Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Well I'm not into Halloween at all and I think it's absolute rubbish, however when I saw this blog, that my friend Sarah sent to me, I was tempted to give it a go and get in touch with my American side. It's seems to be a big deal over there, whereas Big W in Waratah doesn't stock ANYTHING to do with Halloween. I had to go to the local costume shop to buy plastic spiders (I had to buy the smallest ones, as the massive ones gave me shivers down my spine).

Here is my lame attempt. It looks nothing like the original photo but it was a bit of fun. I found it very difficult to buy canned pumpkin. The guy at Woolworths laughed at me when I asked where it was. He should have been fired. So I had to make my own.  The icing was meant to be bright orange however let's not go there... It turned out more of a burnt orange - very Australian!

I made it for my friend, Cabe-Man. However I've snuck a taste and it's amazing!! He promised to eat the entire cake in front of me this afternoon.

In the meantime you should have a look at this blog if you want any party styling ideas. It's my all time favourite blog.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Total Time: 55 min
Oven Temp: 190

1 1/2 cup(s) flour
2/3 cup(s) cocoa
2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1 teaspoon(s) bi-carb soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
1 cup(s) canned pumpkin
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
3/4 cup(s) butter, softened
1 cup(s) dark brown sugar
1 cup(s) castor sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk

170g softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon orange food coloring

115g of chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons glucose
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans with baking paper and lightly butter.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Stir the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugars together using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and yolk, one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and buttermilk mixtures in thirds.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a tester, inserted in the center, comes out clean--about 35 minutes. Cool layers completely before icing.

Frost: Beat 170g softened cream cheese using a mixer set on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, 2 1/4 teaspoons cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream with 3/4 cup icing sugar and a scant 1/4 teaspoon orange food coloring on medium-high to soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until well combined. Spread 1 cup frosting between the two layers and use the remaining frosting to ice the top and sides of the cake. Chill 30 minutes and proceed to step 2. Makes 3 cups.

Glaze: Place 115g of chopped bittersweet chocolate, 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, and 3 tablespoons glucose in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a boil, pour it over the chocolate, and let sit for 3 minutes. Gently stir, using a whisk, until smooth. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, until the glaze thickens slightly. Pour the glaze onto the center of the frosted cake and smooth out to the edges to allow the glaze to drop over the sides. Makes 1 cup. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sweets for my Sweet

Last weekend was the first weekend that Dave and I spent apart in over a year.
It was the worst weekend of my life.
I know it sounds pathetic, but it seriously was.
He is my best friend, we do everything together and suddenly I'd never felt so alone!
It's a horrible feeling and I've made him promise that he's never allowed to leave me again.

He came home late last night and I know he loves a late night snack, so I had some cuppies ready and waiting. The cases and cute toppers are from Robert Gordon.
You can get different styles to suit little boys or little girls.

I won't bother including the recipe. It's just a plain chocolate mixture with frosting, which even my dead cat knows how to make.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poppyseed & Ricotta Cake with Lemon Curd

I've been buying the 'Gourmet Traveller' magazines lately, instead of the 'Super Food Ideas' and the other magazines produced by supermarkets. The recipes seem to take more skill and sometimes require ingredients I've never heard of, making it slightly more exciting.
This time of year seems to be the quite time in my line of work, so I've been compiling all my good recipes and want to try a couple every week to keep me occupied!

You will need:
- 750g Firm Ricotta
- 250g Cream Cheese
-200g Caster Sugar
- 6 Eggs
- 400gm Condensed Milk
- 200g Poppy Seeds
- 250g Butter
-250g Caster Sugar (for Lemon Curd)
- 6 eggs (for Lemon Curd)
- Finely grated rind and juice of 6 Lemons.

For Lemon Curd, melt butter in a heat proof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, add sugar and stir until dissolved, add eggs, stir to combine, then add lemon rind and juice and stir continuously until thick and smooth. Strain through a coarse sieve into a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (1-2 hours)

Meanwhile, preheat over to 160c. Beat ricotta and cream cheese in an electric mixer until very smooth. Add sugar, beat to combine, then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add condensed milk, poppy seeds and 400g lemon curd, mix to combine. Pour into a buttered and floured 26cm springform pan, tap gentle to expel any air bubbles. Bake until just cooked through with a slight wobble (1 1/4 hours), cool completely in tin then serve with remaining lemon curd.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Double-Decker Chocolate Mud Cake

This weekend Dave and I are in Forster visiting his mother and step father, Pam & Hoffie.
We're supposed to be soaking up the sun and working on tanning our glowing white skin in preparation for summer, however it's been wet and windy so we're staying inside watching movies and COOKING.
We did venture out today for 9 holes of golf, however it really tested our relationship and probably won't do it again as we'll definitely strangle each other next time.
I strongly dislike golf. He's obsessed with it. Not a good combination. 
Below is a recipe from my favourite book, Bake.

Pam and Hoff