The “Everything” cake

Photo by Gary Corbett

“This cake came about when I was asked to make a gluten-free cake for a catering gig. I wasn’t happy with the texture of my mud cake when I use GF flour so I decided to try something else. It’s a combination of a carrot, banana and hummingbird cake with added crunch from nuts, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips. The layers are smothered with moorish cream cheese icing and it’s decorated with toasted coconut and pineapple flowers. Needless to say it’s a real show stopper and utterly delicious! Enjoy”

You can watch the video here:

https://youtu.be/MOpNdupeArE

Cake ingredients

  • 150g GF plain flour
  • 150g almond meal
  • 150g desiccated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g olive oil
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 100g soft butter
  • 80g yoghurt
  • 200g crushed and drained pineapple
  • 400g mashed banana
  • 200g grated carrot
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 60g pumplin seeds
  • 80g chocolate chips
Cake method
  1. Heat your oven to 180 Celsius
  2. Combine GF lour, almond meal, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, mixed spice and salt. Mix and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer whisk together oil, brown sugar, eggs, butter and yoghurt until combined.
  4. Add the pineapple, banana and carrots and mix to combine.
  5. Stir in your dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  6. Stir through the walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips.
  7. Spray and line 3 x 20cm cake tins and divide the batter between them, smoothing the tops.
  8. Bake at 180 Celsius for 40-45 minutes then allow to cool.

 Cream cheese icing ingredients

  • 300g soft cream cheese
  • 300g soft butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon coconut essence
 Cream cheese icing method
  1. Whip the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest and coconut essence together until combined.
  2. Add the icing sugar in stages and beat until smooth.
  3. Refrigerate until needed
Pineapple flowers method
  1. Peel your pineapple and remove any eyes or blemishes.
  2. Cut into thin disks and lay on a lined baking tray.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes at 100 Celsius.
  4. Remove and flip the pineapple and bake for another 30 minutes.
  5. Place each pineapple ring in a muffin tin and bake for a further 30 minutes. You can turn the heat off and let them cool in the oven.
To make the cake
  1. Cut each cake in half.
  2. Spread a layer of cream cheese icing between each slice.
  3. Spread icing on the top and sides of the cake and smooth down with a cake scraper or offset spatula.
  4. Decorate with toasted coconut and pineapple flowers.

Parmesan Biscuits with Pesto Cream

“As a caterer I’m always looking for new tasty treats that are easy to prepare but pack a punch in the taste department.  These tasty little morsels certainly do that! The Parmesan biscuits are based on a recipe from a book called “Canape” by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille and the pesto cream was a combination of a few leftover ingredients I had in my fridge.  The combination of the salty richness of the biscuits and the creamy pesto topping is quite addictive and we ended up polishing off all of them in one sitting.  These will definitely become a staple on my catering menu from now on.  Enjoy!”

(Photo by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients

For the biscuits

  • 120g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 tsp Keens curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90g chilled butter

For the pesto cream

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • 200g cream cheese
  • Extra shaved Parmesan to garnish
  • Italian Parsley

Method

  1. Put the Parmesan cheese, flour, curry powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Remove to a bowl and knead together until all the ingredients have come together into a ball.
  3. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 5mm and cut out small biscuits using a cookie cutter.
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees C then leave to cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the pesto combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  7. Remove pesto from the food processor and add the cream cheese with 2-3 tbsp of the pesto mixture.  (You can freeze the remaining pesto for a later date)
  8. Put pesto cream in a piping bag and pipe a small mound onto each biscuit.
  9. Top with a small sprig of parsley and shaved Parmesan.