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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Coffee & Date Slice

I enjoy nerdy jokes, science, philosophy, physics jokes (I don’t get maths ones, I am not geared right for those). Unfortunately I am the only one in my household that does. I also really enjoy absurdly silly kids jokes. Like my taste in music, my taste in jokes is very eclectic and, seemingly, a bit out of the ordinary. This both amuses and irritates the people around me as they are either peppered with utter nonsense or having jokes lengthily explained to them. As we all know, once you have to explain a joke it isn’t really that funny anymore but I am compelled to share my amusement even at the cost of said amusement.

Anyway, there you have it, a small snippet of my personality duly doled out and shared. Lucky you 🙂

The below recipe, by the way, really really really good! The coffee icing brings it to a whole new level.

Coffee & Date Slice
Makes 24 pieces

2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
175g melted butter
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped dates

Coffee Icing
2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbls hot coffee
1 Tbls softened butter

Preheat oven to 150C.
Grease and line a lamington pan.
Mix together all slice ingredients, stir until well combined.
Transfer to pan and bake for 35-40 mins.
Cool on wire rack, top with coffee icing when cool.

Mix all icing ingredients together. Top cooled slice. Cut slice when icing is set.

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Coffee Parfait

Creamy and deeply coffee flavoured, this dessert was just what the doctor ordered. A heavy jolt of caffeine disguised as a fancy dessert. Of course you could dress this up with extra cream, crumbled meringue, grated chocolate or strawberries but it was made for an informal occasion just because I felt like making a dessert so we ate it just as it was. I could have eaten a bucket load of this, of course this would have been very bad for me so thankfully my sister came for lunch so I was able (read: forced) to share.

Coffee Parfait

2 tablespoons freeze dried coffee granules
2 tablespoons Raw Sugar
1 tablespoon Boiling water
1 tablespoon Brandy (I used a good whiskey)
300 ml Prepared vanilla custard
300 ml cream
6 maraschino cherries (I hate these things, but feel free if you are a fan)

Dissolve coffee and raw sugar in the boiling water.
Combine coffee mixture, brandy and custard in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff. Lightly stir cream into coffee / custard mixture.
Divide mixture between 6 Parfait glasses and refrigerate until required.
Decorate with maraschino cherries.


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Glazed Mocha Fudge Cake

I was having a bit of a downer on the weekend and wasn’t feeling very zen so I decided to bake. Baking is my go to when I feel blue. Thankfully baking always gives me a feeling of accomplishment that helps me feel a little better. On the downside (?) I now have a houseful of baked goods and, as my husband is away, a limited audience to feed them too. On the upside I have a work colleague who could use a good feed who doesn’t mind eating the excess.

The downside of that today is that the excess was Mocha Cake. He doesn’t normally take caffeine, he had two pieces. So now he is talking incessantly about everything, his favourite colour, his new pink credit card, why I shouldn’t fertilize my garden in winter, the ninja turtles, the list goes on. By talking I mean, without taking a breath between words, a continual flow of non-information. Like my Mother would say ‘That boy could talk underwater with a mouthful of marbles’

Luckily for me he is fairly harmless and if the worst thing that happens to me today is that someone wants to talk to me, well, it’s a pretty good day.

Below is the recipe for that Mocha cake. Perhaps just let the kids have one piece and go outside to play.

Glazed Mocha Fudge Cake

185g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup plain yoghurt
3 teaspoons dry instant coffee
1 tablespoon boiling water

Mocha Glaze
60g dark chocolate
30g butter
1 teaspoon dry instant coffee
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup icing sugar

Grease a 23cm square slab pan, line base with paper; grease paper.
Cream butter, essence and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in egg yolks one at a time, beat only until combined.
Transfer mixture to large bowl, stir in sifted flour and cocoa and yoghurt, then combined coffee and water.
Beat egg whites in small bowl until soft peaks form, lightly fold through cake mixture in 2 lots.
Pour mixture into prepared pan, Bake in moderate oven for about 45 minutes.
Turn on to wire rack to cool. Top cold cake with glaze, decorate with walnut halves if desired. Refrigerate until glaze is set.
Mocha Glaze: Combine chocolate, butter and combined coffee and water in saucepan, stir constantly over low heat without boiling until smooth.
Remove from heat, gradually stir in sifted icing sugar.


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Honey Iced Coffee Cake

This is my favourite cake ever. This one was kindly made by my daughter while the whole of the rest of the household suffered from one malady or another. This was a very bright moment in an otherwise dull and miserable day.

This is one of those tried and true recipes that I have used for years. It’s easy and quick and probably the best tasting cake I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I often decorate it with whole coffee beans, the crunch and bitterness of the beans is complimented by the sweet and creamy honey icing.

