“Who doesn’t like sticky date pudding?! It’s one of the top desserts on many menus around the world and a regular recipe in my own kitchen. I’ve been testing a vegan recipe for catering and have realised this is better than the version I used to make. With the addition of banana to replace the eggs you do get and extra flavour in the mix but it compliments the traditional flavours so well. Enjoy!”
“This is one of the most popular cakes I’ve made in ages. The recipe I adapted seemed too weird not to try it, but the combination of soft sweet potato and white chocolate makes for an amazing texture. I also love the rustic drizzle of the warm ganache flavoured with apricot jam. Very Moorish! Enjoy”
(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)
For the cake
400g peeled sweet potato
300g white chocolate
300g dark brown sugar
100g golden syrup or molasses
100g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla essence
375g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the ganache
150g white chocolate
70g apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Peel the sweet potato and cut into 2cm cubes. Place in a steamer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft. Remove from steamer and allow to cool.
Melt the butter and white chocolate over a low heat, stirring regularly until combined. Allow to cool.
In a mixer beat the eggs, sugar and golden syrup until combined.
Add the yoghurt and vanilla and beat until combined.
Mash the sweet potato or process in a food processor until no lumps remain.
Add sweet potato to wet ingredients and beat until combined.
Add the flour and baking powder to wet ingredients and stir through until combined.
Grease and line a 25-30cm springform pan. Pour in cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. I found I needed to cover the cake with aluminium foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent burning the top.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the cake tin.
For the ganache
Bring the cream to a light simmer and add the jam. Stir or whisk until the jam has dissolved into the cream. Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth. You may need to put the pan back on a low heat if the cream has cooled down too much.
Allow the ganache to cool slightly. While the ganache is still runny our slowly over the cake. I applied a thin layer first and allowed it to cool on the cake before drizzling the rest over.
“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!