Hot Milk Layer Cake

I get these days (usually at the end of the month), where I’m desperate to bake something new. This might sound like a lovely thing, but as we all know, at the end of the month the fridge is starting to look a little bare just like our bank accounts and I cannot go buy any exciting ingredients to make the things i dream of making. Well one fine day I decided I would see what ingredients I had available and bake in my new cake tin. I have some really scary old fashioned recipe books. Ones where the pages are mostly brown and they have cucumber jellied salad and other famous dishes from the disgusting 90s. In this recipe book you come across “banana salad with peanut cream” and “lightning cream cheese pudding”. So after dodging the weird and wild combinations I found a very ordinary cake called a hot milk cake. This cake is a very simple sponge cake, but at least it satisfied my craving to bake and provided something for afternoon tea.

So here is the recipe for when u have limited ingredients, but need some baking fun!

Hot Milk Layer Cake

250ml milk (1 cup)

30ml sunflower oil (2T)

300g castor sugar (1 1/2 cup)

4 extra large eggs

275g cake flour (2cups)

15ml baking powder (1T)

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two layer cake tins. I used 18cm tins, and line the base of the tins with waxed paper.

Heat the milk to boil and add oil.Beat the caster sugar and eggs thoroughly until light and thick. Sift the cake flour and baking powder together, fold lightly into sugar mix. Add the hot milk mixture, folding in lightly too.

Pour the batter into the 2 tins. bake the cake layers for about 30min until golden brown and done. Remove to Cool. Fill and ice the cake as you like ūüôā

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Espresso Streusel Cake

Yum, this cake is slowly becoming a new favorite. i’ve had so much spiced apple cake, but then i found this beauty. Apples, espresso, chocolate ganache, giant peanuts…this cake is a circus of fun ingredients all put together. The giant peanuts on top add a ice little crunch to the soft apple chocolate centre, all with a hint of fresh espresso. Perfect with some whipped coffee flavored cream, and of course…some wine.

Market day

2 weeks ago I was asked to partake in a small market that a friend was organising. She had seen my blog and envisioned a small tea garden with a few sweet treats that would draw people to the market and create an environment that all ladies would love…cake, coffee, tea and more cake ūüôā So after much planning, late nights of baking (which I loved) and a few too many dirty dishes the market day arrived. With my mom beside me for help and moral support, we carefully packed the car with all our treats.

The drive to Kenilworth was filled with my mom’s lovely voice, sharing memories of her ouma and how she was a master baker. She shared stories of a house smelling of cakes, boxes and boxes of flowers made with icing. This great-Ouma of mine was the best baker in town and any wedding demanded her baking attention if they wanted the best cake. So after the inspirational family history we eventually arrived at the venue, unpacked the cakes and began to sell them, piece by piece.

The vibe was lovely, people sat drinking wine and eating strawberry cake. The espresso streusel cake sold out first and many bags of fennel and lemon cookies were taken home for the hubbies. I loved every minute, serving my cakes, receiving compliments and encouragement. It feels good to do something you love.

Thank you to everyone who showed their faces and bought my cake. You have fed the dream and I look forward to seeing you all again with new cakes and inspiration.

Strawberry Cake

I recently found this recipe and immediately loved the way it looked. This cake is pink inside, tastes of strawberries, and is decorated with cream cheese frosting and ¬†sweet strawberry pieces…what more could one ask for? While reading through the recipe I was a little perturbed by the fact that the main ingredient was a box cake mix. Now I have nothing against box cakes or biscuits and I realize it is convenient and easy for the average person who does not have time to bake. But for me, I find my joy in the baking process, ¬†measuring the dry ingredients with my cute measuring cups, getting my hands covered in the raw mixture, buying the ingredients and knowing that i didn’t just add water and “tadaa”, ¬†a cake appeared!
I tried it anyway, because along with the box cake mix there was pink jelly, chopped strawberries and a few other things. To tell the truth I was quite intrigued by the jelly in the cake.  This cake is really moist and tasty with its strawberry flavour and colour. It was easy to put together and the cream cheese frosting complimented the sweet strawberry taste.
This cake mixture will also make for great strawberry cupcakes and the fact that it is pink inside makes it perfect for any little girls tea party. I have two nieces and I would love to bake this for them on a summers day. We will enjoy it in the garden with some tea for all the stuffed toys and some strawberry cake for ourselves. I want to pick flowers for our table and tell them I think all cakes should be colourful, and maybe after our cake we can paint…with pink of course.