Honey Iced Coffee Cake

3 tsps dry instant coffee
1 Tbls hot water
125g butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup custard powder
1/3 cup milk

Honey Icing
30g butter
1 tsp instant dry coffee
1 Tbls hot water
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup icing sugar, approx

Grease a 20cm ring pan. Dissolve coffee in water, combine in a large bowl with butter, essence, sugar, eggs, flour, custard powder and milk.
Beat on low speed with electric mixer until combined and increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 mins, or until it is smooth and changes colour.
Spread mix into pan and bake in moderate oven for about 40mins.
Stand 5 for 5mins before turning on to a wire rack to cool.
Spread cold cake with icing.

Melt butter in a saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in combined coffee and water.
Add honey, essence and half the sifted icing sugar.
Gradually add more icing sugar to make a spreadable mix.


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Caramel Walnut Slice and Sleep Deprivation

For whatever reason, I am not sleeping. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really want to but I am just not able to stay asleep at night. I wake up every two hours or so, spend some time awake, fall asleep again only to wake up 2 hours after I last woke. I generally don’t sleep fantastically but this is ridiculous. I have gone from a mainly caffeine free diet over the past 2 days to functioning only with the help of strong black coffee (which is probably not helping me sleep either although I do try to cut out the coffee after midday)it is a vicious cycle. I have done all the dietary things and the good sleep hygiene practises to no avail. I feel like a barely functioning zombie, if I don’t sleep tonight then it is off to the doc I go for some chemical help just to get some rest.

Just went to the loo (because black coffee will do that to you) and almost fell asleep reading my Twitter feed (as we all do in the toilet). Honestly? Is there a reason that sleep is not an option at 2 in the morning but at 9.30am with a system full of coffee it is all I can do to NOT fall asleep? *shakes fist at the universe*

Meanwhile I have made another slice, caramel of course. This slice was not my favourite out of the caramel collection but it is still a tasty slice that deserves to be shared, if you like walnuts then it will be right up your alley. It is sweet and nutty, a lot less ‘full on caramel’ than most of what I have made lately. It was a little tricky to get out of the pan as the base is thin but solid and the topping is delicate and soft but with perseverance I managed to get it out with a minimum of damage.

Caramel Walnut Slice

Base
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut
60g butter

Topping
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut
90g walnut pieces
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Base: Sift flour into bowl, add sugar and coconut, mix well.
Melt butter over low heat, add to dry ingredients, mix well.
Press mixture into greased 28cm x 18cm lamington tin, bake in moderate oven 15 minutes.
Topping: Lightly beat eggs and vanilla with fork, add coconut, chopped walnuts, brown sugar, baking powder, mix well.
Spread mixture over partly cooked base, return to moderate oven and bake further 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is cooked.
Cool in tin; cut into squares or slices.


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A small slice of coffee

I did do some baking over the weekend. I decided I needed to fill in some of my alone time by stocking the freezer up with things I don’t really need.

My first thought was something ‘coffee’. I don’t often drink coffee these days although I used to be a consumer of large quantities some years ago. I am developing quite an appreciation for tea these days as coffee, for some reason, leaves me feeling a little ill and gives me the ‘I must clean my teeth right NOW’ feeling that is hard to ignore and harder to achieve when you are out in public.

I still appreciate the flavour of coffee though and wanted something to mimic that without making me want to race for a sink and a brush.

I found this recipe and I was a bit sceptical, 3 layers, refrigerating the topping, grating the topping, cooking on the stove, it all seemed too hard. I persevered though and I am glad that I did.

A little reminiscent of caramel slice, this is less obviously a dessert masquerading as a biscuit. The coffee flavour is there but delicate. It was good on its own but would make a great dessert with a good vanilla ice-cream.

Enjoy!

Coffee Streusel Slice

BASE
125g (4oz) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup self-raising flour

FILLING
400g can sweetened condensed milk
30g (1oz) butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
3 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (I used pecans coz I had them)

TOPPING
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
125g (4oz) butter

Base: Cream butter and sugar until just combined, stir in sifted flours in two lots, mix to a firm dough. Press evenly over base of well-greased 30cm x 25cm swiss roll tin.
Bake in moderate oven 10 minutes, spread with filling.
Grate topping evenly over surface, bake in moderate oven further 10 to 15 minutes,
or until topping feels firm to touch. Stand 15 minutes before cutting; leave to cool in
tin. Cut into bars or slices.

Filling: Combine condensed milk, butter, golden syrup and coffee in saucepan, stir over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble on base of pan.
Continue stirring briskly for about 3 minutes, or until mixture is thick and beginning to catch on base of pan; stir in walnuts.

Topping: Sift dry ingredients into basin, rub in butter. Mix to a firm dough, refrigerate 30 minutes before grating coarsely.

P.S. I double batched this so I’d have plenty to freeze (thank goodness it was good LOL) and cooked it in 2 pans. Worked out fine.