Thursday, January 28, 2010

liar liar

Not so long ago I said that this was no longer a food blog. I'm obviously an outrageous liar, as I have all of these food posts to give you. Above is my offering for my Australian Day BBQ - it was bring a salad or bring a desert, and so I made a trio of Australian Deserts.

On the far left is a lamington cake. It's fairly straight forward, vanilla cupcake, chocolate ganache with coconut. I'm sure you can work this all out. Although it does make me wonder how coconut companies think I'm going to use a kilo of shaved coconut, as this seems to be the smallest quantity available in your average supermarket. I would suppose my dozen cakes used about 15gm, so if you're ever in need, please let me know.

I got the ganache recipe from Joy the Baker. Most people thing ganache a doddle. It's always failed horribly for me and been runny and useless, even after a spell in the freezer. Joy pours the hot cream over her chocolate, rather than melt them both in a double boiler, and for me this made all the difference.

Also thanks to Joy for the middle cake, my Cherry Ripe cake. Cherry Ripe is apparently the oldest chocolate bar still being produced in Australia. I made a red velvet cake, using Joy's recipe below, but pushed a glace cherry just below the surface of each cake before putting them in the oven. The icing is a sour cream chocolate icing. This was too runny. Next time it's ganache all the way

Joy's Favourite Red Velvet Cakes

60gm unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tablespoons red food coloring

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Turn mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

Spoon batter into a paper lined cupcake baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean.

Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them of a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

On the far left are my Violet Crumble cakes. Honey cupcakes with the same average icing as the Cherry Ripe ones

Honey Cupcakes
120gm unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup honey
3/4 buttermilk
1tspn vanilla
1 egg
2 cups SRF

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and honey. Beat for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Beat in egg, scrape down sides after blended. Add in vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds. Starting with the flour first, alternate between flour and milk, ending with flour. So 1/3 of flour,
½ of milk, 1/3 of flour, ½ milk, 1/3 flour.

Blend until fully combined.

Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Both of these recipes worked divinely, probably largely because I followed the instructions and blended as long as I should have and didn't cut corners. The honey ones in particularly were incredibly light and fluffy, and I allowed the sugars and butter to beat well together. The honey gave it a much lighter texture than just sugar creamed in butter.

So, Advance Australia Fair. Let us all eat cake

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