Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rich Chocolate Birthday Cake

A friends birthday, the perfect excuse to make a giant chocolate cake. I doubled the recipe below to make 2 chocolate cakes, stacked them on top of each other and added a generous layer of icing in between the cakes. I also added a sprinkling of Lindt milk chocolate flakes on the top. It reminds me of that cake in Roald Dahl's 'Matilda' that Bruce Bogtrotter was forced to eat. I can't wait to have a slice tonight after dinner...

185g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 3/4 cups castor sugar
3 eggs
2 cups self raising flower
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup water
90g dark chocolate, chopped
30g butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons hot water, approx.

Grease a deep 23cm round cake pan, line base with paper; grease paper. 
Combine butter, essence, sugar, eggs, sifted flour and cocoa and water in a large bowl. 
Beat on low speed with electric mixer until ingredients are combined. 
Increase speed to medium beat for about 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and changed in colour. 
Spread into prepared pan. 
Bake in moderate oven for about 1 1/2 hours. 
Stand 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool. 
Spread cold cake with icing. 
Melt chocolate and butter in bowl over hot water. 
Gradually stir in sifted icing sugar. 
Then stir stir in enough hot water to mix to a spreadable consistency. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

21st Birthday Dinner

My 21st... a dinner party for 20 at Quaff

I made the invitations myself, their were lolly bags that matched. 
(Much more fun and cost effective then getting them done).

The menu, crowd pleasing classics...

The best part of all... a barbie ice cream cake...

I highly recommend Quaff for your next event, especially the 'White Room' with its gorgeous bay window overlooking Toorak Road below. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Light Lunch

On this beautiful hot day I decided to make a tasty light lunch, of corn fritters with smoked salmon and coriander dressing. From the 'The Biggest Loser Best Recipes' recipe book, this meal was satisfying as well as being suitable for losing winter kilos and the hot days in bathers to come. 

1/2 cup wholemeal self-raising flower
1/4 teaspoon  baking powder
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 x 200g cooked corn cob, kernels removed, or 200g can corn kernels
4 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 egg whites
olive oil spray
freshly ground black pepper
8 slices smoked salmon, cut into 5cm pieces 
125g watercress
1/4 red onion, finely sliced

1 cup chopped coriander leaves
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 small chillies, seeded and finely sliced
5 tablespoons low-fat natural yoghurt

To make the dressing place coriander, lemon juice, garlic and chillies in a food processor and process to a smooth paste. 
Add yoghurt and set aside. 
Combine flour, baking powder, spring onions, dill and corn in a mixing bowl. 
Add milk and stir thoroughly. 
In another bowl whisk egg whites until fluffy then gently fold through the flower mixture. 
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and spray lightly with oil. 
Spoon the mixture into the pan and cook until small bubbles form on the surface. 
Turn the fritters over and cook for a further 5 minutes or until golden. 
Combine the salmon, watercress and onion and arrange on top of the fritters. 
Drizzle with coriander dressing. 

serves 4