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G&T Cheesecake

A cheesecake recipe inspired by the nation’s best-loved summer cocktail – a G&T. There’s a zingy layer of gin and tonic-flavoured jelly on top of a creamy mascarpone middle and a biscuit base – it’s the summer dessert dreams are made of.  If you prefer the real thing, check out my post Gin Cocktails for a variety of tasty cocktail recipes.
Continue reading G&T Cheesecake

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Tamarillo Cheesecake

Finding out how to utilise tamarillos when in season is worth doing!  Tamarillo, also known as tree tomatoes, can grow to about two meters tall with clusters of fruit that slowly ripen to a deep red. The taste can be described as “unusual and interesting – even as “an acquired taste”.  See the image below.  The unique tropical flavour which reminds of a mix between passion fruit and guava and a hint of other fruits, turns a cheesecake into a sublime dessert or tea time treat. Continue reading Tamarillo Cheesecake

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Beesting Pastries

A classic confection from Germany, known as “Bienenstich Kuchen”, turned into decorative pastries. The crunchy nutty caramel topping contrasts well with the rich and creamy custard filling!

According to Wikipedia: “the cake may have earned its name from its honey topping: according to one legend, a bee was attracted to the cake and the baker who invented the cake was stung”. 

Prep time       30 minutes plus rising time
Cook time      ± 20 minutes
Yields              24 small pastries

1¾ cups (400 ml) cake flour
1 sachet instant yeast (8 to 10 g)
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar
2/3 cups (175 ml) lukewarm milk
1/3 cup (85 ml / 75 g) butter
1 large egg
½ tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla essence
± ½ cup (125 ml) additional flour

Caramel and Nut Topping
1/3 cup (85 ml / 75 g) butter
1/3 cup (85 ml) cream
½ cup (125 ml) sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) honey or syrup
1 cup (250 ml / 100 g) sliced (flaked) almonds
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence

Custard Filling
1/3 cup (75 ml) custard powder
2 Tbsp (30 ml) cornflour
1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar
good pinch salt
2 cups (500 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) cream (added after cooling)

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the additional flour in a mixing bowl and beat well. Add sufficient of the extra flour to form a soft dough and knead only until smooth. Cover and allow to rise in a mildly warm spot until doubled (30 minutes).
  2. While the dough is rising, prepare the custard for the filling. Combine all the ingredients except the cream in a large jug and microwave 3 minutes on High until the custard starts to thicken. Beat well and microwave until the very thick custard becomes bubbly. Beat well and allow to cool and refrigerate until quite cold before completing the filling with the added cream.
  3. While dough is rising, also place all the ingredients for the topping into a small saucepan and stir over moderate heat until syrupy. Simmer the topping for 5 minutes and set aside to cool slightly before using.
  4. Grease 24 cups of two medium size muffin tins with butter. Knead down the dough and divide into 24 portions (± golf ball size). Pinch off balls or roll into a strand and cut and adjust the portions until there are 24 even sized portions.
  5. Place the balls into the muffin cups as you go and with the fingertips flatten the top. Allow to rise for 10 to 15 minutes until doubled.
  6. While the dough is rising prepare the filling. custard and allow to cool. Place the ingredients for the topping into a small saucepan and bring to boil over moderate heat, stirring. Allow to simmer at least 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes syrupy. Cool to lukewarm.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC while the pastries are rising. With the fingertips, make a small hollow on top of the risen pastries and divide the topping between the pastries. Bake 18 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Cool a few minutes and remove to a cooling rack. Do not cool in the tins as the topping will harden and make them stick
  8. To complete the filling, add the cream to the cold firm custard and beat with an electric beater or blend with a stick blender until completely smooth.
  9. Cut the cold pastries in half horizontally and pipe or spread the custard filling over the base. Cover with the top layers and serve or refrigerate until required.


  • The recipe will make about 24 small pastries – if the balls are slightly larger and a few less pastries are made it will not matter at all.
  • The filled pastries will keep well if refrigerated for up to 4 days.
  • The baked pastries without custard filling freeze well to thaw and fill when required. To freeze half of the pastries and fill only half, cook half of the filling.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 851.

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Baked Cheesecake Loaf

This is a neat cheesecake, most suitable for serving in coffee shops or as an elegant dessert, sliced and served plain or surrounded by a fruit sauce or fresh fruit.

