Saturday, 31 January 2015

Chocolate ripple cake

For those Aussies that read my blog you will know what I am talking about by the title alone and I know you will understand when I say I only managed one photo as there was not a lot left.  One of my brother's favourite desserts is the good old Chocolate Ripple Cake. 

For those from locales other than Australia let me just tell you there is no cooking involved in today's blog!  And well no cake either!  I see you scratching your heads and looking blankly at the computer.

I myself have done this with many American recipes for years, take the good ole Refrigerator cake... I have wondered about it for years, I watched a Martha Bakes show recently and well I can now say I have been making these for years!

I have a small problem in my house.  I cannot keep a packet of Chocolate Ripple biscuits in my house.  I do have to leave strict instructions that they cannot be eaten and why or I come home and they are gone.

If I can keep a pack I open them about 48 hours before I plan to make this just to allow them to soften and go a little stale.  I make the cake 24 hours before and leave it in the fridge, this allows the moisture in the cream to soften the biscuits to a cake like texture.

This is a simple cake you just use 1 packet of dry biscuits of your choice, chocolate or chocolate chip are good, 600ml of whipped cream, you can add 1 tablespoon of sugar and some vanilla to the cream if you wish.

I place a thin layer of cream of the serving plate, then start placing a layer of cream on the biscuits and stack them, a bit like making a cream and bickie tower.  Lay the tower on its side and keep going.  For this cake at home I lay them out like in the packet, in three rows side by side.  You then cover the bickies in the remaining cream, making sure there are no bickies poking out or showing.

Cover your cake in a little foil dome that doesn't touch the cream and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Saturday, 24 January 2015


Lamington's what can I say?  Such an Iconic Australian cake!  You have the plain lamington, the jam lamington, the cream and jam lamington and well all other versions.  I enjoy mine with jam and cream.

I have tried a number of different sponge recipes for this and wow some of them were just weird!


4 eggs
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
2/3 cup (150g) cornflour
1/4 cup (30g) custard powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


4 2/3 cups (750g) icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder 20g soft butter 3/4 cup (180ml) milk

Dessicated coconut

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Grease two deep 22cm square cake pans or a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan; lightly flour the pans with a little plain flour and shake out excess flour.

Beat eggs and sugar in a small bowl with a mixer until thick and creamy, about 7 minutes.

Sift dry ingredients together twice onto paper. Sift flour mixture a third time evenly over the surface of the egg mixture.

Using a balloon whisk or large metal spoon, quickly and lightly fold flour mixture through egg mixture until incorporated

Pour mixture evenly into the prepared pans, tilt the pans to spread mixture to the edge. Bake sponges in a moderately hot oven for about 20 minutes or until the sponges spring back when touched lightly in the centre remember not to open the oven during the cooking time or the cakes will deflate.  

Turn immediately onto wire racks, cool right way up, a tip to stop your cakes getting the marks from the cooling rack on it, place a folded tea towel on the wire rack before turning your cake out to cool.

Cut cake into even squares.  At this stage you can freeze the cake for later.

CHOCOLATE ICING: Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a large heatproof bowl; add the butter and milk; heat in microwave for 30 to 40 seconds and stir until icing is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Divide icing mixture into 2 small bowls.

In another bowl place coconut.


Set yourself up with a production line and start making a mess!  I used 2 forks to dip the cake in the chocolate then just tossed them in the coconut.  Place on a tray lined with baking paper and allow to set the icing.  In this heat is should only take about 20 minutes.


Once set and if there are any lamingtons left, you can split them and fill with jam and cream.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Meaty Cheesy Stuffed Shells


I have seen so many stuffed shell recipes on so many blog sites and drooled over them over the last 12 months and really wanted to try them but I had to find the giant shells.  Supermarket? no, Costco? no, Bibina (speciality store here in Newcastle)? YES!!!!  So you will find them in speciality stores generally your Italian deli's etc., for those at home try Lucky's in Frankston (if it is still there).

You can really fill these with anything you like, ricotta and spinach, four cheese filling, turkey Bolognese, mushroom ragout, ricotta cheddar bacon and onion, now my mouth is watering with the possibilities.

You could even pre prepare these in foil tins with a lid and freeze them.


Use the filling of your choice, I used a basic Bolognese, this would be a good way to use left over Bolognese.

Cook your shells in salted boiling water for a minute less than required on the packet, as they will finish cooking in the oven, you don't want mushie shells!

In your oven dish or foil pan, lay a base of either your meat sauce or a nice tomato sauce.
Lay your cooked shells evenly over your base, try to keep them open for easier filling.

Place a little grated cheese in each shell.

Fill with desired filling.
Sprinkle with grated tasty cheese.  If you are going to freeze for later meals this is the stage to put the lid on label it and freeze.

Place in the oven and bake at approx. 180C for 20 to 30 minutes.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Madeleines with a twist of Lemon

My goodness what is happening in the world?  Hostages taken in Sydney, reporters Murdered in Paris.  My heart goes out to the families of everyone lost in France this week.

I changed my mind on what I was going to post today, hence I am a little late online.  While chatting to my friend Rach and having my nails painted I decided that I would make Madeleine's, I love these little scallop shaped sponge delights.

I don't often buy fancy cake tins.  I have your standard round, square, loaf, lamington, ring.  However you cannot (well you can, but I don't want too) make Madeleine's in anything other than a traditional tin.  My tin is miniature scallops but the standard size is about double mine.

3 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
finely grated zest of one lemon
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tspn baking powder
60g butter melted and cooled

Pre heat your oven to 200C

Butter and flour your Madeleine tin.


In your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon zest.  This will take about 10 minutes but you need the eggs to be almost white and doubled in size.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and then sift over the top of the egg mixture, with a metal spoon gently fold the flour through the egg mixture, then fold through the melted, cooled butter.

Spoon mix into your prepared tin, just to the top of the mold.

Bake for 7 to 10 mins for my small tin or 15 to 20 mins for the larger tin.  Allow to cool slightly before turning onto a cooling rack. 

I like to eat mine still warm dipped in either lemon icing or Blueberry/Raspberry compote and served with a nice hot coffee.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Sour Cherry Cake

This is for my Mum.  Mum loves this cake,  I made it once and made the mistake of taking the last piece home with me.  I got a phone call from Mum when I got home, she was very annoyed with me to say the least that I took the last slice as she wanted it.

It is a really light, moist cake and even though the name of the recipe suggests that it might be sour, it isn't.  You can pick up jars of Morello cherries in the tinned fruit isle at the supermarket.

1 jar Morello Cherries
125g butter
2 tspn grated lemon zest
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk

Grease and flour a 20cm ring/baba pan.

Drain cherries well and place on paper towel to drain further.

Beat butter, sugar and rind in your mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mix may look curdled but this is normal.

Add sifted flours and sour cream/milk mixture a third at a time, alternately.

Spread half the mixture into your prepared pan.

Spread the cherries evenly over the mixture

Spread the remaining cake mixture over the cherries carefully.

Bake at 160C for 1 hour 10 minutes or until skewer come out clean.  Allow to stand in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.