Thursday, May 26, 2011

“On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels . . .” - Charles Dickens

I borrowed this recipe from my ΒΣΦ sisters, but it is delicious. Although I left out the marshmallows because I thought they were just weird. Crazy Americans.

But there you go...

INGREDIENTS. - 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, halved
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 package (3 ounces) raspberry gelatin
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows (what the ?????)
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons canola oil

METHOD. - In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer the walnuts and berries; sprinkle with sugar, gelatin and marshmallows (if you feel like adding the marshmallows. I found the cake was plenty sweet enough without them).
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, water and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour over top.
Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.
Refrigerate leftovers.
SERVES 15 servings.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I wanted a cupcake, I did not have one. - David Grayson

So I have been making some cupcakes recently. A lot of cupcakes. And all different kinds of cupcakes. 

And I'll confess my little bugbear - people who make muffins and call them cupcakes. They're not cupcakes, they're muffins!!!! Cupcakes are by their very nature cake, whereas muffins are supposed to be more bread-y, like a quick bread - even if they are sweet.

I was given for my birthday a book - 500 cupcakes, which only makes me more angry because at least a good third of the recipes are for muffins, making it more like "335 cupcakes and some muffins". That said, it's a lovely book and has some great recipes, but clearly I have some OCD issues with the title.


Anyway, here is one favourite from the above book, written by Fergal Connolly.


450g mashed bananas
150g packed light brown sugar
90g honey
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
225g self-rising flour

1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

150g roughly chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Line pans with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, honey, and margarine. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix well.
Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack. When completely cool, frost or sprinkle with powdered sugar. (I iced mine with honey buttercream icing)
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.