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.

Roast tomato and capsicum sauce


Photos by Gary Corbett

“I love recipes that you can cook in bulk, freeze then whip out for a quick mid-week meal. I always have containers of Bolognese, chilli con carne and pesto in my freezer and also this super easy roast tomato and capsicum sauce.  It all bakes in one tray then gets blitzed up for later use.  I’ve also included a few recipes I make using the sauce. Enjoy”

Sauce ingredients

  • 6 capsicums
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 3 red onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White sugar
Sauce method
  1. Halve and de-seed 6 capsicums and put them in a deep baking dish.
  2. Halve and core 6 tomatoes and put them inside the capsicums.
  3. Quarter 3 red onions and sprinkle them between tomatoes and capsicums.
  4. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and throw them in the pan.
  5. Douse in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Cover in foil.
  7. Bake in a 180c oven for an hour.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan with the foil on.
  9. Depending on the strength of your food processor you can remove the skins from the tomatoes and capsicums. I have a Thermomix so this isn’t needed. Place in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  10. Pour into a saucepan and heat on low. Add Balsamic and white sugar to taste.
  11. Pour into containers and store in the freezer.
Recipe for soup
  1. Heat up a few cups of soup with some veggie or chicken stock and stir until smooth
  2. Blitz some pine nuts, lemon zest and fresh basil to make a gremolata.
  3. Serve the soup with a spoonful of sour cream, some gremolata and toasted sourdough
Recipe for pasta sauce
  1. Chop an eggplant into 1cm cubes, douse in olive oil and salt and bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Fry some chopped onions and mushrooms in a pan until soft. Add a few cups of sauce and the roasted eggplant.
  3. Stir in some fresh basil.
  4. Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese.
Recipe for baked chicken (for 2 people)
  1. Pour some sauce in a small baking dish and add 2 whole chicken breasts. Cover with more sauce.
  2. Cover dish with foil and bake in a 200c oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Blitz some bread with herbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and take off the foil.
  5. Cover with your breadcrumb mix and bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered.
  6. Serve with quinoa, roasted potatoes and green veggies.

 

Parma burgers

Photo by Gary Corbett

“With all the catering I do I’ve become used to doing alternative meals for vegetarians and vegans. Sometimes it’s great to have a recipe up your sleeve that can suit almost anyone.  These Parma burgers are great for feeding a crowd or just a fussy family.  Personally I love the mushroom Parma best but my husband loves the chicken version, so everyone’s happy. The sides of sweet potato fries and tangy coleslaw are also super easy to assemble and a healthy alternative to the store-bought varieties. I haven’t given weight amounts for the ingredients but it’s pretty easy to work out how much you need per person. Enjoy!

You can find the video on my Musical Menus YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/Yt6WdtVEFkU

Sweet potato fries ingredients

  • Sweet potato
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Method
  1. Cut the sweet potato into chunks.
  2. Sprinkle olive oil and salt over the top.
  3. Bake in a 200c oven for 30 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges.

 Burger ingredients

  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken thighs
  • Plain flour
  • Eggs
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Chunky tomato pasta sauce
  • Pizza cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Gouda cheese slices
  • Brioche buns
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles
Method
  1. Get three bowls ready and fill with some plain flour, beaten eggs and Panko bread crumbs.
  2. Remove the stalk from the mushroom and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Next dip in the eaten eggs and finally in the Panko bread crumbs. Place on the plate and finish the remaining mushrooms. Refrigerate.
  3. Repeat the process with the chicken thighs. Refrigerate.
  4. Heat some oil in a fry pan and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes on each side or until the crumbs have gone golden. Place on a baking tray.
  5. Repeat with the chicken.
  6. Top with some chunky tomato pasta sauce, some pizza cheese and some parmesan.
  7. Bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Tangy coleslaw ingredients
  • White cabbage (or a combination or white and red cabbage)
  • Snow peas
  • Red onion
  • Grated carrot
  • Dried apricots
  • Cashews
  • Vietnamese dipping sauce or tangy dressing
Method
  1. Finely cut the cabbage, snow peas and red onion.
  2. Grate the carrot and dice the apricots and cashews.
  3. Mix in a bowl and add the dressing.
Putting it together
  1. Put a slice of Gouda on the bottom half of the brioche buns and warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
  2. Once they’re ready top with some sliced tomato a lettuce leaf, the chicken or mushroom Parma and some sliced gherkins.
  3. Put the top half of the brioche on the burger and hold together with a wooden skewer.
  4. Serve with the sweet potato fries and coleslaw. Enjoy.