Lemon Delicious

So nostalgic, dinner party dessert from the 80’s and 90’sand one of my childhood favourites, when I found this recipe I just had to make it!

 50g butter, room temperature

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 1/3 cup milk

3 eggs, separated

1/3 cup strained lemon juice

1/4 cup self raising flour

Icing sugar, to dust

Preheat oven to 160’C. Lightly grease 6 ramekins. Using an electric beater, beat butter, sugar, zest and egg yolks until pale and creamy. Gradually stir in the milk, then the juice. Add flour and stir gently to combine. Using clean beaters, beat eg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into lemon mixture, taking care not to lose volume from the egg whites. Spoon into the prepared dishes and stand in a baking tin.Pour enough boiling water around the ramekins to come halfway up the side. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are just firm to touch. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Relatively easy with such perfect results. There is something about this pudding with its lightness and lemony tang that just makes you want to go back for more and more. I made 3 out of half of this recipe, which was perfect for us, one each and a couple of sneaky extra spoons each out of the left over one. Daniel had never tried it so I was worried it wouldn’t be his kind of thing, but he absolutely loved it.

The trickiest part of the pudding is getting it cooked, set and not burnt so that it has exactly the right amount of wobble and fluffiness combined. I checked mine twice during cooking, the first time it wasn’t quite done but after another couple of minutes I tested it and it was perfect. Such a beautiful Saturday night dessert and a nice change from a couple of squares of chocolate or some ice cream.Sometimes it is just nice to make something so delicious and inspiring for those that you love for no reason at all except that you love them and want to create the best dessert possible for them. This is one of those desserts. Young or old, whip this up this weekend and I promise the smiles and praise that will be coming your way will make all the effort worth it!

 Love Sonia

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Five Minute Chocolate Mousse

Fast Ed from Better Homes and Gardens claims this is the simplestmousse ever and I certainly agree, not for the faint hearted!

200g dark chocolate

160ml water

Warm the chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Begin whipping with an electric beater, then set the bowl in a larger bowl filled with cold water and ice and continue whipping for 5 minutes, until thick and creamy. Spoon into glasses and chill until set, then top with berries and cream if desired to serve.

And that’s it. Five minute chocolate mousse but holy moly you have to love chocolate to eat it! The original recipe calls for 300g and 240ml water, but that serves 4 and we definitely didn’t need that much just for the 2 of us. I made 3 out of the 200g and I had to eat my glass over two days it was far too rich, but I think served with cream or some cake it would be perfect. Daniel suggested to me that it needed more cream, I kindly pointed out there was no cream and that is why it was so rich. Personally I prefer it that way, mainly because it was done in 5 minutes, no eggs, no cream, no multiple beaters, jut melt and beat and its done!

If you love chocolate and can handle the idea of eating about a third of a block of chocolate in one sitting then this is for you. If not I don’t yet have a suggestion for you but I promise I’ll work on it for you!

Love Sonia

Where the magic happens – My Kitchen

 

After many suggestions from my family that I should show you all where the magic happens, here it is – My kitchen 🙂 Made out to be tiny by anyone who comes to visit -it suits me just fine for now. Granted there is minimal bench space, hence I have become a whiz at mixing while holding the bowl. Enjoy!

My Pride and Joy!

 

Tomorrow’s post will be Gran’s Malt Loaf, stay tuned!

Love Sonia x

 

Cake Decorating – Chapter 5

This week was the final class of Beginners Cake Decorating. Rather than writing lots this week I will give you more of a photo collection, followed by some photos of the cakes that were created by the other ladies in my class. Enjoy!

Chocolate Mud Cake attached to baking paper, attached to cake board with royal icing.Cake covered in fondant and the baking paper cut away.Ribbon attached with royal icing.Puppy attached with royal icing, flowers inserted into the fondant.Coloured filler flowers inserted.Finished Cake. I am really happy with how it turned out. The simple idea and colours combined really well to make this cute cake.

Georgie’s “Cupcake” cakeI hope you enjoyed looking at the process of my cake and the finished products of the other girls in my class. My next post will be Chocolate Freckle Easter Biscuits. Have a lovely Easter weekend everyone.

