Tag Archives: Flour

red velvet cake



I baked this on valentine’s day for my husband, it is a recipe from Annie Bells book. The first time I baked this I used 1/2 tsp but I didn’t feel I got the right dusky red color. Since then I have found that I use a tad more than 1/2 tsp of red color paste to get the rich dusky red.  My suggestion would be to start with 1/2  teaspoon and see how you go.


 For the cake

  • 120g unsalted butter diced
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 230g buttermilkOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1 tsp find sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20g cocoa powder, sifted
  • Approx 1/2 tsp red food colour paste
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda

For the frosting

  • 180g unsalted butter softened
  • 150g icing sugar,sifted
  • 450g full fat cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170 deg C fan forced. Butter two or three (if you have them) 20cm non stick cake tins. Line the bases with baking paper.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the flour in three batches alternating it with buttermilk so you start and end with flour. Next mix in the salt, vanilla and cocoa. Start to add the food coloring, a knife tip at a time, until the mixture is a dramatic dusky red. Mix the vinegar and bicarbonate soda together in a small bowl, they will fizz, and add to the batter.
If using three cake tins, divide the mixture between them, weighing them to ensure you get evenly thick sponges. (If using two tins, add a third of a mixture to each one, bake these and then bake the third one). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until shrinking  from the sides and firm when pressed in the centre. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack, remove the paper and leave to cool top upwards.


Mix and Melt Fruit CakeCake



This is the first time I have baked this particular fruit cake. The recipe is straightforward and there is no soaking of fruits for a week.  With the help of my friend’s daughter who very kindly spent half a day teaching us all about fondant, I was able to decorate the cake .


  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1.5 kg mixed fruit, chopped
  • 1/2 cup run
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely grated
  • 1 tbsp honey or golden syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • 250 g butter , meltedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice


Place mixed fruit in large bowl, then add run, apple, honey, sugar and eggs and mix well.  Stir in cooled butter, sifted flours and mixed spice. Spread the mixture evenly into a deep 19cm square or 23 cm round prepared cake tin. Bake in a  slow oven 150 deg C for 2-3 hours.   Note: This is a really old recipe and oven temperatures vary, so please start checking if your cake is cooked by the 2 hour mark.  


Blueberry Friands



My husband’s favourite…..this is definitely something I make with a lot of love.


  • 180g butter melted
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 60g plain flour
  • 120g Almond Meal
  • 5 Egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup blueberries


Heat oven 200 deg C.  Sift icing sugar and flour in a bowl then add almond meal. Lightly beat egg whites with fork until bubbles form and fold into dry ingredients.  Don’t over mix.  Add butter and zest.

Butter friand tins well. (10 large or 15-20 small).  Fill mould 3/4 full and top with berries.

Cook in over 9 minutes then turn and cook for further 9 minutes. Leave in mould for 5 minutes before turning  out.  Dust with icing sugar before serving if you wish.



DSCN6332I first tried this in Kathmandu, and it was one of my most memorable meals.  I haven’t found one that tastes as divine, but this recipe really does rock.  I serve this with yoghurt chicken and a cauliflower dish (i will be posting those recipes in days to come).


  • 15g yeast
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • Oil for frying

Makes 10 bhaturas


Mix yeast with sugar and water.
In a large bowl mix flour, semolina and salt. Rub in butter or ghee.
Add the yeast mixture and yoghurt and mix to a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled clean film. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knock back/punch down.
Divide into 10 pieces. Flatten each to a disc. Roll out into 5 inch rounds.
Heat oil to a depth of 1cm1/2 in a deep-frying pan. Slide one bhatura at a time into the oil and fry for 1 minute and flip and fry for 30 secs. Drain on kitchen paper. Best served warm.

My World Famous Pakoras


I call this world famous because friends and family from around the world have eaten this over the years. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like them. There are many recipes for this around, but I do hope you enjoy my version. This recipe would serve 3-4 people.


  • 1 cup Chick Pea Flour (Besan)Pakora1
  • 1/2 cup Self Raising Flour
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 bunch choy sum
  • Generous handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder or 2 small fresh chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1- 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water
  • 1-2 cups Vegetable Oil


Dice onion finely. Chop choy sum and coriander finely. In a medium-sized bowl, add flours, ginger, asafoetida, chilli powder, turmeric, cumin seeds, choy sum, coriander and mix.  Once that is done, start adding water and forming a batter which should be thick in consistency. Heat oil (3-4 cm in-depth) in small wok. Once oil is hot drop teaspoonfuls of mixture and cook for about 4 mins or until it is golden brown.  Serve hot either with a mint chutney or just natural yoghurt.




