Traditional Recipes (non Thermomix)

Strawberry Pavlova Fondant

 

 

This is exciting! If you dislike commercial fondant taste (and price) you are going to love this recipe!

 

The idea for flavoured fondant originated from Kara Andretta (Kara’s Couture Cakes). She does flavoured fondants using freeze dried fruits and thinks like vanilla bean and bourbon 😍 So whilst watching one of her live videos the other night it occurred to me that if she can use dried fruit I should be able to use the fabulous chocolate powder range from YIAH. I decided to experiment with Pavlova powder and this recipe is what I ended up with. Like Kara, I used Liz Mareks Fondant (LMF fondant from Planetcake) recipe as the base because it’s awesome and a lot less work than making it completely from scratch. This fondant is amazing, has the stretch and elasticity of commercial fondant but miles better flavour and it’s really just so easy.

I covered a fake cake with my finished fondant and it covers beautifully, with beautiful little specks in it…so without further ado, here it is

Strawberry Pavlova Fondant by Serena

  • Servings: 2kg
  • Time: 10 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1kg icing sugar 
  • 100g YIAH white chocolate pavlova powder
  • 500g plain white marshmallows or pink and white marshmallows
  • pink gel colour if using white marshmallows, to suit yourself but I dipped a toothpick in my colour and used that, not much at all. If using liquid colours make sure you deduct water
  • 1 tbsp strawberry essence
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 95g (1/2c) shortening (also calle white vegetable fat, trex, solite – available in grocery stores in butter aisle, called Frymaster (yellow packet not red) store at room temperature.
  • 1kg White commercial fondant (I use Bakels pettinice)

Instructions:

  1. Sift icing sugar and pavlova powder together in a large bowl, largest you have, and set aside.
  2. Place your shortening in your stand mixer bowl and set aside
  3. add strawberry flavour and gel colour to tbsp of water and warm for 15 seconds, set aside
  4. Melt marshmallows for 40sec in microwave or stove top, stir with spoon
  5. Melt marshmallows again for 30sec and stir with spoon
  6. Melt marshmallows for final time for 30sec and stir with spoon.
  7. Add warm water mix to bowl of marshmallows to detach them from the side, and pour marshmallows into stand mixer bowl with Shortening. Fit dough hook.
  8. Begin mixing. Add in half of your powdered sugar mix a cupful at a time. Mix for two minutes on slow to medium speed.
  9. Use a bowl scraper or hard spatula to scrape soft mixture into your bowl of left over icing sugar. Warm the commercial fondant in the microwave for 40sec and add to bowl with powdered sugar and marshmallow. Using your hands, knead in the bowl, until it is all mostly incorporated. You may not use all of the powdered sugar, depending on climate and that’s ok. Tip out onto clean counter and pull the fondant between your hands like taffy until it’s stretchy and smooth. If it’s dry add a blob of shortening to your hands and keep pulling, if it’s sticky shake some sifted icing sugar on to your surface and knead it in.

wrap in double layer of cling film, squeezing all air out and then store ina zip loc bag. Heat for 15s and knead well until stretchy when you are ready to use. Stored properly, will keep for months.

See Liz Marteks YouTube clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjCUy3ezRxE

for other fantastic recipes, tip and hints see Artisan Cake Company at http://www.artisancakecompany.com

for other flavoured fondants and fantastic cakes, tips and hints see Kara’s Couture Cakes at http://www.karascouturecakes.com

 

To purchase any of the YIAH products featured in my recipes, visit my site:

http://www.serenalancaster.yourinspirationathome.com.au 

and select the shopping tab, then follow the prompts. Please email me if you have any trouble alandserena@gmail.com

Cakes!!

Over the past few months I have developed a huge interest in cake decorating. Normally what that means is I spend hundred, even thousands of dollars knitting myself out with every accessory known to man in my ‘field of interest’ over a period of weeks, then I lose my shit when I finally go to start said ‘hobby’ only to find I don’t have one thing I need to make the project I want to..and I chuck the whole idea in the too hard basket and flog off all the crap I just paid top dollar for, for half the price.