Love Sonia x

Cake Decorating – Chapter 4

 

Sorry to disappoint you all with a lack of posting last week. During our class last week we made decorations for our final cake that we are decorating this week and learnt how to cover a cake and attach it to a cake board. Unfortunately it is hard to take photos of learning. However this week you will get a cake to look at with all the pretty things we learnt. I spent my weekend making the decorations for the top of my cake and I have to say I have impressed myself and am looking forward to someone having a birthday I can make a cake for!

The only thing I have a picture of from last week.

Love Sonia xx

Cake Decorating – Chapter 3

Last night started with assembling the open rose that we made the petals for last week. It was so nice to see it all put together after a week of staring at a pile of petals! A blob of royal icing in a piece of waxed paper and away we went, sticking the petals in reminded me of being little and sticking things into a bowl of icecream or into the top of a cupcake. Before long we all had something that resembled an open rose of some kind, as our instructor keeps telling us there are many varieties of rose, if yours looks different its just a different type of rose! As we fiddled and twisted the petals into an overlapping pattern the roses took shape. We added a few paper stamens to the middle and we were all really pleased with our two week effort.

Next up was a demonstration on how to make a bear. Once we all discovered that our instructor makes it look easy the stress set in. The demonstration made forming all the body parts and fitting them together look simple. It was far from it! After colouring the modelling paste  ( I chose mauve and Georgie chose blue) and fondant mix the challenge of deciding proportions for the head, body and limbs began. Head to small, bear looks scary, head too big, bear falls over. Once rolling out the head and the body we set to the task of moulding the limbs. Flat ends for arms and legs with a little circle pressed into each for the paw. Now we snap some tubular pasta to make supports for the head and arms. A little tylopur glue on each end and the sticking process begins. Between the head and body we slip a little bow of ribbon to act as a bowtie. We had the option of running a tool over the centre of all the parts to look like stitching, both Georgie and I declined, it looked a little like the bear had been run over. Once the head and arms were attached and the legs positioned underneath we stuck on a little tail and got to the fancy parts. A skewer is used to make eye sockets, into which are pushed eyeballs and topped with little black pupils. A little love heart nose is made from black modelling paste and stuck on with glue and a little mouth is drawn on underneath. Two little ears are rolled out and glued onto the top of the bears head. Once everything looks right on the bear and he sits ok on his legs, we apply glue to the legs and position them underneath the body. Let the bear sit for a few minutes and you have a very cute cake topper!

Now quickly running short of time we learn how to make roses out of liquorice. The rose I made was mango flavoured and so so easy to make. Starting with a short length of liquorice we snipped around the top to make a point and then smoothed it out a little. We then rolled about 1 and a half pieces of smooth liquorice until they were 1-2mm thick. We then used our flower cutters that we used last week for the modelling paste flowers to cut out the petals. We rolled the edges out on these a little and started pressing them onto the bud in the same manner that we did with the ones last week. So much quicker and edible because they don’t contain any wire. While I was adding my final layer of petals Georgie cut out a green calyx for me which once chopping off the thick part at the bottom I added to finish the rose.

Next week we are making the decorations for our final cake and the week after we will be assembling our final cake and will have completed Cake Decorating for Beginners!

Love Sonia xx


Cake Decorating – Chapter 2

Last night started with a demonstration on the beginning of a rose. A small unassuming lump of modelling paste stuck to a wire. Believe it or not this lump was turned into a beautiful rose bud within 3 hours. Far more impressive than nature!

We applied the first 4 petals to our lump using tylopur glue and a lot of patience. To make the petals we rolled out modelling paste and cut them with a petal cutter. We thinned them out by hand, applied the glue and started layering the petals on. We then left these to dry for about 2 hours.

Next we moved onto the petals for an open rose. 3 small, 5 medium and 5 large. We coloured our modelling paste to a lovely pale pink and got rolling. Rolling out the paste so it is fine enough that it looks like a petal but not so fine that it tears when curling it is a real challenge. Once we had our 13 petals we thinned them out with our fingers and started frilling the edges. We had use of a large wooden skewer and a ball tool. We all found the skewer easier to use than the ball tool, but the ball tool did provide a lovely soft curve to the petal. Once we had worked our way through the 13 petals and placed them into plastic spoons to help them hold their shape til the end of the lesson we started on the daisies.

