ALMOND, VANILLA, BROWN BUTTER CAKE

Adapted From: The Sweet Life – Desserts from Chanterelle by Kate Zuckerman

Yield: 1x 10 inch Cake

So beautiful... I almost don't want to slice it

So beautiful… I almost don’t want to slice it

I fell in love with this recipe before I even made it… Almond, Vanilla Bean and Brown Butter… You had me at hello!

I’ve made a couple of tweaks to the original receipe and the outcome is a wonderfully moist cake with a crunchy topping. The vanilla and almond flavours combine wonderfully to infuse the cake with an almost custardy taste.

Whilst there are a lot of sub-components that need to be prepped it’s not an overly hard cake to throw together. Serve warm if possible.

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HONEY FIG SWIRLS

Yield: Approx. 40 Cookies

Gorgeous swirl!

Gorgeous swirl!

When I was a little girl we used to go and visit my Grandma several times a year during school holidays. Grams, as we affectionately called her, had the most amazing garden. There was always something in bloom, the most amazing strawberries and apricots you have ever tasted and best of all a fig tree!

Grams could always tell when I came to visit as the fruit off the fig tree would mysteriously vanish in a matter of hours. I loved my Grams and miss her every day, but every time I see, eat or bake with figs it reminds me of her and the wonderful times we had together.

These cookies are lovely and soft with the combined flavours of honey and figs balancing out beautifully. I am not one who likes honey all that much but it doesn’t overpower the other flavours in the cookie. Feel free to adjust the spices in the fig mixture to suit your own personal tastes, maybe try cardamom or black pepper if you want something slightly spicier.

NOTE: The figs I had were very dry, should you be using soft figs please only use ½ cup of water when making the fig compote.

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RASPBERRY DATE RUGELACH

Yield: 32 Cookies

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

I have the privilege of working with an amazing NPD (New Product Development) Team at work. They are always busy in the kitchen whipping up amazing flavour combinations that continue to entice our customers and make their fellow work mates (me included) just happen to wander past for the chance of tasting their latest creation.

The other day they were tidying up the kitchen and distributing the plethora of ingredients they have extra and I managed to get my hands on around a kilo each of dried dates and dried figs – YUMMY! Once I got home though I realised that I had to actually make something with my haul so it got me thinking. This receipe is one of the outcomes.

Typically Rugelach has a thin layer or jam that you then sprinkle dried fruits, nuts or even chocolate on before rolling into bite size pastries. However, I decided I wanted to use the dates, add some raspberries and make a more ‘jammy’ version. One that makes your mouth pucker up a little bit from the raspberries but has that lovely creaminess from the dates.

Rolling these little beauties are very messy, be warned! You will end up with the raspberry date jam everywhere but the resulting cookie is worth it!

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GLUTEN FREE MAPLE & PECAN COOKIES

Yield: 38 Cookies

Try not too eat them all =)

Try not too eat them all =)

These are amongst the easiest but yummiest cookies that I make. They are wonderfully tender and buttery with the real star of these cookies is the flavour combination of maple syrup and pecans. Call me a sucker but I love almost everything with maple syrup. Use the best quality that you can find, do not try and substitute maple flavoured syrup, it’s the real deal or nothing at all trust me!

Make sure you leave enough time to chill the mixture in the fridge before baking otherwise they will spread too much, you can even chill them again in the fridge for 20mins before baking so they don’t spread as much as the ones in the photos. No matter what though you will end up with a wonderful cookie that you will have to restrain yourself from eating all of them in one go.

Note: I used gluten free flour in the receipe to accommodate for a good friend who is gluten intolerant however it will work just as well with plain flour.

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LAUREN’S STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES

Yield: 18 Cupcakes

Pretty in Pink... and also delicious!

Pretty in Pink… and also delicious!

My adorable 6 (and a half!) year old niece Lauren came over for a sleepover last night. In between singing ALL the ‘Frozen’ songs over and over again, just like she was on repeat, she decided we should make the most strawberry-ist of strawberry cupcakes! This was the resulting outcome:

The cupcakes are deliciously flavoured with strawberry puree and come out a lovely pink shade, very much like strawberry ice-cream. Adding macerated strawberries to the buttercream naturally colours it and also breaks down the strawberries so you get delightful flecks of red.

These cupcakes come with Lauren’s stamp of approval!

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GLUTEN FREE PISTACHIO & ROSE CAKE

Yield: 1 x 26cm Cake

Pretty cake

Pretty cake

This receipe came about as I have a good friend at work that is gluten intolerant and every time I show up at work with my latest baked goods I have to tell her she can’t have any. I feel terribly mean so set out to remedy the situation by baking the best gluten-free cake she has ever eaten! Now whilst she did say that her Mum’s cakes will always be better, and wouldn’t we all say that, she did admit that this cake was pretty perfect!

The cake’s texture is lovely and light with a moist crumb. Pairing pistachio in the cake and rosewater in the glaze reminds me of old fashioned Turkish delight. However if you aren’t a fan of rosewater feel free to omit it and replace with water or just dust with icing sugar instead of using a glaze.

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BLUEBERRY BUNDT CAKE

Adapted from: Baking for all Occasions by Flo Braker

Yield: 1 Bundt Cake

YUMMY!

YUMMY!

I love blueberries! I used to buy punnets of them and sit there popping blueberry after blueberry into my mouth enjoying the sharp burst of juicy sweetness. Then one day, many years ago I stumbled across a receipe for blueberry muffins and there started my obsession with using the delicious fruit in my baking endeavors.

The cake is really tender and has a lovely buttery flavour, the blueberries sink to the bottom of the pan and create a lovely crown once inverted. If you don’t have any blueberry’s on hand feel free to try the receipe with another type of berry.

Also, if you’re like me and hate waste then this receipe quite nicely uses up the extra egg yolks that you will have if you have made the Nutmeg Cupcakes w/ Rum Buttercream from my previous post.

Try to stop at just one piece

Try to stop at just one piece

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