Category Archives: baking

The way to a man’s heart …


Are you superstitious? I have to admit, I am. I won’t walk under ladders, and I’ll never own a completely black cat … after all, the superstitions attached could be true, and, call me crazy, but I just don’t think the possible consequences are worth the risk!

 As far as being a romantic – well that’s me down to a tea too. I’m the kind of girl who always wanted to find the kind of love you read about in fiction or see in romantic movies – the kind of love where you can’t imagine a life without the person who makes up your other half. I know, it’s a cringe-worthy ideal for the non-romantic. But for me, it’s been a goal in life.

So when I read a blog about a very yummy sounding cake, with a very sweet story behind it, I thought I’d give it a try.  I published the recipe for said cake during my last blog post, and what can I say, I have been a very busy girl since!!! hence my lack of posting over the last two weeks or so.

The original cake was called Apple, Pecan and Date cake – but that name is no longer appropriate. It’s now called The Love Cake – and this is why.

I was blog surfing one day and came across the awesome blog called Root&Blossom, written by a lovely lady called Lena. She posted the recipe for this amazing cake, which I decided to try, and adapt slightly. This is what she wrote about this apple cake:

“It’s been over two years since I’ve made this cake! The last time I made this  I gave it to a boy for his birthday. That boy then proceeded to ask me out and then later married me. I always gave my mom a hard time about how this old family recipe ends with saying, “your hubby will love it!” But I guess I don’t have room to talk anymore, but I’m okay with that!” – Lena at Root&Blossom

Being both a romantic and lover of food – and knowing that my nearest and dearest has a sweet tooth and would love the caramel-like icing that covers this delicious dessert, I knew it was perfect! So, I made it – and said boyfriend couldn’t get enough of it!!

Something else totally amazing happened too …

Now I’m not saying the proposal was all down to the cake … but I’m sure it didn’t hinder the situation either!

Lena asked me in the comments section when I posted the recipe whether my boy liked it … I’d have to say YES!!!!!

Be Inspired~

Lisa

P.S For those of you who have been wondering about our My Kitchen Rules pursuit following the making of our audition video in March – we have some very exciting news. Ruza and I both got calls yesterday and are still being considered for the show! For confidentiality reasons, we aren’t allowed to say too much more – but we are super excited and just have to hope we make it further into the process and hopefully get picked!!! Wish us luck and thanks for all your support to date 🙂

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The Weekly Cook Up: Apple, date and pecan cake


This cake is so yummy – it’s moist, full of flavour and dangerously sweet.

It’s a great recipe to get the kids involved – they’ll absolutely love licking the bowl!

The original recipe for this came from a great blog called Root&Blossom. It’s a family recipe of this blogger – and I am soooo glad she shared it! Make sure you check it out.

I made a few changes – I used different apples (because I could not get one Granny Smith apple at the shop!!) and added dates and pecans – simply because I can’t manage to follow any recipe without making a change or two – plus I LOVE dates 🙂 When I make it again, I will wait to get the green variety – I think the tartness of them would be better than the Red Delicious ones I ended up using. Up to you though.

The thing that attracted me to this recipe was not only the combination of flavours – but how simple and easy the directions are! Check it out:

APPLE, DATE AND PECAN CAKE

 

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean, deseeded
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 tbs of hot water
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 5 cups of diced Red Delicious or Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 a cup of pitted dates, diced
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Mix the first 9 ingredients, add apples and nuts, mix thoroughly.

Grease a ceramic or glass baking dish with some butter. Pour in the batter and bake for 45 minutes.

 Frosting:

  • 1/2 a cup of butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 tbs of milk
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar

 Bring the butter, brown sugar, salt and milk to the boil and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes and then add the icing sugar.

Smear on top of the cake and then serve.

 For regular readers of Uforic Food – you’ll know all about my claim to be a shocking baker.

However, news I recently received, and based on the success of my recent baking attempts, means this may not be entirely true!

It turns out the new owner of my former house kept burning everything too and that’s because … the oven was broken! That’s right, no thermostat whatsoever! No wonder everything was burning on the bottom!

I plan to now fearlessly bake like no other woman has baked before! Very inspired!

Thanks again to Root&Blossom for this awesome recipe! Cook it up this weekend and send your family off to work and school with a very yummy snack. They’ll be the envy of everyone!

Lisa~

The Weekly Cook Up: Australian fusion food


Aussie food to me is all about fusion. Australia is a multicultural extravaganza of flavours from across the world, reflecting our population – people who have come together from all over the world to call this beautiful country home.

In the 1950s you might have said Australian cuisine was about meat pies, fish and chips, snags on the barbie, the Sunday roast  … and, of course, let’s not forget Vegemite!

But since then our pallets have been wowed by the fabulous flavours of countries like Italy, China, India and more recently, the wonder that is African food.

As you walk down the streets of any of Australia’s beautiful states and territories, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to world cuisine – and then there are those restaurants which classify themselves as “Modern Australian”.

