Baking Amy

A year of baking disasters and triumphs

Raspberry & Orange Upside Down Cake

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This was a quick little cake that I just threw together yesterday. I can’t tell you where the recipe comes from as I cut it out of a magazine years ago, and I have no idea which one. The orange flavour was pretty strong, which I love but my raspberries where rather tart and the cake overall was a little dry. Maybe I overcooked it again, but I did cook it for less time than the recipe stated, although I think my bundt tin was a little larger than it should have been. That could also explain why the top of my cake stuck to the pan. Every time I make bundt cakes the top sticks, I even used soya spray this time, which nothing seems to stick to, but it didn’t help. Maybe next time I’ll use my smaller tin and I might throw in some Greek yoghurt to. I’m not usually one to mess with a recipe but this batter was rather thick and I think the yoghurt would work well to make it a little looser and a bit moister. Blueberries would also be good instead of the raspberries.

Recipe

  • 175g butter
  • 155g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest (I used two oranges)
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 75g plain flour
  • 100g almond meal
  • 80ml fresh orange juice
  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • Demerara sugar and cream to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and spray a 24cm bundt tin with oil. Line the base with non-stick baking paper (why didn’t I see that in the recipe when I was making it?)
  2. Beat butter, sugar and zest together until pale and creamy
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one
  4. Fold in the combined flour, almond meal and orange juice
  5. Put half the raspberries in the base of the bundt tin, cover with half the batter, add the remaining raspberries and then the remaining batter
  6. Bake for 50-55 mins (I think mine took 40 mins) or until a skewer comes out clean
  7. Cool for 10 mins in the tin before turning out
  8. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and serve with cream

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Blueberry Peach Buttermilk Cake

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I know this post is late again, but I’m not slacking off I promise. My mother in law is visiting from South Africa at the moment and as she’s sleeping in the office I don’t get much opportunity to use the computer.

Mid-week I was thinking of making either a carrot cake or a peanut butter cake. I hadn’t really settled on a recipe but that was no surprise. Then on Saturday night when I was writing my shopping list (I have small children, my nights out on the town are well and truly over), I still couldn’t decide on a recipe, but I had realised one thing, it needed to be quick and simple! The reason being was that in just a few hours I had to wake up early and cycle 50km in aid of MS Australia. Then, as if that wasn’t far enough, I was going to cycle home. As I have never cycled 85.5km before I thought I might be a little tired when I got home. I wasn’t wrong! So something simple was needed and I was now feeling like something fruity, peach and blueberry’s to be exact. I still couldn’t settle on a recipe so I instructed my husband to buy the fruit the next day and I would make up my mind then and hopefully have all the ingredients I needed. In the end I decided on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It makes a lovely small, light cake and it’s the first cake I have made recently that my husband has told me is really good without me having to ask him, so it must be good.

The only problem with my cake is that all the fruit sank to the bottom, probably because I cut the peaches much too large (I was rushing because I’d already made the batter before I prepared the fruit). It also seemed to brown really quickly, so I covered it up with some foil to halt the browning process. Any type of fruit can used, stewed apples and cinnamon would be nice, served with a dollop of thick custard or any kind of berries and a dollop of yoghurt if you want to be healthier, or whipped cream if not. It doesn’t need anything on the side though, a nice cup of tea does nicely instead. I mostly stuck to the recipe with the exception of only sprinkling 1 tablespoon of sugar on top instead of 1 1/2 as it seemed like rather a lot.

Method

130g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
56g unsalted butter, softened
146g plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C and grease a 20cm round tin
  2. Cream the butter and sugar then beat in the egg and vanilla extract
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add a third to the butter mixture until just combined
  4. Stir in half the buttermilk until just combined, then another third flour mixture, remaining buttermilk then remaining flour
  5. Sprinkle the fruit on top followed by the sugar
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean

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Orange and Poppyseed Cake

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I had no idea what to bake this week until my friend suggested orange and poppyseed cake and I came across this recipe that I just couldn’t resist. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome, I seem to have had another disaster free baking experience this week, although I haven’t actually tasted the cake yet, as the flavours are still ‘developing’. For some reason this cake took me all morning to make, I think I’m just slow as its not a difficult recipe but then the curd didn’t behave how it should have. In the original recipe it says to stir the curd over a bowl of hot water and it could take up to 30 mins to thicken. Well I stood there for over half an hour and it was still really runny, so I did what any other impatient person would do, and I poured it into a pan and stuck it on the stove over a low heat. I kept whisking until it was the right consistency and it worked a treat, so that is exactly how I will make curd next time round.