Crumb Coating
200 g ginger biscuits, crushed
2,5 ml ground cinnamon
butter (to grease the pan)

Cheesecake Mixture
5 large eggs, separated
30 ml sugar
500 g smooth, plain cottage cheese100 g butter, melted
150 ml sugar
75 ml cornflour
75 ml cake flour
30 ml lemon juice (optional)
5 ml vanilla extract

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 ℃.
  2. Grease one large loaf tin (2 liter capacity) or two smaller loaf tins (19 cm x 9 cm x 5 cm) generously with butter.
  3. Mix the crumbs and cinnamon and sprinkle into the tin(s). Shake to allow the crumbs to coat the sides evenly, then turn out the excess onto waxed paper and reserve for the top of the cake if preferred.
  4. Beat the egg whites until just firm and gradually beat in the 30 ml sugar.
  5. Add the egg yolks and beat lightly until combined.
  6. Place all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and beat very well for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add the beaten egg mixture and beat in gently fut thoroughly.
  8. Pour the mixture into the tin(s) allowing at least 10 mm rising space.
  9. Sprinkle the excess crumbs over the top, if preferred.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes for the large loaf tin or 35 to 40 minutes for the smaller loaf tins, until set.
  11. The cake should rise very gradually until set and rounded at the top.
  12. If the cake rises to fast, turn down the oven temperature to 150 ℃.
  13. When the cake is firm if tested in the centre with the fingertips, switch off the oven, open the door slightly and place a spoon in the door if necessary.
  14. Allow to cool in the oven for 1 hour to prevent shrinkage and ensure the best texture.
  15. Turn the cheesecake out onto a serving platter and serve while still slightly warm or cool, cover and refrigerate until required.

Servings: 12

Recipe by Carolié de Koster for the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 611.


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Unbelievable Christmas Cake

This cake is almost to good to be true – no soaking of fruit overnight, no baking for 4 hours or more.  It is so quick and easy to make, you won’t believe it!  But the proof is in the pudding!

Be sure to also try Carolie de Koster’s Microwave Fruit Cake or Dessert.

250 g fruit cake mix
50 g citrus peel, finely chopped
50 g glace cherries, finely chopped
50 g flaked almonds
100 g brown sugar, e.g. treacle or demerara
100 g butter
125 ml orange juice
5 ml brandy essence (substitute with vanilla or almond essence if you like)
2.5 ml mixed spice
180 ml cake flour
5 ml bicarb of soda
1 extra-large egg
125 ml milk

To garnish and serve
50 to 100 ml brandy
icing sugar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 ℃ and line a medium bread pan (19 cm x 9 cm x 5 cm) with a 1,25 liter capacity with baking paper and grease it with non-stick cooking spray.  Set it aside.
  2. Combine the fruit cake mix, citrus peel, glace cherries, almonds, sugar, butter, orange juice, brandy essence and mixed spice in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring.
  3. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Set the saucepan aside.
  4. Add the cake flour and bicarb of soda to the fruit mixture and mix well.
  5. Combine the egg and milk in a measuring jug and whisk it with a fork until combined.
  6. Add the milk mixture to the fruit mixture and mix well.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared bread pan and level the top.
  8. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack, remove the baking paper and set aside to cool completely.
  10. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and drizzle with brandy (optional) and dust with icing sugar before serving or store it in an airtight container until ready to serve.

6 to 8 servings.

The recipe can easily be doubled. Use a larger bread pan (about 28 cm x 11 cm x 6,5 cm) or oven-proof dish with a 2,25 litre capacity.

Plain Unbelievable Christmas Cake
Unbelievable Christmas Cake drizzled with icing glaze and candy cane dust
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Microwave Fruit Cake or Dessert

Moist, delicious and no effort to make and cook in the microwave. May be eaten fresh from the oven or cooled and treated like a traditional cake, covered with almond paste or marzipan only or covered with plastic icing (easy to purchase) as well.

