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!

 

 

Sorry..

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Please forgive me for the brief interlude whilst this blog was offline. I had actually just let it lapse as I haven’t really done alot with it the past 6 months or so, I’ve just been incredibly busy and also I have no longer got a thermomix 😳😱 I know!!! And I didn’t fall out of love with my thermomix but it was a combination of down sizing, moving house and not really having time to cook. I also sometimes just missed the old fashioned mixing, stirring and simmering … So I really went back to basics. I do miss the thermi at times though. I think I may have preferred my tm31 over the new one though!

anyway, some lovely lady contacted me tonight and said she was looking for the Devils food cake recipe and she says a few people use my recipes so I renewed it straight away so she could get the recipe .. Now I’m feeling inspired to get testing again.. Do I need a new thermomix ? 😜

 

 

 

Lime & Coconut Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

 

 

I know. I know, I’m slack. I’ve cooked a hundred things since the last time I posted on here but haven’t loaded them up. It’s crazy busy all the time!! haha.

I hate waste, so when I make almond milk, I like to use the pulp after straining to make sugar scrubs. They are so easy to do and are so lovely on the skin. It’s 40 degrees here right now and hot sugar ferments in a few days, so I recommend storing this in this fridge and just having a small amount in a covered container on the side of your bath or shower.

P.s. it’s edible. lol.

Lime & Coconut Exfoliating Scrub

  • Servings: n/a
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1/4 c almond meal pulp or 1/4 c YIAH key lime dukkah (optional)*

1 cup sugar – any type but I use 1/4 c raw plus 3/4 c white granulated

1/4 c coconut oil

1/4 c YIAH wild lime evoo (if you don’t have this, double the quantity of coconut oil and add 1 tbsp lime juice)

1/4 c coconut

drop or two of green food colouring (to the colour you want)

Method:

Mix it all together and put in a jar. If its too dry add more oil, too sloppy add more sugar. If you have some YIAH key lime dukkah on hand sprinkle it over the top, but its only cosmetic so no drama if you don’t have it

Note* if not using the almond meal or dukkah, add additional 1/4c raw sugar

To use, take a golf ball sized amount and rub it in to your skin to slough off dead skin. Rinse and dry. Try not to eat it while you are having a shower lol

 

 

I’m backkkkk…

oh I’ve been so naughty, away from this blog. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking and baking, far from it! I’ve been doing lots of stuff and burning the candle at both ends – something had to give, and it was my “leisure time” stuff that went first. But I’ve made some free time and I really want to get back into this, I have soo many recipes to share. 🙂

My most recent baking was the very famous Mortal Sin Cheesecake. I made a mint version a couple days prior to this but this is the first time since seeing a photo of the cheesecake online that I attempted it.  Finding the actual recipe for this cheesecake  proved to be difficult. I found one that sounded close to what I know the cheesecake is, but it didn’t have the signature baked cheesecake on the bottom layer. I improvised and did my own baked cheesecake recipe on the bottom and the rest of the recipe was (sort of) to the recipe I found online. Wouldn’t be me if I didn’t tweak the hell out of it.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but it blew me away. Hands down it would have to be the nicest cheesecake I’ve ever done – and I’ve done a few nice ones! It got rave reviews from the samplers too, and of course I ate 1 or 4 pieces. 😁 Diet tomorrow!

And shopping tomorrow too,  cause my pants don’t fit anymore. 😢

Anyway, here is the cheesecake picture to let you know what’s coming. I just have to put the recipe into the correct format for WordPress, and I’ll try and get that done this weekend.

Thanks for sticking with me, and onwards and upwards to new recipes!

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AWOL

hey guys I know you are all keen for some of the recipes I have promised you but I have been called away from home for 8 days. I am in a motel room so no recipe testing going on here! On the upside, maybe I will lose weight! Ha!

I’ll try and upload some of my stored and tested recipes if I have time, otherwise catch you in a week or so

Texas Muffins – The best muffin ever (thermomix)

 

This mix is for the basic muffin, you can make any variation from this basic mix, some ideas are beneath the recipe!

Texas Muffins - Any Flavour by Serena

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 225g self raising flour 150g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder 60g caster sugar
  • 155g unsalted butter 80g honey
  • 2 eggs 150g milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

In TMX bowl place:

  • 155g butter
  • 80g honey

Mix 2 minutes, speed 2 on 80 degrees

Add:

  • 2 eggs
  • 150g milk

(any wet ingredients from the variations below, banana for example)

Mix 10 seconds speed 4

Add to TMX bowl:

  • 225g SR flour flour
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 60g caster sugar

(any dry ingredients from the variations below, nuts for example)

Put lid on, mix for 10 seconds speed 4, scrape down, mix for a further 5 seconds speed 4. Do not overmix or you will end up with heavy dense muffins. The flour should only just be incorporated

Line your Texas muffin tin (6 large hole muffin tin) or a normal muffin tin (12 hole) if using with muffin cups.

Divide filling out between cups, the texas muffin pan will be piled high in the case. This is normal to achieve the signature big dome of a texas muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Set your timer for 15 minutes and check them at 5 minute intervals. You want them just done so they aren’t dry. If they spring back in the middle, they are done (or insert a skewer to test)

Variations:

Apple & Cinnamon :

  • Add to dry: 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg.
  • Add to wet: 3 green apples, peeled and diced.
  • After putting batter in tins, sprinkle top with a mixture of 2 tbsp caster sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon

White Chocolate and Raspberry/Blueberry:

  • Add to dry: 100g white chocolate chopped
  • Add to wet: 150g frozen or fresh raspberries or blueberries

Double Choc Chip:

  • Add to dry: 3 tsp cocoa, 150g choc chips

Blueberry:

  • Add to wet: 200g fresh or frozen blueberries

Orange poppy seed:

  • Add to dry: 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • Add to wet: zest of one large orange and the juice of that orange, squeeze straight in to bowl

Coffee, Banana & Choc Chips SO YUMMMMMM!!!

  • Add to dry: 3 tsp Instant coffee powder, grind first if you use granulated instant coffee or add 50g of real coffee made up to wet ingredients, and 100g choc chips
  • Add to wet: 1 large banana