Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Best Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate and Cinnamon Buttercream Icing

A heart warming request from grandsons for 'a cake baked by Granny' for their school lunch boxes saw me delve into my 'Brown Book' for this recipe. An easy-to-make one bowl cake it was a regular in my children's lunch boxes more years ago than I care to say here!

The recipe means a great deal to me bringing back wonderful memories of our late friend, Val, who passed it on to me. Those memories include the wonderful late night suppers that were a Thursday night Table Tennis tradition, the resulting 'tired eyes' on Fridays at school, and celebrating a Grand Final win with too much Southern Comfort! Ouch!

I make this as a large slab cake for general use ie lunch boxes, or in two round cake tins if making a celebration cake with layers. The choice is yours!

The cake also keeps well in the freezer if you are needing to plan ahead. If by chance you have cake left over for any reason it is fabulous in a great trifle!

The Best Vanilla Cake

3 cups Self Raising flour
4 tablespoons custard powder
250 gms soft butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs (I use 700gm size)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the flour and custard powder into your large mixer bowl. Add the sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla.

Beat together on a medium speed for 10 minutes.

For slab cake line a roasting pan with baking paper. For round cakes use two sponge tins or two 21 cm springform pans.

Bake in a moderate oven (I do 165C in my fan forced oven) for approximately 30 minutes or until golden on top and a skewer pulls out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a cake rack. Carefully turn out and ice.

White Chocolate and Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing

3 cups icing sugar
250 gms soft butter cut into cubes
1/2 cup white chocolate buttons
3 tablespoons milk
Generous pinch of cinnamon

Sift the icing sugar, add the soft butter and beat together slowly for a minute or so to blend the icing sugar and butter together.

Warning: Turn the dial to high - like I did (in a brain fade moment!) - will result in a BIG mess! See what I mean in the picture below!

Melt the white chocolate buttons in a ceramic bowl using short blasts in the microwave to do this. Stir gently to a paste and add one tablespoon of warmed milk (blood temperature). Stir until thoroughly combined. 

Add to the icing sugar mixture with the remaining cold milk. Beat on high until a rich and fluffy buttercream has formed. Add the cinnamon and beat thoroughly. 

Ice your cake generously. Sprinkle over with coconut.




Thursday, 9 October 2014

In My Kitchen ... in October

Life has been busy this month! Four generations of our family gathered for a family holiday at our newly renovated beach house at Coffin Bay. It certainly made for fun in the kitchen!

Continuing the journey to preserve our family's culinary history Yiayia - 88 years young - taught us how to make Chicken Pilaf. It is one of our family's most favourite dishes.

Three enthusiastic (and hungry) grandsons were my assistants baking these yummy Anzac biscuits. Given how tasty the biscuit dough seemed to be I'm amazed that we had leftover to bake!

Anzac biscuits are perfect with a cup of Greek coffee we found! I love these cups and plates found at  IKEA.

A family gathering called for Sunday morning Greek pancakes. This was all that was left of this local (Eyre Peninsula) award winning honey when we had finished! It is a beautiful honey - I can highly recommend it!

In my holiday kitchen I made vast quantities of hommous. I prefer to do this from scratch soaking the chickpeas overnight rather than using cans of chickpeas.

I'm looking forward to trying these capers which are produced in the Southern Flinders Ranges.

Cooked up in a light fresh tomato and chilli broth by daughter Sophie, these succulent fresh mussels fresh from the sea were amongst the best I've ever eaten.

Finally, in my holiday kitchen we enjoyed salmon as our 'Catch of the Day'. Caught at what must be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world - Gunyah Beach in the Coffin Bay National Park - the boys were well pleased with themselves.

Thank you so much for visiting my holiday kitchen. Do you too, enjoy locating/catching/cooking local produce when on holiday?

To peek in other fabulous kitchens around the world visit Celia's Fig Jam and Lime Cordial blog where the In My Kitchen series is hosted. It is well worth the visit!

Love to hear from you!



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