Strawberry Meringue Cake

I love strawberries. I could eat them everyday, several times a day! They were in season a while ago and I seized the opportunity to make something. When I saw this recipe from an old Woman & Home magazine, I just knew I had to make it. Simply heavenly!

Baking is my first love, especially cakes and pastries. I loved the idea of baking the cake and meringue together. I have made meringue layered cakes before by making the meringue separately and then assembling it. What I loved about this recipe is that you bake the meringue together with the cake. So easy.

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When I took the cakes out of the oven, the meringue had risen almost to the top of the pan. They did go down after sometime, but that didn’t affect the taste. There’s only one word to describe this cake – divine. It looks pretty spectacular too. And it’s easy to make – so what are you waiting for?

Don’t worry if the cake batter is a little thick. You will need to gently level it with your fingers.

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Strawberries, sponge, meringue and a creamy yogurt filling – strawberry cake doesn’t get better than this!

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PREP: 35 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

50g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 large egg yolks

½tsp vanilla extract

75g plain flour

25g cornflour

2tsp baking powder

5tbsp double cream

Icing sugar to dust

For the meringue

4 large egg whites

225g caster sugar

For the filling

150ml double cream

150ml thick Greek yogurt

400g strawberries, hulled

Instructions

Butter and line 2 8-inch loose-bottomed sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat again. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in. Finally, fold in the cream and mix together gently. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins.

In a separate clean bow, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, then gradually add the sugar a dessertspoonful at a time, beating continuously until thick and glossy. Divide the meringue between the tins and layer on top, making sure that you don’t mix the meringue with the cake mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack – meringue side uppermost. For the filling, whip the cream into soft peaks, then stir in the yogurt. Lightly crush 250g of the strawberries and stir into the cream.

Place one cake meringue-side up on a plate and spread two-thirds of the cream on top. Put the other cake on top, meringue-side up and fill with the remaining cream. Top with strawberries and dust with icing sugar.

Tomato Soup Cake

I love the flavour of this unusual cake. It’s made with tomato soup. I used a ready-made tomato soup powder for making the soup. It has to be really thick.

The addition of cinnamon and nutmeg together with walnuts and raisins make for a very rich and dense cake. The recipe calls for wholemeal flour and brown sugar, which makes it healthy and wholesome. The cake is so soft that it just melts in your mouth.

I made the soup on the previous day and left it overnight in the fridge, but you could also make it on the same day as the cake. Make sure that it’s not too hot while adding it to the butter. Or you could use a can of condensed tomato soup.

If you do make this cake, it would be fun not to tell your friends what the cake is made of until they have eaten it. I’m sure they will never guess that it’s made with tomato soup. It’s just the thing for unconventional foodies.

This recipe is from The Zodiac Cookbook by Rose Elliot.

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PREP: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 11/2 hours

Ingredients

225 gms plain wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

100 gms butter

175 gms brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

300 gms condensed tomato soup

90 gms raisins

90 gms walnuts

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease and line a 1 kg loaf tin with greased parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Add the baking soda to the tomato soup in a small pan and heat on a reduced flame, until the baking soda is dissolved. This mixture should just be warmed slightly. Add this to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well. Fold in the flour mixture with the raisins and nuts. Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 11/2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. (My oven took about 50 minutes only). Cool for 10-15 minutes and turn the cake out on to a wire rack to cool.

Dark and White Chocolate Marble Cake with Marble Icing

There’s nothing more satisfying than a piece of cake with a cup of tea or coffee. The delicious aroma of homemade cakes has an instant appeal and it’s very hard to resist.

A family favourite, I usually make this cake with vanilla, chocolate and coffee flavours. However, I decided to try it with dark and white chocolate for a change. It was quite an interesting project.

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A marble cake looks great, but it’s actually very simple to make. The luscious swirl of the dark and white chocolate makes for a delicious contrast of colour and taste.

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PREP: 20 minutes  COOK TIME: 45-50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 30 gms dark chocolate, chopped
  • 30 gms white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 240 gms self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 180 gms butter
  • 180 gms caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3-4 tbsp apricot jam

Icing

  • 60 gms dark chocolate, chopped
  • 60 gms white chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tbsp cream

Instructions

Grease and line an 8” cake pan with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven at 180 C.

Dissolve the dark chocolate in 1 tbsp of milk over hot water. Dissolve the white chocolate in 1 tbsp of milk similarly. Set aside to cool.

Sift the flour and salt. Cream the butter until it is soft, add the sugar and continue creaming until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs gradually. Fold the flour into the mixture, a third at a time, adding milk if necessary to make it drop easily from the whisk. Add the vanilla and mix well. Divide the mixture into two portions and add the melted dark chocolate to one portion. Flavour the second portion with the melted white chocolate.

Spoon tablespoonfuls of one mixture around the tin, leaving room for the other mixture. Fill the spaces with the second mixture and continue with a second layer alternating the flavours of dark and white chocolate. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

To make the apricot glaze, combine the apricot jam with a 1 tbsp of water and heat gently. Cool. When the cake is cold brush with the apricot glaze and allow it to set.

For the icing, combine the dark chocolate with 2 tbsp of cream in a bowl and melt the chocolate over boiling water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. When the chocolate has melted completely, set aside to cool. Repeat the process with the white chocolate and the remaining cream.

Spoon dollops of each mixture randomly on the surface of the cake and swirl with a toothpick or a skewer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mango Upside-Down Cake

In India, summer heralds the mango season. It’s just exhilarating – so many varieties of mangoes! The heady perfume of the mangoes fills the kitchens, market places and the whole environment. I dive headlong into the juicy and luscious taste of the mangoes and experiment with various recipes.

Mangoes go so well with sweet treats – cakes, desserts, sweets such as halva and preserves like juices, chutneys and sherbets go down very well with my family and friends.

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Mangoes should feel tender but not squashy and should have a well balanced flavour and flesh which is succulently tender.

This cake is just divine. The mangoes come through beautifully and it’s just perfect served with a dollop of cream and fresh mangoes. It’s very moist and not too sweet.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 30-45 minutes Serves:6

Ingredients

  • 1 large mango, sliced
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup fresh cream
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar

Instructions

Heat the oven to 180 C.

Prepare a pan by using a little butter to grease the bottom and sides. Sift some flour over it and tip off the excess so that the entire pan has a nice coating of flour. Alternatively, you can use a non-stick pan.

Melt the jam with ¼ cup butter in a small saucepan and pour into the base of the pan. Overlap the mango slices over the jam in the base of the pan. (I used a bundt pan).

Cream the remaining butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and fold in the flour with the milk to a soft consistency. Add the vanilla essence and spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Level the surface with a knife. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the cake is well risen and golden brown. Use a knife to test the cake.

Cool the cake for about 10 minutes and turn out on to a plate.

Beat the cream with the sugar until it becomes thick or stands in soft peaks. Chill.

Serve the cake with a dollop of the sweetened cream.