Saturday, 28 June 2014

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cloud Cake

Comfort Food Alert!

I love this cake! been making it forrreverrrrr.  I make it so often that even though I know the recipe off by heart I still grab the recipe book out of habit.  The book falls open to the page and voila I have Chocolate glory comfort cake!

The original recipe calls for Cointreau, however I never use it,  it started out because of the kid being small and just never been included since.  I like this cake in all it's chocolaty glory without the added extras.

Note: I don't grease and flour this tin,  I use baking paper base and around the sides, much easier to release from the spring form pan.

250gm dark chocolate
125gm butter
6 eggs, (2 whole, 4 separated)
175gm castor sugar
600ml whipped cream

Pre heat your oven 180C or fan forced 170C.

Line your 23cm cake tin base and sides with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate, allow to cool.


Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g of the caster sugar until thick and fluffy.

Gently add the chocolate mixture with the mixer running.


In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.

Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites.


Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly.

Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.

When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here.

Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup

I took my boys for a walk around the local Farmers Market this morning with the promise of Egg and Bacon rolls, yes bribery works!  It was one of those fantastic sunny Sunday winter mornings for a nice stroll by the lake.  I found beautiful looking Sour Dough and Broccoli. 

It has now clouded over and is looking not very promising so soup for lunch is looking good.

I adapted this from The Pioneer Woman recipe for Broccoli Cheese soup.  I got sceptical looks from the crash test dummies when I mentioned that I was making this soup but the mention of bacon seemed to appease them somewhat. 

1 onion chopped
2 heads of broccoli
1/4 cup plain flour
100gm butter
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated tasty cheese
2 rashes of bacon chopped and cooked

Melt butter and gently cook onion for about 5 minutes.

Chop up the broccoli.  Don't throw out the stems chop them up and put them in the soup as well,  you may not realise it but this bit of the broccoli is the best bit, great for stir fries and Chinese food.  Add this to the onion and cook for 3 - 4 minutes.

Add the flour and stir until combined.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the milk and cream and stir until combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the broccoli florets and stir.  Put the lid on and simmer on low for 30 to 45 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, you should still have a thick consistency, add a little more if too thick.  Stick your barmix in the soup and blitz until smooth.

Add the cheese and stir through, allow to melt for a couple of minutes.

Add cooked bacon and stir through, save a little bacon for the garnish on the top.

Serve with remaining bacon and some grated cheese on top and fresh bread.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Raspberry Butter Cake

Did you ever have one of THOSE mornings? 

I just have. 

No milk for my morning Latte, the other half did not bring home a Latte with him from his photo shoot, the pizza I ordered in the shopping for Jonathan's dinner (teenage boy dinner while parents are out consists of frozen pizza, ice cream, block of chocolate and bottle of coke) was not there sorry out of stock, then while making this cake I spilt Self Raising flour all over the bench and floor, to top it all off I forgot to put on the bread maker so no bread for lunch.

Sigh, well it can only get better.  I did pick my first lemon of my lemon tree and the pumpkin growing out of season in the garden is huge and getting bigger and I found more hiding. The sun is shining and the whole house is open to a very nice breeze in the middle of winter. 

See life is balanced in some way.

This is an old family favourite recipe I have been making for years.  Mum used to go to garage sales and auctions and pick up job lot boxes of stuff.  Some of my favourite weird old time cake tins came from these boxes and this cake I have only ever made in this tin.  Funny how you get used to doing something a certain way.

125gm butter room temp
3/4 castor sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup raspberries fresh or frozen


Crème butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until combined.  Add flour and milk alternating in 2 batches until combined.  Scrape down the sides and give a final mix.  Toss raspberries in 2 tablespoons of flour to ensure they don't sink. 

Fold raspberries through gently.

Grease and flour a tin of your choosing and pour mix into tin.  Bake at 180C for 45 mins in fan forced oven or 1 hour in non fan forced.  Allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin then turn out onto a rack to fully cool.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Oven Baked Chicken and Bacon Risotto

Sorry about the photos next time I make this ill redo them.

This was a trial recipe for us.  I saw the recipe in a supermarket specials catalogue weeks ago and don't have the catalogue anymore so I kind of wing it.  However it turned out really well and we will have this again!

I am always looking for something different to do with chicken that is tasty and doesn't take heaps of time and effort.

1 - 2 chicken breast or 4 thigh fillets cut into 2cm cubes
2 rashes of bacon diced.
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 tin diced tomatoes
chicken stock
salt and pepper

I use a Le Creuset pan for this but if you don't have an oven proof pan just a casserole dish with a lid is fine.


In a fry pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry off the bacon and chicken until browned on all sides remove and set aside. 

In the same pan sauté the onion over medium to low heat for 3 to 4 minutes then add the crushed garlic cloves,  sauté for a further 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the rice (uncooked) to the onions and garlic and stir until coated in oil and sauté for 5 minutes stirring to ensure the rice doesn't stick.

Add the chicken and bacon to the rice and stir through.

Add the tin of tomatoes and stir through.

Add enough chicken stock to cover the rice, add salt and pepper to taste.  If using a casserole dish transfer into dish and cover.  Put in pre heated 180C oven for 45 minutes.  You will need to stir the dish every 10 to 15 minutes if the dish looks a little dry you will need to add more stock.

When you remove from the oven stir through a handful of fresh chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.  This will just lift the flavour and give it a little zing.


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Creamy double Strawberry Cheesecake

I love cheesecake but find baked cheesecakes a little heavy sometimes.  This cheesecake is adapted from a lemon cheesecake I used to make as a kid for the family.

Even in winter strawberries are hint of summer.  Using a strawberry puree makes the whole kitchen smell like summer.


200g pack of your favourite chocolate biscuits such as chocolate ripples or oreos made into crumbs
125g melted butter


2 punnets of strawberries
1/4 cup of icing sugar
lemon juice to taste


2 x 250g packages of cream cheese
300ml cream
1/4 cup castor sugar
1/3 of the strawberry puree

Strawberry Jelly

2/3 of the strawberry puree
3 leaves of gelatine
3 tablespoons of boiling water

Mix biscuit crumbs and butter, press into base of round spring form cake tin.  I use 2 x 20cm cake tins or you can use one 28cm tin.  I gently press the crumb base with a flat bottomed glass just to ensure a smooth finish.  Set aside in the fridge while you make the filling.

In a food processor blitz the strawberries and icing sugar.  Pass the strawberry puree through a fine sieve to get out most of the seeds.  You will not get all the seeds out but this is OK.  Squeeze in lemon juice to taste and set aside.

In a bowl whip the cream to soft peaks, don't over whip or you will have butter.

In a second bowl beat your cream cheese and sugar until smooth and combined.  Pour a third of the strawberry puree in and mix until combined.  Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture until combined.

Pour mixture into cake tin and smooth the top.

Soften gelatine leaves in cold water.  Squeeze excess water from gelatine and place in saucepan with the boiling water, heat over low heat until the gelatine is dissolved.   Mix the gelatine mixture with the remaining 2/3 of the puree.

Pour the puree over the cheesecake and tilt to ensure all the top is covered.  Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.