In the kitchen with Tallulah

Harry Potter Themed Cake

This was a real rush job, a 19th Birthday Cake for my friend. The cake itself was actually very nice, but this was one of my first cake disasters. For some reason, the icing sort of melted of the cake and down the sides. It was very strange, when we opened the tin there was practically no icing left on top! So after a quick fix-up, it didn’t look half bad (but definitely not my normal standard).

My friend Jacob is a big Harry Potter fan, like me, so of course his cake had to be Harry Potter themed. I made a Gryffindor scarf, Harry’s glasses and Hedwig the Owl out of white fondant (dyed red and yellow for the scarf and black for the glasses), and the wand and broomstick out of marzipan that I dyed brown with cocoa powder.

Lemon Almond Yoghurt Cake

(from Gluten Free Goddess)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
  • 5 medium free-range organic eggs
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon zest (fine grated peel) from 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 9-inch Springform or cake pan with buttered parchment paper.
In a bowl whisk together the almond flour, sweet rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and sugar.
Beat the eggs in separate large mixing bowl until they are light and foamy. Beat in the cream cheese and yogurt until combined.
Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla; beat to combine.
Add in the flour mixture a bit at a time and beat on medium speed for a minute or two.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the center of a pre-heated 350ºF. oven for about 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake emerges clean.
Cool on a wire rack; and release from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 10 servings.

Frosting – I iced this cake with lemon cream cheese frosting and decorated with fondant/marzipan shapes.

  • 80g cream cheese, softened
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice (be liberal with this, add to taste)

Beat the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer in a small bowl. Gradually add sifted icing sugar and lemon juice, and beat until combined.

 

Past Victories

I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks which has unfortunately meant no baking for me :( This post is more for me to look through old photos of baking I’ve done and because I’m bored. Nonetheless, if you’re out there, enjoy!

The Gingerbread House 2010

 

My parents’ wedding cake, 2011 (Lemon Sour Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting).

My aunt’s wedding cake (White Chocolate Mud Cake with White Chocolate Ganache)

*I made this when I was about 13, and it was some of my earliest work, hence the messy icing job. Don’t judge me!

Bastille Day Cupcakes

I nanny for a couple who own a French restaurant. For Bastille Day (14th July) they commissioned me to make 50 cupcakes decorated in red, white and blue. They were apparently a big hit, and this is what they looked like:

*They were lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Decorated with a star tip nozzle (piped badly) and fondant flowers. I made a rose for each one (alternating red and blue) as well as a blossom-type flower in the opposite colour, then piped a little bit of icing into the centre of those. Finally, I shook edible glitter over each one. Voila!

 

Cookies to Die For!

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I got this recipe from one of the many blogs that I follow, and for about 2 weeks they were on my “To Bake” list. And boy, were they worth the wait. They. Are. Incredible. Songs should be sung about these cookies. Shakespeare should come back to life and write a play about them. They’re that good. So what on earth are you waiting for?! Get thee to the kitchen and bake. Rinse and repeat, many many times (they’ll be gone before you can say ‘Cookies, cookies, where for art thou?’

Lemon Crinkle Cookies (from Lauren’s Latest)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick/113g butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 generous tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar

Cream the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, lemon juice and zest, mixing until well combined. Stir in sifted dry ingredients (excluding icing sugar), until just combined. Using your hands, bring the dough together into a ball. Wrap and glad wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line baking trays with baking paper. Place the icing sugar in a bowl. Roll the dough into teaspoon-ish sized balls and roll in the icing sugar. Place on prepared tray and repeat with the remaining dough. Press with the bottom of a drinking glass and bake for 9-11 minutes, until bottoms begin to brown and cookies look matte (not shiny). (I gave them 10 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool on pans for a few minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool completely, bearing in mind that by the time they are completely cooled, there might not be many left….

Brown Sugar Crumbly Cupcakes

This recipe was originally for a cake. It was in my Mum’s collection of family recipes, and it has become our family favourite – we’ve made it for practically every occasion this year. Then, we came up with the idea of making cupcakes instead of a cake out of the mix. They came out great, and everyone loved them! WARNING: Always double the recipe as these do not last long. May result in eating of multiple cupcakes in one sitting.

Brown Sugar Crumbly Cupcakes

Cake mix:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oz butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk

Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oz butter, softened
  • 4 tblsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350F. Prepare two cupcake trays with paper cupcake cases. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients for the cupcake mix, and add the brown sugar. Using your fingers, rub in the butter. Add the eggs and mix well. Gradually add the milk and stir to combine completely. Spoon into prepared cupcake trays, filling to about halfway – be sure to leave room for the topping. In a new bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon and rub in the butter. Sprinkle the crumbly topping on the cupcakes generously. Bake the cupcakes for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean or a little moist (try to insert into the cake not the topping). Cool on a wire rack for five minutes and serve. Best served warm, but can be cold too. Enjoy!