500 g/850 ml mixed dried fruit e.g. cake mix or raisins, sultanas and currants, combined
250 g/400 ml stoned dates, finely chopped
200 g/250 ml brown sugar
125 g/140 ml butter
100 ml water
150 ml brandy
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
250 g /450 ml cake flour
10 ml cocoa
10 ml instant coffee powder
5 ml baking powder
5 ml mixed spice
5 ml ground cinnamon
1 ml ground ginger
1 ml grated nutmeg
2 ml salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
100 g/160 ml cherries, coarsely chopped
100 g/250 ml coarsely chopped nuts e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds or brazil nuts
125 ml brandy to sprinkle over cake/s

  1. Oblong, loaf-shaped or round containers may be used for the cake and it may be baked in 1 large (2,25 litres) or 2 smaller (1,25 litre), glass or plastic containers. If round dishes are used, line the bases only with waxed paper. If oblong or loaf-shaped dishes are used, line the longer side/s and the base/s with a sheet of waxed paper. Grease the unlined sides of the container/s and the paper well with margarine.
  2. Combine the mixed dried fruit, dates, brown sugar, butter or margarine, water and randy in a large bowl. Cover loosely and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Stir well and microwave 3 minutes more. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and cool to room temperature.
  3. Place the dry ingredients into a second bowl and stir until combined. Add to the fruit mixture and mix until blended. Add the eggs, cherries and nuts and stir until mixed.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared container/s and smooth the top. Cover with lids or cling wrap and microwave on DEFROST, 16 minutes for the large or 10 – 12 minutes for the small containers until just set. Microwave on HIGH, 4 minutes for the large or 2 – 3 minutes for the small containers to finish off baking until cooked right through.
  5. Cool in the container/s at least 15 minutes and pour over half of the brandy. Loosen carefully, turn out and sprinkle with the remaining brandy. Serve as a dessert or cool completely, wrap in aluminium foil and store.

1 medium or 2 smaller cakes or 16 – 20 generous servings.


  1. Two smaller cakes are neat and convenient to serve – it is cut and used quickly instead of continually cutting from a large cake which eventually appears untidy and no longer tempting. Store the well wrapped cake/s up to two months and sprinkle with a little brandy, once a week, to keep moist.
  2. The cakes may be baked in even smaller ovenproof glass or plastic containers to make little fruit cakes which will be served and eaten with one round of coffee or make attractive gifts, wrapped in cellophane and decorated with a ribbon. Decrease the cooking time if less batter is cooked at one time.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking Recipe book p. 898.

Art of Cooking- Microwave fruit cake or dessert

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Olive Oil, Chocolate & Almond Cake

This decadent cake have been adapted from the original recipe by Nigella Lawson.  It is gluten-free, which makes it a great option for family members or guests that are gluten intolerant.

150 ml olive oil (plus more for greasing)
50 g good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
125 ml boiling water
10 ml vanilla extract
150 g ground almonds or almond meal
2.5 ml bicarb of soda
1 ml salt
200 g castor sugar
3 large eggs

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 ° C and grease a 22 or 23 cm springform tin with a little olive oil and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste.
  3. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
  4. In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
  5. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or other mixing bowl and electric hand mixer) and beat for about 3 minutes until you have a pale, aerated and thickened cream.
  6. Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the grounds almonds or almond meal.
  7. Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.
  9. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin.
  10. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.

Makes: 8 to 12 slices.

Replace the almond meal with 200 ml cake flour.


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Olive Oil Cake

This is simple cake which can be easily be altered to personal taste by adding different flavouring ingredients.  The addition of the olive oil reduces the saturated fat of the recipe.

500 ml self-raising flour
200 ml sugar
pinch salt
200 ml olive oil
2.5 ml vanilla essence or extract
3 large eggs
150 ml milk

Flavouring Ingredients
10 ml caraway or aniseed or
10 ml grated orange or lemon zest plus 15 ml orange or lemon juice
125 ml chocolate chips or
50 g flaked almonds, toasted plus 2 ml almond essence

Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)
250 ml cream, chilled
15 to 30 ml sugar or icing sugar
1 ml vanilla essence

To serve
Icing sugar for dusting

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 º C and grease a 22 cm fluted or 25 cm deep ring pan.
  2. Note:  A ring pan such as a fluted “Bundt” tin, “Gugelhupf” or even an Angel cake tin will work well.
  3. If using the flaked almonds, sprinkle half of it evenly into the tin at this point.
  4. Place the flour, sugar, salt, olive oil, eggs and milk and vanilla essence in the bowl of a food processor or a large mixing bowl.
  5. Process or beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  6. Add the flavouring ingredients of your choice and mix or process until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining almonds on top, if used.
  9. Cake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden and firm to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Turn the cake out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  11. To make the sweetened whipped cream, place the cream and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat at a moderate speed until stiff and fluffy. Be careful not to over-beat the cream.
  12. Beat in the vanilla essence and spoon into a serving dish.
  13. Transfer the cake to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar.
  14. Serve with the sweetened whipped cream.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Home Bakes Recipe Book p. 45.