Cherry Cakes

When I was about 8 my mom had a friend who I loved to visit, just as much as my mother did. This friend loved bears, she took us on adventures and blew lots of bubbles. She told the best stories and had all these amazing little treasures in her house. I used to love looking at all her bears…wooden ones, fluffy ones, teeny tiny ones, massive ones, pictures of bears, books and lots of little things to keep any child’s imagination fed.
One thing I always looked forward to were sleepovers at Meg’s house. My brother, sister and I would ¬†watch old or animated movies with Meg and explore her collection. I remember ¬†Meg’s love for tea, her giant mugs and her ability to make yummy potato soup. But what I remember most and have taken with me into adulthood is Meg’s incredible Cherry Cakes. ¬†Every cherry in these cakes is ¬†a little surprise, a sweet treat in the vanilla cake. These Cakes have no need for frills such as icing sugar, but prove to be perfect accompanied with a giant mug of tea and great company.

photos by my talented husband Sean Kelland

Amazing, Rich Chocolate & Coffee Cake

I’m not one for rich chocolate cakes. I find they are often over-rated, dry and boring and would¬†much¬†rather enjoy something fruity or a creamy, bitter cheesecake. But this, this rich chocolate and coffee delight, wow….hmmm….I wanted to drink the chocolate glaze, I wanted to smooth it onto my breakfast toast and put a tub of it in my handbag. Or as Joy the Baker says…use it as an “edible¬†face-mask”.

Everything great goes into this cake: real dark chocolate, sour cream, buttermilk, real yummy coffee….This is a chocolate cake I savour and dream about. I also love it because I got to use my new ring cake tin and it came out of it so perfectly. This is not a crumbly dry cake, but it is smooth and heavy at the same time, it is rich, but not too sweet.

This “Amazing, Rich Chocolate and Coffee Cake” has revolutionized the way I see chocolate cake. I am hesitant to fall for the¬†chocolate¬†cake that the¬†average¬†coffee shop offers. The one that leaves you feeling¬†disappointed, conned into ordering something chocolate and not getting more than dry powdery cocoa. I want real chocolate,not only cocoa, real coffee, not granuals. I want this “Amazing, Rich Chocolate and Coffee Cake”..and you should too. It’s totally worth it!

Oatmeal Banana Bread

Its a rainy day in Somerset West and the dear husband is out looking at cars again…his favorite¬†pastime. I’ve been home looking through recipes again…a favorite pastime of mine, and I came across this low fat oatmeal banana bread recipe. So being a baker-wife who loves to bake so the house smells good, I threw this together, put it in the oven and washed the dishes. ¬†I hate washing the dishes, I can bake all day, but the unfortunate thing is that with baking comes dishes. Bla. Its totally worth it so I ¬†shall not complain.

The dear husband came home just in time to smell the bread baking, gave me a “thank you for being a baker-wife” kiss and went to switch on the tv to watch¬†Portugal¬†torture South Korea on the soccer field. He was however eager to taste the delicious bread, thickly spread with butter and strawberry jam.

This is a great guilt-free bread, healthy, tasty and great when you’ve put on a few winter kilograms. I just know it wont last long….”would you like another piece dear husband?”

Here is the recipe so you can have a piece too:

with thanks to joythebaker

makes 1 loaf

– 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Р1/2 tsp  salt
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Р3 tsp canola or walnut  oil
– 1 large egg, beaten
– 2 medium egg whites, beaten
– 3 large bananas, ripe
– 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 180¬įC. ¬†Grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon.

In a separate smaller bowl, mash bananas with a fork, then add oil and whole egg and mix well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well again.  The batter will be very thick.

In a clean bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the 2 egg whites until medium stiff peaks form. (When you lift the mixer, the peaks should be stiff and not fold over) Gently fold the egg whites into the batter in three additions.

Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Best served with butter and jam or honey.

Fennel & Lemon cookies

Fresh out the oven…Fennel & lemon cookies! so yummo. The fennel adds such a subtle but great¬†flavor. ¬†These cookies don’t last very long in our house. They are perfect with that hourly cup of tea…hmmm….good idea…I think it’s time for tea and cookies.

Thanks to my Sean for the photography skills.

a beginning . . .

I love to dream of running a small baking business from home, baking scrumptious cakes for tea parties and coffee shops. Well today I delivered a cake to Ria Cronje of “Mad About Junk” . She runs a fabulous antique/2nd hand junk store on the sir Lowrys pass road, Somerset West, and has started offering her clients tea and coffee and homebaked cookies. The garden is so beautiful and filled with yesterdays treasures, a magical place to sit and enjoy some Koek en Tee. So this is a beginning of that dream, looking forward to seeing how it unfolds and my husband is looking forward to being official tester!!

Below is one of my favourites, a spiced apple cake. One just like it was delivered this morning to Mad About Junk.