Displaying items by tag: pastries and cakes

The Clare Valley in South Australia has an abundance of wonderful food and wine. It is known for its riesling and outstanding small-producer olive oils. Here is a superb olive oil cake that is perfect as a dessert with ice cream or by itself with a cup of tea.

2 large oranges

2 lemons

1 tablespoon sugar

7 extra slices of orange

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/3 cup flour, sifted

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup ground almonds

2/3 cup olive oil


2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Place oranges and lemons in pot and simmer, stirring occasionally to turn the fruit, for 30 minutes or until very soft. Remove oranges and lemons and let cool.

Once oranges and lemons have cooled, scoop out and discard flesh, reserving rind. Use a spoon to scrape out white pith. Finely chop rind in a food processor and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease and line an 8½-inch spring form pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle base with 1 tablespoon sugar and arrange extra slices of orange over.

Beat eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer and gradually add remaining sugar, beating until mixture is thick and pale and forms a ribbon.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Stir in almonds. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil and chopped rind. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture, alternating with oil mixture.

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a rack to continue cooling.

Brush orange slices with orange marmalade. Serves 8.

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This dish gives you a starch and vegetables together. Use your imagination and change the filling if you like.


2 tablespoons butter

3 cups chopped leeks (1 bunch)

500 grams mixed mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

¼ cup whipping cream

¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese

1 package puff pastry, defrosted

8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for 2 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes longer, or until mushrooms are soft. Add cream and cook for 30 seconds or until cream just coats vegetables. Stir in breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Divide pastry in half and roll out each piece to a 10 x 10-inch square and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cover half of each square with goat cheese, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Top with vegetable mixture.

Beat together egg yolk and whipping cream for glaze and brush over pastry edges. Fold pastry over vegetables to cover. Press edges together to seal and brush top with glaze. At 2-inch intervals, slash pastry leaving a 2-inch border on each side.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is hot. Serves 6 to 8.

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1 tablespoons butter
4 ounces mushrooms
½ teaspoon garlic
1 egg yolk
¼ cup whipping cream
½ teaspoon Asian chilli sauce
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 frozen mini puff pastry tartlet shells

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes or until mushrooms are juicy. Add garlic and sauté another 1 minute. Remove from heat and reserve.

Whisk together egg yolk and cream. Add Asian chilli sauce and coriander and mix together. Season well with salt and pepper.

Place tartlet shells on a baking sheet. Spoon mushroom mixture into shells and cover with cream mixture. Bake for 14 minutes or until filling is set and pastry is browned. Makes 12 tartlets

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People can rarely guess that fresh goat cheese is the base for this torte. Its fallen soufflé appearance leaves a great sunken centre to fill with cream and fruit.

Goat Cheese Torte:

325 grams (6 ounces) fresh goat cheese

3 tablespoons sugar

4 large eggs, separated

Limoncello Cream:

¾ cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons limoncello


1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh blackberries

Icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and line bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan (or 8 baking dishes) with parchment paper.

Cream goat cheese with electric beaters to soften. Beat in sugar.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites with clean electric beaters until they hold a stiff peak.

Fold 1/3 of egg whites into goat cheese until blended, then gently fold in the rest. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake has risen and turned an even golden brown. Cool to room temperature.

Don't worry when the centre of the cake falls. Remove cake from pan and peel away parchment.

Whip cream to soft peaks and whisk in sugar, lemon zest and limoncello. Dollop cream over top of torte.

Spoon berries over limoncello cream and dust with icing sugar immediately before serving. Serves 8.

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This fabulous winter pudding separates into cake and sauce as it bakes. Serve warm or cold. You can use mandarins or tangerines too.

1/2 cup clementine juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons grated clementine rind

3 eggs, separated

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup light cream

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat clementine juice in a pot over medium heat and reduce to ¼ cup. Cool.

Beat butter using an electric mixer or food processor until light. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in clementine rind, then egg yolks one at a time.

Stir flour into batter, alternating with clementine juice and cream. Mix well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, beat together egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Fold into clementine mixture. Pour batter into a greased 4-cup soufflé dish (or individual soufflé dishes. Place in a baking pan and fill pan with hot water halfway up the soufflé dish.

Bake for 35 minutes (test individual ones after 20 minutes) or until top is set. The bottom will still be liquid.

Sift icing sugar over top and serve hot. Serves 4.

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Always the finest way to serve chocolate, this is often called chocolate volcano because of its rich, solid exterior and oozing saucy interior. Serve with whipped cream. The mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking to allow it to come to room temperature. Make sure the muffin tins are well greased for easy removal of the cakes. This makes more than 2 cakes, so if you can restrain yourself from eating them all, they make a decadent breakfast.

225 grams (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

3 egg yolks

2 egg whites

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Butter 5 deep, non-stick large muffin cups and set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter together in a heavy pot over low heat. Cool slightly.

