Friday, May 16, 2014

Apple tart

There are many kinds of apple pies or tart. A friend gave my mother this recipe and it is a family favourite. 

Half cup butter
Half cup sugar - preferably raw or brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup self-rising flour
Pinch of salt
Half cup milk
Tin of apples

Set oven to 180 C and grease a pie dish. 
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light. 
Mix in the egg. 
Add the flour, salt and milk. Mix lightly.  
Use half of the dough to cover the sides and bottom of the prepared pie dish.  Distribute the apples evenly over the base and cover with the rest of the cake mixture. (It doesn't matter if you can't cover the apples perfectly. )
Bake for 40 - 50 minutes until golden brown and baked through. 

Melt and mix
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey (or golden syrup)
2 tablespoons sugar
Boil for a few minutes, stirring until ingredients are dissolved and incorporated. 

When the tart comes out of the oven, prick with a fork and spoon syrup over the pie, letting the syrup run down the sides. 

Serve the pie with cream or runny custard. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spice biscuits

These traditional biscuits are a favourite and we bake them at Christmas time every year, mainly because that is the only time we bake biscuits. You can ice them for a festive look, or, dip  them in chocolate and decorate with sprinkles. (The gold candy cane shaped biscuits in the photo were dipped in white chocolate and dusted with gold edible powder.) If you don't want to ice them, then sprinkle on sugar crystals - coloured ones, if you can get them, look very pretty - before baking them.

3 cups flour

1½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon and ground ginger each
2 teaspoons mixed spice
½ teaspoon nutmeg and cloves each
125g butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated rind of an orange

  1. Prepare3 baking trays - line with baking paper. (No greasing necessary.)
  2. Preheat oven to 200° C.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients.
  4. Rub in the butter.
  5. Whisk the eggs, vanilla and orange rind together and mix into the flour mixture to make a soft dough.  Add a little milk if necessary.
  6. Roll pieces of the dough out on a floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Cut out shapes and place on the prepared baking trays
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light brown.
This is a softer biscuit, but if you like it more crisp, roll the dough out thinner or bake for longer. Be careful though not to burn them.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Breakfast cake

The last slice of this healthy and delicious cake.
This cake is an adaptation of a new carrot cake recipe I wanted to try out. It happened like this: There were 4 egg whites in the fridge and I thought to use in all up with a carrot cake recipe that was in my recipe folder for some time. When checking our supplies there was only one carrot left! (We always have lots of carrots on hand!) Decided to add grated apple - have done this with the carrot cake I usually make - though the recipe calls for a tin of crushed pineapple, which I didn't have. I decided on the spur of the moment to use a banana which was getting a bit overripe. Since I didn't have the required nuts either I decided to replace that with pumpkin and sesame seeds. We ended up this this moist and delicious cake. It lasted 4 days and to the last slice it was still moist and delicious. (Other things I changed was replacing one cup of flour with whole wheat flour and half the amount of sugar.)  I didn't know what to name this new creation, but I thought it is healthy enough as a breakfast/lunch snack, thus the name. So here is the recipe - before I forget what I changes I made:

1 cup standard flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup raw sugar
4 eggs (I used 4 leftover egg whites and 2 whole eggs)
1 cup sunflower oil
1 carrot, grated
2 medium apples, grated (leave the skin on)
1 banana
½ cup sesame seed
½ - 1 cup pumpkin seeds (I didn't measure when I added the seeds)

  1. First grate the carrot and apples, and mash the banana.
  2. Set oven to 180°C and spray a ring cake tin with cooking spray.
  3. Sift the flours, baking soda, salt and spices together, and add the sugar. Mix gently to distribute ingredients evenly.
  4. Add the eggs and oil and mix lightly.
  5. Add the carrot, apple, banana and seeds and mix it lightly through the dough. If the dough feels too stiff you could add a bit more oil to the mixture.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

I'm sure raisins added to the mix would be lovely, but my family don't like raisins.

It is satisfying when an experiment turns out well. The previous time I had to throw out the cake - it was inedible!!