Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Tin of prunes?

Waiting for another cake creation to bake in her new oven, Upper Cut Cake gal, Jen suddenly remembered her attempts to use up everything in the cupboard before the move.

She's not sure how she ended up with two unused tins of prunes but she did. One got used in a tasty beef stew and the others became these healthyish treats. They were used to bribe family to allow her to stay in the interim period before getting the keys to the new house.

(Prune and oatmeal muffins with maple syrup drizzle icing
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pitted prunes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the oats and the prunes. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, margarine, golden syrup and the egg. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the batter is just combined. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin tins and bake in the middle of a preheated (175°C.) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool. 

Make a little icing by adding maple syrup to some icing sugar and then drizzle over the top of the muffins.)

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Wedgewood Faberge Easter Eggs

With the move successfully taken care of (double oven cleaned and baking equipment carefully tidied into the biggest drawer in the kitchen) Upper Cut Cake gal, Jen is glad to be settled into the new house in time to celebrate Easter.

Taking inspiration from the Cupcake Project's blog post about baking cake in real egg shells Jen baked egg-shaped chocolate Easter cakes. Further inspired by her own new "blue" dining room she decorated them in a Wedgewood Faberge style. Perfect ornaments for display in the dresser with all the china and glasses.

Happy Easter!

(Milk Chocolate egg-shaped cakes with buttercream undericing and "Wedgewood" blue fondant icing with piped ornamentation in royal icing and silver ball decorations)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A lassi for a lassie

When "S" gave Upper Cut Cakes gal "E" free reign to create whatever type of cake she wanted for "S"' housewarming party, it was a chance to make a cake that was individualized to the recipient and occasion and that would also expand "E"'s baking repertoire. With "S", a Calcutta gal, planning to serve tasty savoury Indian treats, "E" was inspired by the mango lassi, a delicious yoghurt-based drink from the Indian subcontinent. Inspired enough, in fact, to attempt her first mousse cake!

With two layers of natural yoghurt sponge cake, two layers of mango mousse generously sprinkled with chunks of fresh mango, a topping of fresh mango puree, and final touches of piped fresh cardamom cream and whole shelled pistachio nuts, this cake had all the not-too-sweet, not-too-tart creaminess, fresh fruit flavours, and hint of spices for which the mango lassi drink is known and loved the world over.

And it was accompanied by a gigantic sigh of relief from baker "E". To quote directly the text message she sent when the cake didn't collapse upon release of the springform pan: "Holy moley, i think it worked! So excited!"

Many thanks to fellow baking blogger 'Sotong Cooks' for "creating by adaptation" and posting what turned out to be the perfect recipe for a Mango Lassi Cake, perhaps without even knowing it. Shakespeare may have said it best: "A [cake] by any other name would [taste] as sweet." (okay, so maybe that's very slightly paraphrased...)