SLIDER

lemon moon cake

12 Jun 2024


Whilst looking through a back copy of Delicious Magazine I spied a Scandinavian baking feature. Everything looked delicious but w
hen I saw a photo of the Lemon Moon Cake I knew I had to make it.



I looked online and found many recipes for Lemon Moon Cake and in the end cobbled together two recipes to come up with a recipe that I think captured the lemony essence of the cake. Marzipan is a key ingredient in this cake, but it's hard to find in Sydney, so instead I deconstructed the marzipan into its constituent elements (almond meal, sugar and water or in this case lemon juice) so you won't need to track it down. 

Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here and here which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.


Lemon Moon Cake
115g caster sugar
Grated rind of one lemon
100g room temperature unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
100g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
55g almond meal
50g lemon marmalade (pureed)
1-2 tsp lemon juice, if needed

Icing
100g icing sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla paste
½ lemon, juiced

To decorate
Shredded zest of ½ lemon (I used some candied lemon rind)
Toasted chopped blanched almonds

Method
Grease, flour and line the base of a 17cm diameter spring-form pan with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170°C, conventional.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the caster sugar with the lemon zest and rub together with your fingers until the sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and vanilla and using the paddle, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring you incorporate fully between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.



Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a small bowl and stir through the almond meal. Stir the flour mixture into the cake mixture and fold with a spatula until combined. Add the pureed lemon marmalade and if needed, a tsp or so of lemon juice.


Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, level the top of the cake and bake on the centre rack at 
170°C, conventional for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the top of the cake is browning too quickly, cover the top of the cake with some foil. Let the cake cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely before decorating.


Icing
Place the icing sugar in a bowl. Add the vanilla paste and sufficient lemon juice until you have a mixture with the consistency of runny honey. If it's a bit thick add a little boiling water. Spoon the icing over the top of the cake and allow to set before decorating the top of the cake with the chopped almonds and the lemon zest.


The cake proved to be a pretty popular one and was devoured by my workmates in record time.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian


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swedish chocolate cinnamon buns

4 Jun 2024


I don't know what came over me but with incessant rain last Saturday and 
inspired by a recipe in an old Delicious magazine, I suddenly decided that I needed to make a batch of chocolate cinnamon buns. They're supposed to be Swedish chocolate cardamom buns, but I do not like cardamom at all, so all traces of cardamom were removed from the recipe.

As I'm more than happy with my own sweet bun recipe, I used the filling recipe and the glaze from the magazine article then set to work. Consistency of shaping the buns is not my forte and I will never be employed in a Swedish bakery but wonky as they are, they were delicious.



Here's the recipe for you, inspired from herewhich makes 9 buns. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.


Swedish chocolate cinnamon buns – makes 9
Dough
1¼ tsp yeast
150 mls lukewarm milk
30g brown sugar
1 room temperature egg 
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (300g) plain flour 
½ tsp salt
60g room temperature unsalted butter, cut into small piece

To coat
1-2 tbs cream or melted butter

Filling
85g unsalted butter, softened
85g brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
17g Dutch process cocoa
Pinch salt 

Glaze
70g (1/3 cup) brown sugar
40 mls (2 tbs) water
Pearl sugar, (from specialty stores, optional), to sprinkle

Dough
Grease a large plastic container and set to one side. Combine the yeast, milk and brown sugar in a large liquid measuring cup and rest for 5 minutes or until foamy then stir in the egg and the vanilla. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour and salt and stir on low to combine. Add the egg mixture and mix on low to combine. With the mixer on low, add the butter, one piece at a time. When all the butter has been incorporated (about 10 minutes) increase the speed to medium and beat the butter into the dough, until all the little butter pieces are incorporated, and the dough comes away from the side of the bowl. 

Transfer the dough to the prepared container. Cover the container with a lid or with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Place your fingers or a spatula underneath the dough and gently pull the dough up and fold it back over itself. Turn the container and repeat this folding again. Continue 6 to 8 more times, until all the dough has been folded over on itself. Re-cover the container and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this series of folding 3 more times, for a rise time of 2 hours and a total of 4 foldings. Replace the lid or tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.

Filling
Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.


Shape the dough
Flour a work surface and knead the dough 10 to 12 times to activate the gluten. Shape the dough into a ball, cover the top lightly with flour, and cover with a tea towel and let come to room temperature. 


Grease and line a 26cm pan with baking paper and set to one side. Roll the dough out to a 30cm x 40 cm rectangle on a lightly floured bench. Spread chocolate filling over the dough, then fold in half to form a 15cm x 40cm rectangle. Gently roll the dough out to a 20cm x 40cm rectangle (this will help enclose the filling). Cut into 9 strips. Gently twist the strip, then wrap the dough around itself into a knot, tucking the ends underneath. Place on prepared trays and repeat with remaining dough. Brush each bun with some cream or melted butter, then cover the buns loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for an hour or until risen by half.


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Once the buns have risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20-25 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway, until golden and cooked through.


The glaze
While the buns are baking, place the brown sugar and the water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly syrupy. Brush over the warm buns, and sprinkle with pearl sugar, if using. Place the buns on a cooling rack and allow to cool a little before serving. The buns are best served on the day they're baked but freeze well.