Olive oil almond cake


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Swiss Picnic Cake

The very different fruit and nut combination used in this moist and delicious cake makes a welcome alternative to typical fruit cakes.  It is also known as “white fruit cake” due to its lighter colour.

100 g hazelnuts
200 g sultanas
150 g dried apricots
150 g dried figs
250 ml sugar
5 large eggs
15 ml brandy or Kirsch
375 ml cake flour
pinch salt
200 ml milk

To serve
icing sugar to dust cake before serving

  1. Line a medium-sized loaf tin (about 280 x 110 mm x 65 mm) with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake at 200 °C for 8 to 10 minutes or until the skins crack.  Allow to cool and rub off the skins but leave the nuts whole. Cut the apricots and figs into thin strips and chop finely.
  3. Beat together the sugar and eggs until very light and fluffy.  Add the nuts, fruit, brandy or Kirsch, flour and salt and stir into the egg mixture. Add the milk and mix until smooth and evenly blended.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake at 180°C for about 50 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly baked if tested with a metal skewer.
  5. Turn out and allow to cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container, preferably refrigerated if the weather is warm.
  7. Dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.

1 loaf cake or 20 slices.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster’s Art of Cooking recipe book p. 615.



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Classic Baked Cheesecake

This is one of the most exquisite cheesecakes – a treat for connoisseurs!  The cheesecake in the photo was made with Featherlight Sweet Pastry (recipe at the bottom of the post), but it may also be baked with a biscuit crumb crust which is equally taste but quicker to make.

Biscuit Crumb Crust
1 x 200 g shortbread biscuits
50 g butter
7.5 ml ground cinnamon

6 large eggs, separated
750 g creamed cottage cheese
10 ml vanilla essence
100 ml cake flour
175 ml sugar
30 ml lemon juice
250 ml cream
125 ml soured cream or additional cream

To Serve & Decorate
250 ml whipped cream
fresh fruit or fruit coulis

  1. Grease a 280 mm to 300 mm spring-form tin with butter. Line the base of the tin with baking paper and grease the sides as well.  This is essential to ensure that this large cake can be transferred to a serving platter without breaking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  3. Place all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and process until evenly blended.  Press the crumbs evenly onto the base only.
  4. To make the filling, separate the eggs and beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until firm and set aside. Beat the egg yolks and all the remaining ingredients for the filling very well for 5 minutes. Add the beaten egg white and fold in gently but thoroughly until evenly combined.
  5. Pour the filling into the prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour or until well risen, light golden brown and completely set in the centre when tested with the finger tips. Reduce the oven temperature slightly if the cakes starts to brown within 15 minutes.
  6. Place a spoon in the oven door and allow the cake to cool in the oven for at least one hour. Cool completely before loosening the sides, releasing the spring and removing the rim.
  7. Remove the cake with the paper lining to the base of an airtight container.  Keep covered and refrigerated until required. When quite cold and firm, slip a large spatula or 2 egg lifters between the paper and the crust and transfer carefully to a serving platter.
  8. To serve, slice the cake neatly and serve with whipped cream or fruit coulis.

12 servings.

To make 2 smaller cakes, use 2 x 220 mm springform cake tins and bake for about 45 minutes or until set.

Featherlight Sweet Pastry
150 ml corn flour/Maizena
400 ml cake flour
5 ml baking powder
50 ml castor sugar
200 g butter
2 large eggs
2.5 ml vanilla essence
pinch salt

  1. Place all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and process only until the pastry holds together.  The pastry can also be made by hand.  Just mix and knead the ingredients until a smooth pastry is formed.
  2. Press the pastry into a ball, cover or seal in clingwrap and refrigerate until required.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface with a  floured rolling pin until quite thin and line the tin with the pastry.  Trim the edge neatly with a sharp knife.
  4. Continue the recipe above from step 5.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking Recipe book p. 607

Art of Cooking cheescake slice

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Chocolate Loaf Cake

This is a magnificent sponge cake of which nobody ever tires!  To cover the sides with as well, a double quantity of chocolate topping will be required.

