Wednesday, May 28, 2014

{Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Brown Butter Frosting}








I made this for Billys 5th birthday and it will now be my go to vanilla cake. Billy requested a vanilla on vanilla cake and because I couldn't bear to make a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting(yawn)I fancied it up with brown butter which I know they love because they can't get enough of my brown butter banana bars.  Jack made the minecraft decorations, bless, and it was the most delicious cake I have made and eaten in a while.  The young men luckily also loved it otherwise I would of quite happily devoured the entire thing myself.  Probably in one day. 

...vanilla buttermilk cake                                                  
125g butter, softened
200g sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp salt
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
160ml buttermilk

Preheat oven to 180. Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and very fluffy (take your time with this step). Add the vanilla bean paste and salt then the eggs one at a time, mixing between each.
Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl.
Add half the flour mix to the butter mix. Mix until combined.
Add half the buttermilk. Mix until combined.
Then the remaining flour, the remaining buttermilk.
Do not over mix. Divide evenly between your baking tins.
Bake until lightly golden on top and set through, 20 minutes or so but really it depends on your oven, so always check it.
Remove from pans onto a rack and let cool completely.

...brown butter frosting                                    
225g butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp molasses
pinch of salt
750g icing sugar, sifted
100ml milk

Place butter in a pan over medium heat. Cook until the butter becomes a rich amber color and little brown flecks appear at the bottom of pan and it smells nutty. Stir quite often as to not burn it. Pour into a bowl, scraping in the little brown flecks, and pop it into the fridge until it is the consistency of softened butter.

Beat the butter, vanilla bean paste and molasses until combined. Add in half the powdered sugar and half the milk. Beat until combined. Add in remaining. Beat until very fluffy. You may need more milk or sugar depending on how stiff you want it.

Spread over cooled cake. Try not to eat it all.

Monday, May 26, 2014

{Wok Fried Chicken Noodles with Chilli Vinegar}




Hello, its been a while. A long while actually which I can tell by the stack of recipes that are beginning to prevent me from properly closing one of the kitchen drawers. Also the ones in that pile that all the bills and school notices go into. Oh and lets not forget the ones stuffed into the back of my writing pad and of course the ones scribbled onto the backs of shopping lists, it just won't do. So I am back and I'll start recording them here once again. If only for my sanity.

...wok fried chicken noodles
300g chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced(while slightly frozen works well)
60ml fish sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
200g dried rice stick noodles
250g gai lan (chinese broccoli) or broccolini, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons kecap manis
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 egg
freshly ground black pepper
handful of roughly chopped coriander leaves

...chilli vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 fresh long red chilli, thinly sliced


Marinate the sliced chicken with 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, the sesame oil and oyster sauce for about 15 minutes.

Soak the dried noodles in hot water until they are just soft / pliable then drain and set aside (don't let them get mushy).

To make the chilli vinegar, combine the vinegar and chilli in a bowl and set aside for serving.

Heat a wok over high heat and when just smoking add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil. Toss in the broccoli and cook until just starting to wilt and then transfer to a large plate.

Return wok to heat and add another tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the noodles with 1 tablespoon of kecap manis and 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce. Use some tongs to separate the noodles and toss around for a few minutes until the noodles are softened. Transfer to the plate with the broccoli.

Return wok to heat and add the final tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the chicken, garlic and sugar. Stirfry for a few minutes or until the chicken is just cooked. Push the chicken to one side of the wok and crack the egg into the other side. Let the egg cook for minute before tossing it through the chicken. Add the broccoli and noodles and mix everything together along with the remaining 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon kecap manis. Grind over lots of fresh black pepper.

Serve with a good drizzle of the chilli vinegar and a generous sprinkling of coriander leaves.