Monday, October 15, 2012

Muffins, stick bread and birthday cake

Some weekends I am so busy I barely have time to prepare dinner, other weekends I seem to spend all my time covered in flour and popping things in and out of the oven. This weekend was the latter.

Friday evening I made a light dinner of coconut prawns with a crunchy salad and afterwards felt like something sweet, so threw together a coconut cake. Then Saturday morning my breakfast plans changed at the last minute (by changed I mean I read the text message wrong and was a week early), so went home and made some lovely pumpkin, blue cheese and candied walnut muffins for my friend, who I was due to spend the rest of the day with. Saturday night I was treated to some outback delights with damper cooked camping-style over an outdoor fire. I've never been a camper but really enjoyed sitting in the backyard, drinking Shiraz and eating freshly cooked (occasionally burnt) damper covered in golden syrup. Sunday I had another friend come over. It was her birthday the weekend before so wanted to treat her with something tasty and made a Caramel Mudcake, the recipe I got from a cookbook I got "free" when donating $2 at the checkout of my supermarket.

Even though I seemed to have the oven running half the weekend, I feel really refreshed and happy with my baking efforts. I even squeezed in a trip to the supermarket where I stocked up on heaps of fruit and vegies for the week, and went to a local kite festival with my three year old boy. Now it's time to kick off another week at work... and maybe another week of baking!

Pumpkin, blue cheese and candied walnut muffins
More damper
Damper camping-style (aka stick bread)

Brisbane Kite Festival

Caramel Mudcake 
200g butter
200g white chocolate melts
250g brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g sour cream
3 eggs
2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup self raising flour

Preheat oven to 140 degrees C and prepare a springform pan (grease, line with baking paper and then wrap the outside with foil to ensure the batter doens't leak).

In a saucepan over a low heat, add the butter, white chocolate, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla extract. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then add the sour cream and mix through. Next, stir through the eggs then finish by adding the flour and folding until combined. Pour into the tin and pop in the oven. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes, then cover the cake with some alfoil and continue to bake for another 45 minutes. Test if the cake is ready by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre. It should come out a little crumbly (if it's slightly wet, that's ok, just allow the cake to rest for a longer amount of time).

Caramel icing 
90g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 - 2 1/4 cups of icing sugar

In a saucepan over a low heat, combine the butter, sugar and cream, stir until melted. Slowly add the sifted icing sugar, whisking as you go. Only add as much icing sugar as it takes to get a spreadable consistency. When the cake has cooled, pour on icing and spread over cake. Top with some pecans. ENJOY!

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