Yes, it’s a character flaw. But quite frankly, I can’t be sexy, gorgeous, trend setting, talented, efficient, reliable AND have a high level of commitment. That would just be showing off.

Anyway, I’ve done the required pre-spend, I’ve even gone to the library and got books. Actual. Real. Life. Books. And, I’ve made a cake. Yep, actually made THREE cakes. Decorated cakes too. I mean, I usually make cafe style cakes, these ones though, have fondant. Modelling chocolate. Hard as rock buttercream. And I have had moments where I didn’t have everything I needed. It was tense, but I MADE DO. And you know what, I made fondant. From scratch. And modelling chocolate. FROM SCRATCH.

IVE WATCHED 97 hours of YouTube clips and subscribed to dozens of craftsy classes. This commitment stuff is time consuming AND expensive.

But. BUT. I’ve made three novelty cakes. Most people start with the basics, oh no, not me! I still can’t pipe a single thing, write on cakes or make a basic flower out of royal icing but I can make fondant, pastillage, modelling chocolate, marshmallow fondant, cake pops and carve cakes. And I’m still interested in learning more. It’s a miracle. Anyway, thought I’d like to share some pics of my three cakes. I will get the recipes up for the various cake coverings etc and post some of my projects and upcoming cake orders. Yeah, people are silly enough to order cakes off me… 😛😀😀😀

Modelling chocolate :

My first cake, a butter cream 4 layer vanilla drip cake with fondant decs:

** live and learn, bow miles too big and I trimmed the layers of the cake but not the outside edge of the cake

 

This one I’m really proud of, it was a hat cake for my husband. The brim is made of gum paste, the body of the hat is cake and the whole hat is sitting on a mud cake

 

This was just last week, it’s a rose cake – the idea came from a Facebook video that someone shared with me. the petals are all modelling chocolate, the calyx, leaves and board are fondant. The cake underneath the petals is a chocolate cake and there is a pink buttercream over it.

Vegetable Lasagne

 

This lasagne is sooooo good! If you normally have a meat lasagne I promise you won’t miss the meat at all! You can make it as hard as you want, ie make your own lasagne pasta sheets and make your own sauce..or you can quicken the whole thing up by using pre made, up to you! I personally do make my own sauce, I always have a batch in the freezer and I’ll put that recipe up separately but rarely do I make my own pasta. Dried is just fine!

I use up what I have in the fridge so the layers are interchangeable but for this one I used:

1/4 large jap pumpkin, peeled and sliced 1cm thick
3 – 4 red capsicums
200g baby spinach
2 – 3 small zucchinis

1 1/2 litres of white sauce (made with mustard powder, garlic powder and dried onions)
200g vintage cheddar
30g Parmesan grated
250g ricotta cheese (optional)

3 boxes large curly lasagne sheets, or fresh lasagne

500ml pasta sauce (I make my own)

Method:

Preheat oven to 170 d fan forced

Make your white sauce by placing 125g butter, garlic powder and mustard powder in a saucepan and heating until bubbly. Add 125g flour and cook for 1 minute on medium heat. Added 1 1/2 litres of hot milk about a cup at a time, whisking the whole while to keep smooth. Add the onion flakes and simmer until thick. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add half of the cheddar, all of the ricotta and the Parmesan. Cover and leave while you prepare the rest.

Place pumpkin slices on lined baking tray and spray lightly with olive oil. Roast until soft

Slice open capsicums and remove seed ball and white pith. Pull apart into large pieces. Place on baking tray, spray lightly with olive oil and roast until skin blisters, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place tea towel over them for 30 minutes to make the skins easy to pull off. Once cool, pull the skins off and discard, roughly chop up the capsicums.

