Ginger Cake

Ginger Cake
I have two ginger cake recipes that I bake with, this is one (obviously!) and you can find the other here. The other recipe is quite a light cake with a sharper flavour thanks to the addition of glace ginger. In comparison, this recipe makes quite a heavy, sticky gingerbread flavoured cake – absolutely delicious, comforting and morish. The cake is quite high in sugar, with both golden syrup and sugar making up a large component of the ingredient list – so enjoy as a special treat.

It is a favourite of my Father-in-law’s. In fact, it was his lovely wife that first shared this recipe with me and I have since converted it for the Thermomix. Thank you Helen :)

Ginger Cake
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: Large cake
Ingredients
  • 170g butter
  • 170g raw sugar
  • 225g golden syrup
  • 340g SR flour
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1½ Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 235g milk
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
Method
  1. Grease and line (or flour) a very deep ring tin or silicone mould. I prefer a silicone mould as I find the cake easier to remove. If you don't have a large tin, use a normal tin plus make an additional 6 muffins with the leftover mixture.
  2. Add butter, sugar and golden syrup to Tmx bowl. Melt and combine at 100 degrees. 3 minutes, speed 2.
  3. Add the flour, spices and bicarb soda and mix for 10 seconds, speed 5.
  4. Measure the milk into the bowl on top of the mixture, then add the vinegar over the milk.
  5. Mix for a further 5 seconds, speed 5.
  6. Add the eggs as the final ingredient and combine 10 seconds, speed 5.
  7. Pour into prepared tin or mould and bake for 35 minutes at 180 degrees. Test with a skewer before removing from oven.
Notes
The cake is quite sticky on the outside once cooked, so let cook in the tin and then gently ease of the tin onto airing rack.

 

Apricot Rock Cakes

Apricot Rock Scones
It’s great when a friend shares a good recipe with you. And even better when she has already written notes on how to to convert for the Thermomix too! Win! (Thanks Penny)

I have happy memories of making rock cakes as a child with my Nanna. They are a good simple recipe to prepare with children who are learning to cook, and older children would probably be able to whip these up on their own.

This version is a little different to the traditional rock cakes my Nanna used to make, they have dried apricots to add sweetness instead of currants.  Which is good if you have fussy little (or big!) eaters who don’t like the look or taste of sultanas or currants in baking. You can leave the lemon rind out if you also have fussy rind eaters. The Thermomix does a pretty good job of chopping the rind very finely though, so they might not even notice 😉

These are a good lunchbox snacks and freeze well, but are extra delicious eaten warm.

Apricot Rock Cakes
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 250g wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75g butter
  • 75g sugar
  • 125g dried apricots
  • Rind of half a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 80g milk
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Put lemon rind into the mixing bowl and grate 10 seconds, speed 8. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  4. Add apricots to the bowl and chop 5 seconds, speed 6. Set aside.
  5. Place butter, flour, mixed spice and baking powder to bowl and combine for 5 seconds, speed 6.
  6. Add sugar. lemon rind and apricots to the mixture and combine for a further 15 seconds, reverse, speed 2.
  7. Add the egg and milk and mix 20 seconds, reverse speed 2.
  8. Roughly dollop spoonfuls of mixture onto prepared tray, don't worry if they are not perfect. Rustic is good!
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until golden on top.
  10. Cool on an airing rack, before serving

 

Upside Down Plum Cake

Upside Down Plum Cake
Upside down cakes are fun to make (and delicous to eat!) This one is perfect for using up fresh stone fruit when it is in season and abundant.

The plums cook at the bottom of the cake tin and create a lovely oozy sauce over the top of the cake when it is tipped out of the tin. They look beautiful too.
This is lovely served warm with double cream or icecream.

Just a few notes on this recipe:
The first time I made this I used a smaller tin, and created a volcano of cake in the oven!! Make sure you use a 22cm tin, you can’t squeeze the mixture into anything smaller.
You could also use apricots for this recipe (instead of plums)
Ensure that you line the base of the baking tin with baking paper, or the cake will stick!
You may need a few more or less of plums depending on how large they are.

