Strawberry Milkshake Cake

vscocam96I have been meaning to make this cake for SUCH a long time – I love making things that aren’t cake into cake, and I really like strawberry milkshake. Like really. Winner. Continue reading

This Week

IMG_0974Happy New Year to everyone! I have so much coming up this month and I jet off on the 21st, follow me on instagram – Rachie_TLC to follow my travels, as well as 365 days of photos. My new years resolutions are simple and stuff I had started prior to the new year anyway – Take more pictures, walk more (I already walk about an hour most days, but I love it so much I want to do more – good walking trails in LA, San Fran, Chicago, Boston and New York would be so much appreciated) and make more dinner for friends. This is how the last week of 2012 looked. Much Love.

737881-dj-flume-hit-nov-7

IMG_1033Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 9.16.35 AMIMG_0926IMG_0992

1. Listened – Flume, 2. Drank – Moet to ring in the new year, complete with lively debate (read drunken) on the pronunciation of the word. Soft T?, 3. Surfed – Atlas Obscura, 4. Ate – Breakfast 5. Made – Chilli Gingerbread.

Lavender and Lemon Cookie Pop

Spring holds so much hope and anticipation; growing up in the UK it always felt like the start of the year, and that feeling has transferred here, despite the fact that it is September. It holds anticipation for ice-cream eating, long walks with my puppy and road trips to Middleton, my favourite beach spot in SA.

South Australia has really brought it for the first few days a spring, if it was a football team people would be saying “This is our year”. Except Spring can’t really fail at being Spring so, yeah.

This cookie is anticipation in a cookie, the Lemon and Lavender are the perfect spring flavour combination. Refreshing like lemonade, and the lavender is in no way overwhelming, but the key is to only use a small amount otherwise things get soapy. And from experience I can tell you that soap is both a taste that is overwhelming, and exceedingly hard to remove from your mouth.The lemon cheese drizzle makes the cookie taste like delicious cheesecake. Its optional but do it, it’s amazing.

Lemon and Lavender Cookie

Ingredients
230gr plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda
85g caster sugar
45gr dark brown sugar
125gr melted butter
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla paste
1 egg
Rind of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lavender

Method
Sift flour, soda and sugars into a large bowl; dark brown sugar generally has big pieces in it, sift well then add the larger pieces in too. Stir in the butter, vanilla and egg, the lemon and lavender.On a sheet of baking paper, roll the dough into a log shape. Tie the ends and if necessary wrap in glad wrap. Freeze the dough for at least 2 hours. At this point the mixture will last months.

Slice the frozen mixture and insert lollipop sticks. Bake at 200C for ten minutes.

Lemon Cheese Drizzle – adapted from Rah Cha Chow

Ingredients
70gr cream cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
184 gr powdered sugar

Method
Combine ingredients in bowl. Spoon a small tablespoon of mixture on to the cooled cookies and spread evenly over the top. Allow to dry.

Blood Orange Love

Guys I don’t mean to alarm you, but it’s blood orange time. And I’ve already made two blood orange dishes; as well as eating it with my daily yoghurt and porridge.
Blood oranges are easily my favourite fruit, the fact they signal the end of winter is purely a bonus. and oh gosh that smell. Like raspberries and oranges got together and made babies. Wait is that weird?

Is anyone else stressed out that I finish university in 3 months? I think my head is stressed; it’s doing that whole, pretend it’s not there and it might go away. Except applying it to the whole university situation. Stationery shopping must be the answer. A new notebook will fix everything.

This is the first of my blood orange uses, blood orange buttercream.
Air light and a perfect contrast for rich chocolate cake.

Blood Orange Curd – from Sel et Sucré 

Ingredients:

  • About 175 ml of blood orange juice (from 4 blood oranges)
  • 1 Tbsp blood orange zest (from 2 blood oranges)
  • 113 gr granulated sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 114 gr butter, sliced into 8 pieces

Method:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together everything except the butter.

Gently heat the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens considerably (enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon), about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter.

Strain through a metal sieve, and let cool to room temperature. The curd will thicken slightly as it cools. I strained twice, you will get a smoother texture; which is super important since you are adding it to frosting.

Serve cold or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator; this curd should stay good for about two weeks.

Sweetapolita Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients

575 grams unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
600 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-1/2 tablespoons milk
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
pinch or two of salt
few drops pink gel colour

Method

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. I added 3 tablespoons of the orange curd at this stage brought up to around room temperature. Do this one tablespoon at a time and fully incorporate before you add the next.

Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. If you want all of your frosting (for filling and frosting cake) pink, then add a drop of pink gel colour and mix again, adding one drop at a time until desired pink shade is achieved. If you want just the outside of the cake pink, you will fill the cake layers first, and then colour the remaining frosting pink.

Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency), but keeps well once frosted.I used the chocolate cake recipe from Miettes cookbook which I posted about here.The chocolate is compliments of the Foodie Pen Pal scheme; amazing dark chocolate from the Margaret River in WA, post soon!

Getting to know you

You know those days (months) where you are just scared of the future?

That’s totally not me. I cannot wait for it. I am super-duper bad at taking things as they go, I’m impatient to the max. Thus I created a Facebook for Little Cookbook a few days ago, I’d love to get to know the people who read my blog and if you live close I’d be happy to chat about baking you a cake; to be honest I’ll probably just bring you one regardless.

In my mind this seems all very rushed and slow at the same time. But I’m not sure what I want to do when I finish university in THREE? months so this might help.

I also got an amazing surprise in my inbox a few nights ago from Faraaz and Aneesa, they lovingly awarded me with the Liebster award; which is an award for blogs with under 200 followers. As part of that award they set a few questions that I have to answer, which I’ll do right now.

  1. Favourite book to film adaptation?
    Alice in Wonderland was my favourite book as a child (which you can read about here) and the Disney adaptation was my favourite film, I know that it isn’t wholly true to the book but the extent to which I loved them both seemed to trump that.
  2. What was your first job?
    My first job was in Scotland at a place called the Sandancer; I’m fairly sure it was illegal, I cooked the fast food, served ice cream and drinks, manned the counter and took the money on my own. At 14. Scotland get on to your child labour laws.
  3. Who is your favourite author?
    Audrey Niffenegger or Iain Banks.
  4. If you could travel anywhere in the world and money was no object, where would you go? Why?
    North Korea. I want to experience a place that is wholly unlike the way I live. I’m totes aware of how strange a place that is to want to go. But there you are!
  5. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
    Hair. Always. No question about it.
  6. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
    Mastering buttercream.
  7. If you had to live in a decade other than the current one, which would you choose?
    The 20s, the era of opulence and great loss.
  8. Eating in a theater nefarious behaviour or perfectly acceptable?
    I do it, it’s totally cool. I’m more of a Malteaser lover than popcorn
  9. Sailboat or cruise ship?
    Sailboat, there’s something romantic about a sailboat.
  10. If you could go back, what advice would you give yourself in high school?
    Try harder, do some study and don’t skip class.
  11. What movie do you flat-out refuse to watch, no matter how good people say it is?
    Any film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ books, same for Twilight.

I’m going to pass this award on to I only eat dessert; which is a food blog based in Adelaide. I love the food shots and it’s all local. Go Adelaide!
I’ll only give you three questions, three is good:

1. Where is the best chocolate in Adelaide?
2. Carob; yay or nay?
3. What is your favourite non-food related Adelaide activity?