Grandma’s Date Shortcake

28 Feb

This recipe has been in the family for a very long time.  I remember Mum making it when I was a child.  The combination of sweet dates and tangy lemon is delicious.

Ingredients:

¾ cup cornflour

¾ cup flour

½ cup sugar

125g butter

1 egg

1tsp Baking powder

Filling:

500g chopped dates

juice of ½ a lemon (use the other half for the icing)

Oven: Preheat to 180.C

Method:

Place the dates and lemon juice into a small saucepan and allow the dates to soften on a low heat. (add a bit of water if you need to) Allow to cool.

Place the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix together to form a dough.  I use a clean hand to combine everything together.  Cut the dough in half and roll out to fit the bottom of a small slice tin.  I roll the mixture inbetween two sheets of baking paper.  It is so much easier than having the dough stick to the rolling pin.  (or if you don’t have a rolling pin use a bottle of wine.)

After you have placed the base in the tin, spread out the date mixture on top evenly.  Then top with the other half of the dough. Just like a sandwich.

Place in the oven for about 15-20 mins or until the shortcake is golden brown on top.

Allow to cool and ice with lemon icing.

Lemon icing:

  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • Lemon juice

Mix together until it forms a smooth icing.  If you want a thick layer of icing you will need to add more icing sugar.  Do not be afraid to add more juice if it is too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.

Comments:

This was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  It really is worth a try.  It would have looked a bit better if I rolled out the dough a bit more evenly.  If you look closely at the photo the top layer it a bit thicker than the bottom layer.  But it still tasted great!

Adapted from:

My Cookbook,  handwritten in by my Mother.  It must have originated from my Grandma. There must be more to the history of this recipe, I will find out from both of these special ladies soon.

Grandad’s Streusal Cake

27 Feb

My Mum had written this recipe into my into my book with very few instructions.  In fact, all it said was: this recipe is best made by hand, small cake or  I have doubled.

So…I double the recipe and make this big cake.  However I have only given you the single recipe because to be honest the cake was too big. I also just guessed the method and luckily it turned out pretty good.

Ingredients:

Batter:

3oz butter

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

1 ½ cups flour

2 tsp Baking powder

Filling:

2 Tbs melted butter

¾ cup of sugar

1 Tbs cinnamon

2 Tbs flour

1 cup chopped walnuts

Coffee Icing:

 

Oven: Preheat to 180.C

Method:

Start by making the filling.  Chop the walnuts and place them into a bowl with the cinnamon, flour and brown sugar.  Melt the butter and pour into the walnut mixture and stir to combine.

Then make the batter: In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar then add the egg.  Add the flour and baking powder then the milk.

Place half of the batter into a small cake tin.  Then evenly spread the walnut filling mixture on top.  Carefully spoon the remaining batter on top.

 

Comments:

Adapted from: My Cookbook, handwritten by my Mother

Crazy Bun

5 Feb

This is also known as ‘Boston Bun’ in New Zealand.  Don’t be put off by the hot pink icing ( my hand slipped when I was adding the food colouring) this is a yummy bun.  The reason why I call this bun crazy is because it contains no egg, butter or yeast.  It also contains a vegetable, yes, a vegetable.  So when I think I have no ingredients to bake I can always make this.  Magic!

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed potato

¾ cup sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 cup milk

1 cup dried fruit (raisins, currants, dried apricots, dried cranberries or a mixture)

 

Oven:  Preheat to 180.C

Method:

Make sure the mashed spud is cold and smooth.  You may want to put it through a sieve to get rid of any lumps.  Beat the spud and sugar together until it goes sort of liquidy.  Then add the sifted dry ingredients, the milk and finally the fruit.  divide the mixture into two and place into two round tins.  ( Do not be tempted to put all of the mixture into one tin they will turn out too heavy, these buns are designed to be shallow.)

Bake for 30mins.  When they are golden brown on top they are ready.  Leave them in the tins for a few minutes then lay them onto a wire cooling rack.  When cool, lavishly top them with the icing.

icing:

55 g butter

2 cups icing

1-2 Tbsp milk

½ cup desiccated coconut

Warm the milk up a bit and beat into the butter and icing sugar.  Mix until smooth and just right. (not too runny, not too thick) I also add in the coconut to the icing or you can use the coconut to press on top of the icing.  The choice is yours. You also have the choice of pink or white icing, I think I will stick to the white icing after my hot pink disaster of last time!

Comments:

These buns will seem a bit flat but I promise they are fine like that.  It is all about getting the right ratio of bun and icing.  Also, if you have been extra good at the gym this week you can also cut the bun in half and spread with butter. Go on, I know you want to.

Adapted from:

I had tried a few different recipes but the best one came from Alexa Johnston’s book ‘A second helping, more from ladies a plate’ Which is a fabulous book where she sources recipes from old school NZ cookery books.  So originally this recipe came from the 1981 Catholic Women’s League, Dunedin Diocese Cookbook, contributed by Dorothy Lavelle.

