Recipes

Kerry-Anne’s Hot Milk Sponge

A lovely vanilla sponge, firm enough to be used with fondant.  Bakes with a flat top.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 23 cm
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

  • 125 g butter or margarine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180° C and prepare your baking tin.  
  • Bring butter and milk to the boil then switch off.
  • Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla essence to the egg mixture.
  • Sift flour and baking powder into a separate bowl.
  • Add the flour and baking powder to egg mix and fold in with a metal spoon.
  • Add the hot milk mix to egg mix and blend well. 
  • Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean (cooking time depends on the size of your tin) usually between 30-45 min.

Julie’s Killer Brownies

These brownies are the ones that people keep coming back for, definitely my best recipe
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Baking
Servings: 16 brownies
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

  • 250 g butter
  • 350 g dark chocolate
  • 10 ml vanilla essence
  • 10 ml coffee powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 225 g castor sugar
  • 75 g self raising flour
  • 150 g chocolate chips
  • 175 g pecan nuts

Instructions

  • Butter and flour a 23cm square cake tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  • In a glass or ceramic bowl mix the butter, chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Heat this in the microwave until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and castor sugar together. Fold in the self raising flour.
  • To this mixture add the melted chocolate and butter, and mix well. Then fold in the chocolate chips and pecan nuts.
  • Pour all this into the baking tin and bang a few times on the counter top to dislodge any large air bubbles.
  • Bake in a slow oven for about 40 minutes. The mixture should have a defined crust on top and should not be wobbly, but it will still be slightly soft to the touch and a skewer will NOT come out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and leave until completely cold (preferably over night) before cutting. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Notes

The brownies can be stored for about a week in a Tupperware or about a month if frozen.

Kerry-Anne's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Kerry-Anne brought us the vanilla hot milk sponge and now a recipe for cupcakes - oil-based with buttermilk to ensure maximum moisture!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Baking
Servings: 24 Cupcakes
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  • Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until foamy and pale.
  • Mix in the oil and beat lightly again.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt.
  • Gently, with a metal spoon fold in the flour a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk, ending with flour until all the ingredients have been added.
  • Spoon the mix out using a 1/4 cup measure into paper cases.
  • This mix makes about 24 large or 36 medium sized cupcakes.
  • Bake in a hot oven 180° C for approximately 15 minutes. 

Notes

Mixture can be halved or doubled.

Butter Icing

Sufficient for one cake or one batch of cupcakes
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Baking
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

  • 250 g butter room temperature
  • 1 kg icing sugar
  • 5 ml vanilla essence
  • A little milk or water or cream

Instructions

  • Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric beater or wooden spoon. Add the icing sugar a little at a time and beat well. Add the vanilla and thin the mixture out with a little milk or water to achieve a spreadable consistency.
  • Add the icing sugar a little at a time and beat well.
  • Add the vanilla and thin the mixture out with a little milk or water to achieve a spreadable consistency.

Notes

Flavour variations: coffee (mix a little instant coffee with hot water)
lemon zest/juice
orange zest/juice
cocoa (heat the cocoa by mixing with boiling water to enhance taste and colour of cocoa)
cream cheese (replace half of the butter with cream cheese)
fruit purees (blend fruit and add in place of the water/milk/cream
any other essences

Aneeka's Red Velvet Cupcakes

Perfect red velvet cupcakes but this recipe can also be baked as a cake
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Baking
Keyword: cream cheese icing, Red velvet
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • cups cake flour
  • cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • cups oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp red food colouring Moir's Crimson recommended
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the icing:

  • 100 g soft butter or Wooden Spoon Margarine if you want it to be white-white
  • 125 g cream cheese Philadelphia recommended because it is nice and firm and not watery, which can cause the icing to split
  • 2 cups icing
  • 1 t lemon juice/ a little squeeze of a lemon to taste and/or 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180° C, and prepare your muffin tin, by lining each with a paper case.
  • In a bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, cocoa and bicarb) and set aside.
  • In another, larger, bowl mix all the wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla).
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and combine.
  • Spoon into your cupcake cases, filling each to 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the icing

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer until combined (about 3 minutes).
  • Gradually add the icing sugar, beating all the while until it forms a smooth icing.
  • The add the lemon juice and/or the vanilla to taste.