Recipe

Poached orange slices

  • 2 medium oranges
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 400ml water

Cake

  • 150g self raising flour
  • 150g almond meal
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp poppyseeds
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar

Orange curd

  • 4 eggs
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter

Method

Poached orange slices

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C fan forced and grease a 20cm cake tin
  2. Thinly slice the oranges and put in a pan with the sugar and water
  3. Stir and poach for 20mins over medium heat until the pith feels soft with a sharp knife
  4. Place the best looking slices into the cake tin (about 6-7 slices)
  5. Puree 100g of the oranges with 75ml of the poaching liquid in a food processor and allow to cool
  6. Keep the remaining poaching liquid for later

Cake

  1. Mix all the flour, almond meal, baking soda and poppyseeds together and set aside
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick
  3. Gently fold in the cooled orange puree
  4. Gently fold in the dry ingredients until just combined
  5. Pour into your prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 40-45 mins until a skewer comes out clean
  6. Leave to cool in the tin

Orange curd

  1. Beat the eggs, lemon juice and orange juice together
  2. Add the sugar, butter and zest
  3. Cook over a low heat whisking constantly until thick
  4. Allow to cool

Assembly

  1. Cut the cake into three equal layers
  2. Brush the bottom layer with the reserved poaching liquid, cover with half of the orange curd and place the next layer on top
  3. Repeat step 2
  4. Brush the top layer with the poaching liquid and leave the cake for a few hours for the flavours to develop

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Peppa Pig Cake

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Today was my son’s 2nd birthday and he’d asked for a green, strawberry cake. I searched the internet for a strawberry cake that didn’t use a packet mix but could not find one, so I decided to make a chocolate cake with some kind of strawberry filling instead, but I couldn’t find a strawberry filling I liked the look of that didn’t contain a kilo of sugar. In the end I made a Peppa Pig cake with a buttermilk chocolate cake from the book Tea with Bea and a strawberry, white chocolate, cream cheese ganache, invented by me 🙂 and I even made my own fondant using the recipe from Veena’s Art of Cakes.

The weather was against me for this cake. In Melbourne we’ve been having a spell of stupidly hot weather, which isn’t great for making and modelling fondant. I did manage to make most of my models a few weeks ago when the weather was cooler. I followed the tutorial from Bronnie Bakes and obviously my cake was inspired by hers. I’d never made fondant before but at the last minute I decided to give it a go, as ready made fondant is really expensive and tastes horrible. So last Friday night when inside my house was a cool 30 C I made my fondant and it turned out into this horrible sticky mess. No way could I kneed that so I added more icing sugar, and more icing sugar and more… I lost count of how much I added and it was still sticky so I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge to see if it would thicken up. The next day my house was just as hot, if not hotter. I took another look at my fondant and yup, still sticky, so I added more icing sugar and more and more. The stickiness would not go away! By Sunday night, the temperature had dropped about 20 C, perfect for fondant. When I got mine out of the fridge to roll it, hmm, it was a little dry. I did manage to roll it out and put it on my cake with only a few minor cracks, then I smeared a very thin layer of butter all over it so it wouldn’t crack any more. It seemed to work a treat, still doesn’t taste that great though. I think its the shear quantity of sugar that went into making the fondant that put me off it though, it does taste heaps better than the ready made stuff but I still peeled most of it off the cake.

I impressed myself with this cake, I really thought it was going to be another disaster. I baked the cake in a Pyrex bowl to get the hill shape, I’d never done this before and it took at least 1.5 hours to bake (the recipe said 35 mins) and it formed a hard crust around the outside. The crust may have been partly due to the soya bean spray I used on the bowl to prevent the cake from sticking, it worked a treat but I think its real purpose is for making things golden and crispy. I was expecting a really dry and hard cake but it wasn’t, it was lovely and moist and my ganache was pretty impressive to. I will post the recipe for this cake, I just don’t have time right this minute so instead I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Raspberry Yoghurt Cake

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This weeks recipe came from Baking with Blondie. Instead of using fresh strawberries I used frozen raspberries, because I had a box of them living in my freezer for I don’t know how long. It made a lovely cake that my husband thought tasted like a muffin, and indeed it kind of does. This is the texture I always strive to get when I make muffins but never seem able to achieve. The only thing that disappoints me about this cake is its colour. I don’t know why its such a dark brown colour on the outside or how I prevent that from happening. Is this a sign that it was in too long, or the bundt tin was too thin, or was the oven too hot? I have no idea so I think I should do some research and see if |I can improve upon this next time.

