17 Feb 2014

A little bit about orange apricot and chocolate loaf

I wanted to take a morning or afternoon tea snack to work.
I've been feeling peckish, staying late, writing reports before I leave in 2 weeks.

I think muesli bars are unhealthy and since tim tams weren't on special I thought I'd bake a nice loaf...

It's a very simple recipe.
Basically you put all the dry ingredients in, mix in all the rest and att all the good stuff at the end :)

I chopped up dried apricots, used some milk chooclate drops and roughly chopped some Old Gold 70% dark chocolate.
All in 
Tip: If the top of the loaf start to crispen up on the top before it is fully cooked, put some aluminium foil over top and keep it baking until a skewer comes out clean 
Leave in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool 
Slice when fully cooled 

Orange, apricot and chocolate loaf

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup orange juice (the juice of 4 oranges)
1 tbsp orange zest (the zest of 2 oranges)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used rice bran)
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 packet dried apricots, chopped (200 grams)
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl
2. Mix in orange juice, zest, oil and egg until well combined
3. Stir in apricots and chocolate chips
4. Pour batter into a lined loaf tin
5. Bake at 200C for an hour
6. Leave in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool

So delicious!!
I heat up a slice in the microwave for 10 seconds, just long enough for the chocolate to soften and the loaf to moisten.

I think next time I'll take it out a few minutes earlier since it's a little brown around the sides.

But other than that, perfect.

And to conclude,

I'm a little uh, up to date, with Candy Crush- so on the half hour train ride to and from Henderson I've been reading instead.

Last week I finished Arthur Conan Doyle's Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four. I really like Sherlock Holmes stories so next up in line is Scandal in Bohemia and Red Headed League.
I also finished Persuasion by Jane Austen and currently reading Sense and Sensibility.
I find the language gets easier to understand the more further you go. It's a little hard to start up, but once you're in, you'll be wishing for a Captain Wentworth yourself ;)


13 Feb 2014

A little bit about easy vanilla cake

It was Jerry's birthday and after I volunteered to make the cake for his party I was like,
hang on a minute- I can't make a cake!!!

I've made almond chocolate coffee cake
But my cake bakes are better described here: Cake Fails

I actually didn't get to try any of my cake that I made for Jerry!!
But apparently it was really yummy. So I'll share with you the recipe and the icing recipe (Thanks Reenu!!) and you can try it for yourself.

It's very simple & very quick! This would be my go-to cake for birthdays.
But I'll have to try it for myself next time.

Easy Vanilla Cake

1 cup white sugar
115 gr butter melted
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk

1. Cream together sugar and melted butter. 
2. Mix in eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and flour by hand.
3. Stir in milk until the batter is smooth. 
4. Pour batter in a lined tin.
5. Bake at 180 C for 35 minutes. Test with a skewer. The cake should be done when the top is golden.
6. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out on a wire rack

This was baked in a 20 x 20cm pan, which was pretty small.
It fed about 20 people, a small piece each

Buttercream icing
100g butter (room temp)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1 Tbsp milk

1. Beat butter until pale and fluffy. 
2. Add icing sugar and vanilla essence and mix again. 
3. Add milk according to the consistency you require. 
4. Beat for another 2-3 minutes

Note: The more you beat the paler the icing gets. Mine was still quite yellow, you can beat it for longer or even add coloring.

Not too bad huh?

M & Ms are always my go-to decoration
If it had been a round cake, I would've separated the colors and done a spiral starting from the middle.
Maybe next time? Tell me some of your cake decoration ideas!

I used these edible chocolate letters from Countdown
It has all alphabet, numbers, some hearts and stars, and... question marks??

"Happy birthday Jerry??"

And to conclude,

For the REAL story of this cake(s) you'll have to ask me in person ;) :P