Use a peeler to slice the zucchini in long strips. Chuck this on a baking tray and lightly spray with olive oil, toss to combine and bake in the oven for ten minutes.

Place your spinach on a plate and microwave for about 40 seconds, just to reduce the volume, for stacking in the layers.

Heat your sauce up and prepare to assemble.

Take a quite high pan (23cm) and line with grease proof paper. I use a loose bottom cake pan that I line with foil and then grease proof.

The layers:

Lay about a 1/4 c pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan, just enough to stop the noodles from sticking. Lay over a layer of noodles. It’s ok to overlap a bit but don’t double them up.

Lay your pumpkin over the noodles. Top with a ladle full of sauce, just enough to moisten. Add another layer of noodles.

Lay spinach over noodles and firm down. No sauce required on this layer as the spinach has so much moisture. Add another layer of noodles.

Add half of your white sauce and then cover with a layer of noodles.

Add capsicum layer and a ladle full of sauce. Cover with noodles.

Add zucchini layer and a ladle full of sauce, cover with noodles. Add your remaining white sauce and smooth out to edges, sprinkle reserved cheddar on top and bake in the 170d oven until golden, approx 30-40 minutes. If it’s browning too fast turn your oven down or move it to a cooler part.

It can be eaten right away but it’s best too cool and cut the next day as the layers look amazing and the flavours develop over night. Freezes perfectly and can be reheated from defrosted (best) but even from frozen!

 

 

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Chantilly Cream – Tradiotional Method

Who doesn’t love scones? I like them plain, with fruit and of course with pumpkin. Flo made them famous and I reckon mine are just as good as hers

I like to serve them with spiced Chantilly (sweet) cream. Its decadent and light all at the same time.

IMPORTANT: I am an independent consultant for YIAH (Your Inspiration at Home) and you will often find recipes containing these spices, blends, oils etc. You can substitute with your own spices. If you are unsure, please drop me a line @ serena.yiah@gmail.com and ask. I will also list replacements in the recipe where I can.

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Chantilly Cream

  • Servings: 8 scones
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

11170321_10154632755026959_1236654173643793015_nimage

This recipe calls for cooked and cooled pumpkin, so ensure you have that to hand before starting. I like to bake my pumpkin with a rub of oil (put a couple tbsp’s of oil in the palm of your hand and rub into the pumpkin) and a sprinkling of YIAH baked apple pie spice (can sub for allspice) and dark brown sugar – bake on a lined tray on 170 for about an hour. Once cool, remove the skins if you left them on and any hard baked bits if  then mash until smooth. You can also steam them. I wouldnt recommend boiling them as they take on alot of water. Keeps in fridge for up to a week.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees and use shelf in lower top half of oven

Blend or sift together:

  • 1 3/4c sifted SR flour
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add:

  • 1/3c shortening (preferred) or butter and rub between fingers until consistency of coarse breadcrumbs

In another bowl, combine:

  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp YIAH baked apple spice if you haven’t used it on the pumpkin (sub allspice)

Add pumpkin mix to dry ingredients. Stir lightly to make a soft dough. (you can add up to 1/4 c milk if its not forming a ball) Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently about 8 times. Pat up into a quite high round, about an inch high. Dust some flour over the top. Cut out rounds using a cutter (tip* cut straight down and up, do not twist or your scones will fall over when baking).

Place each round an inch apart on a lined baking tray. Bake in oven for approx. 15 minutes until nicely browned on top and bottom. Remove immediately to a rack to cool. Best eaten on same day.

Chantilly Cream:

Add 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (sub caster sugar) to 300ml whipping cream and whip until soft peaks form. Place in a nice serving bowl and sift over a tsp of the YIAH baked apple pie spice

15 minute dinner – be prepared :)

11743017_10154616491231959_1504837008949176817_n

Most of us are time poor, I think it’s fair to say. As much as I like cooking and creating, there are times when I just want to flake out in front of the tv shortly after arriving home from work, and the thought of cooking dinner just makes me cringe.

