Christmas cake: some love it (its cake so what’s not to like?) but some people hate fruit cake of any kind. This light cake might just change their minds about fruit cakes; it has just enough raisins to add texture and a subtle flavour.
Two cakes in a row…. but cake is a good thing particularly when paired with a nice hot coffee and a good book. Continue reading
A few years ago I hopped onto the fermenting wagon with enthusiasm. Perhaps too much enthusiasm as bottles of water kefir and kombucha took over the fridge followed by milk kefir and kimchi. Production far outstripped demand and we ended up having way too much so I have scaled back my efforts. Currently I am only making milk kefir as it is a wonderful product to have on hand for baking. I use it in place of yoghurt, sour cream or buttermilk. I do have yoghurt, sour cream and sometimes buttermilk in the fridge but they are “earmarked” for other things and I can always rely on having milk kefir to use up. Continue reading
Feijoa fruiting season is eagerly anticipated by most people in the New Zealand and many backyards have a tree or three that drop the green fruit in a thick carpet from the trunk to the drip line. Feijoas drop when they are ripe although they can be picked to help prevent bruising. Feijoas are also known as pineapple guava and guavasteen – they are native to several countries in South America but grow extremely well here in the North Island of New Zealand. Continue reading
One of the reasons I love Pinterest (actually that should probably be LOVE Pinterest) is that other people share their absolutely inspired and awesome ideas. Ideas such as Roasted Bananas….. I have roasted all sorts of fruit: apples, rhubarb, apricots, peaches, pineapple….. but the idea of roasting bananas had never occurred to me. Then I see Two Peas and Their Pod pinned Whole Wheat Roasted Banana Bread. And I got very excited about the concept of roasted bananas. So excited that I snaffled all the bananas in the fruit bowl and got my first batch roasting – never mind that the bananas were still in a perfectly edible state (ie not yet “baking” bananas). Continue reading
Having purchased a commercially baked panettone and compared it to my baby panettone (see here) I could see that the few issues I had had with my rising and baking had impacted on the texture of my bread. The mini panettone were delicious but more like regular fruit bread than proper panettone. Continue reading
Panforte, an Italian Christmas cake of Siena, Italy, is more confection than cake. A variety of nuts & fruit are coated in heady spiced flour then enrobed in honey-caramel. The result is a rich chewy treat, delicious when cut into thin slivers and served with coffee. In Italy, each village has their own variation of Panforte, and so I was inspired to make not one but two Gisborne variations. Here is the White Chocolate version. Continue reading
Pineapple & chocolate are a perfect pairing and this delicious mud cake was inspired by a very Kiwi confectionery (Pineapple Lumps). White chocolate & pineapple give the cake a lovely golden-yellow colour. Using a white chocolate that has cacao solids seems to make it easier to work with (and it tastes great). Roasting the pineapple intensifies the tropical flavour of the fruit and with the addition of the freeze-dried powder, this cake is very fragrant and pineapple-y. The yoghurt in the ganache lends a lovely tang to the chocolate topping, though it can be omitted, and the cream quantity doubled. The cake keeps well but most likely won’t last long enough to need storing. Continue reading
I received a cool little cookbook, Sweet treats to share, to review (read the review here). As I do, I found the apple recipes and got out my pinny. We had Annabelle White’s Sicilian Apple Cake for Sunday night pudding tea (more on that some other time) and that was as far as I had got. The review was a little overdue but I needed to bake something else from the book (I forgot to photograph the Sicilian Apple Cake before it was scarfed).
First up – coffee cake is not coffee-flavoured cake (although coffee cake can be cake with coffee in it). Wiki says coffee cake is cake intended to eat with coffee or on coffee break, a single layer cake either round, square or ring (tube) shaped or maybe even in the shape of a loaf (like banana bread). Coffee cake can be spiced, and include nuts, seeds and/or fruit. Coffee cake is topped with a streusel topping or a glaze. Similar to teacakes….. but tea cakes are served with tea ;-). I like the idea of streusel topping – saves having to ice (frost) the cake. I am still not entirely sure what the difference between coffee cake and tea cake, or regular cake is though. Continue reading