Sunday, June 29, 2008

Very Berry Baking

There seems to be a bit of a baking thing going on with this blog at the moment, which has inspired me to keep it going. Those cupcakes from Stakaz have had my mind wandering and mouth watering for over a month now....

I have mentioned in an earlier post the absolutely divine berries you can get in
Scando during the summer. Well it is that time of the year, and we have been munching on strawberries that taste as sweet and luscious as any you can even imagine. I have also talked about 'fika' and the very best fikas are those where a bit of 'jordgubbkaka' (strawberry cake), is available and fresh. The first cake here is an attempt on the classic, the recipe given to me by my Swedish boss. Apparently this is a basic swedish kaka recipe and the strawberries can be substituted for any other berries fresh or frozen, and apple and pear as well.
(also sorry about the mls/gms mix up with this recipe, in sweden they use decilitres for all baking measurements so thought I would just stick to the very literal conversion with all ingredients)

Swedish Strawberry Cake

1 egg
150 mls sugar
125g butter (melted)
150ml flour
150-200 g strawberries

* Preheat oven at 200°C and grease form cake pan
* beat sugar and egg for 2 mins
* add melted butter and mix
* add flour and mix
* put batter in tin and drop berries over the top (they will sink a little)
* Bake for about 25 mins.

It is quite a thin little cake, but simple and sweet.

I am a bit of a cheesecake fan, but would you believe I have never in my life attempted to make one myself. This is the first. But these local strawberries were just begging to be used in combo with a tangy cheesy sweet delicacy.
The recipe used here is from and chosen because of the fewest fiddly ingredients.

Strawberry Cheesecake


1 cup digestive biccie crumbs
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 pkg. (200g. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. cornflour
About 300g fresh strawberries, (I'm not sure we had this amount left by the time they got to the topping, they were too good for little boys to resist sitting washed on the bench)

* Preheat oven to 170°C
* Mix biccie crumbs, butter and sugar. Press firmly into bottom of pan.
* Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven and set aside.
* Raise oven temperature to 180°C.
* Beat 1/2 cup sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice and lemon peel with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
* Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each egg is added just until blended. Pour into crust.
* Bake 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool.
* Wash then drain strawberries, reserving liquid. In a medium saucepan add enough water to reserved liquid to measure 1/2 cup then mix in cornflour, blending well.
*Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Cool, then stir in the strawberries and spread evenly over cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

boozy birthday baking....

i was on the hunt for a marshmallow frosting that didn't turn to rock once it set..and this one's a winner! and so is this blog..if you're into cupcakes, then you'll love drooling over the recipes.
i used the marshmallow frosting recipe and tweaked the base recipe adding champagne.
i made these for sjaida's birthday. 29 cupcakes for a 29yr old b'day gal....

i also made these babies.... yuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Champagne cupcakes w/ marshmallow frosting
approx. 18 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking power
1 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the egg whites
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2/3 cup champagne
3 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, ending with milk, and beat until batter is smooth. Add flavoring.
4. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into batter. Fold in mini-marshmallows.
5. Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

Marshmallow Frosting
i found that i had just over a cup's worth of frosting left after generously frosting the cakes... so i ate it! you could halve these measurements and still have plenty.

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp golden syrup [can use glucose or light corn syrup]
½ tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla extract
flaked or shredded coconut for decoration

In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, cream of tartar, and salt. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160°F on an instant-read thermometer), about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mixture until it is very warm and soft (but not dry) peaks form, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer to low and add the marshmallows and vanilla. Continue beating until the marshmallows are melted and the frosting is completely smooth, about 2 minutes more. Use right away.

sprinkle with coconut

and eat!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I scream for ice cream

Our Swedish friends came over for dinner a while back and brought with them some yummy homemade ice cream.

We tried it to make it once before but it was not quite the same as their delicious offering. So we wanted to try something a little different, they made theirs with Sweden's favourite 'Daim' chocolate bars as the main flavour, but we decided to try it with toblerone as that is much easier for folk to get. Getting daim in Oz means a trip to IKEA (which if you are in Sydney means quite a trek to the burbs). We also made two batches at the same time just altering one ingredient. John was not too happy with the scientific procedure I used...ok there was more than one variable as I didn't have any vanilla when I started.

Yellow toblerone ice cream
4 egg yolks
100 mls of castor sugar
400 mls of thick cream
2 tbs of syrup (golden, maple or honey would be fine)
1 tbs vanilla essence
100g block of toblerone chopped finely
Whisk egg yolk and sugar until fluffy
Add cream and whisk
Stir through syrup, vanilla and toblerone
Place in freezer for at least four hours, stirring occasionally so all the choccie bits don't just sit on the bottom of the bowl

White toblerone ice cream
We thought there might be some translation problem with the yolk part of the recipe, and didn't have another use for the egg whites so we just replaced the yolks of the egg for the egg whites and used the same method.

Not suprisingly there is a bit of difference in the taste. The yellow ice-cream tastes more like an italian style creamy gelato, quite rich in flavour and may be nice with some more bitter choccie stirred through. The white ice-cream was lighter
and as we are experiencing our first flutter of summer here in scando went down a treat.