Kalwewo Festive Cookies

This post is subtitled, Cranberries, Pecans and Choc Bits, and with these fine festive cookies, Laura set a new Cake Club record, having sent the recipe through to your hard working web editor an hour before Tuesday morning tea. This was impressive, but was also very hungry-making. The recipe follows:

140g Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
75g Oats
125g Butter
75g Dark Brown Sugar
100g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
75g Cranberries
50g Roughly chopped Pecan Nuts
140g White Chocolate Bits

Beat butter & sugar until creamy.
Add egg & vanilla essence.
Beat in dry ingredients.
Fold in cranberries, nuts & chocolate bits.
Refrigerate for 20 mins.
Roll out tablespoonfuls into balls & place on greased baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C
Leave to cool before removing from tray.

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 22:46  Leave a Comment  

Beetroot Cake

This week saw perhaps the most lurid cake to date making an appearance; a finely iced pink cake containing no artificial colouring at all. Just what we all needed to spruce up a slow Tuesday morning. Lynley’s report follows.

Beetroot Cake
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
2 x 425 g cans no salt added beetroot (drained and diced finely, reserve three slices for icing)
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in
1 tablespoon boiling water

Cream Cheese Icing
125g cream cheese
60g butter
3 slices beetroot
1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Heat the oven to 180°C.
Line and grease a 20cm cake ring.
Beat eggs and sugar till thick and creamy.
Gradually blend in oil, continuing to beat.
Fold in beetroot and remaining ingredients.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Ice when cool.

To make icing, place cream cheese and butter in a food processor and blend till smooth. Add beetroot and blend well. Gradually add icing sugar, beating well.
Spread on to the cake using a knife. Allow it to become firm before cutting.

As per usual I can’t just follow the recipe:
For the icing I only used 50g butter and a lot more icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Beetroot was from my garden so I was guessing how much to put in as I have no idea how much ‘actual’ beetroot is in a can (I may have gone a bit over board with 750g) and grated not finely diced. I also think the colour is a lot brighter with homegrown!
Managed to mix all manually for those without cake mixers, although with the icing if using beetroot helps if the food processor is used but would be worth while trying just using juice if not available.
Played with the temperature and time as I was using fan oven so the jury is out on that one!!

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 22:38  Leave a Comment  

Buttermilk Cake

Anna’s offering this week, to clear the palette after the chocolate almond tart, was a buttermilk cake,accompanied with red currant jam. With great foresight, she brought two cakes, although the club’s diminished numbers this week due to field work and overseas expeditions, combined with the calorific count of Mandy’s tart, meant that only one was consumed. Nonetheless, the effect of swapping the last slice of cake for an entirely new loaf while club members were rubbing their full tummies and concentrating on digestion did not go completely unnoticed, and it is hereby announced that there will be a Cake Club prize for the first genuine self-reassembling, ever-lasting cake recipe, to be known as the Marburg Perpetual Cake Award.

Buttermilk cake
This recipe comes from “The Mississippi Cookbook” that my dad bought back in 1964 when he spent a summer working in Mississippi. It transports well and makes an excellent contribution to a potluck, or for morning tea. Buttermilk is a thick, cultured milk readily available in supermarkets (it’s usually next to the cream).

230 g butter, softened
3 cups (1 kg) sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract*
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
3 cups (375 g) standard flour

Cream the butter until noticeably lighter in color, add sugar and cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Don’t skimp – the air bubbles you whip in now affect the texture of the final cake. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition (you’re creating an emulsion here, which is why you go slow). Stir in the vanilla.
Beat the egg whites until you get medium-stiff peaks.

Dissolve soda in one teaspoon warm water and stir into the buttermilk. Add flour and milk alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in the egg whites. The dough will be thick, but pourable. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch (25 cm) tube pan. If you don’t have a tube/bunt pan, use two loaf pans.

Bake at 180 °C for 1 hour 10 minutes. Cake will be quite brown – perhaps alarmingly so at the corners if you’ve used a loaf pan. Test by sticking a clean, dry knife in the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If the crumbs sort of smear along the blade, the cake needs another 5 minutes.

Cool in pan, and turn out when just slightly warm.

Serve with jam. I like tart ones like red currant or rhubarb. An orange glaze also goes nicely, but attempts to gussy it up with icing have generally failed.

* According to the internet vanilla extract is made by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol and vanilla essence is synthetic. Usage in new zealand seems to be more muddled. Look for something that states its alcohol content (usually 35%) and doesn’t list anything weird. Or just use vanilla essence – the flavor will be a bit less intense.

Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 22:54  Leave a Comment  

Chocolate Almond Tart

Mandy’s contribution this week was a first for the cake club and warranted the creation of both “Tart” and “Nuts” categories. Perhaps it could even be referred to as a torte. Either way, it was rich, dense, and answered every possible need of a club designed to inject delectable delights into a Tuesday morning. Her report follows.

Choccy Almond Tart

180 g unsalted butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
225 g flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg

90 g unsalted butter
90 g dark chocolate (e.g. Whittakers 76% dark chocolate)
3 eggs
1/4 cup flour
70 g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
2/3 cup caster sugar

90 ml thickened cream
210 g dark chocolate
40 g flaked almonds

Preheat oven 140°C. Make base by rubbing butter into dry ingredients. Add egg. Wrap and chill. Roll out pastry to line a flan tin; chill again.

