Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gingerbread House

To celebrate the forth coming Christmas season of 2011, I thought I would share some photos of the gingerbread house which I made last year, Christmas 2010.

The gingerbread was made from scratch. I have never been a committed biscuit baker, especially in our 30+ degree heat summers. You need the gingerbread to be nice and firm for the house. Mine was just ok, just a little soft but it made it to the Christmas party without collapsing. I guess the secret is all in getting the thickness of the biscuit just right. 

This was also my first play with royal icing, Got the hang of it pretty quickly and was well underway. Great for concealing any flaws. This stuff is great, I love the roof shingles.

I really loved decorating the house. I love the holly effect and the bunting with m&m's. I also saw the candy canes on the angle from another picture and thought it was such a fun effect. Candy cane light posts, who didn't love the thought as a child? Marshmallow snowmen, complete with orange jelly lolly 'carrot' nose. And how cool are a ice-cream candy ice poles from the roof?

And fancy having to actually take the constructed piece of lollie art on a 20 minute car ride. I must have been crazy. lol.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spring time in the veggie garden

My beefsteak tomatoes are growing larger than oranges. I let Jonah take a few to pre-school for show and tell. We are getting a nice supply of eggplant which I have never been able to grow this size before.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Whole Orange Cake

There is nothing like making a mistake with my online food shopping order and ending up with 9kg of oranges on my kitchen bench... so apart from lots of fresh orange juice.... I had to explore the world of orange cooking. 

And what better way to use up oranges than with a whole orange cake, skin and all. This recipe is taken from my favourite cooking site Taking all of the recipe notes into consideration, I also added a little milk to the puree process to get the oranges as smooth as possible. 

The result is a delicious fresh orange cake. 
A nice dense and moist texture. But still slightly spongy. I must have a super sweet tooth though, the bitterness of the skin still came through for me just a little, so I overcompensate with enough icing 'on the side' to make up for it IF needed. The icing was a simple butter icing mix with orange juice for a nice orange flavour.

Tip: this cake freezes perfectly ~ seeing it is not fitting for anyone's waistline to have whole cakes sitting around in the kitchen, I generally cut them into 3rds and freeze into perfect size portions for coffee+cake visits.