140 g/250 ml cake flour
15 ml baking powder
pinch salt
30 ml cocoa powder
200 ml sugar
125 ml oil
125 ml water
5 ml vanilla essence
4 large eggs, separated

100 g dark, milk or white chocolate or combined
25 ml butter or cream
100’s and 1000’s (sprinkles) or chocolate shavings

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 °C.
  2. Line a medium loaf tin (about 280 mm x 110 mm x 65 mm) with non-stick baking paper to cover the longer sides only.  Grease the short sides with non-stick cooking spray. Alternatively use a 220  mm to 260 mm springform cake tin and grease with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and the water and oil and beat until evenly combined.  Beat in the egg yolks only until blended.
  4. Beat the egg whites until firm and fold into the batter until evenly blended.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake about 35 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch and thoroughly baked if tested with a skewer.
  6. Switch off the oven and allow the cake to cool in the oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
  7. Loosen the short sides and turn out the loaf onto a wire rack.  Remove the paper and cool.  Or, release the spring and remove the round cake from the pan carefully and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Place the chocolate and cream in a double-boiler and heat over simmering water until softened.
  9. Beat until the mixture is smooth and pour it over the cake, spreading over the top with a spatula and allowing streaks to run down the sides.
  10. Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands or chocolate shavings.


  1. Vary the kind of chocolate  – e.g. use dark chocolate with almonds.
  2. Omit the topping and dust the cake with icing sugar only.

12 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking Recipe Book p. 602.

Art of Cooking - Chocolate loaf cake

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Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Also known as Souffle Cheesecake, this delightful cake is a cross between a cheesecake and a sponge cake. This quick and easy version is delicous with only 3 ingredients, but this simple cake lends itself to a variety of flavours.  See the suggested variations below.

6 large eggs, separated
250 g white chocolate
1 x 250 g cream cheese or creamed cottage cheese

To serve
icing sugar, sifted

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC.  Have a 22 cm spring form cake tin ready.
  2. Cut a circle the size of the bottom of the spring form cake tin. out of baking paper and place it in the tin.  Spray itwith non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cut a collar out of baking paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the collar in the tin.  Set the tin aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler on the stove.  When melted, stir until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer to the firm peak stage.
  6. Add the cream cheese to the melted chocolate and mix well.
  7. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
  8. Add one-third of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well.
  9. Add the rest of the egg whites and mix well.
  10. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin.
  11. Place the cake tin in a roasting pan or ovenproof dish and pour boiling water halfway up the side of the cake tin. I have had success without the water bath as well!
  12. Please the pan or dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  13. Lower the temperature of the oven to 160ºC and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  14. Switch the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  15. Remove the cake tin from the oven and set it aside to cool.
  16. Remove the outer ring of the spring form pan and invert the cake onto a cake platter.
  17. Dust with icing sugar and serve.


  • Substitute the white chocolate for milk or dark chocolate.  This cake can be turned into a banting-friendly cake if 85% or 90% dark chocolate is used.
  • Add flavourings such as finely chopped lemon zest, coffee or vanilla extract.  You can even add used ground coffee (i.e. the coffee that you usually chuck in the bin!)
  • Drizzle the cake with melted white or dark chocolate or a combination of both!

I used a 25 cm spring form cake, which rendered a very flat cake.  I recommend baking it in a 22 cm spring form pan lined with baking paper in the bottom and a collar along the sides or a 30 cm quiche dish (see 2nd photo).

Japanese Cotton Cake


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Zucchini Cake

Surprise health cake lovers with this delicious and trendy vegetable based cake.

Prep time        20 min
Cook time       45 min
Yields              10 – 12 servings

1 cup (250 ml / 230 g) butter
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon zest (optional)
1 cup (250 ml) self-raising flour
½ cup (125 ml) wholemeal flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) poppy or black chia seeds
2 cups (500 ml) grated zucchini (firmly packed)
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped walnuts (optional)

Lemon Butter Icing
1½ cups (375 ml) icing sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) butter, very slightly softened
± 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

poppy or black chia seeds to sprinkle

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 ºC and line the base of a 22 cm round spring-form tin with baking paper. Grease the sides of the tin with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar very well until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and zest if used and beat well until blended. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly combined.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake about 45 minutes or until quite firm to the touch, lightly browned and a metal skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and remove to a cooling rack.
  4. Place the icing sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater or a spoon to start mixing and soften the butter. Add the lemon juice a few drops at a time, beating and adding until a smooth and creamy icing results.
  5. Spread the icing decoratively over the top and sprinkle with poppy or chia seeds.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.