It is this term which I think really encompasses what Aussie food is all about in 2011. It’s about flavours and techniques from across the world coming together to compliment and enhance the things we love and do well here, like seafood, lamb and chicken and an array of fresh produce.

I also think it’s important to embrace indigenous culture and flavours and bush herbs such as lemon myrtle, which is a feature of my recipe, have become really popular.

World famous chef Rick Stein’s pursuit to find Australia’s Top Food Blogger and the country’s ultimate dish inspired me to create this recipe. It embraces our wonderful produce, and the flavours and techniques from all over the world which has influenced our cuisine so much.

Rick Stein Food Odyssey Live On Stage

The chicken in this recipe is succulent and infused with the flavours of basil and lemon myrtle. The potatoes are crispy and delicious, just like you’d expect from a perfectly cooked Sunday roast. The sausages give a really authentic Aussie touch, with a Balkan twist, and the beans don’t only add colour, but a crispy freshness. When brought together, it’s un unpretentious dish that is fragrant, moist and bursting with flavour.

In a nutshell – it’s the kind of food everyone just loves to eat.

BAKED FUSION CHICKEN

Serves 6-8

Marinade:

  • 16 organic chicken drumsticks (you could also use maryland or thighs, if you like)
  • 2 tbs of basil pesto
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of lemon myrtle
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbs of olive oil

Combine all of the marinade ingredients. Massage into the chicken, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 6 small, skinless pork sausages (also called chevaps, which are actually Balkan), broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 mushrooms, halved
  • 4 whole cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 large handful of beans, trimmed
  • 1/3 of a cup of water
  • 1 tbs of flour

Method:

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius (200 for fan forced). In a baking dish, combine the marinated chicken, red onion, potatoes, sausage pieces, mushrooms and garlic with a few good glugs of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Toss with your hands so the marinade coats all the ingredients.

 Bake for 50 minutes, checking after 35 minutes to see how it’s progressing.

After an hour, add the tomatoes and beans and stir through. Try to ensure the potatoes are mostly at the top, so they don’t go soggy in the juices, letting them to go golden and crispy. Taste the sauce to check for seasoning and add more, if required. Bake for a further 15 minutes – enough to cook the beans and tomatoes, but so the tomatoes hold their shape. 

Serve onto plates, but leave most of the juices in the pan. Place the pan on your stove-top and bring to a gentle boil. Mix the flour and water in a small bowl and add to the simmering juices. Whisk until the sauce starts to thicken. Once a good consistency, spoon over the chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley.

I think this dish doesn’t only reflect the flavours that have been brought to Australia over the past 60 years – but it also reflects the kind of food Australians like to eat every day- food packed with flavour, but without fuss and pretension.

I hope this dish is something my Food Hero, Rick Stein would love! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Be Inspired~

Lisa

Pecan pie – perfect for the baking inept


As promised – here is the first desert recipe, which required baking, which I managed to achieve.

Now I will admit that I did have some help from Matt’s mum Sandra – and this recipe didn’t exactly come out untarnished by my horrid baking curse. However, while I forgot to melt the butter for the filling, meaning I had to whisk it leaving it a little bubbled at the top and the pastry did crack a little – luckily, it tasted fantastic! I took it to work for our monthly morning tea – and everyone seemed to really like it. Yay me!!

So, here is my pecan pie – and thank you to Sandra for her excellent baking lesson. It’s given me more confidence to tackle more cakes, muffins, biscuits and pies 🙂

Pecan Pie – for dummies

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 100gm of cold, unslated butter, chopped
  • t tbs icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tbs of cold water

Filling

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 a cup of glucose syrup
  • 1/2 a cup of brown sugar
  • 25gm of unsalted butter, melted (make sure you do this, cos I forgot!)
  • 2 cups of pecans

Method

Grease a 24cm loose-based flan tin.

Process flour, butter and icing sugar until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. With the mixer going, add the egg yolks and enough water until the mixture comes together as a dough ball.

Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Take pastry out of the fridge and roll out between two sheet of baking paper, making sure you flour the baking paper on the bench, and then the top of the pastry, to prevent it from sticking. Make it large enough to fill the base and sides of your tin. Carefully remove the baking paper and lay the pastry over the tin, pressing it to fit the tin and then trim the excess.

Place the tin on a baking tray, cover pastry with baking paper and fill with rice or dried beans. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees (c), for 20 mins. Remove paper and beans/rice, and cook for a further 5 mintues, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Comine the eggs, glucose, sugar and butter in a bowl. Stir in the nuts, before spooning into the pastry shell.

Cook at 160 degrees (c) for 45 minutes until filling is set. Cool in the tin.

Once cooled, cut the pie into wedges and serve as is, or with a dollop of cream.

There you have it – a very yummy pie. If I can bake it, I know you can!

Be Inspired~

Lisa

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