Here are my tips for short-cutting meals. I am using this meal I cooked tonight for my husband as an example but really you can use these tips when preparing any main.

1) Have some quick options defrosted in your fridge a few days in advance. I always keep some chicken, mince or rissoles and a bit of steak defrosted in my fridge so I can cook quickly.

2) Have par boiled potatoes in your fridge at all times to make home made wedges/ chips / potato salad. Use a potato that is meant for frying or an all rounder. In Australia, you should always be able to get golden delights, colibans or royal blues – all good choices. Boil them on a gentle simmer IN THE SKINS and whole until you can pierce them with a sharp knife all the way through, 95-98% cooked. Store in a sealed container in the fridge and use peeled or unpeeled.

3) Have some veggies prepped up at all times. I usually have broccoli, peas and green beans topped, tailed and in florets and ready to go. Store in fridge in ziploc bags and they will last a week or more.

ok so now for this meal, it took 15 minutes from start to finish,. because I had stuff in my fridge.

1) Chuck the rissoles on a medium heat bbq. Turn them around every 5 minutes. If they are over cooking, turn the bbq down or move them to a cooler part of the grill

2) Heat your oil (or oven for oven fries) Peel (optional) your spuds with a sharp knife and cut in chunky quarters. lay on paper towel to dry off any moisture.

3) Put a saucepan on the stove with 1/2 c water and 1 beef stock cube. Bring to boil. Mix 1 heaped tbsp. gravy powder with 1/4 cup water and mix to smooth paste. Add to boiling stock water, stir quickly to thicken and turn down to low. Remove your rissoles from the bbq and chuck them in the pot with the gravy to keep hot and moist.

4) Get a little container and put your broccoli mix in it. add about 1tbsp water. Lay a piece of cling film over the top loosely. Cook for 1 min for crunchy, 1 min 30 tops (cook to your own preference), I like crisp and crunchy veg) Take out and set aside.

All that remains now is to drop your chips into the hot oil, they will take approximately 1.5 minutes. Plate your rissoles, gravy and veg up while the chips are cooking. Season your chips with a flavoured salt or spice (I like  aussie roast seasoning or garlic and herb (available here) Add the chips to the plate, with the rissoles and veg..and you are done 🙂

follow me on facebook here

Serena x

Aussie Blend (Rosemary & Garlic) Seed Crackers – Free of Gluten, Wheat, Eggs, Dairy, Nuts and Yeast

imageimage

So ..on a thermomix page I frequent, someone recommended a cracker that was free of wheat, dairy, nuts, yeast, gluten and eggs. I checked them out and they were pretty low carb so I bought them. They were amazing but the price of them meant I would probably never buy them again. Over $8 for 8 crackers (4 serves) plus postage.

Anyway, I had a look at the ingredients and thought, I can make these. And I have. The recipe is so easy it’s ridiculous. Best of all, they are cheap. I would say at a rough guess they cost me less than $5 for a tray – approx 30 quite big crackers.

In these crackers I use flavour products from YIAH and I will link to where you can buy them but you can also just use whatever spices you have and like.

If you like my recipe please be sure to report back with a comment on how you went! You can also find me on facebook – click here

Aussie Blend (Rosemary & Garlic) seed crackers

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 15 min plus 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

image

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c sesame seeds
    1/4 c sunflower seeds
    1/4 c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 c psyllium husks
  • 1 tbsp. Aussie Roast YIAH blend (or any herbs/ spice mix you like)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c water
  • 2 tsp YIAH intensely garlic evoo (or sub with 2 x tsp olive oil and 1 tsp garlic powder) OPTIONAL if you are watching cals just add a tbsp or so more water
    ———————

sea salt flakes

Method:

Heat oven to 160 d (140g fan forced). Place all the seeds, spice mix and the salt in a bowl. Pour in water and mix to combine. Leave for 5 minutes to soften and bind everything together.