 


Christmas fruitcake

29 Jan

My Dad makes this cake every year for Christmas.  My Dad, a builder by trade does a wonderful job of this cake and we all wait patiently until Christmas eve when we are allowed to cut into it.

Ingredients:

1 Kg mixed dried fruit

½ cup booze (rum, brandy, sherry or what ever you fancy)

Soak fruit over night or up to 48 hours till fruit has soaked up all liquid

200g butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

¼ cup golden syrup

½ cup milk

3 eggs

Oven: Preheat oven to 140.C

Method:

Put dried fruit into a large bowl.

Pour over brandy leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours till the fruit has soaked up all the liquid.

Cut or rub cold butter into flour, sugar soda using pastry cutter or food processor.

Measure golden syrup stir with the beaten eggs

Mix liquid and fruit and dry ingredients together.

Line 23cm tin

Bake at 140.c or 120.c for 2-3 hours

Cover top with brown paper when the top gets brown to stop it from getting too brown.

Comments:

This is a great traditional Christmas cake with lots of flavour.  Dad usually covers the cake with white icing.  I am not a big fan of the thick icing so I just decorated mine with some dried fruit and toasted almonds.  I melted some apricot jam and brushed it over the fruit and nuts to give it a nice glaze and shine.

If you make your Christmas cake a good few weeks before Christmas you can really add to the flavour by giving the cake a bit of a drink every week or so.  By this I mean, to spoon over some booze onto the top of the cake and allow the cake to soak it up.  Dad does not do this, but I do!

Adapted from: My Dad, Denis.

Cupcakes

28 Jan

I have not met a person that does not love these little cakes. They are so fun to make!

Ingredients:

125g butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ cup milk

Oven: preheat to 190.C

Method:

Get out your electric hand beaters and cream butter, vanilla and sugar until pale in colour, light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.   Sift baking powder and flour together.  Fold into creamed mixture.  Stir in milk.

Place 12 patty cases into a muffin tin and evenly fill with the mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched.

Basic icing:

  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • hot water
  • flavouring/ colouring

Mix together until it forms a smooth icing.  If you want a thick layer of icing you will need to add more icing sugar.  Do not be afraid to add more water if it is too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.

For Chocolate icing add a Tablespoon of cocoa and a few drops of vanilla essense.

For Citrus icing use the citrus juice instead of the water and grate in some rind to give more flvour and add flecks of colour.

For Raspberry icing add a drop of red food coloring and a drop of raspberry essence

Comments:

These are so fun and easy to make.  I often whip up a batch to take to a friends place as adults love them just as much as the kids.  They are also a great little fundraising idea for cake stalls as they sell very well.

As this is a vanilla cupcake, I take the opportunity to use a variety of flavoured icings.  I mostly use lemon, raspberry and chocolate.  Then I decorate them with a variety of sprinkles.  I am starting to get a rather large collection of sprinkles.  Yesterday I bought a packet of red, white and pink mini hearts, which will be great for my valentines day cupcakes.

Adapted from: Edmonds Cookery Book

Train Birthday Cake

28 Jan

 

I had great fun making this cake for my son’s first birthday.  I cake I used was my Dads Banana cake recipe and also the Chocolate Guiness cake.  The design came from the 1970’s Womans Weekly Birthday book.  This train cake is on the front cover.  If you are a kiwi kid of the 80’s you will know what I am talking about.

Banana Birthday Cake

26 Oct

A very special young lady named Frieda turned 2 recently and I was very lucky to be able to make her a birthday cake.  It was a green number two with some wild animals on top.  I used my Dad’s banana cake recipe for the cake.  It is very easy to whip up and is always a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

125g butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups mashed banana (about 4 bananas)

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp hot milk

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Oven:  Preheat to 180.C

Method:

Cream butter and sugar until pale in colour, light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add mashed banana and mix thoroughly.  Stir soda into hot milk (which I just heat up in the microwave) and add to creamed mixture. Sift flour and baking powder.  Fold into mixture. Place mixture into cake tin.

Bake for 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Leave uniced or ice with Chocolate, lemon or passionfruit icing.

Lemon icing:

  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • citrus juice
  • grated Citrus rind (the yellow flecks look pretty in the icing)

Mix together until it forms a smooth icing.  If you want a thick layer of icing you will need to add more icing sugar.  Do not be afraid to add more juice if it is too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.

Comments:

A great way to use up those old bananas in the fruit bowl.  I just throw them straight into the freezer when they start to be past their best.  They do go black when they are frozen but don’t worry they are perfectly fine.  Just leave them on a plate to defrost and squeeze them out of the skin when you need them.

My Dad is well known for his banana cake.  He would make it often, and everybody loves it.  Thanks Dad.

Adapted from: My Dad