Lime and Pistachio Cake

“I’m embarressed about how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything here!  What with work, catering, cake design and the installation of a new kitchen, It’s been shunted to last priority.  I’m determined to turn over a new leaf and have a few recipes in my back-log to post in the coming weeks.  I made this cake for a work colleague’s birthday when I had a surplus of lemons.  The flavour and texture was brilliant but I decided to tweak the recipe to give it a bit more texture.  Feel free to use whatever fruit you like for the compote.  I think the strawberries and cherries were a great colour splash for the finished dish. You can also substitute lemons for limes but personally I liked this version better. Enjoy!”

(Photos by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients

Cake

  • 250g room temperature butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 3 room temperature eggs
  • zest from 3 limes
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 50g diced pistachios
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
Syrup
  • Juice from 3 limes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
Fruit compote
  •  Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry liquor
Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees (Fan forced).
  2. Grease and line a 20cm spring-form tin.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time until combined.
  4. Add the sour cream and lime zest and beat until combined.
  5. Fold in the pistachios and flour.
  6. Spoon mixture into prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatular.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
  8. While cake is baking place lime juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  9. When cake is done remove from the oven and pierce numerous holes with a skewer.
  10. Pour over lime syrup and refrigerate.
  11. For fruit compote cut the strawberries into quarters, de-seed and halve the cherries.
  12. Add fruit, sugar and liquor to saucepan and heat until fruit has just softened. (If you cook it too long you’ll get jam!)  Leave to cool.
  13. Decorate the cake with pistachios then serve a wedge of the lime cake with some fruit compote and a dollop of cream.

 

 

 

Red wine chocolate mud cake

“This would have to be my new favourite cake!  I’ve always loved a good mud cake but adding the red wine and spices adds a new dimension to this devilishly good dessert.  The smell while it’s cooking is intense and indulgent, filling the house with a mulled-wine aroma that’s hard to beat.  The addition of the port buttercream adds another dimension but I also make it with a basic ganache.  The best news is it’s so simple to make (although the decorating has taken a while for me to get proficient).  This is also one of those recipes that works just as well as a cupcake and lasts really well for up to five days without losing it’s texture.  Enjoy!”

(Photos by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients

  • 375g dark chocolate
  • 250g butter
  • 600ml red wine
  • 4 eggs
  • 400g dark sugar
  • 450g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Place chocolate, butter and red wine in a saucepan and heat on medium stirring occasionally until all the ingredients have melted and combined.  Allow to cool for 1/2 and hour.
  3. Beat the eggs and the sugar until combined.
  4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat until combined.
  5. Stir in the flour and spice until combined.
  6. Pour into 2 lined 20cm cake tins and cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out dry.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool.“If you plan to decorate your cakes in fondant, cover cakes in glad wrap and refrigerate until the cakes become completely cooled and solid.  This makes slicing them much easier.  If you want to make a simpler version, slice the cakes in half and fill with cream, ganache or butter cream or use sliced strawberries or fresh raspberries. But for pure indulgence I’ve included my port buttercream recipe.  Try not to eat more buttercream than goes in the cake!”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup port
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 200g room temperature butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • a splash of port

Method

  1. place port and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved then reduce to a low heat and let the port reduce to 1/3 of a cup.
  2. Place the reduced port in a container and refrigerate until cool.
  3. Add butter and cooled port (it will be very thick and sticky!) to a food processor and mix until combined.  (You may have to stop the machine several times to help combine the sticky port mixture into the butter).
  4. Add the icing sugar and a splash of port and mix until smooth.
  5. Remove the cooled cakes from the fridge and cut off the domed tops.  Slice the cakes in half and fill with port buttercream making sure the top level of the cake is the bottom of one of your cakes.
  6. Cover the cake in chocolate ganache and decorate with fondant.

 

 

Decadent Chocolate Orange Cake


“Confession time.  I’m addicted to chocolate!  Okay, not such a world-changing declaration but it does mean I’m constantly looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe.  This one is one of the most decadent and rich recipes I’ve made so far.  The addition of the sugared orange rind and juice add a great flavour and texture to the cake and the hit of chocolate ganache and butter-cream leaves me in chocoholic heaven.  One piece is never enough so make sure it’s a big one then hit the gym.  Enjoy!”

Chocolate Orange Cake

  • Rind from 3 oranges
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 225g Butter
  • 350g dark chocolate
  • 600ml orange juice
  • 400g dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 400g self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and butter and line a 23cm cake tin.
  2. Peel the rind off the oranges, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  3. Drain and repeat another two times.  On the fourth time add 100g of castor sugar to the rinds and boil until most of the water is gone leaving the rinds in a sugar syrup.  Place rinds in a food processor and blitz into small pieces.  Set aside.
  4. Put butter and chocolate in a saucepan and heat while stirring on medium until both have melted.
  5. Juice the oranges and add bottled juice to 600ml.  Mix into chocolate mixture with sugar, vanilla and orange rinds.
  6. Let the mixture cool then add eggs and whisk well.
  7. Add flour and cocoa and stir until combined.
  8. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Orange Butter-cream

  • 200g icing sugar
  • Grated rind from 1 orange
  • 125g butter
  • 125g cream cheese
  1. Process icing sugar in a food processor until all the lumps are gone.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.

Chocoalte Ganache

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 375g dark chocolate
  • 75g butter (at room temperature)
  1. Bring cream and Cointreau almost to the boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to the hot cream.  Leave to sit for 1 minute.
  3. Stir the mixture until combined.  Chop the butter into small pieces and stir into chocolate until melted.
  4. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool on the bench (Don’t refrigerate or it will become too hard to work with).

Putting The Cake Together

  1. Cut the cake in half and spread the butter-cream on the bottom half.  Place the other half on top.
  2. Spread 3/4 of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
  3. Fill a piping bag with the remainder of the ganache and pipe swirls onto the cake.
  4. EAT!