Saturday, April 25, 2015

Home Made 'Packet' Cake

Recently on some of the Facebook recipe pages that I have joined, I've noticed quite a few recipes that use packet cakes. These are often desserts and look quite delicious.

However, I haven't bought a packet cake in about 10 years and frankly, never ever intend to. They are full of artificial ingredients. Granted, some may be okay - I believe Donna Hay's are pretty good, but I see no need to buy a packet cake when I have a perfectly good machine that can mix a cake in seconds.

However, sometimes, when in a hurry, a packet cake may come in handy. So, instead of succumbing to buying one, I've created my own.

This mixture can be stored in the fridge for up to three months. I store it in a ziplock bag and write down the instructions on the bag.

Thermo Cake Mix
The Bush Gourmand

150g sugar (I often use rapadura and grind on speed 8 for 5 seconds first)
230g SR flour
2 Tbsp powdered milk
125g cold butter, cut into pieces

Process the flour and sugar together for 5 seconds on Turbo.
Add the powdered milk and butter and process on speed 5 for 5 seconds or so until mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Place in a ziplock bag with the following instructions:

Bring to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm round tin, small baba tin, or loaf pan.

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g water

Insert butterfly and mix on speed 4 for 1 - 2 minutes. Scrape down and process again on speed 4 until smooth.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.


Coffee Cake
Chop 2/3 cup  walnuts and set aside. Dissolve 1 Tbsp instant coffee powder in 2 Tbsp boiling water. Make up to 120g with cold water and add with eggs.
Top with coffee flavoured icing and reserved chopped walnuts.

Chocolate Cake
Measure out 140g boiling water and add 1/2 cup cocoa. Allow to cool and continue with recipe as per directions.

Lemon or Orange Cake
Zest of one lemon or orange. Juice the fruit and make up to 120g with water. Continue with recipe as per directions.

               Coffee Cake

Super Vanilla Cake
When making the initial mix, measure in 1/4 cup custard powder and make up to 230g with SR flour. Add 1/4 tsp baking powder. Continue with recipe as per directions.

Light Fruit Cake
Soak 125g mixed fruit in 2 Tbsp sherry or port for a few hours or overnight.
1 tsp bi-carb soda
125 g chopped pecans or slivered almonds
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 extra egg

Continue with recipe as per directions.

For those recipes that use a packet cake mix, here's one recipe that I have been meaning to try:

2 Ingredient Cake (Slow Cooker)

There's also a lot of recipes for cake mix cookies. All the ones I've seen have oil added to the cake mixture. Since my mix already has butter in, I'm thinking that it may work just adding the two eggs and leaving out the oil.
I'll give it a go and report back!



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spiced Fruit Porridge

Now that the leaves are starting to turn and the weather is cooler in the mornings, I find we are looking for a more warming breakfast. There's nothing nicer than porridge on a cool dark morning and it keeps the hunger pangs away until lunch time.
Oats are an incredibly good for you. Aside from providing both insoluble and soluble fibre in the diet, they are a rich source of manganese, which assists enzymes in bone production. They are also high in B1 and magnesium and they are a low GI food. Lots of great reasons to include oats in your diet.

Here's a way to spice up that most basic of breakfasts. You will need to start the night before.

Spiced Fruit Porridge
The Bush Gourmand

Serves 2 - 3
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup full cream milk (coconut milk, almond milk)
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup sultanas
2 Tbsp shredded coconut
1 Tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Place into a small saucepan, cover and allow to soak overnight.

In the morning, simply cook until thick and bubbling. Add more milk if necessary. Serve with a swirl of honey.
You can also add a grated green apple. The yoghurt should prevent it from going brown overnight.

I haven't tried cooking this in the Thermomix. I think it's probably easier to wash the saucepan than the Thermomix bowl. If you do try it in the Thermie, let me know how it goes.