Beat together sugar and egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Pour in chocolate-butter mixture and beat together for 5 minutes or until chocolate lightens in colour and thickens.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold into egg yolk mixture along with flour.

Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are just cooked and centre is still liquid.

Cool for 5 minutes in tins. Carefully remove to serving dishes. Serve with lightly whipped cream. Serves 2 with leftovers.

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This cake is a favourite of teen baker Elizabeth Fryer. It is very easy to make and always tastes terrific. I have adapted the recipe from Nigella Lawson's cookbook Feast.


1 cup Guinness beer

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2/3 cups sour cream

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


Icing sugar or whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Pour Guinness into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and heat until melted. Remove from heat, whisk in cocoa powder and sugar and reserve.

Combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and beat until uniform. Add sour cream mixture to Guinness mixture and whisk to combine.

Whisk in flour and baking soda. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out with crumbs clinging to it.

Place tin on a rack and leave to cool completely. Before serving, dust with icing sugar or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.

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These sunshiny cakes will make you think spring. Using a one-bowl method simplifies the process, but the butter must be very soft to ensure it combines well with the batter. When lining the tins, make sure the parchment paper extends above the rim for a nicely-shaped cake. For an Easter touch, decorate each one with Smarties.


1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

2 eggs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened


1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir with a fork to combine. Add milk, lemon rind, eggs and butter. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined, about 3 minutes. Line base and sides of 7 or 8 greased muffin cups with parchment paper, allowing paper to extend up to 1-inch above top of muffin cup. Spoon in batter to fill tins three-quarters full.

Place in oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cakes from tins, remove paper and place cakes on a rack over a baking sheet.

Bring sugar and lemon juice to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Use a pastry brush to brush warm syrup over top and sides of warm cakelets. When cooled, ice tops with lemon icing. Serves 6 to 8.



If you want the icing to look like a smooth glaze, use the lesser amount of icing sugar. If you want to pipe the icing, add the full amount.


1/2 cup cream cheese

4 to 5 cups icing sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Combine cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon rind and juice in a bowl and mix together until uniform. Refrigerate until ready to use. You may need to rebeat the mixture to soften it.

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This recipe is a crossover that can be used any time, not just at Passover. My only addition would be to serve it with whipped cream.


2 cups blanched almonds

8 egg whites

½ teaspoon salt

1½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon potato starch (corn starch may be used at other times)

Granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes or until golden. Cool and coarsely chop.

Place egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until frothy. Slowly beat in sugar a few tablespoons at a time. Beat mixture until thick and glossy (mixture should look like shaving cream). Beat in vinegar.

Combine almonds and potato starch and fold into mixture. Scoop mixture onto parchment paper-lined 11-by-17-inch cookie sheet and smooth into each corner. Level top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is browned on top but still pliable.

Turn out on to a tea towel lightly dusted with sugar. Cool a little and gently remove parchment paper. Spread with an even layer of apricot filling (recipe below) and carefully roll up using tea towel as an aide. Slice with a serrated knife. Serves 6 to 8.



2 cups chopped dried apricots

2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger

1 ½ to 2 cups apricot nectar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

3 egg yolks, beaten


Combine apricots, ginger and 1½ cups apricot nectar in a small pot over medium-low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until apricots are soft.

Purée mixture until almost smooth, adding remaining ½ cup of apricot nectar, if needed. Mixture should resemble baby food. Return purée to pot. Stir in lemon juice, rind and egg yolks.

Place pot over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until purée just begins to bubble. Cool and use to fill jelly roll. Yields 2 cups.

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These are Austrian dessert crêpes. They are usually made as individual crêpes on top of the stove, torn apart and sprinkled with powdered sugar and fruit. I found that I could do the same thing by baking a large one in the oven in a large skillet, which saved lots of time. This dish is traditionally served torn in pieces, but you can cut it into wedges if you prefer. It does have to be baked at the last minute, but it can be assembled up to two hours in advance.



1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup port, sweet wine or water

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup mascarpone


2 tablespoons icing sugar


Preheat oven to 425 F.

Place raisins and port in a small pot over medium heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes or until raisins are plump and port is absorbed. Cool.

Combine cream and milk in a large bowl. Whisk in flour, salt and egg yolks until you have a smooth batter. Sieve if necessary.

Place egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk until foamy. Gradually add in sugar, whisking constantly.

When meringue is thick and glossy (it should look like shaving cream), stir 1/3 of it into egg-yolk mixture to lighten it.

Fold in remaining meringue along with raisins, being careful to ensure the mixture is well combined.

Heat butter in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat until sizzling. Carefully swirl pan to coat with butter. Spoon in egg mixture and dot with rounded teaspoons of mascarpone.

Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until puffed and browned.

Sprinkle with icing sugar. Tear apart and serve with rhubarb or caramelized apples or a good jam. Serves 4 to 6.

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