To make filling, melt butter and chocolate in double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, flour, ground almonds, essence and sugar on high speed for 8 minutes. Fold in melted chocolate. Pour into pastry shell and bake for 35-45 minutes. Cool.

Bring cream to boil in a pot. Take off heat, add chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Cool, then pour over tart and sprinkle with almonds.

Recipe from the New Zealand Gardener magazine, March 2010

I used the Whittakers chocolate recommended but just one king size block (350 g I think), just made less topping. I couldn’t find any thickened cream or double cream* in the local supermarkets so I just used normal cream and it seemed to be thick enough. I couldn’t be arsed beating the mixture for 8 minutes, it seemed a very long time and was very noisy; I probably managed about 5 minutes. Whilst it was cooking, butter from the base must have melted and dripped onto the bottom of the oven which created a lot of nasty smoke – might pay to put a tray underneath.

* English Editor’s Note: Does real double cream exist in New Zealand?

Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 22:42  Leave a Comment  

Apple Pie

Second up on manly dessert day was a fine example of an American apple pie, complete with lattice pastry. It was so good that some members of the club started speculating as to whether home made ice cream would also come under our jurisdiction. Chris’s recipe follows.

The all important crust:
1 cup flour
About 300g chilled butter

Use a pastry tool to break the butter into small pieces, the smaller the better but it needs to be solid, not liquid. Add butter to flour and work it together with a blender (or clean hands) until the butter has been fully incorporated into the flour and has a small ‘pebble’ like consistency. Handle it as little as possible, i.e. don’t over massage the dough. This amount will give you a single bottom crust, for a top crust double the recipe. Best to do it all at once, because it will be messy. Line your pie dish with the dough.

The apple filling:
5-7 largish apples, something not too sweet. I used Kiwi crisp, but something more tart works well too. Peel and slice into smallish pieces, though not wafer thin. If you use sweet apples add about 1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar) and a pinch of salt. For tart apples you’ll want to add a bit more sugar (and the salt). Add about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon and mix it all together. You’re aiming to have enough apples so that they form a mound within the pie dish, as they will cook down a bit. Preheat to 232°C and bake for about 10 min, then turn down temperature to 175°C and bake for about 45 minutes.

To maximize flavor, serve it hot! This is important! And it takes more than 10 minutes in a warm oven to heat it up, so give it at least 30 minutes.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 22:09  Leave a Comment  

Coffee Cake

Last week saw the first all-male team step up to the hot plate, first being a fine coffee cake, complete with bean topping. This provided an excellent caffeine hit, to set everyone up for the apple pie that followed. The recipe for this delight will appear shortly.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 22:06  Leave a Comment  

Upside Down Peach Cake

The second cake of the first week of excess was a tempting looking sponge by Susan, which, although denoted an upside down cake, turned out to be exactly the right way up. Her report follows.

The recipe is adapted from this online pineapple upside down cake, which is apparently also very tasty.

A well seasoned, 10 inch skillet.

Black boy peaches, chopped into 3/8 inch thick pieces. Melt 3/4 stick unsalted butter; add 3/4 cup brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and arrange peach slices, overlapping slightly.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 to 3 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 stick unsalted, softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp peach schnapps
1/2 cup cranberry juice
2 tbsp peach schnapps for sprinkling over cake.

Mix dry goods together. Beat butter until light and fluffy, then beat in sugar, followed by eggs, a little at a time. Neat in the vanilla and schnapps. Add half the flour mixture and beat slowly until just mixed. Beat in the cranberry juice, then add the rest of the flour mix and beat until just blended.

Spoon the batter evenly over the peach topping. Bake at 175°C for about 45 minutes, until golden. Let it stand for 5 minutes before turning out of the skillet. Adjust peach slices, sprinkle schnapps over the cake and cool on a plate.


Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 19:20  Leave a Comment  

Lemon Cheesecake

As the hungry hordes continue to turn up every Tuesday, the Administration deemed it appropriate to designate two bakers per week from now on, to preclude the tragedy that is but a single, narrow slice of cake to supplement the morning tea break. This week was the turn of Susie and Susan, and Susie’s lemon cheesecake was the first to the test. Her report follows.

Lemon Cheesecake

1pk wine biscuits
80g softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Put all ingredients into a food processor and whiz, push into tray with low sides and bake 180°C for 8 mins. Make sure you allow it to cool before adding filling.

300ml whipped cream
250g cream cheese
1pk lemon jelly crystals
Juice of 3 lemons
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tbsp sugar
Grated chocolate or crumbled flake for topping once set

Add boiling water to jelly crystals and sugar. Put the cream cheese in a food processor to soften then add the jelly crystal mixture and lemon juice. Whip the cream then fold into it the cream cheese/jelly crystal mixture. Spoon it into the cooled base and chill.

NB. Depending on how juicy your lemons are you may need to add one more but be careful as too much lemon juice seems to muck up the setting and can leave it a bit soft.

Scandalous admission by the chef:
I have to confess this recipe is not my own, it was stolen from one of my flat mates many years ago while living in Adelaide.

[Editor: The Cake Club would hereby like to thank Susie’s former flat mate for a most excellent cheesecake experience. There was none left.]

Published in: on April 8, 2010 at 20:41  Leave a Comment