Saturday, 28 September 2013

Jean's Ginger Fluff Sponge

On the weekend my mother-in-law gave me one of her cook books- Encyclopedia of World Cookery by Elizabeth Campbell published 1958, an unexpected gesture.  The pages are very very yellow and the linen cover quite worn and stained. By chance I just flicked to the very back and there was her famous Ginger Fluff Sponge recipe! I decided that the ingredients were written by one of her young daughters and the method written in an adult hand.  The ingredients at the bottom of that page, she told me, was for a plain sponge, and nothing to do with the one above.
I remember clearly as a young wife this ginger fluff sponge made an appearance at every BBQ, every birthday, christening or afternoon tea.  In fact any family occasion, the ginger fluff sponge was in attendance. We looked for it first on the cake table and if it didn't appear we asked the question WHY?
As you can see the recipe has been well used.  This would be perfect to enter into this month's Random Recipe Challenge over at Belleau Kitchen for September. Dare I make it?

Ingredients (as above)
4 eggs,
3/4 cup of sugar (I presumed caster)
2 dessert spoons flour (not sure if this was plain or self raising so I used SR. Was intrigued by the dessert spoon measure too!)
1 dessert spoon of golden syrup
1/2 cup arrowroot (not something I had in my pantry so a special trip to the shops for this one)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon carb soda or 1 tea spoon baking powder - strange options but I presume you made do with whatever you had in the cupboard.

How to do it......
Grease and line with greaseproof paper two small 8" sandwich tins (I only had 6" ones)
Separate the eggs and beat the whites until thick ( I found this difficult to judge)
I lightly whisked the yolks with a fork and beat them through the whites
Add sugar and golden syrup and beat until thick and creamy.Fold in sifted arrowroot and spices (do this in small amounts as the arrowroot can go lumpy!)
Add sifted flour, cream of tartar and either soda or baking powder which I used.
Pour into sandwich tins and bake in a moderate oven (what is a moderate oven?  As my oven is fan forced and tends to be very hot I opted for 160C) in retrospect it probably should have been hotter.
Bake for 20-25mins. I baked for 18 mins and then took the sponges out as they were as brown as I would have liked and when tested with a skewer  came out clean.
Cool and fill with whipped cream.

Well I think I have a long way to go, to even come close to my mother-in-law's ginger fluff sponge, as mine was quite dense, edible, but definitely not fluffy! I decorated mine with whipped cream on the top and a little sprinkle of cinnamon.

 In by the skin of my teeth once again to Random Recipes No. 32 at Belleau Kitchen Pop over and join in if you can.

Friday, 20 September 2013

This Moment - Party Time!

Happy Times - Life's a Party! Joining with  Soulmama

Pork Noisettes with Prunes

Click here to buy
I bought some Otway pork fillets that were on special the other day.  I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with them,  maybe a stir fry, maybe just gently fried with vegetables.  I pulled out "The Butcher" by Leanne Kitchen for inspiration and she had quite a few lovely different pork recipes. My choice generally depends on what I have in the cupboard as to what eventuates on the table. I had all these bits, including exactly 16 prunes in the bottom of a tupperware container! Surely an omen.

16 prunes, pitted
1 tablespoon olive oil
60g butter
two small fillets of pork cut into 8 medallions (trimmed of all fat)
1 onion finely chopped
125ml white wine
310ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
250ml thick (double/heavy) cream

What to do......
Medallions gently simmering
Put prunes in a small saucepan cover with cold water - bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins
Drain and set aside
Heat olive oil in a heavy based frying pan and add half the butter
When the butter foams add the pork medalians (in batches if necessary)
Cook pork for 4-5mins, turn once, until cooked but still slightly pink in the middle
Transfer to a warm plate cover loosely with foil and leave to rest
Add the onion to the pan with the rest of the butter and sauté over low heat for 5 mins
Add wine and bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes
Add stock, bay leaf, an thyme sprigs bring to the boil
Reduce heat and cook for 10 mins or until reduced by half.
Strain stock into a bowl, set solids aside
Pour the stock back into the pan, add the cream and prunes and simmer for 8 mins or until the sauce thickens.
Return the pork to the pan and heat through.

I also cooked some pumpkin and mashed to make a bed for the pork.
Lay pork on the mash, spoon over the prune sauce, serve onions on the side and add a few extra sprigs of fresh thyme on top.

This makes two generous serves and was lip smacking good. The prune cream sauce not too overpowering and the extra thyme gave it a really herby lift. Loved it.

Other "Butcher" Recipes that you may like

Osso Bucco
Beef Bolar Blade Roast

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Golden Syrup Upside Down Banana Cake

I am engaged in a Banana Cake Challenge at the moment, which is quite a lovely excuse to make a variety of taste samplers, and I have quite a few on my list to try,  of which this is No. 2. Tonight presented 3 ripe bananas in the fruit bowl and I was in the mood for making cake.  This is an adapted recipe from Belleau Kitchen - and Dom has a few he recommends (which will all be tried in good time).


8oz self raising flour (had to get out my imperial scales for this)
4oz soft brown sugar
4oz margarine or butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas mashed
2 eggs whisked

3 tablespoons golden syrup (Dom used salted caramel - must try it with this too, but I didn't have any)
1 sliced banana

What to do....

In a bowl mix together flour and sugar.
Rub in the marg/butter with fingers
Sprinkle on the cinnamon
Add the mashed bananas and whisked eggs
Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until well combined

Prepare your loaf tin - line with greaseproof paper
Dom suggest cutting the required amount of paper and then screwing it up in a ball, unfold and you will find that the paper lines the tin easily. Hey presto it worked perfect, what a great tip.

Warm the syrup and pour into the bottom of the tin
On top place the sliced banana
Pour the cake mixture on top

Bake for 35-40mins at 170C or until cooked (test with a skewer, if it comes out clean its cooked)
Let the cake stand in the tin for 5mins before turning out onto a plate.
Gently, slowly, carefully peel off the greaseproof paper.

It sliced perfectly while still warm

It just begged for a nice cup of tea!
You might also like to try Banana Cake No. 1