lemon sourdough pound cake

30 May 2021

If ever I want some help with gluten free baking I turn to Aran Goyoaga and her book, Canelle et Vanille. Every month Aran sends out newsletters which contain a new recipe and I was intrigued by her GF, dairy-free lemon sourdough pound cake recipe. There was only one catch - I didn't have any sourdough starter. 

Somewhere in my deep freeze lies Audrey, my sourdough starter, but honestly it seemed easier to start from scratch than to locate Audrey. So about a week before making the cake I started the process of making a non gluten-free sourdough starter from scratch. When it was all bubbly and active I decanted the appropriate quantity then whizzed the cake up in the food processor.

The finished cake smelt delicious and I was keen to try a piece.
If you'd like to try the recipe here is my adapted non gluten free recipe which will make a small loaf cake. If you'd like to make the larger gluten free version I have attached the link to Aran's recipe below.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.  
Lemon Sourdough Pound Cake adapted from this recipe
125g plain flour
Pinch salt
½ tsp bicarb soda
⅔ cup almond meal
½ cup caster sugar
1 tbs finely grated lemon rind
35 g honey
2 eggs
150g sourdough starter
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs freshly-squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180°C, conventional. Place the oven rack on the lower third half of the oven. Grease the loaf tin and line with baking paper.

Sift the flour, salt and bicarb soda into a small bowl. Stir through the almond meal making sure to break up any lumps from the almond flour.

In a food processor whiz together the sugar and lemon rind until the sugar is coloured yellow. Add the honey, eggs, sourdough starter, olive oil and lemon juice and whiz until smooth. 

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and whiz until you have a smooth and pourable batter. If the batter is a little thick then add a little more lemon juice. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan, then invert onto a platter removing the baking paper.

Meanwhile, make the glaze by heating the sugar and lemon juice together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, but do not let it boil too long. Immediately, brush the top of the cake with the warm glaze letting it drip over the sides.
Slice the cake and serve.
The cake can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge, tightly wrapped. 
The finished cake  tasted delicious but the cake when cut was quite solid in texture with large air bubbles probably from the sourdough starter reacting with the bicarbonate of soda. As I'd made a non GF version of the recipe, I wondered if I'd done something wrong. Looking at Aran's photo, my loaf looked much the same as her loaf so clearly this is the way the cake should be.
Last week of work for me before I take a 3 week holiday but don't worry I've been baking up a storm stockpiling recipes to tide you over while I take a break from the kitchen.
See you all again next week,
Bye for now,


olive oil salted chocolate chip cookies

24 May 2021

I know, I know, yet another chocolate chip cookie. I don't know what came over me except I do like to have a little something sweet each night with a cup of tea and a cookie fits the bill. I saw these Ovenly cookies on Instagram last week and tracked down the recipe to try them out.

The recipe uses oil instead of butter and water instead of eggs so if you use dark chocolate without any milk solids, the cookies just happen to be vegan. I still had chocolate leftover from the browned butter cookies I made a few weeks back so I used milk chocolate, semi sweet and bitter sweet chocolate in my cookies. I also added some crunch with a few toasted pecans.

The cookie dough is markedly different from regular cookie dough made with butter. It's really greasy and definitely needs the rest time indicated in the recipe. I scooped the dough out using a 20 ml tablespoon which made a 35g cookie. I rolled each cookie into a ball before placing the cookies in a reusable plastic bag in the freezer as suggested. They were in the freezer for closer to 20 minutes than the suggested 10 minutes. My freezer is too small for a baking tray so I transferred the cookies to a tray just before baking. They were probably a bit cold so they needed a 15 minute bake time rather than the suggested 12-13 minutes.

Here's the recipe for almost vegan salted chocolate chip cookies which makes fifteen 35g cookies or ten 55g cookies. It was adapted from this Ovenly bakery recipe and you can find the original recipe here. The cookies are vegan if you use dark chocolate without any milk solids. You'll need to start this recipe the day before baking to allow for resting time

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.  

Olive oil salted chocolate chip cookies - makes 15 small cookies
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
Scant ½ tsp bicarb soda
pinch salt
100g coarsely chopped chocolate (I used a combination of milk chocolate, 48% and 70% dark chocolate) 
75g toasted pecans, coarsely chopped 
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
65g olive oil (¼ cup plus 1 and ½ tsp)
37g water (just under 2 tbs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
flaky sea salt, for garnish

To make the dough
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and pecans and toss to coat.

