 eggs
200g or less sugar
200ml kefir (or buttermilk)
100ml vegetable oil
250g flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
0.75 tsp cinnamon
350 g grated carrots
*three handfuls of frozen lingonberries
*70g slivered almonds
*70g coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to about 170-175 degrees, line a cake tin with baking paper. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk and sugar. In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, baking bowder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and the optional ingredients (if using). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in the carrots, making sure the dough is homogenous enough. Transfer everything into the cake tin and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool under a towel for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and let it cool completely before frosting.

200g cream cheese
~80g butter, softened (I used 50g creamed coconut and 40g butter)
150g sugar (or more, if it's not sweet enough for you)

Whisk everything together until soft and fluffy. Spread over the cooled cake. Cut into squares and enjoy. Makes 12 huge pieces or 18 medium ones.

I've made this kind of cake twice now and it's been a raging success!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's been ages! Variations on cookies.

So, I'm back. The summer was just too hot and busy and amazing for me to actually cook something I'd like to write about. Or cook anything at all.
Now, the winter is creeping closer and the nights are colder and it's time to spend more time behind the stove, where it's warm.
Since I've gone lazy over the summer, cookies seemed like the easiest choice. I've made them a couple of times now and they've turned out really well.

Basic cookie dough:

150g butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla sugar (heaped)
280g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
150g sugar
1/4 tsp salt

"Optional" additions - add one or two of these to the basic cookie mix to make it more interesting.

* 2 tbsp cocoa powder
* 100g nuts (I prefer hazelnuts, but whatever floats your boat)
* 100g raisins or other dried fruit
*~1tsp? cinnamon (I'm not a big fan of cinnamon so you're going to have to figure out the exact dosage)
* chocolate chunks, why not try mixing bits of white and dark chocolate?
* lemon zest or lemon juice
* a pinch or two of nutmeg (don't overdo it!)
* seeds, generously (I'm sure sesame seeds would do wonders even though I've never tried)
* crunched caramel candy (crunched mint flavoured candies and cocoa powder for fans of that particular combination!)

Whisk together butter, egg and vanilla sugar, then add all the other ingredients. Mix well, using hands if necessary. Bake in a preheated oven at 175C, making sure they don't burn. Let cool (the ones with chocolate bits may need to cool for quite a while for the chocolate to harden), and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jackdaws are posh birds

They eat at restaurants now.

Rhubarb and coconut tart with curd

It's rhubarb season! Yesterday I went to the market and bought 2.5 kilograms of rhubarb. This will definitely not be the last rhubarb based thing I make this year. No sir.

Rhubarb and coconut tart with curd:

1/2 of the crust recipe from here. Line a 26cm baking tin and set aside.

500g rhubarb, chopped
400g curd paste (or cream cheese, I suppose)
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
~100g sugar
100g coconut flakes
1 tbsp potato starch (second thought: skip it)

Mix everything together and pour into the prepared crust. Bake at 175C for about an hour or until it looks done. Cover with a towel and let it cool.
Serves 8-10 people.

Strawberry - rhubarb tart

Springtime! What does it mean? Rhubarb. Lots and lots of rhubarb to be made into delicious tarts.

Strawberry - rhubarb tart

1 yeast dough recipe
500g rhubarb, chopped
200g strawberry jam (I used frozen wild strawberry jam)
2.5 tbsp potato starch
~120g sugar

Line a medium sized baking tin with rolled out yeast dough and let it stand for about 10 minutes. In a large pot, mix the sugar, 1.5 tbsp starch and rhubarb and shake it up until the rhubarb pieces are covered in sugar. Mix the remaining 1 tbsp of the potato starch into the strawberry jam.
Spread the strawberry jam over the dough and cover it with the rhubarb-sugar mix. Bake at about 180C for about an hour or until the crust is nice and golden.
Cover it with a towel and let it cool for about an hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Makes about 16 servings.

Even my mum liked this one.