Tribute recipes: Toffee Chocolate Cupcakes

A bit pressed for time lately, so I’ll be posting some of my failsafe options – the ones I do without having to think too hard. They include some of the recipes I’ve picked up from fellow bloggers.

Today’s recipe comes from my lovely cousin Ann – something she concocted in someone else’s kitchen while on holidays. I’ve ended up making this more often than she has – probably something to do with my children’s preference for chocolate, and not much else. Continue reading

Pineapple buttermilk cake

After the dried lemon interlude, I was still in the mood for something light and tangy. We had some buttermilk sitting around in the fridge, so I adapted this recipe from my handy 2009 delicious.Baking book.

Instead of apricots as recommended in the recipe, I used some lovely ripe pineapple.

Here’s a close-up of that topping, with fresh pineapple, lemon juice and chopped almonds. Luscious, no?

And here is my adaptation:  Continue reading

Brandy or whisky in fruitcake?

This may seem a little nutty, so long after Christmas.

But, it was an interesting enough experiment that I want to mention the results here. (And I was too shattered to blog this before Christmas. Or, indeed, New Year. Or to take any pictures of it before it was eaten.)

I think brandy is traditional in fruitcakes, but we rarely have it in the house. However we always seem to have several partly-consumed bottles of whisky around the place. So we went with this walnut and whisky Christmas cake recipe from the small and useful delicious.Baking book, edited by Mitzie Wilson. This is my annotated version here.  Continue reading

Aunty Kuppu’s fabulous fruitcake

Here’s another fabulous recipe from our late Aunty Kuppu (she of Christmas pickle fame).

The original recipe contained, shockingly, 28 eggs. Aunty Kuppu said it would be fine to halve the recipe, since the original produced four large cakes. Still, 28 ÷ 4 = 7, which seems a lot for one cake. Anyway, I went with it, baking this in a large roasting tin.

Don’t be alarmed by the length of the recipe. It has lots of ingredients, but isn’t that difficult. If you get everything ready to marinate overnight, the next day is easy – you just need a strong arm to stir the stodgy, almost solid mix.  Continue reading

My shortbread research

Like many things in my life, this too began in church.

Ten days before Christmas, I was on the ladies’ production line cranking out these babies to go with mince pies and mulled wine after carols by candlelight. My job was to press a fork on the dough to make those little grooves you see in the picture.

I sampled a few too – they were great.

What I should have done right away is asked someone for the recipe. But, grooving away, I didn’t think of it at the time.

Christmas at home, for my husband, has always involved a large tin of his mum’s homemade shortbread. Actually, it’s the first thing he’s looked for, every time we’ve spent Christmas at their place. After producing a few hundred pieces that morning, I thought that making some at home wouldn’t be too hard.  Continue reading

A literary taste for gingerbread

Since it’s Christmas and all, my son decided to make gingerbread men. This is a new step for our household, where gingerbread belongs in that territory occupied by Halloween, Hans Christian Andersen and Hannah Montana. That is to say, it’s familiar from the global cultural ether – storybooks, TV, store displays – but without so far having found expression in any personal appropriation of specific gingerbread-related practices.

Until now. So, he looked up a recipe on joyofbaking.com, and I went off to Pantry Magic in Thonglor to buy an appropriately-shaped cutter.

Continue reading

Suji cake

I’m having coffee with some ladies this afternoon, so I made a suji (semolina) cake. This is an old-fashioned cake I remember from childhood, when eating cake was an event restricted to birthdays and special visits to or from family friends. Cakes were not usually frosted, unless they were shop-bought. I don’t believe it was possible to purchase cream anywhere in our town at the time.

Instead, for general cake icing, a mid-70s edition of Ellice Handy’s “My Favourite Recipes” on my shelf suggests to cream butter and sugar with a little flavouring. But most recipes in the book were for plain cakes; in that still-frugal age, the use of butter, sugar and eggs together would have been considered sufficiently festive. In the same book, the author provides a recipe for Orange Cake, marked “quite rich”, which departs from the basic recipe with the addition of an extra egg (bringing the grand total used to three). I wonder what this lady would think of today’s cheesecakes and tortes.

Continue reading