Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Rainbow Sponge Cake

One of my friends recently returned home after living in Germany for 7 months, this event called for special cake! This cake was inspired by photos doing the rounds on the Internet of a rainbow cake that is made with all the colours of the rainbow layered in one batch. The idea is to make the outside of the cake very plain, then when you cut into the cake you are surprised with an explosion of colour!

The very vivid colours are achieved by using gel food colouring that can be found at speciality baking stores. I used a recipe for sponge cake that I found here.

Rainbow Sponge Cake
Recipe for one large square layer or two smaller round layers

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 15ml Lemon juice
  • 140g White sugar
  • 25ml Warm water
  • 140g Cake flour
  • 5ml Baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat in the lemon juice and half of the sugar.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and water together. Slowly add the rest of the sugar while beating.
  4. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites.
  5. Sift together dry ingredients and fold into the egg mixture.
  6. Pour into two greased 23cm diameter cake tins or one 30cm x 30cm square pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.

To make the rainbow layers, divide the egg yolk, egg white and flour mixtures. Colour the two separate egg yolk mixes and then proceeded with the rest of the instructions for each colour. When the batters are finished, spread the one colour in the pan first then carefully spread the second colour on top.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Creamy Simonzola & Mushroom Chicken on Butternut Mash

Recently I was lucky enough to attend the Simonsberg Day Out at Diemersdal wine estate. We started off by tasting the range of cheese that Simonsberg has to offer then we moved on to the kitchen where chef Nic van Wyk prepared some impressive dishes that incorporated Simonsberg cheese. As a parting gift we received a few cheeses to take home as well as a beautiful apron (which have both been put to good use!).

I must admit that I am not a lover of blue cheese, or rather I wasn't until I tasted Simonzola. This creamy cheese might just be my gateway blue cheese! In this dish I melted the cheese into a white sauce with some mushrooms, the flavours complemented each other very well even if I do say so myself. So without further ado, here is the recipe for my cheesy creation!

Creamy Simonzola & Mushroom Chicken on Butternut Mash
Serves 2 hungry people

  • 30ml Flour
  • 30ml Butter
  • 250ml Milk, warm
  • 30g Simonzola cheese (quarter of the triangle)
  • 125g Button Mushrooms, chopped (half a punnet)
  • 4 Chicken breasts, cooked
  • 1 Purple Onion, cooked
  • Equal amounts of potato and butternut, cooked
  • Butter, milk and salt to taste

For the sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add the flour to the melted butter, mix until well incorporated.
  3. Heat the mixture, whisk in the milk slowly and let the sauce thicken.
  4. Add mushrooms and cheese and let the sauce simmer.

For the mash:

  1. Mash together equal amounts of butternut and potato with some butter.
  2. Add milk until a smooth consistency is reached.
  3. Add salt to taste.

Serve the chicken topped with cheese sauce and purple onions on the butternut mash. Enjoy!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Giant Sticky Hot Cross Buns

It seems like hot cross buns are everywhere; in stores, in tweets, in blogs! In sticking with my current yeast facination I have chosen to make yeasted hot cross buns. I found this lovely recipe on iky200306's blog. Go check out her recipe, her hot cross buns look perfect!

The recipe said the dough should be shaped into 12 balls. Not being one to disregard direct instructions I made 12 balls. What did I get? 12 GIANT HOT CROSS BUNS! The buns turned out so giant that next time I will shape the dough into 24 balls. Those crosses of mine could also do with a bit more practice!

The end product went down well with all my beta testers ("Ten out of ten for the hot cross bunnies produced in tiny oven. :-D"). The only problem I had with these buns were photographing them! Anyone have ideas on how to dress up a hot cross bun? Next time I will experiment with a bit more mixed spice in the dough.

Hot Cross Buns
Makes 12-24

  • 1kg Bread flour
  • 10ml Salt
  • 10g Instant yeast
  • 80ml Sugar
  • 5ml Ground cinnamon
  • 15ml Mixed spice
  • 60g Butter, melted
  • 200ml Warm milk
  • 375ml Warm water
  • 1 Egg
  • 250ml Raisin & sultana mix


  • 60ml Cake flour
  • 15ml Oil
  • Enough water to make a paste


  • 100ml Apricot jam
  • 200ml Water
  • 5ml Ground cinnamon
  • 10ml Sugar

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients except the raisins together.
  2. Beat milk, butter and egg together, add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Add water gradually until the dough is soft, not sticky. (water quantity is what I used, you may need more or less depending on your location and weather)
  4. Knead dough for 3 minutes. Add raisins and knead further for 3 minutes.
  5. Place dough in an oiled plastic bag, leave in a warm area to rise until doubled in size (about 40minutes).
  6. Remove dough and knock it down. Shape the dough into balls and place into a well greased dish. (12 balls were too large for me, 16-20 is probably better). Cover and leave to rise for 20 minutes.
  7. Mix ingredients for the crosses. Pipe on to the dough just before baking.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.
  9. Boil ingredients for the glaze together until it reaches the consistency of syrup.
  10. While the buns are cooling, brush the tops with the glaze. Glaze the tops another 2 times before digging in!