I shared these with the neighbours, and they went down a treat. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian


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walnut coffee cake

30 May 2024


I have a confession to make, I've never had a slice of walnut coffee cake before, mainly because I do not like the flavour of coffee. However when I saw a photo of Benjamina Ebuehi's walnut coffee cake from her new book, I'll Bring Dessert, it looked so nice I decided to give it a go.  


Rather than a single cake, I decided to make a layer cake which was sandwiched and topped with my new favourite fluffy cream cheese icing.


Here's the recipe for you, adapted from 
here which makes a 17cm layer cake
. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.


Walnut Coffee Cake 
Ingredients
75g walnuts
2 eggs
150g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125ml (110g) vegetable oil 
60ml brewed coffee, coooled
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch fine sea salt
45g plain yoghurt

Coffee Cream Cheese Icing
1 tsp espresso powder, dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g cream cheese, softened
125g unsalted butter, softened
40g dried milk powder
Pinch salt
125g icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional (160°C fan). Grease and flour two 17cm round cake pans and line the bases with baking paper.

Add the walnuts to a baking tray and cook for 7-8 minutes until toasty. Let the walnuts cool and set a few aside, 
about 25g, to top the cake. Add the rest (50g) to a food processor and blitz until you have a coarse texture. You don’t want a fine powder here.

Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil to a bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Stir in the coffee. Add the flour and walnuts, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and fold gently to combine.



Stir in the yoghurt and pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes until the cakes are deeply golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cut around the edges of the cakes and let the cakes cool completely before removing from the tins. While the cakes cool, make the icing.

Coffee Cream Cheese Icing
Place the espresso, vanilla, cream cheese, butter, milk powder and salt in the bowl of electric stand mixer. Sift the icing sugar over the top. Beat with the paddle attachment for 10 minutes on speed 4 (below low) until pale, and fluffy. You can use the icing straight away but otherwise it can be stored covered in the fridge until needed. If refrigerated, rewarm in the microwave in 20-second bursts until softened before using.



To finish
Trim the tops of the cakes if peaked. Place one cake on a serving dish and spoon just over 1/3 icing over the first layer. Top with the second layer and spoon the rest of the icing over the top of the cake using the back of a spoon to smooth it out. J
ust before serving, top with the leftover walnuts.



Make ahead
The cake can be made up to 2 days in advance but ice the cake on the day you want to serve.


Despite my concerns, the cake tasted more walnut than coffee and as expected, the mildly coffee flavoured fluffy cream cheese icing was a triumph.



I took the cake into work and shared it with my workmakes, who declared it was some of my best work. High praise indeed.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian



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double apple crumble cake

23 May 2024

I bought a copy of Claire Saffitz's recipe book, Dessert Person, in 2021 and I've been meaning to make the Double Apple Crumble Cake from the book ever since. The sticking point was the apple butter, which I've never seen in the shops. I came home from Brisbane to find some very manky apples in my fridge, tracked down a recipe for apple butter and made a small batch. With apple butter at hand I had no excuse any more and set to making the cake.


I changed things a little as is my wont. Claire suggests using unsweetened and unspiced apple butter in the cake batter but I'd already made my apple butter before reading the recipe so I went with what I had. 



I have a really nice crumble recipe so decided to use my recipe instead of Claire's. I also had half a green apple left over, so sliced it thinly and topped the cake with the slices, then glazed the slices with some warmed apricot jam. Please don't feel you have to do this; I just didn't want the apple to go to waste.


Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here, which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.


Small Double Apple Crumble Cake – adapted from Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz
Crumble
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
60g raw sugar
2 heaped tbsp rolled oats
pinch of cinnamon 

Cake
25g unsalted butter
400g Pink Lady or Granny smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 5mm slices
130g plain flour
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarb soda
¼ tsp salt
110g apple butter (from specialty stores or recipe below)
110g caster sugar
60g sour cream
30g vegetable oil
1 large egg 
1 tsp vanilla extract

Crumble
Make the crumble by rubbing the flour and butter together, and stirring in the sugar, oats and cinnamon to make large crumbs. Place in the fridge until needed.

Cake
In a medium frypan, heat butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the apples and cook, tossing, until slices have begun to soften and turn slightly translucent, 10-15 minutes (it’s okay if some start to brown, which could happen when using drier, cold-storage apples). Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease base and sides of a 17-cm springform pan and line the base and sides with baking paper. Arrange an oven rack in the centre position.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarb soda, and salt to combine. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the apple butter, sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the apple butter mixture. Whisking from the centre of the bowl outward, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet just until you have an evenly mixed batter. Using a large flexible spatula, fold the cooled apples into the batter, leaving any liquid behind in the pan and mixing thoroughly to distribute the apples evenly.


Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle crumble evenly over the batter, breaking up any pieces larger than a marble. Bake until crumble is browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake slides easily through the apple slices and comes out clean, 1 hour 20 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut around the cake with a knife, then remove the ring. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake into slices.




