Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pavlova Recipe


4 large (120 grams)egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) superfine (castor) sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whippingcream
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) granulated white sugar(or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fresh fruit - kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, or other fruit of your choice


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (130 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper. Turn the parchment paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they hold soft peaks. 

3. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat, on high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff and shiny peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers). 

4. Beat in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold in. 

5. Spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)

6. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the outside is dry and is a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.) 

7. The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for a few days. 
Just before serving gently place the meringue onto a serving plate. 

8. Whip the cream in your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Sweeten with the sugar and vanilla and then mound the softly whipped cream into the center of the meringue. 

9. Arrange the fruit randomly, or in a decorative pattern, on top of the cream. Serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Red Velvet Cake Recipe


For the sponges

  • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 500g plain flour
  • 500g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g natural yogurt
  • 400g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp or 2 x 28ml bottle red food colouring (optional- a natural liquid colouring will not work; we used Scarlett Langdale)

For the frosting

  • 200g full-fat soft cheese, at room temperature
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round tins. Gently melt half the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix half the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Whizz one egg and half the yogurt and beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.
  2. Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 150ml boiling water, then stir to combine. Stir in half the food colouring, if using, and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make 2 more sponges or if you're lucky enough to have 4 x 20cm sandwich tins you can bake in a big batch all at once.
  4. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the soft cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then swirl the rest all over the sandwiched cakes and decorate with sweets, if you like. Sit the cake somewhere cool (not the fridge) to set a little before serving.

Victoria Sandwich Cake Recipe

This is a classic cake recipe that is perfect for birthdays, special occasions or simply for afternoon tea. I've used strawberry jam and fresh strawberries because I love the taste, but feel free to use raspberries or blackberries instead, or even a mixture of all three.


  • for the sponge
  • • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • • 225g self-raising flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • • 225g caster sugar
  • • 4 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
  • • 1 lemon
  • for the filling
  • • 250g fresh strawberries
  • • 1 vanilla pod
  • • 150g good-quality strawberry jam
  • • 150ml double cream
  • • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • • icing sugar, for dusting

To make your sponge

• Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4
• Grease the bottom and sides of two 20cm sandwich cake tins with butter
• Line the base of each tin with greaseproof paper, then dust the sides lightly with flour

To make your sponge

• You can make your sponge like this (by hand), or in a food processor
• Beat the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon, until very light and fluffy
• Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before you add the next

To make your sponge

• Sift in the flour
• Finely grate over the lemon zest then fold it into the mixture (halve the lemon and save it for later)

To bake your sponge

• Divide the cake mix into the prepared tins and spread it out using a spatula
• Bake in the hot oven for around 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and risen
• You can check to see if the cake is cooked by sticking a cocktail stick or skewer right into the middle of the sponge

To bake your sponge

• Remove it after 5 seconds and if it comes out clean the cake's cooked; if slightly sticky it needs a bit longer, so put it back into the oven
• Allow the cakes to cool slightly in the tins, then carefully turn them out on to a rack to cool completely

To make your filling and finish the cake

• Hull and slice your strawberries
• Carefully score the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out all of the seeds
• Gently warm the jam in a pan over a low heat

To make your filling and finish the cake

• Remove from the heat and stir in your sliced strawberries
• Add the cream to a bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds, and squeeze in the juice from your zested lemon
• Whip until you have nice soft peaks

To make your filling and finish the cake

• Pick the least attractive sponge to go on the bottom and put it in the middle of your serving platter or cake plate
• If it's a little rounded on top, simply trim and flatten it off by using a sharp knife and rotating the plate and sponge as you cut

To make your filling and finish the cake

• Smear over the jam and strawberries, then spread the sweetened cream over the top
• Place the second cake, with the pretty side facing up, on top and dust it with icing sugar

Congo Bars Recipe

250g butter, soften
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs, weighing about 60g each
a pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups of self raising flour
1 cup callebaut 54% cocoa choc buttons
1 cup bittersweet ghirardelli choc buttons
extra imported store bought choc buttons to spread on the batter

- Using a wooden laddle mix butter with sugar and vanilla until all the butter disappears in the sugar.
- Add eggs one by one. Mix and please do not cream the eggs. 
- Add the sifted flours in 3 additions, fold them in and not stir the batter. 
- Mix the choc buttons and spread in 12x12 tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for about 18 minutes.


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