Upside Down Plum Cake
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 125g butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (for base of pan)
  • 8-10 fresh plums, halved and stones removed
  • 300g SR flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g sugar
  • 250g buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence
  • Rind of ½ lemon (peel it with a potato peeler)
Method
  1. Grease and line the base of a 22cm round cake pan.
  2. Place rind into TM mixer bowl and grate 15 seconds, speed 8. Remove and set aside.
  3. Put butter in the TM mixer bowl and melt 100 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 2.
  4. Spoon out two tablespoons of melted butter and drizzle over the base of the prepared pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup of brown sugar over the melted butter.
  5. Place the halved plums flat side down to cover the entire base of the pan.
  6. Add all remaining cake batter ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla & lemon rind) to the mixer bowl and mix speed 4-5 for 30 seconds.
  7. Pour the batter over the plums.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a testing skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Leave to sit in the pan for 10 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Tangy Lemon Slice

TangyLemonSlice copy
I was reminded of this delicious slice when my sister-in-law baked it to share while we were holidaying together recently. I won’t tell you just how quickly we demolished it, but we were on holidays, and calories don’t count on holidays, right?!
This is a Woman’s Weekly recipe that I have altered slightly and converted for the Thermomix. If you grew up in a house with Woman’s Weekly cookbooks lining the shelves you may remember this. If not, give it a try.  The texture is lovely, and it certainly is tangy. Perfect afternoon tea fare.

Just a few tips:
I have made this using a lamington tin and a square tin, and it works much better in a square tin.
The recipe uses a total of three lemons.
There is quite a lot of sugar in the recipe, I have reduced it slightly from the original but would be hesitant to reduce it further, as this would compromise the tangy factor. Just enjoy in moderation 😉
When baking the base be careful not to overcook it. As soon as the colour starts to change to light golden put the topping on.

Tangy Lemon Slice
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Ingredients
Base
  • 125g butter
  • 40g icing sugar (or make your own by milling speed 9, for 9 seconds at the start of the recipe)
  • 150g plain flour
Topping
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • Rind of one lemon
  • 125g lemon juice (which is about three large lemons)
  • 40g cornflour
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line (with baking paper) a 23cm square baking pan.
Base
  1. Add butter and icing sugar into Tmx bowl and combine speed 5, 15 seconds.
  2. Add flour and mix speed 6 for a further 20 seconds.
  3. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. Be careful not to over cook.
Topping
  1. While the base is baking make the topping. I am lazy and don't clean the bowl!
  2. Add lemon rind and sugar to bowl and mill speed 9, 20 seconds.
  3. Add eggs, lemon juice and cornflour and mix until ingredients are well combined. Speed 5-6, 10 seconds.
  4. Pour topping over the base and bake for a further 20 minutes or until topping is firm.
  5. Let cool completely in the pan, then remove using baking paper and slice into squares.
  6. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Pumpkin Scones

PumpkinScones copy
This is an old favourite. Just good old fashioned simple baking. My mum used to make these for my lunchboxes when I was a kid, and I make them now for my children. This is my Mum’s recipe that I have converted for the Thermomix. But it is very simple to make with a bowl and wooden spoon too, just a little extra elbow grease required.
I have never made them in traditional scone shapes (by rolling the dough and cutting them out) I always make them by dolloping the mixture on the tray – free form style!

You will need 1 cup (225g) of cooled cooked pumpkin for this recipe. So steam ahead and let it cool in the fridge. If you have an oversupply of pumpkin cook it and freeze it in portioned batches and then you can defrost it to use when you need it. I use my Thermo to steam the pumpkin, but you can also use the microwave or stove top.

They are delicious  served straight away while still warm,  with butter (and jam!) or they also freeze really well. Sometimes I slice and butter them before  freezing, so they are ready to go. Sometimes I just freeze them and add them to lunchboxes with no spread at all. Depends how much of a rush I am in!

