Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I love apple crumble

Classic apple crumble



  • 5 medium Granny Smith (green) apples (900g), peeled, cored and cut into 2cm dice
  • ½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • store-bought vanilla ice-cream, to serve 
crumble topping
  • 1½ cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour 
  • ¾ cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 cup (90g) rolled oats 
  • 225g unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the apple, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix to combine. Transfer to a 1.5-litre-capacity ovenproof dish. 
  2. To make the crumble topping, place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, oats and butter in a large bowl and mix until just combined. 
  3. Spoon the crumble mixture over the apple and place the dish on a large baking tray. Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and the apples are soft. Serve with vanilla ice-cream. Serves 6.

Blueberry, apple and coconut crumble



  • ½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 
  • 4 Granny Smith (green) apples, peeled and chopped 
  • 500g frozen or fresh blueberries 
coconut crumble
  • ⅓ cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  •  ⅔ cup (50g) shredded coconut 
  • 120g butter, melted 
  • 1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). To make the coconut crumble, place the sugar, coconut, butter and flour in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. 
  2. Place the sugar, vanilla seeds, apples and blueberries in a bowl and mix well to combine. 
  3. Spoon into a 26cm round ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the crumble mixture and bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden. Serves 6.

Apple, honey, pecan and ginger crumbles


  • 4 green (Granny Smith) apples (800g), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup (120g) honey
  • 12 gingernut biscuits (165g)
  • ¾ cup (105g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ⅓ cup (40g) pecans 
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted 
  •  vanilla ice-cream, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the apple and honey in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Divide the apple mixture between 4 x 1-cup-capacity (250ml) ovenproof ramekins and place on a baking tray. 
  2. Place the biscuits in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the flour and pecans and pulse until the pecans are chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the butter and mix to combine. 
  3. Spoon the crumble over the apple mixture and bake for 15–20 minutes or until the apple is bubbling. Top with vanilla ice-cream to serve. Makes 4. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes by Life as a Strawberry

I immediately fell in love with her blog. She has such great tips and her recipes are awesome. This is my favourite recipe.
Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes by Life as a Strawberry
YIELD: 18-24 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
  • ½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk (see how I make my own buttermilk in this recipe)
For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
  • ¼ c. (57 grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (give or take, depending on what kind of consistency you want. I like my frosting pretty thick because it holds up well when it’s piped or it’s warm outside)
For the Cupcakes:
  1. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar.
  2. Add the egg and the egg white one at a time to the mixer while it runs on low speed.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
  4. In a glass measuring cup, make your buttermilk. (In this case, I used 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar + milk until the mixture measured ½ cup.)
  5. Add the baking soda to the buttermilk (trust me) and stir. The baking soda will react with the vinegar and your mixture will swell up a bit and take on a foamy consistency. This is what you want!
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture (starting and ending with flour so as not to deflate the batter) to the batter, mixing after each addition until all the flour and buttermilk have been incorporated into the batter.
  7. Pour batter into cupcake pans and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool and top with your choice of frosting. I used Vanilla Buttercream! (Recipe below).
For the Vanilla Buttercream:
  1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, vanilla, and ¼ cup of the powdered sugar. (This is easy to do by hand but also works great in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment).
  2. Add 1 Tbsp. of the milk and another ½ cup of the powdered sugar and mix well.
  3. Add remaining milk and stir.
  4. Add remaining powdered sugar as needed until your frosting has achieved your desired consistency. (I usually use all 2 cups, sometimes more.)
  5. Frost your cupcakes and dig in!

For the Buttermilk
*I don't actually use buttermilk from a carton in my baking. For every cup of buttermilk called for in a recipe, I put 2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup and fill it up to the 1 cup mark with skim or 2% milk. In this case, I used 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar and filled the measuring cup with milk up to the ¼ cup mark. The apple cider vinegar lends a nice kick and I don't have to worry about keeping a carton of buttermilk stocked in my fridge. This is my favorite substitute - give it a try if you want or feel free to use the real thing!

Monday, July 11, 2016

How to make cream cheese icing

Finish off cakes, loaves and desserts with this creamy icing. Ideal for veggie based cakes, and a perfect companion to all spices, it is sure to be the perfect companion to your baked goods.

What you'll need

  • 600 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g cream cheese, cold

Step 1

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer on a medium speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

Step 2

Add the cream cheese and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the icing is light and fluffy. Be careful not to over-beat the icing or it can turn runny.


  • Add a tablespoon of citrus zest to the butter and icing sugar in step one to make a zingy icing.
  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the butter and icing sugar in step one.
  • Sprinkle crushed nuts over the finished cake to add contrast to the icing.
  • For extra zing, try beating in a tablespoon of your choice of citrus juice into the icing.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Aeroplane Jelly Super Cupcakes



  1. Preheat oven on to 200°C. Put the flour, your chosen flavour of Aeroplane Original Jelly Crystals and castor sugar in the mixing bowl, mix and make a well in the centre. Break each egg into this well and add the milk and butter. Gently fold together until smooth.
  2. Spoon into 12 cup cake cases and bake for 12 - 14 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  3. Take the cases out of the pan and let them cool. Serve plain, or ice if desired.


