Thursday, February 28, 2013

Work catering #11: Something fruity and something custardy

Since last week was all about chocolate, this week is a little lighter. Still had peaches at home so decided to make Fruit Pastry Cake! Haven't made this one in a while but you can find the recipe here.

Also on my "to-bake-list" was to try and make Vanilla slice. Walking past cafe's and bakeries, I've been getting some inspiration. This is a classic slice that I've always wanted to try and after looking  up a few recipes, it didn't seem too hard. I think the most difficult part that people have trouble with is the custard.... 

Which is where I got stuck too!!! I think I didn't cook it long enough for it to "thicken".. I was too scared I'd cook it too much that it would get 'lumpy'.. so I quickly took it off the stove. I kept on checking on it after every hour (felt like the contestants on Masterchef who keep opening the oven to see if their cake is cooked... but its like.. CLOSE THE OVEN!!! hahah now i know how they feel)...

Despite a more "runny" custard... the flavours were definitely there! so a recipe that i will definitely go back and repeat =)

This recipe is from Donna Hay who is quite a famous chef in Australia. She presents her food really well! I love looking through all her food recipes!

Vanilla slice
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay


3 sheets puff pastry, thawed
Icing sugar for dusting

Vanilla custard/cream
375ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
375ml (1 1/2 cups) single cream (I used thickened cream)
60g butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
1/3 cup cornflour
125ml (1/2 cup) water
6 egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Place puff pastry on lined baking tray. Prick with fork and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Cool and flatten if neccessary.
2. For custard, place milk, cream, butter, vanilla and sugar in saucepan ove medium-low heat and cook until hot but not boiling.
3. Mix the cornflour and water to a smooth paste and whisk into hot milk mixture.
4. Add the egg yolks and stir, allowing to simmer for 6 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature.
5. Place 1 1/2 pastry sheets in 20cm x 30cm baking pan lined with baking paper. Spread filling and top with remaining pastry sheets.
6. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. To serve, dust with icing sugar and slice.

A bit of a mess ><

But still sliceable :)

My fruit pastry cake with peaches and mixed berries

These served a lot better
Sides a bit more coloured than center...
Another close up of the cake~

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Work catering #10: Cheesecake and Chocolate for a Chocoholic! =p

Cheesecake =D
I made it to week 10 of work catering =D hahhaha...

As promised last week, I made some chocolatey goodies for this week's catering :) My friend was giving her talk and she is a CHOCOHOLIC! I knew she would be a bit stressed so I baked her some BROWNIES! this time I added in MORE chocolate =p white chocolate bits... and some macadamia nuts and mixed berries!!
Slab of brownies! YUM!
So happy she liked them =) It's the same recipe that I've used which you can find here. Just added 125g white choc bits and 110g macadamia halves and 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries but really.. you can add anything you like. I'm just trying to find the best combination ^^
packed brownies
2 boxes full =D
I also know that not everyone likes chocolate, so I made a Blackforest cheesecake. I am in love with this recipe!!! This is the third time making it! It's so simple and tastes great =D and it's a NO BAKE recipe!

I had a little trouble with the cherry syrup topping ><" but other than that it was fine.

Recipe adapted from ninemsn
250g chocolate ripple biscuits
125g butter, melted (I only used 100g and seemed to work well)

250g cream cheese, cubed, softened at room temp
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
300ml thickened cream
3 tsp powdered gelatin
125g hot water
425g can pitted black cherries (reserve juice for syrup)

Cherry topping
3/4 cup cherry syrup
1 tbs corn flour
1 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs rum (i didn't have any so didn't add it)

1. Process chocolate biscuits until resembles fine crumbs. Add melted butter and process until well combined. Press biscuit base into lined baking tray (20cm x 30cm) using back of spoon. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
2. Beat cream in small bowl with electric beater till soft peaks form. Keep aside.
3. Sprinkle gelatin over small bowl of hot water and stir until dissolved. Keep aside to cool.
4. Meanwhile beat cream cheese, caster sugar and lemon juice in separate bowl until smooth. Fold in cream mix. Fold in gelatin mix.
5. Pour half batter on top of biscuit base. Carefully press cherries into cream cheese layer then finish with final layer of cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until set (~3 hours). 
6. For cherry syrup, place ingredients in small saucepan and heat until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in rum. Allow to cool before spreading onto cheesecake (but don't let it cool too much otherwise it'll set and become clumpy >< - speaking from experience)
close up of cheesecake
Ready to be served
Very rich!
Close up of brownies.. so you can see the macadamia, white choc and berries!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Work catering #9: Caramel slice & Banana Cake

One week seems to go by so fast! Before I know it I have to start looking for inspiration for my next bake! I do have a list of recipes that I have saved so that's always good to browse. (Also if you have any suggestions or have recipes that you have wanted to try out.. do let me know ^^).
On my new cake stand ^_^

I was thinking about classic cakes to bake and thought, I hadn't made a banana cake yet plus I'm still loving the ready made cream cheese frosting ;p

I also had my colleague's caramel slice recipe in my email and decided to give it a go! Maybe not the best time to try out a recipe.... but I think it turned out ok! Despite not having the right coconut, burning the caramel and using a cake tin that was too large! haha.. what could go wrong DID go wrong.. but in the end.. turned out ok =) Edible... 

Unfortunately I can't post this recipe because its a secret =p BUT.. There are other recipes out there which I will try and then I can share :)
Ready to serve!