Pumpkin Scones
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 60g butter at room temperature
  • 45g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g (1 cup) cold cooked and mashed pumpkin
  • 300g SR flour
Method
  1. Line two baking trays with baking paper and pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Add butter and sugar to the Tmx bowl and combine at speed 6, 5 seconds.
  3. Add egg and then pumpkin, mix speed 6 for 2 seconds. Scrape the sides down then mix for a further 5 seconds (at the same speed 6)
  4. Add sifted flour and combine speed 5, 10 seconds.
  5. Dollop tablespoonfuls of mixture on prepared trays.
  6. Bake at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes. This will vary in individual ovens, so check after 10 minutes. They are cooked when they are firm and just started to turn golden.
Notes
This is how I cook pumpkin in the Thermo:
Cut 600g of pumpkin into 2-3cm cubes and place in the Varoma tray ensuring there is enough room for steam to come through the vents. Fill the Tmx bowl to the 1L mark and place varoma into position. Cook for 20 minutes on varoma setting, speed 3. Once cooked, empty water from the bowl and place pumpkin inside. Chop for 10 seconds on speed 8.
You can cook up to 1kg of raw pumpkin using this method. This will of course yield more than the 1 cup required for this recipe but you can freeze the leftovers for another day.

Oat Cookies

OatCookies copy
These are the cookies that my recipe for ‘cookies in a jar’ makes.

If you don’t want to package the ingredients into a jar to gift, you can just make the cookies yourself!

You can find the details and recipe here.

Muesli Slice

MuesliSlice copy
Another lunchbox winner.
This is cooked as a slice but the finished texture is quite light and cake like. It freezes well and the kids enjoy it in school lunches – just be mindful that if your school is nut free make sure you choose a muesli that has no nuts added.
I actually like this recipe as it is a good way to use up the last of the muesli that seems to get left and sit in the bottom of the box untouched!

 

Muesli Slice
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 20 slices
Ingredients
  • 220g natural un-toasted muesli
  • 160g SR flour
  • 95 dried apricots
  • 70g sultanas
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 180g butter
  • 60g honey
  • 2 eggs
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 16 cm x 26 cm slice tin.
  2. Place apricots and sultanas in bowl and chop speed 6, 4 seconds.
  3. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  4. Place butter, honey and sugar into the bowl and heat 100 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 1.
  5. Add all other ingredients into the honey mixture and combine reverse, speed 5, 25 seconds until well mixed.
  6. Pour into prepared tin and bake 30-35 minutes until firm and golden on top.
  7. Allow to cool before slicing.

 

Cookies in a Jar

Cookies copy
I can’t claim this idea as my own, but it is a good one! I have seen several variations on this theme on the internet. You can use whatever recipe you like, the overall quantities just need to be about 4 cups. I have seen some nice examples that use colourful lollies such as M&M’s as ingredients which makes the jar look very nice. I have chosen a slightly less sugary recipe as there is already so much sweet stuff in my pantry at the moment I didn’t want to add any more (and then have to resist eating it!)
These are great for gifting not only at Christmas but any time of the year when you need a small home made gesture to give someone. They are really quick to put together too.

For this recipe I used a 1 litre mason style jar (purchased from my local discount store for about $2). Mine measures about 15cm high and about 10cm in diameter (just to give you an idea of the size).

Wash the jar in hot soapy water thoroughly dry. I sat mine in a warm oven after it had air dried just to be double sure!
Use a rolled piece of paper to create a cone shape to help funnel the ingredients in. Tap the jar lightly on the bench between the addition of each layer, to settle the ingredients.
Place the ingredients in the following order:
Flour
Oats
Coconut
Sultanas
Sugar
Choc chips

Note: I have given the ingredients in cup measurements and weights. If you are cooking this recipe for yourself in the Thermo you will find the weights measures easier to use. But the cup measures are easier if filling a jar. The instructions are given for non-thermo cooking, in case your recipient doesn’t have one!

You could swap the order of the sultanas and sugar if you like, as the sugar does filter down through the sultanas a bit, but I like the look of the two darker layers being separated. Have I mentioned before that I am slightly OCD?! 😉

Then just seal the jar and decorate with the recipe print out (you can find it here) and twine or ribbon or whatever else you like.

The recipe makes a batch of approximately 30 oat and sultana cookies, you can also use the same recipe and cook it in a slice tin, it works just as well.

