Sunday, 28 March 2010

Birthday lunch

Pat's Birthday

Pat's birthday was yesterday but we only went out for an Indian in the evening as I had arranged for the children to come back and celebrate it today.

I made a Roast beef dinner with all the trimmings including Yorkshire pudding. Started cooking at 1030 for a 1300 lunch and I was so happy that it was right on time!

Also baked a Coffee Walnut cake for Pat as this is his favourite.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

These have been out for quite a while but I haven't had the time to upload them. The first one is crocus

These are snow drops but with a double row petal instead of the normal single row petal. Aren't they pretty?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Cranberry Oat Cookie

Cranberry wholemeal cookies with oats and white chocolate

150g plain flour (I used wholemeal flour)
120g brown sugar
150g butter
50g instant oats
100g dried cranberries
25g ground almonds (I ran out, so omitted this)
50 g white chocolate chips
2 eggs yolks
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I omitted this as I used salted butter)
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven at 190 degrees C. Sieve together the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the ground almonds, brown sugar, oats, cranberries and white chocolate chip.

Melt butter in the microwave or a small pan over low fire. Stir the butter into the dry ingredients together with the egg yolks. Mix well, then using your hands, form balls of dough, pressing down on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet. Leave space in between the cookies for them to spread.

Depending on how big your cookies are, bake for 12 - 15 minutes, or until sufficiently browned. Remove and cool on wire rack for them to harden.

Saturday, 13 March 2010


Macarons revisited

Since Shirley told me that she was unsuccessful with her macarons using the recipe I posted, I thought I had better try it again to make sure it was ok. This time took step by step pictures.

Beat eggs till semi stiff

Add almond meal and colouring (if using)

Using a plastic bag, pipe 1 1/2 - 2 inch rounds

This time, I whipped some creamed and added lemon curd to make the filling.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Blueberry cake

Blueberry Cake

This is such a simple cake to make. Literally almost beating everything together instead of the usual butter and sugar first, etc, etc!
And.... it is very soft and moist with the addition of the sour cream.

Blueberry Soured cream cake with cheesecake frosting

175 gm butter (softened)
175 gm caster sugar
3 eggs
225 gms self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
vanilla extract
150 ml carton soured cream
2 punnets blueberries

For the cheesecake frosting:
200gm tub Philadelphia soft cheese
100 gm icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to fan 160 deg C. Butter and line the base of a 22cm round loose bottomed cake tin with non-stick baking paper.*
2. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla in a bowl. Beat well with an electrical mixer for 1-2 minutes until lighter in colour. Beat in 4 tbsp soured cream and stir in half of the blueberries with a large spoon.
3. Tip the cake mixture into the tin and spread level. Bake for 50 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the tin and peel off the lining. Cool on a wire rack.
4. For the frosting, beat together the soft cheese, icing sugar and remaining soured cream in a mixing bowl until smooth. Spread over the whole cake (the frosting will melt if the cake is still warm) and scatter with the remaining blueberries.

*Note: As I used non stick baking pan, I omitted this.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake

This is the other cheesecake that I baked for Katrina and she loved it.

Cotton soft Japanese cheesecake

140g fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g butter
250g cream cheese
100ml fresh milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
60g cake flour
20g corn flour
1/4 tsp salt


1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.

2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and fold well. Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper). Wrap the base of your cake tin with aluminium foil if you are using a springform tin, to prevent seepage.

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hour 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degree celsius.

5. Remove tin from waterbath and leave to cool in oven with door ajar for about 1 hour.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

my window sill

My window sill

I call my kitchen window sill my magic window sill because my flowers and plants love it there and they all trive there!

The orchids on the left have been in bloom since last year late summer (I think) and the other orchid just started blooming. The daffodils were given to me by Kris. Thanks Kris. The plant on the extreme right is a curry leaf plant which my mum brought over ages ago, I thought it had died last year, then it decided that it wanted a second lease of life, so it started leafing again, though not as bushy as I want it to. So the other day, I sacrificed quite a few of its branches and I hope it will branch out a bit more.

The orchid on the left were given to me by Siat and so hopefully they will go on for a long time more. The little plant next to the orchids is a kaffir lime leaf plant. It is growing slowly but surely! And the plant on the right - that is a Christmas cactus which normally blooms around November December - hence it's name. It did bloom then and this is it's second blooming.