Thursday, February 17, 2011

Carrot Cake

Post by Alison

Try either the nut or the nut less version.

Makes 12 cupcakes and one loaf

What do I need?
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
  • 2 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 2 cups finely grated Carrot (around 4 large carrots)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped (substitute with raisins/sultans if preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg 
300g Icing sugar
125g Cream Cheese, cold
50g Unsalted Butter, room temp

How do I do it?
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Beat sugar and oil until thick, then add 1 egg at a time and keep beating for a few more minutes.
  • Add salt, bicarb soda, carrots, flour, walnuts and spices.
  • Mix with wooden spoon until all combined.
  • Put batter in well greased loaf pan or tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until light golden and cake springs back when touched in the middle
  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until well mixed.
  • Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium high. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not over beat, as it can quickly become runny.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Posted by Rebecca
I am a non drinker, but came across the refreshing flavour of a virgin Mojito at the Blu Bar in the Shangri-la hotel in Sydney.

I use the following recipe (minus the rum of course) similar to what's found on Marie Claire.
What do i need?
  • 2 Oz Rum (optional)
  • Soda water
  • Fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • Ice

How is it done?
  • Muddle the lime with the sugar
  • Mix with soda water
  • Add mint and ice

Tips and Tricks: Make sure you use fresh limes as lime cordial/syrup can overpower the drink. Try using cane sugar syrup instead of the standard sugar.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Yorkshire Puddings

Post by Alison

Yorkshire pudding is a nice compliment to Roast beef.

What do I need?

  • 115g (3/4 cup) self-raising flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 egg, lightly whisked

  • 250ml (1 cup) milk

  • 2 tbs vegetable oil

  • What do I do?
    1. Place the flour and salt in a bowl.
    2. Whisk together the egg and milk in a jug.
    3. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
    4. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
    Tips & Tricks: I also use the juice from the beef after beef is cooked to add more flavour.

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Ika Mata - Marinated Raw Fish

    Posted by Rebecca

    This is my favourite dish of the Cook Islands. Every time we go for a trip, it's the first thing I want to eat. It's an old family recipe of DHs and the first time we tried making it ourselves.

    What do I need?
    • 500 grams ling fish
    • 1 can coconut cream or milk (optional, see Tips and Tricks below)
    • 1 carrot, diced
    • 1 red capsicum, diced
    • 1 white onion, diced
    • 6 lemons
    • Salt

    How do I do it?
    • Soak the whole ling fillets in salt water for 30-60 minutes
    • Squeeze the lemons and collect the juice
    • Cut the ling fillets into large chunks and marinate in the lemon juice for 30 minutes
    • Drain juice from fish
    • Add diced onion, capsicum and carrots
    • Salt to taste
    • Add the can of coconut milk or coconut cream if desired. I prefer it with coconut milk, we used cream this time and it was too thick for me

    Tips&Tricks: Don't like coconut cream/milk? That's ok, leave it out; Substitute the Ling fillets with Snapper or Tuna; for a bit of zing add 1 diced red chilli's; try diced cucumber or celery in the mix.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Banana Bread

    Posted by Alison

    My favourite recipe is taken straight from Taste. It's a great way to use up those over ripe bananas you have.

    What do I need?

  • 265g (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour

  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) skim milk

  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked

  • 50g butter, melted, cooled

  • 2 overripe medium bananas, mashed

  • How do I do it?
    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush an 11 x 21cm (base measurement) loaf pan with melted dairy spread to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang.
    2. Sift the combined flours and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Place the milk, eggs, melted butter and banana in a medium bowl, and stir until well combined. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve.

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Kumara (Sweet Potato) Salad

    Post by Rebecca

    This was one of the many wonderful dishes we had at Christmas. So I stole the recipe from my SIL and adjusted it a bit (with mixed results!). Its a great dish to have with a BBQ.

    What do I need?

    • 1 kg sweet potato or yellow kumara
    • 1 red onion finely chopped
    • 6 spring onions
    • 1 orange, squeezed
    • Mayonnaise
    • 2 rashers of bacon
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    How is it done?
    • Cook the sweet potato. This is where I had problems! I boiled it, then I fried it, then I microwaved it! I should have just microwaved it as per the potato setting to start with.
    • Fry the bacon until crispy
    • Cut the sweet potato into large chunks
    • Squeeze the orange and keep the juice only
    • Mix in the red onion, spring onion diced bacon and orange juice
    • Add only enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients. I added two large spoonfuls and this was too much
    • Enjoy! Even with my errors, it was still yummy!

    Tips and Tricks: Make sure you know how to cook Kumara first; don't overuse the mayonnaise, just enough to bind the ingredients, I used two scoops and one would have been enough; try it with raisins or cranberries; add orange segments instead of orange juice.

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    Not you're typical cake balls

    Posted by Rebecca

    So if you haven't yet heard of cake balls, check out Bakerella's blog. I am not the baker in the family, and these definitely confirm that theory. Perhaps in the new year my sister can show us how it's really done?

    In the mean time, what do yours look like?

    What do I need?
    • 1 box cake mix, I used Betty Crocker chocolate cake
    • 1 tub frosting, I used Betty Crocker Vanilla
    • 1 package nestle white chocolate buds
    • Red food colouring
    • Wax paper
    How do I do it?
    1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
    2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream  frosting, using a wooden spoon
    3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet (this is where it can get messy)

    4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
    5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package (I did mine on the stove, I found microwaving the chocolate burnt it).
    6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

    Tips and Tricks: Take your time, I did mine over three days (bake, then crumble and roll and finally dip); don't worry if they're not perfect looking, they still taste great; look on YouTube for videos of how to make if your struggling with the concept.