“I recently made a delicious fruit and nut loaf from one of Bill Grainger’s beautiful cookbooks. It was light and fragrant with nice chunky pieces of dried fruit and crunchy nuts. Because it didn’t have a lot of butter or eggs in it I decided to try and convert it to a vegan version. After a few attempts I got the right balance that doesn’t lack any of the flavours or textures of the original. It also works great toasted after a few days and freezes well. Of course I do have it smothered with butter, but you can always find a vegan alternative. Enjoy!”
“It’s been far too long since my last post. I blame it on moving house, orchestrating and conducting a ballet and catering. But I thought it was time to put a decadent cake recipe on my site that always gets the taste buds going. This cake is quite easy to make but takes a bit of time and patience to get it looking pretty. I also use this recipe for a cupcake version with a swirl of the butter cream on top. Beware, it’s pretty rich and definitely not for the diet-conscious. Enjoy!”
(Photo by Gary Corbett)
220g white chocolate
2 tbsp golden syrup
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
220g brown sugar
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
For butter cream
300g softened butter
500g icing sugar
2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 cup apricot jam
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C
Grease and line 2 20cm cake tins
Put butter, white chocolate, golden syrup, water, vanilla and salt in a saucepan and gently melt together, stirring constantly. Once all the ingredients are melted and mixed together leave to sit for 1/2 an hour
Beat sugar and eggs together until combined.
Add the cooled melted ingredients and then the flours.
Pour into prepared tines and bake for 1/2 and hour or until centre is cooked when a skewer is inserted.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the tins. Refrigerate until you are ready to ice. (This type of cake is much easier to cut and ice when completely cold so it can be made a day ahead if necessary.)
Carefully cut the domes of each cake to get a flat top then cut each cake into 2 discs. Keep the most even surface (usually the bottom) for the top layer of the cake.
To make the butter cream put icing sugar and ginger in a food processor and slowly add the softened butter until combined.
Heat the apricot jam in the microwave until runny and paint liberally on to 3 of the cake discs.
When the jam has cooled add a layer of the butter cream.
Assemble the layers finishing with the un-iced top layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and put a thin layer of butter cream on the top and sides of the cake making sure to fill any gaps. This “Crumb layer” will make it much easier to get a smooth finish later. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Put the final layer of butter cream on top and sides smoothing down to get a perfect finish. This cake is best served at room temperature.
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!