Thursday, May 19, 2011

Orange Yoghurt Cake

To be honest, this post was meant to hold a good ol' South African dessert. Only fair after the All American post before it but not all is fair in pregnancy and cravings and so the Local is Lekker post will have to wait.

Don't you worry though, this post is full of sweetness just right for the winter season. The perfect cake to bake if you don't want to spend too long out from under the covers and ready so quick you could probably bake it just before guest arrive for coffee.

Let em take you back to Tuesday afternoon. After checking with the whole family what the plans were for supper I was left with "make something" and my porridge brain shut down and no ideas other than "spaghetti bolognese" would come up. There was no mince and what I really wanted to do was curl up under a blanket and stare blankly at the TV screen. The latter won and I was delighted that "up next" on the Food Network was Ina Garten. Aha! I thought, she will definitely have something that will inspire dinner.

I was wrong, between the Baked Salmon (I don't like salmon, yes yes I know) and the Oriental noodle salad (Don't get me wrong, it looked good...and summery) nothing really caught my eye. Why do I bring up her show then? Well her dessert, lemon yoghurt cake, did. Off I ran to get pen and paper and rewound the segment to copy down ingredients and instructions and then rushed off to the kitchen, forgetting the warmth of the blanket and the vapid calm of watching TV

Into the kitchen I dashed and checked the fridge. Plain yoghurt...hmm just 1 small tub but I did have some leftover inkomazi/maas (Leben or sour milk), that should work. Then turn to the fruit bowl to check for lemons...plenty but the With that a cake was born.

A perfectly easy cake and one I have never baked before so perfectly fitting for Tandy Sinclair's  competition to win Le Creuset competition (click the link to see their amazing range)

What you need: (adapted from the Lemon Yoghurt cake by Ina Garten)
For the cake:
1.5 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup plain yoghurt
1/3 cup Maas (Leben or sour milk. You can also use a whole cup of yoghurt)
1 cup sugar
3 Jumbo eggs
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest
0.5 cup vegetable oil
For the glaze:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 24cm springform pan. Sift all the dry ingredients together. In a separate combine the yoghurt, maas, sugar, eggs, vanilla and zest. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined and then add the oil. Mix till all is combined but do not over mix. Pour into your pan and bake for 30-35 min checking to see if it baked through. While it cools slightly (too cold and it won't soak up the glaze) heat up the sugar and juice until clear. Pour over your cake.
Serve with a couple of slices of orange and a dusting of icing sugar.

Oh, I ended up making potato and leek soup for supper, wonderful how a little baking can get the creative kitchen juices flowing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oreos - Home made is better

As much as we like to deny it, our lives are full of America. The TV shows we watch and the foods we crave, the good ol' US of A is all around us. It frustrate my husband no end that we are "allowing them" to brainwash us with their cool shows and delicious fast food but I am not complaining. Some things are just better with a twang.

One such thing, is the oreo. How we all rejoiced when they originator of the "but you can have the rest of my meeelk" graced our shores and several years on the cookie, and the iconic advert, still remain firm favourites. So, on one quiet and creative afternoon I thought "well how hard can it be?" and dived head first into the millions of results google handed me. Many very american short cuts like "chocolate cookie mix" later I finally found food networks version and made a few tweaks to match what I had (I was not in the mood to go shopping, if I was I would have just BOUGHT oreos and settled down with a glass of meeeelk)

What you need:

For the Dough:

  • 1 1/3 cups NoMu cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:

  • 115g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

What to do:

Prepare the dough: Sift together the cocoa powder, flour and salt in a large bowl.Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, incorporating each ingredient before adding the next. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces; place one piece between 2 lightly floured sheets of baking paper and roll into a half centimetre thick rectangle. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Refrigerate both rectangles, covered with the baking sheets, until firm, at least 1 hour or up to several days.
Using a 4cm round cutter, cut the dough into 64 circles on the baking paper. It's easier to move the dough in between then the individual cookies. (You can reroll the scraps once.) Place the cookies about 4cm. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.
Bake the cookies until they are set and slightly darker around the edges, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter and vanilla until creamy. Beat in the icing sugar and lemon.
Flip half of the cookies upside down and top each with 1 level tablespoon of filling. Press the remaining cookies on top to make sandwiches.
Serve with a glass of cold milk and make sure your dogee doesn't get any cho'clate