Sunday, January 25, 2015

All In Australia Day Lamington Cake

Anyone who has stopped by Don't Boil The Sauce! before will know my position on the lamington. 

I believe 100% there is to be no jam or even worse cream in a lamington!

But then we all know there are things we do for the people we love like last year's no coconut lamingtons!

This year I wanted to highlight in these difficult cultural times, I may be a 40 year old white guy (yep spent time checking my privilege) but I'm not a cakeist! 

Some of my best friends are cakes!

So what better way to honour Australia Day than to celebrate the freedom of cake we all have. 

I respect that for many people Australia Day is not a celebration but I also hope that they respect that for many it is.

For me this cake  sums up everything that is great about this country, we all have something to contribute even the weird jam lovers and the bonkers cream adders. 

Sure I may not agree with them but I will defend their right to put whatever the hell they want into their lamingtons and I will cheer them on!

We all know that we have a very long way to go to before things are perfect here but maybe we could all come together over cake to sort it out.

All In Australia Day Lamington Cake

  • 150g butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 220g sugar
  • 250ml milk
  • 350g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 150g jam (any flavour, it goes against nature so strawberry or raspberry will hardly make a difference)
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa
  • 200g moist coconut flakes
  • Preheat oven to 170°C oven
  • Melt the butter in the microwave for about 1 minute (let cool)
  • In a mixing bowl add the eggs and sugar
  • Beat with an electric beater till fluffy, paler and thicker about 2 minutes
  • Add the milk, melted butter, vanilla, flour
  • Beat till smooth, don't over beat
  • Pour into a lined 20cm round cake tin
  • Bake in a 170°C oven for about 50 minutes
  • The cake will be cooked when a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool the cake in the tin for about 20 minutes then flip onto a cake cooler (the bottom is the top)
  • In a mixing bowl and the cream and jam and whip till firm, then chill in the fridge
  • Slice in to 3 layers they should be about 2cm each
  • Place bottom layer on a cooling rack over a tray (there will be icing that needs to drain away)
  • Add half the cream and add another layer of cake
  • Repeat with remaining cream and cake
  • Chill the cake in the fridge while making the icing
  • Add icing sugar and cocoa to a mixing bowl
  • Adding 1 tbsp. of hot water one at a time stir until a thick but pour-able consistency (about 4 tbsp.)
  • Cover the cake in the icing being sure to coat the sides well and not too thick on top
  • Press the coconut all over the cake to cover

While I don't consider this a real lamington it is a bloody bonza cake! 
Lamington meets scone...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Village Loaf: Olive and Pecorino Sourdough

What's that saying...... it takes a village to raise a loaf?

This olive and pecorino is very much all of my baking inspirations rolled into one loaf.

The base recipe is Celia's overnight sourdough recipe with some of my readings of Paul Hollywood and Dan Lepard and a quick consult with the twitter brains trust thrown in.

My main concern about this loaf was just when to add my bits, the concern of many a young man throughout history.

There was the thought of would the salty olives slow down the yeast and should they be added at the second prove? Or would the cheese cause a food safety nightmare being at room temperature while proving?

In the end the brains trust validated my original leanings,  whack it all in at once!

I have another loaf on the go as I'm writing so this recipe with also include some on the changes I've made since the first loaf.

Olive and Pecorino Sour Dough


  • 100g grated (or cubed) pecorino
  • 250g mixed olives (I used black, kalamata and Sicilian)
  • 300g bubbling starter at 100% hydration
  • 600ml water
  • 1kg strong flour
  • 10g salt


  • Grate or cube the pecorino
  • Pit and/or roughly slice the olive if not using pitted (still check for pits!!)
  • Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine
  • Leave for about 30 minutes
  • Knead the loaf by slapping it around the bowl for about 3 minutes till smooth
  • Remove the dough, give the bowl a light coat of oil and add the dough back
  • Cover and let prove for about 8-12 hours or till just about doubled (in the fridge will maintain food safety)
  • Preheat oven to 220°C
  • Shape the loaf (I found the 1 kg with the moist dough flattened out a bit)
  • Add to cold enamel pot/goose roster that has be sprinkled with semolina (with cheese cubed version I am adding some baking paper to assist with not sticking)
  • Let loaf prove for about 40 minutes
  • Give a deep slash
  • Place roaster in oven lid on and bake for 30 minutes
  • Reduce oven to 180°C, remove lid and bake for further 20 minutes
  • To crisp the crust it can have a further 5 minutes out of the roaster on the shelf or on a baking stone
  • Allow to cool before slicing
  • I highly recommend enjoy with some prosciutto and some extra olives
  • In the version I am making now, it is a 500g flour loaf but keeping the same amount of olives and cubed cheese, will report back on outcome.

Go for whichever olives you prefer, I like the mix for the colour

I'm hoping the smaller loaf will keep a taller shape

This loaf have the pecorino grated rather than cubed
 The 500g loaf (1/2 recipe but same quantity olives + cheese)
I recommend cubing the cheese, pockets of joy!!

What are your favourite bits to add to bread? 
Rosemary, garlic, bacon.....mmmmm bacon??

Sunday, January 18, 2015

That's a big one honey....

I have to admit I may have a problem when it comes to baking challenges, I just can't seem to say no!

You may remember the several weeks of Great British Bake Off challenges, Let's Get Technical which took us close to the brink of baking reality and my sanity!

So when Head of the "Priscilla Bakers*" Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial was making a 2kg sourdough loaf "Breadapalooza" the challenge of a 3kg loaf was just ripe for the picking.
*our starters all came from the Celia's starter Priscilla

Where do you start with a 3kg loaf?