Try serving with plain white icing with extra jelly crystals sprinkled on top.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Orange and Almond Cake

4 oranges
1 tsp softened butter, for greasing
7 eggs
420 gm castor sugar
375 gm blanched almonds or 375 gm almond meal
1 heaped tsp of baking powder
Icing sugar and double cream, to serve

Combine 3 of the oranges in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover generously, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and simmer, shaking the pan occasionally, until very tender (2 hours). Drain, then set aside for the oranges to cool

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C and prepare 24cm-diameter spring-form cake tin by greasing with the butter and lining the bottom with a round of baking paper. Trim the ends the remaining oranges (discard), then very thinly slice and remove any seeds. Arrange the orange slices in the base of the prepared cake tin in concentric circles, overlapping the slices slightly as you so, set aside. 

If using whole almonds, blitz them in a food processor to form a fine almond meal and set aside.

Halve the cooked oranges, remove any seeds, then coarsely chop the oranges and process in a food processor to a smooth puree.

Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl to just combine, then stand until sugar dissolves (4-5 minutes). Fold in the orange puree, then the almond meal and baking powder and pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake until golden and the centre of the cake is firm when pressed gently with your fingertip (50-60 minutes), cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Burnish the orange slices on the cake with a kitchen gas torch (optional), dust with icing sugar and serve with dollops of double cream.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Passion fruit and vanilla cheesecake

Vanilla cheesecake base
150ml of double cream
75g of icing sugar
1 large orange, zested
600g of mascarpone
1 vanilla pod
1 lemon, zested
3 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves
250g of cream cheese
10 digestive biscuits
50g of butter

Passion fruit cheesecake jelly topping
200g of passion fruit purée
50ml of water
50g of sugar
3 bronze gelatine leaves

To make this vanilla cheesecake recipe start by creaming the mascarpone and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. In a heavy based saucepan bring the double cream, sugar, lemon and orange zests and vanilla to the boil. Remove from the heat, strain into a clean pan and allow to cool slightly
  • 600g of mascarpone
  • 250g of cream cheese
  • 150ml of double cream
  • 50g of sugar
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod
Add the gelatine to the pan with the cream and stir well while heating through. When the gelatine has melted, remove from the heat and save for later
  • 3 1/2 bronze gelatine leaves
Crush the biscuits in a food processor or put them in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Stir the butter into the food processor bowl and then press the mixture into a mould - preferably with a removable base
  • 10 digestive biscuits
  • 50g of butter
Fold the cream mix into the mascarpone mix and combine thoroughly. Pour onto the biscuit base in the mould. Leave approximately 5mm from the top and allow to set
Soak the gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes, until soft and pliable. Heat the purée, sugar and water in a pan. Add the drained gelatine and let it melt into the mix. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to settle to room temperature
  • 200g of passion fruit purée
  • 50g of sugar
  • 50ml of water
  • 3 bronze gelatine leaves
Once cool but not set, pour the passion fruit jelly over the set cheesecake to fill the remaining 5mm. Allow to set in the fridge for a couple of hours
    Once set, remove the vanilla cheesecake from the mould and serve

    Chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes

    50g of dark chocolate
    100ml of whole milk
    115g of dark muscovado sugar
    40g of unsalted butter, soft
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    110g of plain flour
    1 tbsp of cocoa powder
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 pinch of salt

    Salted caramel
    200g of light muscovado sugar
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    80g of butter
    100ml of double cream
    1 tsp salt

    125g of unsalted butter, soft
    250g of icing sugar
    popping candy, chocolate-covered, to decorate (optional)

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases
    To make the cakes, put the chocolate, milk and one-third of the sugar in a saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool
    Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy and gradually whisk in the beaten egg and vanilla essence until fully combined. Tip over the cooled chocolate milk and sift over the dry ingredients. Whisk it all together until combined and divide the mixture between the cake cases. Bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean
    In the meantime, make the salted caramel. Simply put all the ingredients in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Increase the heat and let the mixture come to a rolling boil. Reduce the temperature again and leave to simmer for a minute. Taste for saltiness (careful, it’s hot!) and add more if you like. Leave to cool
    Once the cakes are out of the oven, stab them all over with a skewer and spread a spoonful of salted caramel on top. Leave the cakes to cool completely in their tin on top of a wire rack before turning out
    To make the buttercream, put the butter in a large bowl and sift over half of the icing sugar. Whisk together to combine and sift over the remaining half of the icing sugar. Whisk again until fully combined before adding half of the cold salted caramel. Whisk until pale and fluffy and taste, adding more salted caramel if you want
    Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe a swirl of buttercream on top of each cake. Flick over some more salted caramel and scatter over some chocolate coated popping candy