Roll out 1/4c to ½ c mix at a time between two sheets of silicone paper (glad bake) cut to fit your baking trays. Roll as thinly as possible. Tidy edges by folding up edge of paper and rolling into the edge, turn paper and repeat.

Lift the top silicone sheet carefully off and take a large knife and score the top into squares buy PRESSING the knife into the mix, lifting and pressing again. If you try to do a cutting motion it will just pull it apart. If you make score lines when the cracker crisps up it will be easy to snap them off into crackers.

Lay the silicone sheet back on the top and put the whole thing on your baking tray and in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes or so. You want the cracker to be completely dried and crispy but not browned, as crackers that are too brown will be bitter. Lift the top sheet off for the last ten minutes to really crisp up.

Snap in to pieces, put on a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container. They will stay crisp for ages but they won’t last long, guaranteed! For a real low carb treat, serve with lashings of the YIAH garlic and herb dip

Enjoy!

Serena

Click here to buy the YIAh products in this recipe

Queen of the Nile Seed Crackers – Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, and yeast – updated baking instructions 11/6/15

 

So ..on a thermomix page I frequent, someone recommended a cracker that was free of wheat, dairy, nuts, yeast, gluten and eggs. I checked them out and they were pretty low carb so I bought them. They were amazing but the price of them meant I would probably never buy them again. Over $8 for 8 crackers (4 serves) plus postage.

Anyway, I had a look at the ingredients and thought, I can make these. And I have. The recipe is so easy it’s ridiculous. Best of all, they are cheap. I would say at a rough guess they cost me less than $5 for a tray – approx 30 quite big crackers.

In these crackers I use flavour products from YIAH and I will link to where you can buy them but you can also just use whatever spices you have and like.

If you like my recipe please be sure to report back with a comment on how you went! You can also find me on facebook – click here

Queen of the Nile Seed Crackers

  • Servings: 50 small crackers
  • Time: 15 min plus 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

image

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds
  • 1/4 c poppy seeds
  • 1/4 c psyllium husk
  • 1/4 c chia seeds (I used black but either will work)
  • 1/4 c YIAH Queen of the Nile spice blend (contains cashews) or any spice blend of your choice!
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I use flavoured oils, usually garlic) OPTIONAL

sea salt flakes to serve

You will also need silicone paper (glad bake or similar, must be silicone) and some sort of rolling pin – wine bottle works!)

Method:

Heat oven to 160 d (140g fan forced). Place all the seeds, spice mix and the salt in a bowl. Pour in water and mix to combine. Leave for 5 minutes for chia to soften and bind everything together.

Roll out 1/4c to ½ c mix at a time between two sheets of silicone paper (glad bake) cut to fit your baking trays. Roll as thinly as possible. Tidy edges by folding up edge of paper and rolling into the edge, turn paper and repeat.

Lift the top silicone sheet carefully off and take a large knife and score the top into squares buy PRESSING the knife into the mix, lifting and pressing again. If you try to do a cutting motion it will just pull it apart. If you make score lines when the cracker crisps up it will be easy to snap them off into crackers.

Lay the silicone sheet back on the top and put the whole thing on your baking tray and in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes or so. You want the cracker to be completely dried and crispy but not browned, as crackers that are too brown will be bitter. Lift the top sheet off for the last ten minutes to really crisp up.

Snap in to pieces, put on a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container. They will stay crisp for ages but they won’t last long, guaranteed! For a real low carb treat, serve with lashings of the YIAH garlic and herb dip

Enjoy!

Serena

MY TOP TIP* If you roll out very thin and get little gaps or holes through the mix, wet fingers and push together or take a bit off one edge and use to repair holes to get a uniform shape. Practice makes perfect!! 

Click here to buy the YIAH products listed in this recipe