Monday, August 24, 2009

Nina’s Low Fat Apple and Cinnamon Loaf Cake.

As promised, here it is - my recently refined recipe for Low Fat Apple and Cinnamon Cake. I tested this recipe again on the weekend with a few minor adjustments, and used my family as guinea pigs. Dads reaction, after two pieces was ‘I really like it. I mean, I really like it’. Oh, good so you do actually like it, not just saying that you like it. Funny, funny man. But yes, he did really enjoy it. And with the minor adjustments made to the first attempt recipe, I now bake this in a loaf tin. It has a very moist consistency (think banana bread) and is perfect toasted with butter.

2 apples (Granny Smith) peeled and grated
½ Cup of all purpose flour
½ Cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarb soda
Pinch of salt
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ fat free milk
1 cup plain, fat free yoghurt
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 egg whites

1. Pre heat oven to 180c. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and cinnamon into large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, salt and oats, mix.

3. In a separate bowl whisk together yoghurt, apple sauce, milk and egg whites.

4. Gently mix wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix.
5. Stir in apple.
6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nina's apple and cinnamon cake

Today is my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday. A happy birthday to Nina! When I presented her with this birthday present cake she said ‘Wow! I’ve never had a cake with my name on it before!’ I didn’t tell her that the name took me the most amount of effort with this cake, but clearly worth it. I’ve never been able to pipe, I’m all about the fondant when it comes to cake decorating (I know I’ve said it before, but it’s just like play-doh! Seriously.) Last week I had my first cake decorating lesson where we watched our teacher make the perfect royal icing and she also demonstrated a few basic piping techniques. Seems I came away from that lesson with more than I realised. I was determined to get Nina’s name right, and after a few practices on some baking paper I went for it! Three attempts later and plenty of paper towel to wipe away the mistakes I ended up with that fantastic reaction from my mother-in-law!

The cake is a low fat apple and cinnamon cake, recipe developed especially for Nina. For a low fat cake it was very tasty! And very, very moist! I think I may have put in too much apple sauce, but after a few adjustments and another test run this weekend I feel that the recipe will be blog ready.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An artistic Mud Cake!

I’m very excited because tomorrow I start my cake decorating course at Bankstown Community College! I’m going back to the basics to refine my artistic technique. Speaking of artists, last week was my beautiful Aunty Vickii’s 60th birthday and she is a very talented painter (feel free to applaud that magnificent segway- Anna Coren would be impressed).

She also happens to be obsessed with mice (Aunty Vickii, not Anna Coren). Not live mice though. The cute plastic/porcelain/material (etc) type. She has cabinets upon cabinets full of figurines. So, mice had to be incorporated into the design somewhere.
I steered clear of the cliché cheese wheel with mice running over it, and opted for a paint pallet adorned with mice. Cute!

Packet butter cake (tip: If using packet cake I always use Greens brand, it has the best flavour) topped with white chocolate ganache and chocolate marshmallow fondant!

I find some of the best recipes from the many food blogs I read daily, so I’ve decided to add to the phenomenon that is food blogs by including recipes in my blog posts.

In weeks past I headed over to my Grandparents house for Sunday afternoon tea. Sunday is my baking day. While others are worshiping in church, I am praying to the cooking gods that my latest recipe or cake design will work! So obviously for afternoon tea I came with a cake! Mud cake! My boyfriend loves mud cake. Sadly, he did not get to taste this one (much to his disgust).
After researching a few recipes on the net, and some from my trusty cake books, I came up with a recipe I liked (and included the ingredients, or lack thereof, that were currently in my cupboard).

And here it is...

Chocolate Mud Cake

· 1 ½ plain flour
· ½ cup self raising flour (most recipes called for 1 cup of each, I however only had ½ of self raising left! Lucky it was very good quality, but I would advise using 1 cup of each).
· 250 g dark chocolate
· 60 g coco powder
· ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
· 4 eggs
· 625 g sugar
· 250 g butter (always unsalted!)
· ½ cup milk
· 2 tablespoons of oil
· 2 tablespoons instant coffee (optional)

· 250g of high quality chocolate
· 1/3 cup thickened cream

1. Preheat oven 160 C and line your baking pan (I used a deep 30cm round tin)
2. Sift flours, bicard and coco into bowl, add sugar. Mix together.
3. Combined butter and chocolate in a saucepan with ¾ cup of water, plus coffee. Stir over low heat until combined/melted.
4. Make a well in the centre of flour mix and gently stir in chocolate mixture.
5. Whisk milk, oil and eggs and add to mixture. Stir until smooth.
6. Bake for 1 hr 30 mins (depending on oven).
To make the ganache
1. Roughly chop chocolate
2. Add chocolate and cream to saucepan, stir over low heat until melted and combined
3. Set aside to cool until it is a spreadable consistency.

And there you have it! Lovely rich, moist mud cake and not that sponge-like cake that you often get from chain cake stores. And the worlds simplest ganache! If you’re short of time you can whack the saucepan full of chocolaty goodness into the fridge, alternately this recipe works well if you want to pour the ganache over the cake when almost cooled, for a gorgeous silky, shinny texture.

Let me know what you think of this recipe, or if you have any requests for upcoming recipe posts! I’m thinking something with coke and bourbon for my Daddy’s birthday.