Danae’s rainbow cake!

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Ingredients:

Vegetable shortening

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/3 cups sugar

5 large egg whites, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple gel food or whatever 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush six 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper; brush again and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and milk in two alternating additions, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. Mix until well combined.

Divide batter evenly between six medium bowls (i used an ice cream scoop to divide the batter). Add enough of each colour of food colouring to each bowl, whisking, until desired shade is reached. Transfer each colour to an individual cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes (working in batches if necessary).

Remove cakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack; re-invert and let cool completely.

I used whipped double cream and fruit (two layers with banana and two with strawberries) but I have also used buttercream for filling as well. It tastes as good as it looks and my niece loved it!

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Pork with Celeriac and egg lemon sauce.

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Ingredients:

100gr of unsalted butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1.5 Kgr of pork shoulder or pork leg , trimmed of fat and cut into pieces

1 celeriac root, diced

2 leeks, diced

1 large onion

1 large carrot

2-3 cups of vegetable stock

1 tbsp white wine vinigear

1 Kgr of large stalks pascal celery (with leaves) cut into pieces

Juice of two lemons (strained)

2 large eggs (at room temperature)

1 tbsp corn flour or arrow root

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

We wash the pork and place it in a bowl covering it up with water and the tablespoon of vinegar for 10 to 15 min. Part boil the celery chunks and let them dry in a colander. In a stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil together over medium high heat and add the onion. Season the pork chunks with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then saute until nicely browned on both sides. Cut the leeks into pieces and add them to the meat as well as the celeriac root cut in cubes. Add one cup of the stock and let it boil in slow heat for 40 minutes, adding more stock when needed. Add the celery pieces and carrot and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure you are left with about 1 cup of stock in the pot.

Prepare the Avgolemono (egg lemon) sauce: Using the mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Then add the yolks and slowly whisk in the lemon juice and one cup of the pot liquid (at room temperature). Into o sauce pan transfer the egg lemon and stock liquid and add the 1 tablespoon of corn flour dissolved in cold water. On slow heat bind the sauce by whisking constantly

until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add this mixture to the casserole and shake the stock pot slowly to introduce the sauce everywhere. Enjoy!

Valentine’s

Red Velvet Cake 😉 Family loved it! DO give it a try. They are so many recipes out there, i am just going to post the one i used this weekend and we all loved it. I hope you enjoy it as well.

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For the cake:

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons red food coloring (really intense red)

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup buttermilk

2 1/4 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vinegar

Cream cheese frosting:

350gr cream cheese

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon lilac food coloring

Alternative frosting:

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of butter

Preheat the oven at 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Shift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla and red food colouring. Into the mixer bowl beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Keep beating (scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time) until the mixture is much lighter in colour and very fluffy in texture. Add the eggs and then start adding the flour mix altering with the buttermilk mix (2 spoons of buttermilk and 3 spoons of flour mix) until all is combined. Dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar and combine with a wooden spoon in the mix not too vigorously conserving the airy mixture we have created.
Divide the butter evenly into 3 greased and floured 8″ cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. I like my cake layers quite thin so i but less butter in the tins and bake for 15 minutes instead. Set the tins on a wire rack remove the cake layers and leave to cool completely.

Get on with the frosting: In the mixer bowl beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy. I usually cut the butter in small cubes and that helps a lot in creating a smooth mix. Gradually shit in the sugar (scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time) until is thoroughly combine. Take half the frosting out for filling the layers of the cake and combine the rest with the lilac coloring for frosting the outside of the cake.

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Alternative frosting: shift the flour in the milk and cook flour in a low heat until very thick, stirring constantly. Let it cool completely. Cream the sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy and light then add the cooked mixture of flour and milk. Beat in high speed until very fluffy it will look liked whipped cream. Take half the frosting out for filing the layers of the cake and use he rest for covering the cake on the outside. I actually used a very thin layer of jam as well in the middle but you can just use the frosting only.

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Sky is the limit. Fabulous cake.