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Schicttorte (German Layered Cake)

I really miss being inspired every Thursday evening while watching Koekedoor on Kyknet. If you feel the same way, the good news is that there is a similar program called Great British Bake Off on BBC Lifestyle. The bad news is that the final is next week Tuesday at 20:00 on Channel 174.

Last week contestants were given the task of making a Schichttorte as the technical challenge. It is a German cake which is traditionally cooked in stages under the grill to create 20 layers of different-coloured sponge.  It kind of looks like a stack of very thin pancakes.  It is based on the German baumkuchen cake which is made on a spit by brushing on even layers of batter and then rotating the spit around a heat source. Each layer is allowed to brown before a new layer of batter is poured. When the cake is removed and sliced, each layer is divided from the next by a golden line, resembling the growth rings on a crosscut tree.  It is a traditional pastry in many countries throughout Europe and is also a popular snack and dessert in Japan. The characteristic rings that appear when sliced resemble tree rings, and give the cake its German name, Baumkuchen, which translates to “tree cake”.

“Schichttorte” therefore is a simpler horizontally layered version of the cake which is baked without a spit and thus does not have circular rings but horizontal layers. The horizontally layered version results in a baumkuchen that is more like a conventional cake in shape. It can also be baked in a conventional household oven that has a grilling element, whereas the traditional spit version requires special equipment normally not available in an average household.

Typical ingredients includes eggs, caster sugar, plain flour, Amaretto, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, golden syrup and vanilla. But any mistakes or deviation from the recipe could cost the bakers a place in the final.

Schicht Torte2
Paul Hollywood’s Schichttorte
Baumkuchen in the making


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Coffee Apple Walnut Cake

An unusual combo which makes a stunning cake!

1⁄2 cup (125 ml or 125 g) butter, slightly softened
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
2 large eggs
11⁄2 cups (375 ml) cake flour or gluten‐free baking mix
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
150 ml full cream natural yoghurt or sour cream
1 cup (250 ml) grated apple (2 small )
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) strong black coffee, cooled
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) chopped walnuts
icing sugar to dust

To serve
whipped cream (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line the base of a 20 cm square or round cake tin with baking paper. Grease the sides with butter.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and yoghurt or sour cream and beat again.
  4. Add the apples, coffee, vanilla and nuts and mix until combined.
  5. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, lift out and dust generously with icing sugar.
  7. Cut into squares or wedges to serve, as is or with whipped cream.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.


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Almond Ring Cake

A most enjoyable plain ring or loaf cake with a stunning texture and flavour and which lasts well for several days.

½ cup (125 ml/125 g) butter
2/3 cups (175 ml) sugar
4 large eggs, separated
½ – 1 tsp (2.5 – 5 ml) almond essence
1 cup (250 ml) ground almonds
½ cup (125 ml) cake or rice flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
pinch salt

To serve
icing sugar to dust

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and grease a 20 cm ring mould with butter.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar very well.
  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time while beating until very light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the almond essence.
  5. Combine almonds, flour, baking powder and salt and beat into the egg mixture.
  6. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in gently until evenly blended.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared mould, smooth the top and bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.
  8. Cool in the mould for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  9. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

8 – 10 servings.

Variation:  Fruity Almond Cake

  1. In a container which can be sealed, combine 125 ml dried fruit such as golden sultanas, raisins, currants, glacé cherries and/or pineapple, OR use mixed cake fruit.
  2. Add 50 ml brandy, seal the container and shake well. Turn over and shake from time to time. Allow the fruit to soak and soften for at least an hour or overnight.
  3. Increase the baking powder to 5 ml, use only a few drops or omit the almond essence if preferred and add the soaked fruit with the dry ingredients to the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Complete as explained above and decorate with tiny chips of glace cherries together with the flaked almonds if preferred.

Note To serve as dessert add strawberries, whipped cream and toasted brown skinned almonds!

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.


Posted on

Orange, Almond and Polenta Cake

The combination of polenta and almond in this cake gives an interesting coarse texture which complements the citrus flavour.