Recipe

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tblsp lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 227g vanilla Greek yoghurt
  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C
  2. Mix together 2 1/4 cups flour, bicarb, salt and lemon zest
  3. Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time then add 1 tblsp of lemon juice
  4. Alternate beating in the flour and yogurt until just incorporated
  5. Toss the raspberries into the remaining 1/4 cup flour and mix in gently
  6. Pour the batter into a well greased bundt tin and bake for 60 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
  7. Allow to cool for 20 mins before turning out onto a wire rack
  8. Once completely cooled whisk together the icing sugar and 2 tblsp lemon juice and drizzle over the cake

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It looked good when it came out of the oven but the top stuck to the tin when I turned it out. Something else I need to look into: how do I stop cakes sticking in a bundt tin? Obviously my method of butter and flour didn’t work too well.

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I managed to reunite the top with the rest of the cake and once iced you could barely tell I’d had a minor disaster.

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Even though this cake was pretty moist I am wondering if I did leave it in too long. After 60 minutes I could still see some raw batter so I left it in for an extra 10 minutes. maybe that was a mistake. Hmmm…

Next week I think I will move away from cakes and either make a tart or some cup cakes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

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This cake would have been wonderful…if I hadn’t over baked it!

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I decided to try out my home grown rhubarb this week. I love rhubarb, its a funny plant and I find most people say they hate it, even though they have no idea what it tastes like. I remember dipping it in sugar and eating it raw when I was young, but when we stopped growing it in the garden I stopped eating it, and over time thought I disliked it. Many years later I decided to try it again and I’m glad I did!

I’ve made puddings with rhubarb before but I wanted to try something new this week. I had decided to make a rhubarb-strawberry pudding cake but after I had bought all the ingredients I changed my mind, I wasn’t in the mood for pudding any more and this strawberry and rhubarb coffee cake from Allrecipes.com seemed like a winner.

I pretty much stuck to the recipe, the only changes I made was that I used fresh strawberries instead of frozen and added two tablespoons of water to the filling mixture just to help the sugar dissolve. The other change I made was that I had to make it in a 20 cm round, loose bottom cake tin as I didn’t have a 9 x 13 inch tin.

Filling:

  • 135 g caster sugar
  • 45 g corn flour
  • 245 g chopped rhubarb (about two large stalks or three small ones)
  • 250 g fresh strawberries halved
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cake:

  • 375 g plain flour
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking   powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 225 g cold butter chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 55 g cold butter chopped

It was really very simple (follow these directions) and each component was tasting and looking good. I couldn’t stop myself from sticking my finger in the rhubarb and strawberry filling, it was so delicious. I was a little worried that my cake tin was a bit too small and I contemplated making two cakes, but as there didn’t seem to be much cake batter I decided against it. However, once I’d finished layering in the batter, filling and topping I really didn’t have much room left for it too rise. Oh well, too late now. I stuck a baking tray underneath the cake tin just in case it did over flow.

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The recipe said too cook it at 175 degrees C for 45-50 minutes. I reduced the heat to 160 degrees as I have a fan forced oven (not sure if I should have done this or not). After 45 minutes I checked it and the centre seemed to be uncooked so I stuck it back in for another 15 minutes. I then poked the skewer in a few more times and the centre still seemed raw. I decided, as it was a loose bottom tin, to try and take the ring off so I could have a look at the sponge. Hmm, bad idea, I had a feeling the whole thing was going to fall apart so I quickly put the ring back on and cooked it for another 15 minutes and also turned the temperature up by about 10 degrees, because I had other things to do and I was getting impatient. The cake then started to smell like it was burning. It still didn’t seem quite done in the middle but with all that filling and the topping it was really hard to tell whether it was cooked or not. Turns out that I probably shouldn’t have put it in for the last 15 minutes. Never mind, the flavours are still great and the thick crumbly topping is awesome!

If I make this cake again, I will use the correct size cake tin, but I probably won’t have one so instead I will do the following:

  •  Bake for 45-60 mins at 160 degrees C
  •  As the filling sinks as the cake cooks, put 3/4 of the cake batter into the bottom of the pan, then the filling then the remaining 1/4 cake batter (this may not cover all of the filling) and then the topping
  •  Don’t spread the filling to the edges, leave a 1-2 cm border to try to prevent the filling from exploding all around the edges
  •  More filling wouldn’t go amiss as it seems to disappear as the cake cooks, but then I really would need a bigger cake tin.

In summary, this cake has wonderful flavours and should be made. My boys and husband ate it all so it couldn’t have been that bad. I think as my cake is a little dry around the edges it would be nice to warm the left overs up in the microwave slightly and pore over some custard. Mmmmm.

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