The recipe I used was based on the theory of James Morton in Brilliant Bread which is 2 parts flour, 1 part starter, and amount of water equalling 3/4 the total weight of flour. (minus water in starter)
This probably would have worked a treat if I had not remember it incorrectly and used water 75% of total weight (flour + starter) minus the amount of water already in the starter......confused? I sure am!

My calculations and imagining of the ratios had a recipe as follows:
  • 2kg strong flour
  • 1kg starter (100% hydration)
  • 1.75kg water
  • 40g salt
Many of you will already have done the math on this 3kg loaf and know where we are heading....

Given the starter was almost too big for the bowl I normally use, I improvised with the huge boiler that's only job is passata come tomato day.
What is the OHS on a loaf this size??
The roasting vessel, I had only thought it was cast iron pots that could be used to bake bread but the enamel have come up with great results.
The loaf was baked at 220°C for 65 minutes lid on, then reduced to 180°C and lid off for a further 20 minutes.
Amazingly Conciabattzilla was baked through! 
A beautifully shaped loaf....the shape of the roaster as it had know where else to go!
If the producers on the next Alien movie need props they can give me a call!!!
The Motherloaf has landed
Yes those unlike me who can add up, given some evaporation, the 3kg loaf was 4.305kg!!
Making 5kg the next challenge for someone......not me!
#Slicie the new shelfie
and as they say it's not about the size its what you can do with it!
I have breakfast toast for the next month....
What is the craziest food challenge you'd undertaken?
Will you be the one with the 5kg loaf?
Would I do it again?.....not on your Nelly!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

In My Kitchen - Children of the Resolution January 2015

Happy New Year or "Operation: Cash in on the self hatred we create to survive" as the diet industry may know it.
Now this isn't going to be an anti diet piece, I just want to say in this time of life changing resolutions,  being healthy is a great goal but you don't have to hate yourself to get there.
2 years ago my resolution was to never eat anything from a restaurant with a drive thru and that's one I have kept, mainly cos the food is crap so it's not that hard.
I had thought about posting new resolutions but I don't think it is the right message.
I do have my own health goals but they don't come with a side order of "you're not good enough"
We are constantly bombarded with messages that we are not "whatever enough":
  • Tall enough
  • Short enough
  • Small enough
  • Big enough
  • Smart enough
  • Dumb enough
  • Hot enough
  • White enough
  • Black enough
  • Australian enough
  • Male enough
  • Female enough
  • Trans enough
  • Straight enough
  • Gay enough
  • Important enough
  • Followed enough and the list goes on.
Don't let anyone ever sell you this message because it is absolutely 100% fucking bullshit!
(yep swear jar)
You are brilliantly "You Enough" and that is all you ever have to be!
At this point I'll get off my soap box and show you what's in my kitchen while you have Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand singing in your head....enough is enough!
And by the way, this isn't a licence to be horrible or be a bully and claim you are just being yourself.....nice try! 

In My Kitchen..... not quite a cornucopia but the makings of a ratatouille from the garden. It is remarkable what remembering to water can achieve.
In My Kitchen....
...are some addictive zucchini pickles that I found on Lorraine's blog Not Quite Nigella. I do get a little buzz when I type a recipe into Google and the results come up with some of the IMK gang.
With zucchini being something I can grow well there will be many more batches, I used malt vinegar as that was what was in the cupboard and reduced the sugar as well you know I am sweet enough apparently....apart from the swearing before, sorry about that it's my first and last F word. 

My lunches have been pickles on sourdough and blue goat cheese...I have usually eaten it by 9.30am

In My Kicthen.... the joy of the blogging community brought to life.

The incredible (flirty) Celia sent me some of her sour dough starter Priscilla as I'm sure many reading this would have also received.
I was instructed that she had to have a glamorous name and so she was christened Conciabatta and we all know everything I do has to have a Eurovision connection.

Check out my Conchita Wurst Christmas angel....   

What was the most wonderful part of this process was that Celia held my and others hands through the birthing process and followed along on twitter to see how the loaves were progressing.

There was a real sense of community with the baking of these loaves and a great connection with people that have may have only met on social media.

Thank you Celia, I am not off the sour dough killer register yet but I know I am off to a great what I did there!

From the first loaves to panettone, nothing like a bit of a challenge.....

Then Conciabatta moved onto oliebollen for new years and a sneak peak at Chow Down to Eurovision 2015 which will come to you live from Vienna!

In My Kitchen.... a wonderful Christmas sized block of cheese from the farmer's market. If he brings cheese, then yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus!!

I'll be bringing you a lot more recipes this year developed with the delectable produce on offer at my local farmers market. I'm not on their payroll so they aren't sponsored posts but they could always pay me in cheese......though how does one declare cheese on their tax???
In My Kitchen..... probably the reason for my earlier rant, over the Christmas break I became older and wiser!
Yep, I hit 40!
My philosophy about age is that if the number doesn't get bigger it's because you are dead, so bring on the numbers!
I love that at 1 day old I was already expressing my opinion so clearly!
The Darling AB assisted with the recreation and had the pearls of wisdom when I complained I didn't know how to make the face..."well you've done it before!"
You may not believe that I didn't take a picture of my cake, but it's one I've already blogged so that is my excuse.
Thanks to Faye who tweeted a photo of the wonderful celebration with friends and family who I am very blessed and grateful to have in my life.

Some festive face fun....that sounds worse than it is!

Hope you all have a safe and happy break and look forward to this new year together...

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen, I hope I wasn't too ranty? If you're reading this now it must be ok...

Thanks to Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting the monthly In My Kitchen, check out the other kitchens