123 Biscuits

Delicious butter cookies, perfect for decorating with royal icing
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Baking
Keyword: Biscuits, Cookies
Servings: 12 large cookies
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

  • 100 g castor sugar or granulated sugar
  • 200 g butter room temperature
  • 300 g flour
  • 3 ml salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 160°Cream the butter and sugar together.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together.
  • Add the flour and salt and work the mixture to form a soft dough.
  • Chill the mixture until firm.
  • Roll our dough between two plastic sheets and cut out shapes.
  • Place on a greased or lined baking sheet and bake at 160°C until firm to the touch.

Notes

Variations:
Divide your mixture into two and add 15ml cocoa powder to one half to make two tone biscuits.
Flavour the mixture with grated lemon rind, vanilla essence or almond essence for different flavours.
Decorate the tops of your biscuits with nuts, cherries or candied peel.

Deluxe Christmas Cake

Perfect dark and boozy fruit cake
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time2 hrs
Maturing30 d
Total Time30 d 4 hrs
Course: Baking
Keyword: Fruit Cake
Servings: 23 cm
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

  • 250 g cake mix
  • 200 g currants
  • 50 g prunes pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 250 g dates coarsely chopped
  • 250 g glace cherries
  • 100 g mixed peel
  • 100 g glace ginger
  • 200 g nuts I use pecan but any will do – roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • 80 g chunky marmalade I sometimes use apricot jam here
  • 100 g treacle sugar
  • 125 g butter
  • 200 ml water
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 ml espresso or 15ml instant coffee dissolved in a little water
  • 250 g cake flour sifted
  • 15 ml cocoa powder
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • Brandy for soaking

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 23cm baking tin, make sure that your lining comes up the sides about 5cm above the top of the tin.
  • In a big pot mix all the dried fruit, cherries, mixed peel, ginger and nuts. Add the zest and juice of the orange and lemon, marmalade, butter, sugar and water.
  • Bring to the boil and give it a good stir to mix everything. Then let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Leave it to cool, you should be able to hold the pot in your hands comfortably (or leave it overnight and finish off the following day). Once the mixture has cooled add the eggs and espresso and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients in and mix well again.
  • Spoon the mixture into your tin and bake for about 2 hours. The cake should feel firm to the touch and a skewer should come out clean. If the cake I getting a bit dark on the top and not cooked through yet, cover the top with foil and turn down the heat slightly.
  • When you take it out of the oven splash a good amount of brandy over the top while it is still hot. That should soak in quite quickly, after that you can remove it from the tin. You can eat the cake as is then, but it is definitely better if you keep topping up the brandy over the next few weeks.
  • I usually wrap the cake in foil and plastic wrap and once a week I water it with another healthy splash of brandy (as much as it can soak up at a time), each time turning it over to get even distribution. After a couple of weeks you will see that it has become quite moist and can’t really absorb any more brandy. I usually know when it is done because it kind of puts out a dark sticky syrup at the bottom.

Notes

For a non-alcoholic version soak with apricot juice, however this does not preserve the cake so that eat within a couple of weeks. Happy cooking!

Moist Chocolate Cake

Perfect, classic chocolate cake
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Baking
Keyword: Chocolate cake
Servings: 23 cm
Author: Julie Donald

Ingredients

  • 350 g Cake Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 300 g Castor Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Golden Syrup
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 300 ml Oil
  • 300 ml Milk

Instructions

  • Sieve together flour, cocoa, bicarb and BP. Stir in sugar.
  • Mix together syrup, eggs, oil and milk and then add to the dry ingredients.
  • Bake in large greased cake tin (or ring tin)
  • Bake at 160˚C / 325˚F for approx. 1 hour (until skewer comes out clean)
  • Cover with caramel or icing of your choice and enjoy!