Saturday, July 15, 2017

Weekend Cooking: Lime and Buttermilk cake

A few years ago now, I bought a cookbook which was written by regular finalist in the Country Womens Association of Australia baking competition. I have made a couple of recipes from it, but it has been a while since I tried anything new.

I do now have good reason to try new things though! I was very excited to get a stand mixer for my birthday, so now I have no reason not to try making all the things that I couldn't possibly make before. Now don't get too excited. It wasn't a KitchenAid or anything flash, just a run of the mill stand mixer but I love it. In fact, it does tend to come with me when I go to the boyfriend's house for the weekend whenever we have anything planned. He's even attempted freshly made bread rolls (so delicious!!).

Whilst I would say that I am an average cook there were some things in this recipe that I have never done before. For example, I have never whipped egg whites separately before. And I was able to delegate things like zesting and juicing the limes to my assistant, and he does a great job of cleaning up too!

 I haven't got the texture quite right yet, but I will! It does taste delicious!



Lime and Buttermilk Cake

250g butter at room temp
1 cup white sugar
finely grated rind of 2 limes
3 eggs, separated
200ml buttermilk
2 tbsp lime juice
2 cups self-raising flour
Icing
1 cup icing sugar
1.5 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp water

1. Preheat oven to moderate (170 degrees C) and grease a 22cm (base measurement) round cake in tin and line the base with baking paper.

2. Use electric beaters to cream butter, sugar, lime rind until white and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Add half the buttermilk, half the lime juice and half the flour and then fold through. Add the remaining buttermilk, lime juice and flour and then fold through. Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites into soft peaks, Fold into the cake mixture and spoon the mix into the tin. Use a knife to smooth the surface.

4. Bake for 50m or so or until springy to a gentle touch in the centre. Leave in tin for 5m and then turn out onto wire rack to cool.

5. Icing: Combine all ingredients until smooth and then spread over the cooled cake.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Weekend Cooking: A weekend in Sydney

This week's post could more accurately described as Weekend Eating or Weekend Away than Weekend Cooking, but let's go with this one for now!!

A couple of weeks ago now, my boyfriend and I went to Sydney for the weekend. Ostensibly we went to see the Escape from Pompeii exhibition that is on at the Australian National Maritime Museum. And that is what we did, but we also took the opportunity to do a couple of other things as well, including dinner at Koi Dessert Bar

It was an early start on the Saturday morning. We flew from Melbourne on a 6am flight so I was warned well in advance to expect grumpy BF to be on the plane with me, and that he was planning to be asleep again before the plane took off.

The exhibition was good without being great. I guess, given the title of the exhibition I was expecting it to be more about Pompeii, but it was more about the Roman navy in general with small parts focusing on the attempt to rescue people who were escaping from Pompeii.

What we really enjoyed were the other parts of the museum, particularly the replica of the Endeavour, Captain Cook's ship when he claimed Australia as British territory. We also clambered all through a decommissioned submarine.






One of the things I was really excited to see at the museum was Hartog's plate. I have long been interested in the earlier European explorations that took place, particularly on the west coast of Australia. Hartog was a Dutch sailor who in 1616 was blown off course and landed on some islands where he left a pewter plate. This is the earliest known European artifact in Australia. The original is normally housed in a museum in Holland but for a short time is on loan to Australia. Part of the reason why I am interested in this history goes back to going to visit the Western Australian maritime museum in Perth where they have preserved the shipwreck of a Dutch ship called the Batavia.


 
We had beautiful weather both days we were in Sydney which hopefully comes through in the photos. It was definitely much better than we had in Melbourne on the same weekend!!

 On the Saturday night we splashed out on dinner at Koi Dessert Bar. Koi is owned by former Masterchef participant Reynold Poernomo and his brothers. It obviously specialises in desserts given it's name but we opted for the 6 course set dinner menu for our visit. The desserts were pretty amazing it has to be said, but the mains were pretty good, although the service felt a bit rushed. For example, we had our first course before the drinks had even been brought out, and then in between one course, the waitress had taken away our cutlery and the next course arrived before she came back with the new cutlery. Also, the mains could have been a bit generous. We didn't walk out hungry, but we also weren't full.

Jerusalem artichoke and mushroom risotto - the bits on the side are dried or fried artichoke. Delicious

Beef Rib with soy potato, cipollini onion, galbi jus and green pear - Could have eaten 3 of these. The meat was so tender

Spanner crab meat with green curry, coconut tapioca risotto and green apple. This was the strongest flavoured dish

Blackberry mousse with freeze dried blackberry, shiso, beetroot gel, yogurt sorbet, and charcoal meringue - My favourite dish of the night. So delicious

I think this was tapioca cake with tonka bean ice cream and aerated chocolate. It was tasty but I preferred the other 2 desserts

Dulce with pear, ginger streusal, yuzu, ginger pear sorbet, pear compote and white chocolate

 I have to say going to a dessert bar with someone who doesn't like ice cream is both a bad and a good thing. (I know....shocking right). I felt bad that there was no ice cream free dessert for him, but then I did get to eat the ice cream that he didn't eat, so I guess I was the winner on the night. Don't feel too bad for him though. I have had to start keeping a supply of emergency cream in the house because he does love cream in any form!!

On Sunday we started with a sleep in and a leisurely stroll before we took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked from under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, around to the Opera House and then kept walking around the edge of the harbour, through the Botanical Gardens and back again, until it was time to jump on the train back to the airport and home again.


Not a bad view from the hotel room






 We are already talking about what we might do next time we are in Sydney so I'd say it was a successful weekend.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Sally's Scones

 A couple of years ago (or more like 3) I posted a scone recipe here as part of Weekend Cooking.

In the comments my friend Sally gave me an alternative recipe that she calls her best ever scone recipe. This is one that she serves to the shearers that come to her sheep farm in New Zealand (no sheep jokes allowed).

Since then I have made this recipe several times, and it is very easy, and definitely the scones turn out to be very light and very fluffy, just as she promised.
Now I am posting it here so that I can find it more easily, and share it with you all of course.

Sally's Scones


4 Cups Self Raising Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Cup of cream (300ml is ok) and it is better if the cream is sour or old
1 and a 1/4 Cups of lemonade.

Mix together until the dough comes together without working it too much. Role out to about 1 to 1 and 1/2 centimetres and then cut out using a scone cutter (although i don't have one of those so I use a glass as my scone cutter).

Bake in a hot oven (around 220C) until golden- or just starting to go brown on top. They are always light and fluffy. Serve with butter and jam, or whipped cream and jam- or even jam and cheese when cool (at least this is Sally's suggestion. I am a traditionalist and go for jam and then whipped cream on top.

Recently I hosted a morning tea with a few friends and this is the spread that we came up with, featuring still warm scones!


I know I said no sheep jokes but I can't resist sharing some of the photos from when I went to visit Sally a couple of years ago

Meet  Baaarnaby and Baaarbara 




And Ewe-nice



Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

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