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American Sponge Cake ~ Success!

AmericanSpongeCakeImage

This sponge cake recipe is full-proof! I have made it twice already and both with wonderful results!
This is from someone who hardly bakes. Great slices of cake to pack into kids lunch boxes as a special school tea cake to have them thinking of their Mommy. 😉

Taken from The Cake Bible ~ Rose Levy Beranbaum

Ingredients (all in room temperature):

  1. 2 tablespoons water
  2. 1/5 teaspoon vanilla
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  4. 1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 6 large eggs, separated yolks & whites
  7. 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl combine water, vanilla & lemon zest
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of the sugar and reserve to beat with the whites
  • In another smaller bowl which together the flour and 3 tablespoons of the sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the yolks and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar on high speed for 5minutes or until the mixture is very thick and ribbons with dropped from the beater.
  • Lower the speed and gradually add the water mixture. Increase to high speed beat for 30 seconds.
  • Shift the flour mixture over the yolk mixture without mixing in and set aside.
  • Beat the whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.
  • Beat in reserved 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until very stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.
  • Add 1/3 of the whites to the yolk mixture and with a large skimmer or rubber spatula fold until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining 2 batches.
  • Pour into the pan. (It will a little more then 1/2 full)
  • Run a small metal spatula or knife though the batter to prevent air pockets.
  • Back for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and the cake tester comes out clean.
  • Suspend the pan tube opening over the neck of a wine or soda bottle well above the counter to allow it to cool completely. (think might take about 1hr)
  • Loosen the sides with a long metal spatula. Invert onto a wire rack or serving plate. Wrap airtight

This stores for a good 5-6days in the refrigerator or frozen for 2months.

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Easter Entertaining

Following-up from our Easter Decorating post, I’ve been looking through some blogs and images for entertaining ideas.
We’re having a neighbours only get-together barbecue in our backyard, I’m thinking maybe a simple Easter themed table setting will set the right mood for a fun evening.

Here’s some ideas that I liked and would like to share.

EggPlaceCards

This idea is simple and easy if you pretty much have a printer and toilet rolls oh and of course a few egg.
This can double up as a egg painting activity among your dining guests too!

From a great blog called Our Vintage Home
From a great blog called Our Vintage Home

BunnyNapkinFold

This bunny napkin fold is just adorable and it’s EASY. Instructions can be found here…. Or here.

EggAlpha

Yes simple and easy, yet not too overwhelming.

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Afternoon Tea

There’s a line I heard just today that got me in front of the computer nodding my head in total agreement with.

It goes,

“Do you want to know the diet for America, the one diet that would work… Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.”

Well right now I want Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker

DoubleChocolateChipCookies2

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 ounces dark chocolate chips or chunks

coarse sea salt, for topping (optional)

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat for 1 minute more.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the butter and egg mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined.

Stop the mixer and stir in the chocolate chunks.

Scoop dough using a small cookie scoop, or by rolling dough by the heaping tablespoonful. Place on cookie sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each dough ball.

Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until cookies are just done. It’s even ok if these cookies are slightly under baked. Try your darndest not to over bake them. Allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool before storing. Cookies are best within 3 days of baking.

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Tea Time

Surfing around my favourite blogs this afternoon while the children are down for their afternoon nap and I came across this Buttermilk Beignets from Joy the Baker. Remember having them in New Orleans with a simple cup of coffee… it was perfect.

Buttermilk Beignets

I’m seriously going to consider making this next week and hopefully be able to turn this around tea time next weekend.

Check out the recipe and let’s make them together! x

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Simply Food

Current obsession…. Food!
I don’t know why but ever since my husband’s Dukan Diet book got delivered to our home. I wanted to start baking magdalenes and chocolate pies. I started a food blog with my friends and every opportunity I get, I ransack the internet for food bloggers for colorful tart recipes.

Recipe here

Recipe here

I’ve always sworn to never be on a “diet” just eat what I love to eat in moderation. Two kids later and a tough to get rid of baby belly, I’m considering for the first time to try this Dukan diet. That would be restricting myself form rice and bread… two of my favorite staples.

….doesn’t these scones look nice.

Recipe here

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St Patrick’s Day Tribute

The Guinness Chocolate Cake…

The idea came from looking at this gorgeous looking cake from Minimally Invasive. Which drew me to this site where I found the recipe for the Guinness Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

From Feast by Nigella Lawson (reprinted in the New York Times on 12/8/04)
Yield: One 9-inch cake (12 servings)

For the cake:

Butter for pan
1 cup Guinness stout
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar (I have used regular granulated sugar with no ill effects)
3/8 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the topping:

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.

For the topping: Using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners’ sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.

Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

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Weekend Notables

Blueberry pancakes and yummy yummuy get in my tummy smoothie.

… feeling crafty…

These little tags from packagery are perfect for labeling or as gift tags. Download them here

I hope they will eventually do this for Pinterest but have you always wanted to get your Instagram photos printed and hung up on a wall perhaps… well now with Printstagram, you can!
Does all the hard work of formatting and printing into stickers, booklets, posters etc. to suit your needs.

Pancakes image found here.

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Party Food Ideas

I like to think that I’m a brilliant cook. However reality is that I’m still very wet behind the ears when it comes to hosting dinner parties. I always play it safe and make dishes that I’ve made many times before but try to get away with a new dessert or appetizer. Anyway, who’s to say that every dinner party needs to be stressful.

Especially when its easy to pinch some gorgeous recipies from Camille Styles

Or this Chicken and White Bean Chilli (Recipe Here)

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Tea Time

Image from Coco + Kelly

Ingredients

1 stick butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole, 2 percent fat, 1 percent fat milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Method

Preheat over to 180deg C. Grease muffin tin or line with paper liners.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add 1 cup of the sugar and mix.
Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt and mix.
In a shallow bowl, mash 3/4 cup of blueberries with back of a fork. Add to the batter and mix.

With the mixer running at low speed, add 1/2 of the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Fold in the remaining 1 3/4cups of whole blueberries by hand until well mixed. In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with cinnamon. Use a large spoon to fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the muffins and bake until golden brown and risen. 25-30 minutes.
Let cool in the pan at least 30mins before turning out.

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Summer Roll – FAIL

This is rather embarrassing. Despite all my optimism to get this recipe right considering there wasn’t any cooking involved. My attempt to make summer rolls failed miserably. It was edible but didn’t look appetizing at all.

This is one dish I would need to perfect before it can be served to guests.

I suppose for not ever effort made are meant to be successful. Lesson learned, spring roll wrap should not be used in replacement to rice paper wrap.

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Feel It… See It… Do It…


A great post from Patterson Maker of little sayings from Diane Von Furstenberg

Image from Design Darling

I live a very simplified life by constantly enforcing my #1 rule which is to keep organized. So you can imaging my heart fluttering a little with delight seeing this post by Design Darling of an ultra neat and efficient garage.

Image from Brown Eyed Baker

I’m also thinking of getting my hands dirty with doughnut making this weekend brought to you by Brown Eyed Baker




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