In a separate large bowl, whisk the sugars with the oil, water and vanilla until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and stir just until everything is combined and no flour is visible. Don't overmix. The dough will be quite oily looking at this stage. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Don't skip this step! 

To bake
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Line two baking pans with baking paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and scoop it by the tablespoonful, squeezing well to form balls of dough. Place onto the baking sheet leaving 5 cm of space between each mound.

Place the unbaked cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes; this will help the cookies retain their shape. Just before the cookies go into the oven, sprinkle them with flaky sea salt. 

Bake for about 12 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are just golden. Halfway through the bake time, flatten each cookie a little and rotate the pan. At the 12 minute mark you can scoot the cookies with a larger cookie ring if you wish to make nice round edges. My cookies then needed a further 3 minutes bake time until they were just golden around the edges. Be careful not to over-bake.

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool for about 10 – 15 minutes before removing then placing on a wire rack. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container.

These cookies are simply delicious - simultaneously chewy and crunchy and so tasty.
Next time I make these cookies I'll use an egg in the mixture instead of water just to see if it affects the finished cookie.
See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen and I promise you, it will not be another chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Bye for now,

gf zucchini and pecan cake with lime glaze

17 May 2021

One of my workmates is gluten intolerant so every now and again I like to make something gluten free so she doesn't feel excluded from my Monday morning teas. As it's autumn here in Sydney the fruit shop has been taken over by apples, pears, citrus fruit, broccoli and zucchini.
I've been making zucchini cakes for years and only recently heard about Gina Da Palma's zucchini cake with crunchy lemon glaze. The cake recipe was very similar to the one I use so it was mainly the crunchy glaze that intrigued me. With a glut of limes I decided to swap lime for lemon juice and added crunch from a few extra toasted pecans rather than regular sugar which was used in the original recipe.
I prepared everything the day before, so the cake itself came together very quickly. Turning out a bundt cake is always a slightly terrifying moment so I was pleased when it came out successfully from the bundt tin. It smelt so good in the oven.
The glaze is brushed over the still warm cake and hardens very quickly so you'll need to work fast.
Here's the recipe for you which make a small bundt cake. If you'd like to make a larger version refer to the original recipe. 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.
Zucchini and pecan cake with lime glaze adapted from here
Cake Ingredients 
75g toasted pecans
1 tbs caster sugar
1 cup GF plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarb soda
pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temperature
cup caster sugar
100 mls extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g grated zucchini 
Lime glaze
½ cup sifted icing sugar
30 mls freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbs coarsely chopped toasted pecans, to decorate 
Preheat the oven to 180ºC conventional. Grease and flour a small bundt tin then tap out any excess flour before placing in the fridge.
Pulse the pecans in a food processor with 1 tbs caster sugar until finely chopped. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the chopped nuts and stir until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, ⅔ cup caster sugar, olive oil and vanilla for 3 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer. Mix in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well and then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Stir in the zucchini. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing the top.
Bake the cake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack.
While the cake is cooling whisk the icing sugar and the lime juice together in a small bowl to make a runny glaze.
Brush the glaze over the still warm cake with a pastry brush and let the cake cool completely. The glaze will harden very quickly. When the glaze is completely dry, brush the chopped pecans with some of the leftover glaze and ‘glue’ them to the top of the cake.
By the way the cake tasted as good as it looked. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.
Bye for now, 

brown butter chocolate chunk cookies

9 May 2021

I lived in Canada in 1987 and when I returned home to Brisbane I brought some recipes with me including a small recipe book produced by Baker's chocolate. It contained a recipe for chocolate chunk cookies and I've been making a version of these cookies ever since. They're a good all round cookie filled with chocolate chunks and nuts and best of all they can be made with a bowl and a wooden spoon.

In recent times I've discovered Claire Saffitz, an American baker and recipe developer. I was watching an episode of Dessert Person in which Claire made her chocolate chip cookie recipe. I didn't need to make cookies but I decided to make a batch, inspired by Claire's recipe. I used my base recipe but browned the butter first before adding a dash of milk a la Claire. I added both milk and dark chocolate chunks to the mixture but left out the chopped nuts.

