Tagged: food

Raspberry, Almond & Chocolate Teacake

It seems this week has been very well suited to baking cakes and having afternoon teas!
Yesterday afternoon was yet another opportunity to bake one of the many cakes I have been meaning to cook for a while now! The weather for the afternoon was devine and made for an absolutely perfect outdoor afternoon tea.

afternoon tea and cake

Along with a beautiful posy of flowers, delicious Iced tea and the shining sun, the afternoon was perfect.

Teacake and flowers
Teacakes have been abit of a hit in my cooking regime recently, and I feel I am beginning to get the hang of baking them.

The almond meal in this recipe gave it a great texture and the flavours complemented each other effectively. I will definitely be baking this one again!

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Raspberry, Chocolate & Almond Teacake

150g softened unsalted butter, chopped
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
50ml milk
1 cup (150g) gluten free flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g almond meal
¾ cup (135g) dark choc chips
150g raspberries
1/3 cup (25g) flaked almonds
Icing sugar, to dust

METHOD
Preheat oven to 170°C (fan-forced). Grease 20cm round cake pan.
Cream butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat to incorporate.
Add the vanilla and milk and beat to combine.
Fold in flour and almond meal and finally the raspberries and choc chips.
Spread mix in cake pan and bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until a skewer is inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out after 10 minutes and cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Paper Carnations

I have begun my first craft project for the holidays- making paper flowers. I came up with the idea after visiting some sweet little markets a while back where I came across some elaborate paper flowers that inspired me to make my own. And so after a little bit of research, a trip to the craft store and abit of trial and error, I have created my first bunch of paper carnations. Turns out they are so simple to make and the outcome is really effective!

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They have been the perfect gift to take to peoples houses during the christmas period and everyone I have given them to has absolutely loved them, little do they know how easy they are to make! It has also got me on the lookout for cute vases and jars I can put them in, and once the technique is mastered (which doesn’t take long at all) I have begun experimenting with fun and unique printed crepe paper:

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Materials:
Tissue Paper
Scissors
Green Floral Wire (Should be able to purchase from any good Craft store)

Steps:
Depending on what size flower you want, fold the tissue paper enough times so that you can trace a circle your desired size onto it. I found anywhere between 5-10cm gives quite a realistic flower size, but feel free to experiment with the different sizes.

It’s easiest if you find something cylindrical to trace around for the shape of the flower. Holding the layers of tissue paper together, begin to cut out the circle, being so thin, you should be able to cut out at least 40 or so folds of the tissue paper at a time.

When they are cut out, remove the amount of circles you want for your flower, I found about 8-10 circles made a nice full flower. Hold these circles together and make a hole just off from the centre of the circle and push the floral wire through this hole. Push it through further enough that you can fold it over and push it back through making a second hole. Tie the wire tightly around itself at the base of the flower.

To make the petals, work on each petal individually, starting at the top of the bunch. Take this petal and bunch it towards the centre. Do this randomly and there is no need to make it neat at all. Make sure to just be working on the base part, trying not to touch too much of the ‘petal’.

Repeat this with all the other petals, working on each individually and try scrunching each one differently as to make the flower look really full and not all bunching the same way.

So once all the circles have been scrunched you should find yourself with a lovely carnation:

Paper Carnation

Don’t worry if your first one doesn’t look perfect. It takes a few goes to get the hang of the scrunching technique, once you’ve got it though you can have lots of fun experimenting with all different sizes, papers and styles.

I hope you have fun making these little sweeties and I’d love to hear how you go 🙂

Below are a few more flowers I’ve made- just to give you an idea of the different papers you can have fun with!

Thanks so much for stopping by, I would be so happy to hear from you in the comments 🙂 !!

Orange flower

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Mini Baked Raspberry Cheescakes

I have an obsession with raspberries.

Of all the berries they are clearly the best- their sweeter than blackberries, they look more appealing than blueberries and strawberry seeds get stuck in your teeth. I always make sure I have a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer that I add to all the everything i can- within reason of course:) To come across a recipe like these Mini Baked Raspberry Cheescakes got me very excited  as i am always on the lookout for recipes that include these delicious berries. So of course i had to give them a go!

I made the cheesecakes for a  recent picnic with the extended family and they were such a hit (if i do say so myself) so i thought i should share them with you- especially if there are any other raspberry lovers out there!

They were surprisingly simple to whip up- very similar to a cheesecake recipe just in a smaller size. I am beginning to love cheesecake more and more but i find it quite a rich dessert to have and so i found these mini sized cheesecakes perfect being not as intense as a slice of cheesecake- abit more subtle and the raspberry on top evens out the richness of the base and filling.

I originally found the recipe in a magazine but somewhere along the way it was misplaced but this recipe is very close to what i followed:

Mini Baked Raspberry Cheesecakes:

Base Ingredients:
150g Nice biscuits
70g Butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:
250g Cream cheese
75g Caster sugar
1 large egg
20ml lemon juice
100ml thickened cream

Raspberries and Jam for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C.
2. Finely crush biscuits in a food processor. Add melted butter to biscuit crumbs and process until well combined.
3.Divide biscuit mixture evenly among mini-muffin baking tray. Firmly press mixture so that it lines the inside of the muffin tray. Set bases aside while making the filling.
4. Beat Cream cheese and caster sugar in an electric mixer. When mixture is completely smooth add thickened cream, lemon juice and egg and beat until combined. Divide mixture evenly among mini muffin tray.
5.Bake cheescakes for twenty minutes. remove from oven and allow to cool. Place half a tbsp of jam in the centre of each mini cheesecake and place the raspberry on top.
6.Place in ana airtight container and refrigerate… Cheescakes are ready to serve when they are cold and set.

Strawberry Jam

I recently went along to Chevallum Strawbfest, a school fete which is positioned right near strawberry fields and consequently revolves around strawberries. It a wonderful evening and each year the organisers find more  ways to use strawberries- ranging from strawberry sundaes and pavlovas to strawberry shakes and daiquiri’s.

But the best part of the festival is the strawberries being sold for an absolute bargain. At the end of the night i picked up 4 massive punnets of strawberries for just $10.

What a wonderful excuse to make strawberry Jam!

This is the first time I’ve made jam and i was under the impression it was a difficult thing to do- instead if found it simple, quick and the process fascinated me.

So i started by roughly chopping up strawberries:

Then chopped up more strawberries:


250g of sugar was then added to 500g of strawberries (the recipe i was following said 500g but I found that much wasn’t needed and the process worked fine with less sugar).

This was the part of the process I found most fascinating, without any water or liquids added, the sugar worked to draw out the water in the strawberries and the saucepan became full with liquid and the strawberries became mushy all on their own- i was quite intrigued seeing this happen:

So after approximately 20 minutes of the jam bubbling away on medium heat on the stove it was ready to be packaged up!This jam had more chunky bits in it than most jams i have tried but more time on the stove would have reduced that (personally i quite like the chunks on toast)

I bought some cheap jars from a bargain shop which were a perfect size to fit the jam! Make sure to sterilise the jars your using so the jam can store for longer- to sterilise just pop the jar in boiling water for about 10 or so minutes.

The finished product!:

The jam making was a success and I would consider it very worth making- Only takes about half an hour but makes enough to last for weeks.

I think it would be an excellent gift idea- decorate the jars with ribbons for birthday or even red and green for a christmas gift!

Thanks so much for stopping by- please feel free to comment and say hi 🙂 I’d love to hear what you think of what you’ve seen on this blog 🙂

Katie