Cookies in a Jar
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • 80g (1/2 cup) SR flour
  • 80g (1/2 cup) plain flour
  • 90g (1 cup) rolled oats
  • 60g (2/3 cup) dessicated coconut
  • 100g (2/3 cup) raw sugar
  • 90g (2/3 cup) sultanas
  • 80g (1/2 cup) choc chips
  • 125g butter
  • 1 egg
Method
  1. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Melt butter, 100 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 3.
  3. Add all dry ingredients, then egg, and mix reverse speed 4-5 for 20 seconds until combined.
  4. Place dessert spoon sized balls on baking tray and flatten slightly.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

 

 

 

 

Shortbread Biscuits

ShortbreadBiscuits copy
I made these biscuits with the same recipe as I used for fruit mince pie cases. It is a simple shortbread mixture,  roll out and cut whatever shapes you like, then bake until golden.

These will keep well for up to two weeks in an airtight container, but they also freeze well.

To serve you can simply dust with icing sugar, decorate with cashous before cooking, sandwich two together with jam, or decorate with icing and other cake decorations once cooked and cooled (let the kids loose on them!)

Lots of possibilites with one simple recipe! Perfect as a gift for Christmas or anytime of the year packaged up in a tin, box or jar.

You can find the recipe and instructions on my fruit mince pie post here.

 

 

Fruit Mince Pies

FruitMincePies copyI have been so excited about sharing this recipe, because fruit mince pies are one of my favourite Christmas foods. Everything about them just says ‘Christmas’.
I previously shared the recipe for my fruit mince here. I make this in advance and keep it in the fridge until I need it.

In past years I have used a sweet shortcrust pasty to create my pie bases, but this year I have tried something new and I am totally converted! I used a recipe that Perth based food writer Gina Hughes (of the Passionate Pantry) suggested on her Facebook page. You can find Gina’s page here – definitely worth having a look. She will be expanding into a blog soon. Gina has kindly allowed me to share her recipe.

Gina suggested using a shortbread mixture to create the fruit mince pie crusts, this makes a firmer pie that is deliciously short (it melts in your mouth) and sweet. I followed her suggestion and used half the mixture to make pies, and half to make shortbread biscuits. I made 12 pies and about 25 heart shaped shortbread biscuits from the recipe. I have lots of fruit mince left over so will make another batch or two before Christmas is over :)

The cooked pies (and shortbread) can be frozen.

If you have never made fruit mince pies from scratch before, I urge you to give them a go. They are much nicer than the shop purchased ones and the process of making them is very rewarding. Plus the house smells divine when they are cooking!

Fruit Mince Pies
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 24 pies
Ingredients
  • 120g raw sugar
  • 120g cornflour
  • 320g plain flour
  • 250g soft butter (but not melted)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees and grease and line two baking trays if making shortbread biscuits, plus lightly grease patty pans for fruit mince pies. You won't need very much butter to oil the patty pans, just a smidge. The butter content in the crust will prevent the pies sticking.
  2. Place sugar into Tmx bowl and mill for 10 seconds, speed 9.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix for 10 seconds, speed 6.
  4. Set dial to closed lid position and knead for 10 seconds.
  5. Open lid and scrape sides of bowl down if required and knead for a further 10 seconds.
  6. The mixture will look crumbly but don't worry.
  7. Work with half the mixture at a time. Place the mix onto a large piece of baking paper and press together to form a ball. Place a second sheet of paper over the top and roll the mix between the paper until it is 1cm thick.
  8. Cut the mix into circles to fit your patty pan tray, and cut shapes to use on top of the pies (I used stars, but you could use any shape you like)
  9. Gently lift off the paper and press the rounds into the tray, if you get any cracks when pressing in, just patch them by squeezing the dough together.
  10. Fill with fruit mince and place shape on the top - be careful not to overfill, I have learned this lesson the hard way! If the fruit mince bubbles over the top when cooking it is very hard to remove the pie without ruining it.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, turning part way through the cooking time. Remove when light golden brown in colour. All ovens vary, so check after 20 minutes.
  12. Let the pies cool slightly in the tray and then remove gently using a knife to ease them out. When cool dust with icing sugar.
  13. If making shortbread biscuits follow the same method but transfer cut shapes to prepared baking trays to cook.