A lot simpler than the rose, with a lot less fussing, gluing and thinning the daisy is still a lovely addition to our repertoire. As a class we coloured a big lump of modelling paste for the centres of our flowers (so we all didn’t have yellow hands). We rolled out our white modelling paste, with a daisy cutter we cut out 2 flowers and rolled the yellow into a flower centre. We cut the wire into a shorter length and made the top into a sort of netball hoop. This was then coated in glue and inserted into the yellow flower centre. The white daisy cut outs were thinned a little at the ends so it didn’t look so uniform and then the wire was poked through the middle and the flower brought up towards the centre. Glue was then put in the middle of the flower and pressed on to the centre. We then did this with the other cut out and spun it slightly to make a layered petal effect. Once glued we held all three layers together tightly to ensure they stuck together. These were then left to dry overnight.

We then rolled and cut 5 more petals for our rose buds and glued them to the outside of the bud to make it larger and fuller. Once we had completed all of these little things our three hours were up. We packed up all of our goodies and wow are we looking forward to next week. Assembling our open roses and making a modelling paste figurine. Stay tuned for next week’s installment and happy baking.

  Love Sonia xx


Cake Decorating – Chapter 1

The night started with traffic jams and running through the halls of CIT looking for kitchen 30. Once we got there we found the place we will call home each Wednesday night for the next 5 weeks. We started off collecting our tools of the trade kits and then began a process we thought would never end. Fitting a metal screw to a piping bag. Sounds easy enough, should it take 20 minutes? Probably not. Did it take at least 20 minutes? Most definitely! Watching 9 women repeatedly drop a small metal object into a piping bag repeatedly, then pushing it down to the tip only to find that it has twisted, turned and is now upside down must be endlessly tiring for the instructor, then to have 5 of us hand her the bag and make her ‘fix’ it because there is only so much we can take. Luckily this was the hardest part of the night.

We then learnt how to make royal icing, surprisingly we all did really well considering we made it by hand in a Chinese takeaway container. Once we had our icing to soft peak consistency we filled our newly acquired piping bags and tied them off. We watched a demonstration on how to pipe letters, numbers, words, borders, straight lines, hearts and dots. Then we set off on our own piping adventures. Armed with a sheet of greaseproof, a template and some wet paper towel we were piping over the different templates at a cracking pace, as you can see from the pictures at the bottom, Georgie has a fairly short attention span hence her own name and various pictures and squiggles all around her sheet. With a little instruction and a little help from my other hand to stop my right hand from shaking I was able to test out a variety of the templates, relatively successfully.

Next we assembled a disposable piping bag, very useful for coloured icing as it doesn’t stain your piping bags. With a few cautionary staples in the top we were off to change our remaining royal icing into stiff or hard peak. We used this to make a picture of Christmas holly which we then filled in with our newly acquired skill of flooding. In the picture it isn’t very fancy because we only used white icing. It is however a really good to skill to have.

All of this filled our first 3 hours quite easily. Next week we move on to making things from modelling paste. Really looking forward to it!

Holly flooding

My piping practice

Georgie's piping practice

Pikelets

As today is Shrove Tuesday I decided to make pikelets, even then it is meant to be pancake day, but pikelets are a little more appropriate. Not being religious I see pancake day as a day to try a new recipe for pikelets and less about the day before lent. This recipe came from February Super Food Ideas, they are lovely when fresh, they have gone a little rubbery since making them a few hours ago, so I would suggest making these just before you want to eat them.

1 3/4 cups self raising flour

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 1/3 cups reduced fat milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

20g butter, melted

butter or canola oil spray for greasing

Sift flour and sugar into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, whisk milk, vanilla and eggs in a jug until just combined. Add to flour mixture, whisk until just combined. Add butter and whisk to combine. Lightly spray a non stick frying pan with oil, heat over a medium heat. Cook tablespoons of batter in batches for 1-2 minutes each side or until bubbles appear on the surface then flip. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter. Serve with jam and butter or just as is!

Makes approximately 28.

To make these I use my electric frying pan but only because our stove is unreliable when it comes to even heat. It took about 15 minutes to cook them all which is quite an instant reward compared to my usual baking challenges. The recipe states that each pikelet costs 6 cents to make, that is pretty good if you ask me and at the rate that Daniel eats these it’s a good thing too!

I usually make pikelets with the home brand mix but decided to make these from scratch considering I am writing a baking blog! I have to say I am quite impressed with how good they tasted.

Just a short post today, so happy pancake day everyone.

Love Sonia xx