Apple butter, adapted from here.
750g mixed apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (reserve the cores)
½ cup apple juice 
1 tbs lemon juice
55g brown sugar
1 cinnamon quill, 1 star anise and 4 cloves placed in a small spice bag
pinch sea salt

Method
Place apple pieces and cores, apple juice and lemon juice in a large microwave safe bowl. Lightly cover and cook on high for 12-15 minutes or until apples begin to soften and fall apart. Remove from the microwave and discard cores. Blend softened apples in a food processor or use a stick blender and process until smooth. You should have about 2 cups of apple puree.

Place the puree plus brown sugar to taste, along with spices and salt  in a small saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Gently simmer, stirring regularly to avoid spattering, until apple butter is deep caramel in colour and thick enough to hold its shape on a spoon, about an hour. Remove the spice bag and transfer the apple butter to a jar or airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


As you'd expect from one of Claire's recipes it was absolutely delicious and just perfect for an autumn or winter dessert.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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chocolate cake with dark chocolate cream cheese icing

20 May 2024


My next door neighbours daughter will not eat fruit, even in cake form, so I need to consider that whenever I bake. The last few bakes have been fruit centred so I decided to make a chocolate cake so she wouldn't feel left out.



I turned to a Danielle Alvarez recipe from her latest book, Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking. As I'm now officially obsessed with the cream cheese icing from Beatrix Bakes, I whipped up (literally) a dark chocolate version with which to top the cake. The cake can be made as a layer cake, but I was in no mood for fiddling and made a single layer cake.


Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe. For a layer cake, divide the batter between two 16 cm round cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes and make a double batch of the icing.

Chocolate cake with dark chocolate cream cheese icing
Ingredients
37g Dutch cocoa powder
85g brown sugar
75g caster sugar
112 ml hot, freshly brewed coffee (decaf and/or instant also work here)
1 tsp vanilla extract
70 ml neutral oil, such as vegetable oil
1 egg, at room temperature
½ cup Greek yoghurt or milk
½ tsp white wine vinegar
125g plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda 
½ tsp baking powder 
½ tsp fine salt

Icing
60g dark chocolate, 
broken into pieces (I used 52%)
12g Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60g pure icing sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract
60g cream cheese, at room temperature

Cake
Preheat oven to 180°C conventional. Grease and line the base of a 17cm deep cake pan with baking paper. Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, combine cocoa and sugars. Pour in the hot coffee and whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add vanilla, oil, egg, yoghurt or milk and vinegar, then whisk until smooth. Lastly add in the flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and sea salt and, again, whisk until smooth.


Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan (about 1 hour) before making the icing. When cool, invert the cake onto a wire rack and remove the round of baking paper then turn right side up.


Icing
Place the chopped chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30-second bursts until melted. Set aside to cool before making the icing. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cocoa powder, butter, icing sugar, vanilla, cream cheese and a pinch of fine sea salt and beat on medium-low speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and stir to combine.


To finish, you can slice the top of the cake off using a serrated knife to create a flat layer or leave it as is. Scoop the icing onto the cooled cake and spread it all the way to the edges. If making a layer cake, add half the icing to the top of one cake, spreading it all the way to the edges then lay the second cake on top and scoop the remaining icing onto the cake, spreading all the way to the edges. Slice and serve.

We all agreed that the star of the show was the icing so next time, I think a layer cake is the way to go. Expect to see another flavour of this icing on the blog very, very soon.

See you all again next week with some more fruit forward baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian
 


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dorset apple cake

13 May 2024


I've just returned to Sydney from a few weeks in Brisbane and Autumn clearly arrived while I was away. With the change of season, it's time to start baking with autumn and winter fruit. I have any number of apple cake recipes to share with you and the first one is my take on a Dorset Apple cake.


A Dorset apple cake is a classic English recipe which doesn't seem to have originated in Dorset. Whatever it's origin, it's a butter cake chock full of apples and I decided to top the cake with even more apples. Dorset Apple Cake can be served warm with cream as a pudding or can be served cold as cake.

Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here, which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.


Dorset Apple Cake - makes a 17cm cake
Ingredients
112g room temperature unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g green apples
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
112g caster sugar, plus extra for dredging
2 large eggs
115g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
15g almond meal
1 tbs demerara or raw sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease and flour a deep 17cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Peel, core and slice 1/2 an apple thinly. Sprinkle the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent them from browning and set to one side. Cut the remaining apple into 1 cm pieces, and toss with the remaining lemon juice.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter, caster sugar and lemon rind until pale and fluffy. As this is small cake, you could also use an electric hand beater for this step. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, adding a little flour with each addition to keep the mixture smooth
.


Sift the flour, the baking powder and salt into the bowl and fold in with the almond meal. Drain the apple pieces well, then stir into the mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin, lightly level the top and top with the apple slices. Sprinkle the apple slices with the raw sugar then place the tin on the centre rack of the preheated oven.


Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until well-risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cake starts to look a little too brown, cover with a sheet of baking paper after about 45 minutes.


Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Dredge heavily with the extra caster sugar then cut the cake into generous wedges and serve warm with a spoonful of double cream.


I shared the cake with my neighbours and it went down a treat. I mean, who doesn't like apple pudding with cream?

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now, 

Jillian
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