Orange Cardamom Coffee Chocolate Cake

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Sponge Mix:

250g unsalted butter, softened

250g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten

250g self-rising flour

pinch of salt

Chocolate mix:

30g cocoa powder

2 tablespoons milk

Orange Cardamom and coffee mix:

Zest of 2 oranges

12 cardamom pods

12 coffee beans

2 tablespoons dark shaved chocolate

Chocolate Ganache:

100gr of chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

100ml of double cream

 

1 cake tin, greased

Put the butter into the bowl of a free-standing electric mixer and beat until very creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and the vanilla essence. Keep beating (scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time) until the mixture is much lighter in colour and very fluffy in texture.  Gradually add the eggs and the flour, 1 tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of the bitten eggs, to prevent the mixture from curdling. Sift the remaining flour and the salt into the bowl and gently fold in using a large metal spoon until you can no longer see any streaks or specks of flour.

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C/ 350 ° F/ gas 4.

Transfer half the sponge mixture to a second mixing bowl.

Sift the cocoa powder onto one portion of sponge mixture, add the milk and fold in until completely mixed, with no streaks of cocoa.

Ground the cardamom and coffee beans and use an espresso machine to filter the mixture. Use 2 tablespoons of the espresso coffee produced (drink the rest is divine!). Alternative (if you do not have an espresso machine) you can ground the pods to a powder and use 2 tsp of instant coffee into 2 tbsp of water to dissolve them.

Add the cooled coffee liquid to the other portion of sponge mixture with the orange zest and stir until thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixtures into the prepared tin, adding a spoonful of each alternately and scattering the shaved chocolate over the mixture. Gently bang the tin on the worktop to eliminate any pockets of air. Marble the 2 mixtures by drawing a knife swirling it and gently smooth the surface.

Bake for 1– 1 ¼ hours until the cake is well risen and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Set the tin on a wire rack remove the cake and leave to cool completely. Spread the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. Happy coffee time!

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Zoe’s fillo cheese soufflé

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Ingredients:

200 gr. Emendal

200 gr. Gouda

200 gr. Regato

200 gr. Feta

200 gr. Manchego

 

Grated or in really small cubes

 

1 1/2 cup milk (3,5% fat)

4 eggs

1 packet of fillo 

200 gr of margarine, melt half of it in microwave

Pepper & salt

 

Mix the cheeses together and keep some to sprinkle on top later. Butter your baking tray well. Preheat your oven to 175C.

Melt half of the margarine in the microwave and butter one of the fillo sheets then fold it in half. Place a little of the cheese mixture in the middle and fold like a parcel then place it in the baking tray. Do the same until the bottom of the tray is covered and then add the rest of the margarine in little cubes and the rest of the cheeses on top. You will probably need about 8 sheets for a medium size tray.

In a bowl mix the eggs, pepper add the milk and then introduce the mixture to the baking tray leaving the fillo to absorb for 15 to 20 min. Sprinkle the leftover cheeses on the top. Bake for 30 minutes at 175C, the colour on the top will go a very appealing gold to light brown.

 

We can always add pancetta cubes, sausages or chilli if we like in the recipe and change the cheeses to our favourites; is like making your own pizza toppings. I do not think this needs any addition of salt because of the cheeses that are involved but if you prefer to add cheese like mozzarella do add a pinch of salt as well.

This is comfort food and you know when you need it the most 🙂. It will put a smile on your face. Enjoy!

Easy pizy orange easy pie.

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Orange, pie famously easy: cooking time 30 min, prep time 15 min

You will need:

1 pack of filo pastry

1 cup of corn oil

1 cup of sugar

orange zest of at least 4 oranges

2 tsp of vanilla essence or even better half vanilla pod

4 eggs

250 gr of Total greek yogurt (for the health conscious even the 0% will be absolutely fine)

20 gr of baking powder

And for the syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 cup orange juice

lemon peel and a cinnamon stick in the pot as well

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Here we go: in a large bowl combine the corn oil, sugar, zest, vanilla essence, eggs and yogurt and bring together by wising them lightly. Dissolve the baking powder to a small amount of orange juice and add to the mix. Open the filo pastry and shred with your hands or with scissors in the bowl with the mixture. Every filo sheet should be shredded individually and the smaller the pieces the better the result.

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With hands we make sure that all the filo has been soaked with the mixture.

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Lay a 35 cm baking tray with baking parchment so it covers the bottom and the sides as well; heat up the oven to 175C. Bake the pie for 30 to 40 minutes. Use a knife to check to test that the pie has finished baking. If the knife is dry when it comes out then the pie is ready.

Make the syrup (about 15 minutes it takes) and as it hot drizzle on the top of the pie and let it soak.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or on its own.

ENJOY!