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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Coffee Sponge Cream Cake






NANDO'S Birthday cake - we celebrated Nando's birthday tonight and it was so nice to see our beautiful family again and get together with everyone. The cake itself was made over 3 days, the decorating took a couple of hours this afternoon but Anthony and I perservered and we were very happy and enjoyed just being creative together. It's a sponge cake soaked in coffee and Tia Maria liquor then filled with layers of vanilla and chocolate pudding, top and side covered with cream and decorated with chocolate shards and ganache. ENJOY !

INGREDIENTS

Cake

6 eggs (61g)
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups self-raising flour, sifted

Filling
2 pkts vanilla pudding
700ml full cream milk
700mls x 2 thickened cream
150 mls thickened cream, extra, whipped
3 tab “Cadbury” chocolate drinking powder, sifted

9 coffee cups Italian coffee
(made with 1 x 6 Italian Coffee Machine and 1 x 3 Italian Coffee Machine)
2 tab sugar
1 ½ capful Tia Maria Liquor

Decorations
As preferred using dark and white chocolate

METHODS

Cake – 1st Day
Start the cake 3 days before require. Preheat oven at 180oC. Butter and flour a 23 cm cake tin and set aside. Separate egg yolks from white. Place egg whites in bowl of electric mixture and beat until soft peaks form. Add egg yolks all at once along with the sugar and beat again with electric mixer until incorporated. Stir flour in batches (3/4 cup at a time) with a wooden spoon stirring slowly but thoroughly in the same direction as beaten by mixer. Pour mixture into cake tin and slowly place in oven. Bake at 180oC for 53 mins. Turn oven off and leave in oven for 5 minutes before removing from oven. Allow to sit for a few minutes before inverting the cake onto a cake rack. Allow to cool completely and place in air tight container until the next day for filling.

Filling – 2nd Day

Cut the cake into 2 parts giving you 3 layers. Place bottom layer onto serving plate. Place a bottomless springform cake tin on top of cake and clip in place. This will allow the cake to set within the cake tin and will be removed after the cake has been set and just before decorating which is on day 3. Set aside the other 2 cake layers until required.

Make Italian coffee and pour into medium bowl. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature and add the Tia Maria. Divide the coffee into 3 glasses to allow even soaking between layers. Set aside.

Assembling Cake
Pour 350ml milk and 350ml cream into bowl of electric mixer. Sprinkle contents of 1 pkt of vanilla pudding onto the milk mixture. Beat with electric mixer until stiff. Mixture will stiffen even more upon sitting. Take 2 large tablespoons of the mixture and place into a small bowl and set aside (this will be used for the last layer). Sprinkle the drinking chocolate onto the vanilla pudding and stir to combine – this will make the chocolate pudding. Set aside.

Using one glass of coffee and with a spoon pour coffee mixture evenly over bottom layer of cake. Spread the chocolate pudding evening over this 1st layer.

Place the 2nd layer of cake onto the chocolate pudding and repeat the coffee soaking using the 2nd glass of coffee.

Pour another 350ml milk and 350ml cream into bowl of electric mixer. Sprinkle contents of 2nd pkt of vanilla pudding onto the milk mixture. Beat with electric mixer until stiff. Mixture will stiffen even more upon sitting. Take another 2 large tablespoons of the mixture and place into the bowl with the other 2 tab vanilla pudding and set aside (remember this will be used for the last layer). Take the vanilla pudding and spread evenly over the 2nd layer of cake.

Place the 3rd layer of cake over the vanilla pudding and repeat the coffee soaking using the 3rd glass of coffee.

Finally, spread the vanilla pudding in the small bowl (which has 4 tab of vanilla pudding in it) over the 3rd layer of cake.

Cover with “Gladwrap” and place in fridge overnight.

Decorations – 3rd Day

Unclip the springform pan and spread the sides and top with cream (extra). Decorate as desired.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moist Chocolate Cake (updated 27/2/14)




It's Nando's birthday and I've been so busy baking and will continue to bake over the next few days, so stay tuned. I made this cake for him to take to work and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all, so for those who requested the recipe here it is. ENJOY - it is such an easy peasy cake ! (There's a story why we wrote Merri instead of Happy and a prize to those who guess.)

Ingredients

250g self raising flour, sifted
2 cups Caster Sugar
75g Cocoa, sifted
2 teas Baking Powder
1 teas Bicarbonate Soda
½ teas Salt
1 cup milk
1 cup cold strong coffee
100 ml vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teas vinegar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180oC (170o fan forced) and line a 22cm springform pan with baking paper, grease spray the sides of pan.
2. In a large bowl combine: flour, caster sugar, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
3. In another bowl whisk together with balloon whisk: milk, coffee, oil, eggs and vinegar.
4. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and with balloon whisk stir to combine.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 180oC (170oC fan forced) for 1 hour.

Filling

540ml thickened cream

Beat cream with electric or handheld beater until stiff. Cut cake in half and spread cream to sandwich cakes together.

Topping

¼ cup (60mls) thickened cream
75g milk chocolate buttons
75g dark chocolate buttons

Put cream in a small bowl and place and microwave until hot about 1 min. Remove from microwave and quickly add all the chocolate. Set aside for ½ minute than stir to combine allowing the chocolate to melt in the hot cream. Set aside to thicken and then pour over top and sides of cake.


Special Note re Cream

Buy a 600ml cream and use ¼ cup (60mls) for the topping and the rest (540mls) for the filling.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Koulourakia (Greek Biscuits)



Have a go at making these yummy Greek biscuits, I DID ! They are the best "dip-it-in milk biscuits" for young and old. They remind me of having breakfast in Italy, we just had hot milky coffee with biscuits. This batch makes lots so you needs a helping hand. ENJOY !

250g unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups caster sugar
5 eggs
2 teas vanilla essence or 1 pkt vanilla sugar
1 x 300ml cream
1 tab Brandy or 1 Orange or Lemon rind
6 cups of S/R Flour, sifted
1 egg beaten, extra
¼ cup sugar, extra

Preheat oven 180oC (170oC fan forced) and line oven trays with baking paper. With electric beater, beat butter and sugar until well combined. Add eggs one at a time and beat between each addition until creamy. Add vanilla essence or vanilla sugar and beat again. Add brandy and beat again. With dough attachment on your mixture, mix through 4 cups of the flour until well combined, adding the other 2 cups if required. Shape dough into 22cm x 5mm strips, bring together to form a twist and place on lined trays. Brush tops of biscuits with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 180oC (170oC fan forced) for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Amira's Banana Muffins


You know how some muffins come out dry and ordinary, well these are different. For a lovely moist muffin, make sure your bananas are very ripe and when you mix all the ingredients together you need to mix until just combined, DON'T OVER MIX. What a lovely treat anytime of the day, breakfast or afternoon tea or pop them in the kid's lunchboxes. As you can see from the picture, to some of the mixture I added crushed walnuts for a different treat. They'll be gone in no time. Makes about 16 large muffins.


2 cups S/R Flour, sifted
2 teas Bicarb Soda, sifted
1 teas cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup milk
3 over ripe medium bananas
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegi oil
handful of crushed walnuts, (optional)

Preheat oven at 180oC (170oC fan forced). Line muffin tin with paper cup cakes.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl (except for walnuts). Mash bananas with milk and stir to combine. Add to dry ingredients. Beat eggs with oil and add to flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not over beat. Take a quarter of the mixture and add the crushed walnuts.

Bake at 180oC for 20 minutes.