Jumbo Choc Chip Cookies


I have baked a lot of choc chip cookies in my time and this has to be the best recipe I have come across. I picked it from a magazine at the dentist, hairdresser or some place like that.


  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • !/2 cup Castor Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup Self Raising Flour
  • !/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnutsDSCN6260
  • 185g butter melted and cooled
  • 1 egg beaten lightly
  • 1 egg yolk beaten lightly
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g Dark Choc Chips


Preheat oven to 160 Deg C fan forced (180 Deg C). Line 2-3 baking trays. Add butter, eggs, vanilla extract, flours and nuts – mix to a soft dough. Stir in Chocolate.  Roll 2 level tablespoon of into balls – place 5cm apart. Bake for 15 mins or until browned lightly.


Moist Orange Cake



Another Women’s Weekly recipe and by the far the easiest cake that i have ever baked.  You just chuck everything into a bowl and mix it till it is light in color. Pop it into the oven and voila, out comes a cake that looks great and tastes great. If you don’t want to ice it, dust it with icing sugar and serve it with cream.


  • 155g butter, softened
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut


Preheat oven to 180 deg C/160 for fan forced. Grease deep 20cm round cake tin, line base with baking paper.

Combine butter, rind, sugar, eggs , sifted flour, and milk in a large bowl. Beat on low-speed with electric mixer until combined and then increase to medium speed until mixture is lighter in colour and smooth – Approx 3-4 mins.

Spread mixture into the cake tin, and bake for 45 mins. Stand cake in pan for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack. Spread cold cake with orange icing; sprinkle with coconut.

Orange Icing

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

Sift icing sugar in a small bow, stir in butter and enough juice to make a spreadable paste.

Onion Focaccia


I made this last weekend for lunch.  We had it as a sandwich but it can be served with dips.  You can change the toppings to your liking. This is also from my bread book which is called the The Bread and Bread Machine Bible.Onion Focaccia 2


  • 1 cup waterOnion Focaccia 1
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugarOnion Focaccia 4
  • 7g/1 sachet dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp chopped red onion

For the topping

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 5 Fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • coarsely ground black pepper


Place flour, salt, sugar and dried yeast in a large bowl: mix.  Add water and oil and mix into a dough. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and knead for 4 mins.  Shape the dough into a ball and cover with oiled plastic and leave for 5 mins. Meanwhile  lightly oil a shallow 25-28 cm shallow round tin.

Knock the dough back (punch it down)and flatten it slightly. Sprinkle over sage and onion and knead gently to incorporate. Shape the dough into a ball, flatten it and roll into a round of about 25-28 cm. Place in prepared tin, cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 mins.

Preheat oven to 200 Deg C. Uncover the focaccia, and using your fingertips poke the dough to make deep dimples. Cover and leave to rise for another 10 mins or until it has doubled in bulk.

Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with sage and onions, sea salt and pepper.

Bake for 20-25 mins until golden. Serve warm.



This recipe is from a Bread book that I have.  Thanks to the inspiration, enthusiasm and very handy tips from my friend the “sourdough queen”, I’ve started to bake my own bread on a regular basis.  Down the track i will take you through that journey but for now lets stick to easy and interesting cooking.  Bagels seem complicated but if you have time and some patience, give it a shot and you will find it is easier than you think.

Tip: It is imperative that the measurements are accurate.



  • 350g unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 1 tsp malt extract
  • 210 ml lukewarm water

for poaching

  • 2.5 litres water
  • 1 tbsp malt extract

for the topping

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp cold water
  • 2 tsp poppy-seed, caraway seed or 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary


Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in dried yeast. Make a well in the centre. Mix the malt extract and water, add to the centre of the flour and mix to a dough. Knead on a floured surface until elastic.

Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in bulk.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back (punch down). Knead for 1 minute, then divide into 8 equal pieces.  Shape into balls, cover with clean film and leave to rest for 5 mins.

Gently flatten each ball and make a hole through  the center with your thumb. Enlarge hole by slightly turning your thumb around.  Place on floured tray: re-cover and leave in a warm place, for 10 – 20 mins until they begin to rise.

Grease two baking trays. Preheat oven to 220 Deg C.

Place water and malt extract for poaching in a large pan, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Place bagels in the water 2-3 at a time and poach for a minute.  Flip and poach the other side for 30 secs. Remove and drain on a dishtowel.  Repeat with the rest.  NB: Bagels will sink and then rise when first added to the water.

Place 4 bagels on each baking tray, spacing them well apart. Beat the egg white with water for the topping, brush the mixture over the top of each bagel and sprinkle with poppy, sesame, caraway seeds or rosemary and salt.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer bagels to a wire rack to cool.