Monthly Archives: September 2011


This delicious cake is rich and full of flavours.  Perfect snack or afternoon treat!

Orange Cake, a deliciously moist cake!

Serves: 12
250g cake (plain) flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
200g caster sugar
125ml milk
125ml orange juice
125ml vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ teaspoons grated orange zest

Orange butter icing:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
250g icing sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour two 20cm round cake tins.
In a measuring jug, combine milk, 125ml orange juice, oil, beaten eggs and
1½ teaspoons orange zest. Set aside.
Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix in sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Divide cake mixture between the two prepared tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To make Orange Butter Icing:
Cream butter until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 tablespoons orange juice to bring to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon orange zest. Spread over cooled cakes.


Orange cakes are especially delicious in winter when citrus is in season


When making a cake it is important to follow the recipe  exactly.  If you try to skip a step you  may have less than desirable results.   Skip the sifting step and your flour will be heavier than it should,  creating a heavy, dry cake.  Over-mix and  your cake will be tough and chewy, more like a good bread.

First, use the right ingredients and measure carefully.

Beat the liquid ingredients well before combining with the  dry ingredients.  Once the dry ingredients  are added, the cake should be stirred gently, unless the directions tell you  otherwise.  If your cake is course and  dry, or has tunnels, you have probably over-mixed.

Preheat the oven as directed.  Starting in a cold oven, or too hot an oven  will affect the rising and browning of the cake.  A cake started in a cool oven will not allow  the cake to rise sufficiently before the crust forms and the cake may  fall.  Too hot an oven may cause a crack  to develop, and the crust to harden and overbrown.   The cake should be placed in the center of  the oven for best heat distribution.  Be  aware of your oven, if there are hot spots in your oven you may need to  adjust.

The cake is done when it is lightly browned and it springs  back when lightly pressed with the fingertip in the center or when a toothpick  inserted into the center comes out clean and dry.  The cake will have begun to shrink away from  the sides of the pan.

Ensure your ingredients are room temperature before starting your cake.



Croissants are made of a leavened variant of puff pastry. The yeast dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, a technique called laminating.

Croissant pastry can also be wrapped around any praline, almond paste or chocolate before it is baked (in the last case, it becomes like pain au chocolat, which has a different, non-crescent, shape), or sliced to admit sweet or savoury fillings. In France and Spain, croissants are generally sold without filling and eaten without added butter, but sometimes with almond filling



Flaky and flavourful, serves 10


Enjoy with sweet or savoury fillings!!

500 g flour

15g instant yeast

90 g sugar

15 g salt

300 ml warm milk

340 g butter , room temperature

1 egg , beaten with 2 Tbsp water

some extra flour


Step 1: Begin the dough

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, sugar, milk and yeast. Mix and knead the dough until it has a smooth elastic consistency, about 15 – 20 minutes. (I find it is easier to knead the dough out of the bowl directly on the work surface) Dust the dough and a large bowl with flour. Transfer it into a bowl. Cover it with a towel and let it rise until it doubles in size. This should roughly, take 1.5 to 2 hours.

Step 2: Prepare the butter

Put a sheet of cling film onto your working surface. Place the butter on top and cover it with a second sheet of cling film. Flatten it with your hands, roll it into a rectangle of about 20 X 25 cm with your rolling pin and place it into the fridge to chill.

Step 3: Roll out dough

After the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle it with a little bit of flour. Punch out the air with your knuckles and place it onto a floured work surface. Dust the dough with flour and roll it out into a large rectangle that is big enough to hold the sheet of chilled butter. Move the dough around in the flour. You may have to dust the table again, if you need to.

Step 4: Fold in butter

Unwrap the chilled butter and place it onto the upper part of dough. Fold the dough around the butter to enclose it completely. Lift the dough and sprinkle the table with flour. Turn the dough around and roll it into another long rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, brushing off the excess flour as you go. This completes the first turn. Now wrap it in cling film and place it into the fridge for a minimum of 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 5: Turn the dough

At the end of the 30 minutes sprinkle your working surface with flour. Unwrap the dough and place it onto the work surface. Make sure that the dough has the seam vertically placed. Dust it with a sprinkling of flour and roll it out into another rectangle. Fold, brush and wrap, exactly as before. This now completes the second turn.

Step 6: Chill and turn again

Place it back into the fridge for another 30 minutes. Once removed, roll and fold for the third and final turn. Make sure that the dough is well wrapped before placing into the fridge once more to chill overnight.

Step 7: Shape the croissants

One chilled, cut the unwrapped dough into half, on a floured surface. Dust the dough with some flour and roll one half of the dough into a rectangle. Reflour the surface when necessary and continue to roll until the dough is roughly less than half a centimetre thick. Turn the rectangle around. Flour the surface and trim the edges of the dough neatly. Cut it into triangle shapes. Take the bottom of the triangle at its widest part and using your hands, tightly roll it up into a croissant shape. You can freeze the other half of the dough for use another time, or repeat the process and make more croissants.

Step 8: Allow to rise

Place the croissants onto a prelined baking tray. Cover them with a clean plastic bag and leave to double in size.

Step 9: Preheat the oven

Set the oven to 180ºC.

Step 10: Bake

Once the croissants have risen remove the plastic bag. Very gently brush them all over with the egg wash. Place them into the centre of the oven. Bake them for roughly 20 – 25 minutes. When they are a deep golden brown remove them from the oven.







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