Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chai Spiced Cake With Honey Ginger Cream

Today I met Annabel Langbein. Well, she didn't really meet me, but I think you could say I met her. From behind the counter. We talked, I dithered as to whether or not I should run to the Addington Store while she was in my midst and get a signed copy of her new book 'Simple Pleasures' but in all my hesitation I chickened out. Maybe we will meet again and I'll be more on my game.
Despite this I have a recipe for you. A tried and tested, Babe'n Cake.
Its subtle and not too sweet unlike its Latte-version sibling. And the ginger honey cream is a dream. Next birthday cake you will have a winner.

Chai Spiced Cake With Honey Ginger Cream

Chai Spiced Cake
1 1/3 c (315 ml) milk
6 Tbsp loose black tea
15 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2" of ginger, peeled and grated

1 large star anise pod
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 c (390 g) flour
3/4 c sugar

1 c brown sugar
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 c (237 g) butter, room temp

250g firm cream cheese
100g softened butter
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger or as much as desired
grated rind of half and orange

Preheat oven to 180'C
Grease a cake tin 22cm or similar

Place the milk, tea, cardamom, star anise and ginger in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and let bubble for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let it cool and infuse for 5-10 minutes. Strain the milk into a bowl pressing the grounds with a rubber spatula to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and 1/3 cup of the chai milk. 

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Combine well then add the butter and remaining chai milk. Beat on low speed to blend, then raise speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg mixture slowly and keep scraping the edges.

Pour into cake tin and cook for around 40 mins or until the skewer comes out of the centre cleanly.

Honey ginger cream

With an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter until soft. Then add remaining ingredients, beating continually and adding the icing sugar bit by bit until you have the desired texture.

Once the cake has cooled you can serve with cream on top, or cut in half and use the honey ginger cream on the inside and top. Use a hot wet knife to spread the cream to avoid the crumbs getting mixed in.

Top with freshly peeled pear or apple and dust with a little icing sugar.


enjoy xx

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wood fire BBQ

It seems that whenever the temperature in Chch hits the 20's the smoky smell of charcoal, sausages and onions dispurse their way down the streets. So on this rare and beautiful occasion the Muirson Manor decided to join in on the festivities. Only thing missing was the BBQ. Hence . . . this

Assemble the bricks under and around the tray, then build a teepee style fire inside the tray and get it roaring. Place the coals in there at this point or if you just sticking with wood get some biggones in there and let them burn down.
If you have a rosemary plant or bay tree place a few sprigs on top of the fire before placing the oven tray on there. The smokingly delicious possibilities are endless, mushrooms/kebabs/steak/lamb

Along with the mouth watering bbq'ed morsels was a colourful display of springs goodness. Pea and mint salad, northern african couscous and fresh mesclun salad with my signature dressing. I am thinking I will call it 'Midge's Mean Vinegrette' (midge being my nickname). Its fresh, spicy and light.
Recipe's to follow
Now before you start hating on the pea's. I've never been a fan, infact I've been more anti pea than anything, but when I saw the very few materials on hand for the nights salad's. I decided that on this occasion, Pea's would be yum. not at all mushy or flavourless.

Minted Pea Salad

serves 6
1/2 bag of frozen pea's
1 handle of fresh mint
2 cloves of garlic finely grated
3 Tbsp of olive oil
Blanch the pea's and then toss remaining ingredients through. Refrigerate for a couple hours until needed. Crisp, tasty and simple

1.Bring water to a boil.
2. Add frozen peas and allow to boil for about 1 minute.
3. Drain peas and immediately immerse them in a bowl of ice water.
4. Allow peas to completely cool.

Midge's Mean Vinegrette

1 Part balsamic vinegar (white or black)
3 Parts Olive oil
1 Part Lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove finely grated (max 2-3)
small handful of herbs from the garden if available. Mint/Coriander/Basil are awesome.

Combine all and shake well. Best served on.... Your favorite salad combo or just Mesclun mix.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing I hope you are having a blast. Enjoying creation, the best food on hand and the beautiful company you are blessed to have
Love Al x