Pistachio syrup cake

I REMEMBER watching Masterchef a few years ago and in one of the master classes, Lorraine Pascale made a cake and brushed it with syrup.
It’s something I started doing to from time to time and it keeps them deliciously moist.
This recipe takes it a step further and the result is equally scrummy. The tip is to make sure you don’t flood your cake with too much syrup as it will make it soggy. You can experiment with some other flavours too if you wish, but the rosewater, cherry and pistachio combination is subtle and refined, perfect for an afternoon tea or dessert.

Pistachio syrup cake Photo Nicole Fuge / Sunshine Coast Daily


Ingredients

1 ½ cups self raising flour
4 eggs
4 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
150g cherry jam
2 tablespoons milk
30g pistachios
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons rosewater

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a medium cake tin with baking paper.
In a small saucepan, heat the water, rosewater and 2 tablespoons of the agave syrup or honey until dissolved. Allow to simmer to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, put the self raising flour, eggs, 2 tablespoons or agave syrup or honey and milk and stir until well combined. Gently stir in the jam until it’s combined, but the mixture is still marbled.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle the pistachios on top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden and springy to touch.
When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Carefully remove from the tin and put onto a wire rack.
This next part can be a bit messy, so put a sheet of baking paper under the wire rack to catch any syrup. Take the rosewater syrup and spoon over the cake, make sure you get all of the cake but don’t soak it. You don’t have to use all of the syrup. Allow to cool before cutting to serve.

carrot cake with rosette frosting

I made this rosette carrot cake for a friend’s mum’s 50th. I hadn’t made a rosette cake with different colours before and the result was absolutely beautiful. I actually think it looks better than all the same colour and looks more like a bunch of flowers!

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Ingredients
(this makes the cake, double the batch to make 12 regular cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes)
3 carrots
1 1/2 cup self raising flour
Teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
Teaspoon vanilla essence
Vanilla buttercream frosting
200g vegetable shortening
500g icing sugar
40ml water
teaspoon vanilla essence

Method
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Grease a cake tin and line a cupcake tray with patty cases.
Blitz the carrots in a food processor and set aside.
Put the sugar, oil eggs, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together until well combined.
Sift in the self raising flour and stir until well combined. Stir in the grated carrot.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Spoon mixture into cupcake cases and bake for about 17 minutes for regular cupcakes and about 12 minutes for mini cupcakes.
To make the frosting, mix the vegetable shortening, icing sugar, water and vanilla essence with an electric beater until light and fluffy.
Once the cakes have cooled, spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto a the cake.

afternoon teal to raise money for ovarian cancer research

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The other day, I organised a fundraiser at work to raise money for the Australian Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and the colour is teal – coincidentally my favourite colour.
I baked some caramel cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and decorated with teal pretties.
We raised $75 for the cause – not bad for a first effort.

Ingredients
90g softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
375g caramel – store bought
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
Vanilla buttercream frosting (200g vegetable shortening or butter, 500g icing sugar, 40ml water, vanilla essence)
Method
Preheat oven 180°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with patty cases.
Beat the butter, vanilla extract, caramel, eggs and flour in a bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. The mixture should become thick and glossy.
Spoon the mixture into the patty cases and cook in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Take the cupcakes out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream frosting.
Whip the vegetable shortening or butter, icing sugar, water and vanilla essence until fluffy and well combined.
Spoon the icing into the piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cakes. Then decorate!

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