Close up of caramel slice

Banana Cake
Recipe adapted from Glorious Treats

3/4 cup caster sugar (I used half and half brown sugar)
1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
2 eggs
3 tbs melted butter
2 mashed over ripe bananas (~3/4 cup)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
250g ready made cream cheese frosting
100g walnut crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease baking tin (I used 20cmx30cm and doubled this recipe)
2. Whisk together sugar, sour cream, eggs, butter, banana and vanilla until well combined.
3. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir with whisk or spoon until well combined and smooth.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for ~30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
5. Cool cake in tin before removing from tin. Spread frosting onto cooled cake and sprinkle walnut crumbs.
Banana cake with delicious cream cheese frosting
Squares of banana cake
Ready for catering!
Close up of banana cake
My friend is speaking at the next lunch time seminar!! She's a CHOCOHOLIC so stay tuned for some chocolatey treats (hopefully!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Work catering #8: Upside down and Swirly

Sorry for the delayed post!! I made these goodies last week =)
Needed a little more caramel topping and peaches
Was looking for inspiration for catering and saw that we had quite a few peaches from our peach tree at home. I also had a great upside down peach cake recipe from a magazine so decided to give it a go!

Also decided on some chocolatey biscuits and stumbled upon a recipe on the internet. Unfortunately... the cookies didn't turn out how they were supposed to (Shhhh =p) but everyone still enjoyed them! My mistake was that I used the wrong flour =____=" It's definitely a recipe I want to try out again!!! 

Upside Down Peach Cake
Recipe adapted from New Idea magazine

410g can sliced peaches in fruit juice (or use FRESH peaches! they're the best ^^)
125g unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3  eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup milk

Caramel Topping
75g unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar

1. Grease and line cake tin (for a higher cake, use 20cm round cake tin... I used a 20cmx30cm rectangle baking pan).
2. Make caramel topping buy whisking butter and sugar in small bowl until well combined. Pour into prepared tin to cover base. Arrange drained peaches in a single layer.
3. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl using electric mixer until light and fluffy. 4. Beat in eggs, one at a time until just combined. Stir in flour and milk in two batches.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 180oC for around 40 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. 
5. Let cake cool in pan before inverting.
Peachy squares ^_^
Recipe adapted from Appon's Thai Food

300g cake flour (this is not self-raising flour!!! It's plain flour with a bit of corn starch)
1 large egg
200g butter
150g caster sugar
16g cocoa powder
1/2 tbs water

1. Cube the butter and blend until soft. 
2. Add flour, sugar and egg and mix. Add the water a little at a time and mix to form solid dough. (Don't overmix the dough otherwise biscuits will turn out hard)
3. Split the mix into 2 equal portions. Add cocoa powder to one portion and mix until well incorporated.
4. Place plain dough onto sheet of baking paper. Place another sheet on top and roll out into a rectangle shape ~3mm thick. Do the same with chocolate dough.
5. Carefully lay the chocolate dough onto the plain dough and then roll dough up like a swiss roll. Peel the baking paper away as you roll.
6. Wrap rolled dough with baking paper and twist ends. Place in freezer for 1 hour to help the dough harden to make it easier to slice.
7. Cut biscuits into 1 cm cross-sections, place on lined baking trays and bake at 180oC for 12-15 minutes.

They should NOT look like this.... so big ><" and "cakey"..
HUGE cookies~~~
but glad they were all gobbled up :D
They should look like this...!~ so perfect!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Work Catering #7: Cupcakes and cookies!

Back into the catering swing of things!! This week it was all about cupcakes and cookies =) I wanted to use the ready made Cream cheese frosting I had bought so I looked back at my previous recipes and found Red Velvet Cupcakes! I made mini cupcakes so I could cater for more people :p
before icing..... Just so you can see the red colour =)
Ready made cream cheese frosting!!
This stuff is the BEST! and actually cheaper and easier than making it myself... sometimes I do get lazy too ;)

My friend ripped out pages of a magazine filled with wonderful recipes for me! thanks!!! So found this simple recipe for cookies (basic dough only using 4 ingredients!!!). It makes a bunch of cookies (~50.. depending on how big or small you make them) and its so simple as well =)

Choc chip and Macadamia cookies
(Recipe adapted from New Idea magazine)

250g butter
200g sweetened condensed milk (1/2 x 395g can)
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
250g dark chocolate chips
110g macadamia nut halves

1. Pre-heat oven to 170oC and line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Beat butter, condensed milk and sugar in bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Stir in the flour, choc chips and nuts. (You can really add your own flavours! such as M&Ms, raisins, cranberries, walnuts....)
4. Roll teaspoons of dough into balls and place on lined baking tray. Press down with back of spoon or palm of hand to flatten cookie. (remember to leave a bit of space between each one!)
5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden in colour.
cookies!!! :D
ready for catering~
mini mouthful

Work Catering #6: NEW YEAR 2013!

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone :)

wow! it's already 2013! Time flies ey?

Holidays over... back to work! and back to catering =D

I had limited time for this bake so decided to stick with something I had already baked~ the Blueberry crumble slice! and then a No-bake recipe... RUMBALLS!!

Sorry there are not many photos because I kind of forgot to take them ><"

Rumballs (without the rum =p)

250g (1 packet) Marie biscuits
395g condensed milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut 

1. Crush biscuits until fine.
2. Place biscuits, condensed milk, 1/2 cup coconut and cocoa powder in bowl. Mix until combined.
3. Roll into small balls. Coat with coconut. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
box of rumballs! (without the rum XD)