Sunday, 17 August 2008

Cake bakery round-up

I'm trying to keep track of what I've made, but I haven't been very assiduous about it. I also need to remember to take more photos.

Apple & Quince Yeast Cake

Made 13 July 2008.

I can’t remotely remember what recipe I used to make this. It may have been a bit of this, with some raisins in the yeast dough. I also will have omitted the cream, because we never have it in the house. I put in around two poached, sliced quinces and one (or two?) sliced Pink Lady apples (which was what was in the house at the time). These were strewn across the brioche dough, and two tablespoons of raw sugar sprinkled on the top before baking.

And then I dusted it with icing sugar, for prettiness...

Pumpkin Cake

From Stephanie Alexander’s Cooking and Travelling in South-West France. It is supposed to have caramelised orange slices to go with it, but I could not be bothered to make them, so I used some homemade Seville orange marmalade.

Made 27 July 2008.


1.2kg peeled, seeded and thinly sliced pumpkin (SA reckons on needing a 1.5kg pumpkin for this amount of flesh – I had a 2kg Kent pumpkin, the remainder of which I chopped and froze for later uses, e.g. pumpkin scones.)
50g butter
100g raw sugar
1 large whole egg
3 large egg yolks
grated zest of 1 lemon
as much cinnamon as you like
75g plain flour


Put around ¼ cup raw sugar in a saucepan with about a tablespoon of water, at medium heat, until dissolved. Increase heat and boil until it becomes caramelly in colour. Pour into a 9”/23cm cake tin, tilting to cover the base and sides. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 150˚C.

Steam the pumpkin until tender, drain in a colander for 10 minutes. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS! Else, you will end up with waterlogged pumpkin like I had.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan, put in the pumpkin and cook, stirring, to coat in the butter and evaporate remaining water (see caps lock bit above). Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. Puree it in a food processor (n.b. this mixture will taste absurdly delicious, and could theoretically be used as a soup base).

Using a mixer (i.e., my KitchenAid), beat the sugar, egg, egg yolks together until thick and pale. Add zest, flour, cinnamon and add pumpkin and beat well. There will be a lot! Pour it into the tin and cook until it is done. SA says 45 minutes, but mine needed over an hour, presumably because my pumpkin was too wet.

SA also says you should allow to cool completely before unmoulding. She’s right. I didn’t do this, and it was all a little bit gooey.

I finished off by spooning over my rather loosely-set marmalade of 2007.

Nonetheless, the cake was fearsomely good – very moist, interesting texture, and relatively healthy.

Pear Chocolate Muffins

Adapted from this recipe. I didn’t have any spelt flour, as for some reason it is prohibitively expensive here (I found it easily, and fairly cheaply, in organic form at Tesco in England, under the Doves Farm brand. When will Australian supermarkets move into the 21st century?). So I used plain unbleached flour, which worked fine (albeit not as healthy).

My version is as follows:

2¼ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 free-range eggs
¼ cup raw sugar
1¼ cup milk
1 tbsp hazelnut oil
As much orange zest as I could get off an orange
A good slosh of vanilla essence


3 ripe beurre bosc pears, diced
100g chopped chocolate (I used Droste 70% cocoa solid + orange chocolate, as it was ludicrously cheap at the supermarket)


Whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients. Stir the wet into the dry. Spoon in the pears and the chocolate.

Stir gently and spoon into oiled muffin tin – the mixture went into nine large muffin moulds. Put into a preheated oven set at 170˚C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pear Sultana Loaf

Made 10 August 2008.

This was adapted from a recipe. My version is as follows:

80g butter, chopped
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
2 eggs, beaten
1 lemon, rind finely grated
1 cup sultanas
¼ cup apple juice concentrate, then enough water to make up to 1 cup
1 large, unripe beurre bosc pear, grated

1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Enough lemon juice to mix above into a paste


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a non-stick 900g/2lb loaf tin (n.b. I used spray light olive oil, because I am tremendously lazy).
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add sugar, flour, eggs, lemon rind, sultanas, apple concentrate mixture and pear. Mix until well combined, and turn into the tin.
3. Bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (the recipe says 50-60 minutes, I checked after 50 with my fan-assisted oven, and it was ready). Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Make icing by combining icing sugar and cardamom in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Add lemon juice and stir until a thick paste forms. Heat in the microwave for a bit until runny. The power and length of time obviously depends on your oven.
5. Pour icing over cake and spread to cover. Allow icing to set before serving.

Healthy Apple Donuts

Made 17 August 2008. Adapted from a recipe in the current issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

620g plain flour (Around 120 g made up with organic, wholemeal flour. Note that the recipe says “750g/5 cups”, which looks wrong to me!)
100 g raw sugar
2.5 tsp dry yeast
250 mL lukewarm milk, plus extra for brushing
80mL milk curdled with a good squeeze of lemon juice (as a substitute for 80mL buttermilk)
2 eggs, at room temperature
30g melted butter

Apple filling
1.5 massive Granny Smith apples, coarsely chopped
45 mL apple juice concentrate
2 tsp cinnamon
juice of one lemon and one orange

1. Combine flour, sugar and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to combine. In another bowl, whisk together milk, ersatz buttermilk, eggs and the melted butter. With motor running, add milk mixture and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic (4-5 minutes). Form into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl (I used walnut, just in case it will add some interesting nuance), cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until double in size. I won’t give any time indication, as in a Melbourne winter it all very much depends on how warm your house is.
2 . For the apple filling, put apples, juices and concentrate in a saucepan, stir over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook until the apple is tender. Cool.
3. Preheat oven to 190˚C. Knock down dough, turn onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to 5mm thick. Using a 7cm-diameter cutter, cut 12 rounds from dough. Using an 8cm-diameter cutter, cut 12 rounds from remaining dough (re-roll scraps if necessary). Place smaller rounds on a baking paper-lined oven tray 5cm apart and place a heaped teaspoon of apple filling in centre of each. Brush edges with milk, cover with larger rounds and press to seal edges well. Trim edges by cutting with a 7cm-diameter cutter. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until risen (1-1½ hours). Bake until bottoms are just golden (8-10 minutes).

Brush with a little melted butter mixed with a bit of millk, and toss in cinnamon sugar. (I am highly averse to using 120g melted butter, as per the recipe. This looks like overkill!)

Also made at some point in the last few months…

Haalo’s Garibaldi, albeit with ordinary raisins. These were great, and one day I will have to try making them with dried sour cherries.

Twice, I have made Dan Lepard’s cinnamon fruit cake, with some alterations (namely, more cinnamon, and usually some sort of brandy/rum substance instead of the tea). It is very good.

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