I made a half batch of dough then rested the cookie dough overnight. The next day I baked the cookies making some larger and some smaller, which I shared with my neighbours. I snaffled one cookie still warm from the oven, and it was pretty good. I'd never used two kinds of chocolate chunks before and it was a nice touch but next time I'd add some pecans to the cookies because I missed the crunch they produce.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 22 regular sized cookies. Remember you'll need to start this recipe the day before baking to allow time for the cookie dough to rest. If you decide to make larger cookies, you'll need to add a few extra minutes baking time. The recipe is adapted from Claire Saffitz's recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies from her book, Dessert Person.  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.
Brown butter chocolate chunk cookies - makes 22 small cookies
112g unsalted butter cut into cubes
15 mls cream or whole milk
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 egg, cold from the refrigerator
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
75g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
75g milk chocolate coarsely chopped
Sea salt flakes 
Brown the butter in the microwave on high in a covered microwave safe bowl. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until deep brown and nutty. Pour the butter through a fine sieve removing the solids. You should have about 85g of browned butter. 
Allow the butter to come back to room temperature to solidify then stir in the cream or milk followed by the sugars, vanilla and the egg. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl then stir into the butter mix. Lastly stir through the coarsely chopped chocolates.
Portion out using a cookie scoop or tablespoon (I used a 15 ml cookie scoop) and place in the refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours, covered in the fridge. If you like, you can freeze the dough at this point.
The following day preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or a silicone mat. Place the cookies on the tray allowing room to spread. Flatten each cookie a little before topping with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes (for regular sized cookie) until golden around the edges but still soft in the centre. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing from the tray and cooling on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
I've become a big Claire Saffitz fan and have just requested a copy of 'Dessert Person' from the library. I can't wait for it to arrive. 
See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 
Bye for now,


plum and ginger upside down cake

3 May 2021

I've not been lucky enough to dine at Fred's in Paddington but I do like head chef Danielle Alvarez's style of cooking. I borrowed her cookbook 'Always add Lemon' from my local library and I bookmarked a few recipes. This cake was the second recipe I made from the book.
Danielle's recipe was for a pineapple and ginger upside down cake but with plums still in the fruit shop, I decided to make a plum version. I played around with the proportions to make an 8 inch cake and also played around with the topping. Danielle's recipe calls for you to cook the butter and brown sugar to make a caramel but my caramel seized. I decided to go the easy route and one I've used before, where you just melt the butter before topping it with the brown sugar.

Once I'd overcome that hurdle the cake was pretty easy to put together. Next time I'd probably forgo separating the eggs. The cake has lots of rising agents and I'm not convinced separating the whites then folding in the beaten whites added anything to the finished cake except lots more washing up!  

Here's the recipe for you which makes an 8 inch 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.

Plum and ginger upside-down cake, adapted from a Danielle Alvarez recipe
175 g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
150 g caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
15 g grated fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
165 g plain flour
Pinch salt
1¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100 ml full-cream milk
Ice cream, cream or yoghurt to serve 
20 g butter
¼ cup brown sugar
4-6 plums, halved, pitted and then quartered
Grease and flour a 20cm round cake tin then line the base of with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan then pour into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and use a knife or spoon to evenly distribute the brown sugar over the base of the pan. Arrange the plum slices on top of this caramel in any pattern you like. Try to cover as much surface area as possible so you can have a lot of fruit in each slice. 
Cream together the butter, sugar, ginger and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolks and mix until well incorporated. 
Sift the dry ingredients into a small bowl. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter and gently mix and then with the machine still running, add all the milk and mix to combine. Carefully add the remaining dry ingredients and finish mixing with a spatula. 
In a clean dry bowl whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter. Pour the batter on top of the plums in the tin and spread out evenly. Gently tap the tin on your work bench to ensure the cake batter has dropped into place. 
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out. To turn the cake out, place a flat plate on top of the tin, then holding the plate in place with your hand, flip the cake over quickly and carefully. Once inverted, simply pull the tin off and peel back the baking paper.
Serve warm or when completely cold with cream, ice cream or natural yoghurt.
I thought I'd bought red fleshed plums so I was a bit surprised when I turned the cake out to find they weren't red at all. It made no difference to the cake though which was absolutely delicious. 

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

Bye for now,

© DELICIOUS BITES • Theme by Maira G.