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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Amira's Carrot Cake (updated 8/11/11)

A quick, simple and delicious carrot cake for lunchboxes and the like. I made this today as we were all hanging out for a homebaked cake and what better one than carrot cake, another one of Nando's favourite. You might like to ice the cake with lemon cream cheese "Philly" icing, so so yummy as you can see in the photo. ENJOY.

Makes a small loaf cake 11cm x 21cm
or double the recipe for a 20cm cake with cream cheese topping


1/3 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated carrot (about 1 1/2 carrots)
1 cup self raising flour, sifted
1/2 teas bicarbonate soda
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
¼ cup sultanas (optional)
a small shake of cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla essence


1. Set oven at 180oC
2. Combine together oil, eggs, sugar, whisk with a balloon whisk
3. Add all other ingredients and mix well, do not over mix
4. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 180oC for 40 mins or until cooked.
5. When cooked let sit for 5 minutes before removing from pans and allowing to cool on cake rack.
6. When cool dust with icing sugar and serve.

Philly Icing

125g Philadelphia cheese, softened
40g margarine
1 ½ cups icing sugar
Lemon juice
Sprinkle cinnamon for topping

Beat Philadelphia cheese until soft and creamy, add margarine and beat again. Sift icing sugar into cheese mixture and beat on low speed, add lemon juice to taste and desired consistency. Spread on top of cake and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Anthony's Chocolate Tarts

Anthony has been baking AGAIN ! This time he made the most yummy melt-in-your mouth chocolate tarts. Easy to make and a lovely dessert after dinner. Keep them at room temperature for a soft filling or straight from the fridge for a slightly harder choco bite. Anthony made 8 tarts using 10.5cm tart shells or you can make 1 x 23 cm tart. You may like to dust with cocoa and serve with cream and strawberries for that special occasion.

** Pastry inspired by Home Beautiful Magazine.
** Chocolate filling inspired by recipe book Jamie Oliver The Naked Chef - Simple Chocolate Tart

Tart Shell/s

250g plain flour
125g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 pinch of salt
180g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
2 drops iced water
1. Place the plain flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. You can use a food processor for this. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Shape the dough into a round, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out onto a lightly-floured surface until 3mm thick.
2. Press into a greased or non-stick 23cm tart tin and prick the pastry with a fork. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200oC. Line the chilled pastry with baking paper and add baking weights or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and weights. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before pouring in the chocolate filling.

Chocolate Filling

150ml thickened cream
1 tab caster sugar
the smallest pinch of salt
50g butter, softened
225g best-quality cooking chocolate, broken up
50ml milk
cocoa powder for dusting, cream and strawberries for serving

Place the cream, sugar and pinch of salt in a pan and bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture has boiled, remove from the heat and add the butter and chocolate. Stir until i t has completely melted. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, stirring in the cold milk until smooth and shiny. Allow to cool down a bit more and whisk in a little extra cold milk until smooth. Scrape all the mixture into the cooked and cooled pastry shell with a spatula. Shake the tart to even it out and to cool for around 1 - 2 hours until it is at room temperature or place in fridge for a hard setting filling. To serve dust with cocoa powder, a dollop of cream and strawberries(optional).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pumpkin Scones

What a lovely treat on a cold night, warm and just out of the oven. All you need to serve with these is a spread of butter. They are even nice the next day at room temperature and why not have them for breakfast yummy !

1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
2 – 3 cups self-raising flour
½ cup Castor Sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 egg

1. Preheat oven 180oC. Butter and flour a small cake pan.
2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and then add egg.
3. Add pumpkin and flour and mix by hand.
4. Place dough onto floured surface and knead slightly into a round disk about7mm thick. Cut round shapes and place onto cakepan.
5. Bake at 180oC for 15 – 20 minutes until cooked.
6. Enjoy hot from the oven with a spread of butter.