Archive for the ‘Cake’ Category

Apple Cinnamon Bread

In Baking, Bread, Cake, Uncategorized on August 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

I made this for breakfast this morning. Recipe from here. A delicious breakfast and lovely way to use up leftover apples!

Buttery Brioche!

In Baking, Bread, Cake, Egg on August 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

Would you believe I starting making this at 4 am? Well I was awake because I had been watching the last of the gymnastics at the Olympics (yup, us New Zealanders have to stay awake to 3 am to be able to watch the gymnastics) though nevertheless I was pretty impressed with how this brioche came together. I didn’t have any brioche tins (a minor setback!) and had thought to use texas muffin tins, but I only had one tray of those so in the end opted for a loaf option. Why was I so determined to make brioche at this hour of the morning, you might wonder? Well it was not only my brother’s birthday, but he was returning from overseas after a long time and my parents were coming down to my city especially to pick him up, plus it had been my mother’s birthday recently as well….and she had requested brioche especially. And unfortunately, their eta at my house was 7 am, so….hence why staying awake for the gymnastics was a blessing.

Anyway, I definitely did look around at various brioche recipes, especially because I was looking for an alternative to brioche tins. In the end, I went with my trusted (and tired now, at least on this blog) bread book by Treuille and Ferrigno which OF COURSE had a brioche recipe. Using a loaf pan was one of their variants:


2 1/2 tsp dried yeast

2 tbsp water

375 g white four

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

5 eggs, beaten

15 g butter, melted

175g butter, softened

egg glaze, made with 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp water

1. Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.

2. Make a well in the centre and add the yeasted water and beaten eggs,. Mix in the flour to form a soft, moist but manageable dough.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic, about 10 minutes. (I had to add a bit more flour here because the dough was quite wet, and it was ok.)

4. Grease the large bowl, with the melted butter. Place the dough in the bowl; turn to coat it evenly. Cover it evenly. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 1.5 hours. Knock back and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

5. Use your hand to incorporate the softened butter into the dough.

6. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until the butter is distributed throughout, 5 minutes, then 5 minutes more. Grease a 1 kg loaf tin and then shape dough to suit a loaf tin. Put the dough in the prepared tin, cover the tin with a tea towel and leave to prove until the dough rises until 1 cm below the top of the tin – about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

7. Brush with egg glaze and bake for 35 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Turn onto wire rack to cool.

As usual, shitty pictures! What can I say, I am a bit embarassed about photographing my food in front of guests and hungry family members? But I’m pretty sure that anyone that ate this brioche could vouch for its good brioche-like consistency and flavour! I do definitely want to make this again, and I do want to try a more traditional type of brioche with tins, if I ever get my hands on them. I promise I will take better photos, ok?

Molasses Sultana Bread

In Baking, Bread, Cake on July 23, 2012 at 3:08 am

Ok, so this is yet another bread recipe – I know, I know. But this is more like a cake or a tea bread. I found the recipe when I first got into cooking, when I was about 13 or 14. I was particularly fond of it and have always loved molasses, yet I have not made this for a few years. I only unearthed it when looking through one of my scrapbook cookbooks made from magazine clippings from around the same period. So when molasses was on special last week, I knew molasses bread would be on the menu!

(Also apologies for the formal language but my apostrophe and backspace keys on my keyboard are not working)

From memory, the recipe originated from the NZ Home & Garden magazine.

500g sultanas (add more or less to suit taste – I bet dates would be great too)

1/2 cup soft brown sugar or cane sugar

1/4 cup (approx.) blackstrap molasses

1 cup water

fine grated zest of 1/2 an orange

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/4 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (though I have used 180 degrees and that works too). Grease and line either 3 mini loaf tins or one moderate loaf tin, which is what I use. Place the sugar, molasses, sultanas, water and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil,  simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for around 10 minutes. Add the beaten egg and fold in the sifted flour and baking soda. Divide mixture between tins or to the one tin. Bake until cooked through and an inserted skewer comes out clean and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. The original recipe suggests only 20 minutes baking (which may well be appropriate for cooking miniloaves) but I left mine in the oven for a good 50 minutes. It is very easy be deceived into thinking the loaf is cooked when actually it is still quite liquid in the middle! That said, once cooked – serve warm with butter or margarine. Perfect for those wintery evenings!

Banana Bread

In Baking, Bread, Cake, Snacks on July 4, 2012 at 7:53 am

A little while ago, I managed to resist scoffing my entire bunch of bananas before they became ripe enough to use for baking – and trust me, this is NOT a frequent occurence. I was pretty torn between making banana and cinnamon muffins or banana bread, but in the end the banana bread won. It also fit in quite well with a bunch of leftover ingredients I had lying around, so I figured this was a good opportunity for a bit of improvisation! The great thing about banana bread is that it is so easy to adapt with what you have on hand and you can be pretty sure it will still be delicious.

From memory, here is more or less the recipe I used:

baking spray, to grease loaf tin

250g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (you could substitute with other nuts, such as pecans)

1 egg, beaten

175 ml milk

100 g leftover over cinnamon sugar + 50 g dark cane sugar ( use whatever sugar you want)

60-100 g melted butter

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

Grease the loaf tin with cooking spray, or oil and butter if you prefer. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl. Stir in the chopped walnuts (you could also roast these, perhaps?) and make a well in the centre. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour into the well, stirring to combine  with a spatula. This should produce a wet batter. Overmixing can make the bread heavy, so be gentle. Pour batter in prepared tin. Bake in preheated oven (180 degrees) for about an hour – it should be golden and risen. You can tell it is ready when the bread shrinks away from the sides of the tin. An inserted skewer should come out clean. Leave to stand 10 mins, then turn onto a wire rack to cool before slicing. Serve with olivani…or pumpkin butter!