Cookie Time!

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Wow, it’s been a while! I made this blog in the mid-trimester break when I had a ton of free time, and then I came back to reality. But, I made cookies on Sunday and they were so good that I figured I ought to post about them, in case the cookie-loving masses had started reading this blog. Are you out there? Anyone?

Chocolate Chip Biscuits, Tallulah Style
(Slightly adapted from “Chocolate Chip Biscuits” in All Things Nice – Jo Seagar)

I doubled the recipe, as I normally do, so here is the doubled quantity. It seems ridiculous to make half, because let me tell you that these biscuits were gone within 24 hours (although I do live in a 12 person house…)

Ingredients

  • 150g butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 generous cup of chocolate chips (I always just cut up a block of chocolate so that instead of little chips, the chocolate is big chunks)
  • 1 cup of either ground or chopped almonds (In this batch, I split the mixture into three bowls and added chopped almonds to one, ground to the second and none to the third) – You can use any chopped/ground nuts that you choose, I just chose almonds this time.

Prehead the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Beat together the melted butter, sugars and eggs. Sift the flour and baking soda and add with chocolate and almonds. Stir until well combined. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, place on a greased oven tray (you can also spray or line with baking paper) and press slightly with the palm of your hand – I tend to use a little less than a full teaspoon of dough per biscuit, as I prefer to have more small biscuits than less big biscuits. Leave a little room for biscuits to spread. Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine only tend to need 8, as you want them chewy) or until golden brown. Leave on the tray for 3 minutes to cool and harden before transfering to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container when cool – although if yours is anything like my family, they won’t last long!

Makes approximately 60 smallish biscuits.

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It’s Saturday!

It’s halfway through Easter Break. The first 5 weeks of Uni was….exhausting. But now it’s the holidays and I get to bake. However, I’m staying with my cousins up in Auckland (I live in Wellington) and there’s only so much baking I can do without all of my tools, recipe books, not to mention the fact that I’m staying with an adorable 4-month-old baby…

So while I had my first successful baking post yesterday (yummy chocolate cupcakes which my cousins and I have been gorging ourselves on), I was at a loss of what to post today. And what should come up on my Google Reader, but a post from one of my favourite blogs giving ideas on blog posts!

When I get home to Wellington, I plan to spend the remainder of my holiday planning my party (I’m turning 18 soon and I have to buy a dress, shoes and party decorations), and baking! But for now, check out my list of my favourite foods:

Top Ten Foods (At this point in time):

  • Chilli Con Queso = My Dad makes this for me quite a lot (often the result of me begging him to make it…) and I just cannot get enough of it. Melted cheese and chilli = YUM. I think it goes with everything – I’ve dipped corn chips in it, put it on bread and crackers, and have plans to try it with pasta, popcorn and my favourite spicy chicken nibbles. I will post the recipe next time I make it.
  • Spinach and Pumpkin Lasagne = My friend and I made this at her house for dinner a couple of months ago, and I loved it so much I’ve made it four times since then. The thing is, I’m not normally a fan of spinach. Or pumpkin. But together, they are amazing! Again, recipe will come soon.
  • Gelato = I’m addicted to this stuff. Here in Wellington, there’s an amazing Gelato shop called Kaffee Eis. They have a huge variety of flavours, and I think I’ve tried every single one. I’ve made Gelato myself a few times, but no matter where it comes from, I love it. I will always love Lemon – there’s nothing better on a hot day than a refreshing scoop of tangy, tart Lemon gelato. But, I find myself cheating on Lemon with what I consider to be the best combination: Chocolate and Raspberry. YUM!
  • Pasta = Will forever hold a place in my heart. Macaroni and cheese. Creamy chicken. But most of all, Carbonara. It’s that perfect combination of parmesan, eggs, and bacon that makes this dish delicious.
  • Spicy Chicken = Of any sort. Marinaded, crispy, drumsticks or nibbles. I love spicy food, and this definately extends to chicken. I tend to be more a fan of the kind with a cruncy coating – I make drumsticks that are soaked in a spicy marinade and then coated in crunchy, spicy breadcrumb/cornflake coating. These could make any problem go away.

And there you have it! These are a few of my favourite things, which will most likely crop up again. And again… :)


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