800 g oranges (about 4 medium)
210 g/250 ml castor sugar
140 g/250 ml self-raising flour
2.5 ml salt
125 g butter at room temperature
4 large eggs at room temperature
100 g ground almonds
100 g polenta

Juice of 2 – 3 medium oranges (± 300 ml orange juice)
Zest of 1 orange or lemon, finely chopped
105 g/125 ml castor sugar
2,5 ml Pimiento Spice

  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, cover the whole oranges with water and boil for 10 minutes.  The oranges should be soft and tender but not mushy.
  3. Drain the water and cut the oranges in quarters.  Place the oranges and 100 g of the castor sugar in a food processor and process until quite fine.  Allow the orange pulp to cool slightly.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 160  C.
  5. Sift the flour and salt together 3 times.
  6. Cream the butter and remaining castor sugar in a large bowl with an electric beater.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Fold in the dry ingredients, orange pulp, almonds and polenta and mix well.
  9. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour.  Test with a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake.  It should come out clean.  If not, bake for another 10 minutes.
  10. To make the syrup, combine the juice, zest and castor sugar in a heavy-based saucepan.
  11. Stir over a low heat to melt the sugar.
  12. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes and pour some of the syrup over the cake the minute it comes out of the oven.
  13. Reserve the rest of the syrup to pour over the cake when serving.

12 servings.

Orange cake

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Gourmet Chocolate Mousse Cake

This decadent cake is ideal to make for a special occasion.  Chocolate Sponge Layers are filled with mousse and set.  The filling may be made with any flavour of chocolate – dark, milk, white or caramel – for  white or caramel, use only baking chocolate.  The sizes and shapes of the cakes as well as the kinds of finishes (glazes, icings, vermicelli, chocolate shavings, nuts, nut filled chocolates, fancy chocolate shapes, chocolate curls, chocolate honeycomb) are highly variable.

Chocolate Sponge Cake Layers
4 large eggs
250 ml cake flour
200 ml sugar
pinch salt
15 ml baking powder
125 ml oil
125 ml water
5 ml vanilla essence

Variable Chocolate Mousse Filling
200 g dark / milk / caramel / white cooking chocolate
75 ml milk
15 ml gelatine
30 ml water
4 large eggs, separated
10 ml sugar
5 ml vanilla essence
250 ml cream

250 ml whipped cream
icing sugar to dust

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease 2 x 26 cm spring form cake tins or one medium or two small loaf tins well with butter.
  2. Beat the eggs and vanilla and gradually beat in the sugar. Beat very well until quite thick and pale yellow.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients over the beaten mixture and beat slowly while adding the water.  Beat until evenly blended, divide between the prepared tins and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes or until risen and firm if tested with the fingertips.  Do not over-bake, for the cake will easily become too dry.
  5. Remove the cakes from the hot tins to prevent shrinkage and leave to cool.
  6. To make the filling, break up the chocolate coarsely and place with the milk into a suitable glass bowl.
  7. Cover and microwave on MEDIUM for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate has softened completely if tested with the tip of a teaspoon.
  8. Stir the milk into the chocolate until evenly blended.
  9. Place the gelatine in a small jug, and cover with water and microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds or place over the steam of simmering water until melted.
  10. Add to the chocolate mixture and stir until blended.
  11. Beat the egg yolks and sugar very well with an electric beater until quite thick and pale yellow.
  12. Pour in the hot melted chocolate mixture and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  13. Using two bowls, beat the egg whites until firm but not dry and beat the cream until stiff.
  14. Add both to the chocolate mixture and fold in until evenly blended.
  15. Refrigerate about 20 minutes (while cake is baking and cooling) to become slightly firm before filling the cakes and completing.
  16. Line the base of a round spring-form tin which will hold the round layers snugly, with baking paper.  Alternatively, line a suitable deep rectangular container, which will hold the sponge layers snugly, with a layer of baking paper, protruding well over the sides to help lift out the cake after it has set.
  17. Turn over one sponge layer into the container, peel off the paper and pour over the mousse.  Turn over the second sponge layer onto the mousse, peel off the paper and cover the container.
  18. Refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours or until completely firm and set.
  19. Release and remove the rim of the round tin and place on a board for cutting. Or lift out the rectangular cake with the aid of the paper and place on a board for cutting.
  20. Cut the round cake into 12 – 16 wedges with an electric knife – wipe the blades clean between cutting.  Or cut the rectangular cake in half lengthwise and crosswise into 6 to 7 neat slices (about 10 mm x 40-50 mm).
  21. Whipped cream piped into patterns or rosettes on top of the slices can be decorated with chocolate shavings.

12 to 16 servings depending on the size of the slices.

To support the mousse while setting a tin one size smaller than the size used is needed to allow for shrinkage of the sponge layers after baking. The cold, set cake slices neatly and has many possibilities as far as shape and size is concerned.

Chocolate mousse cake-2

The cake pictured below was decorated in chocolate leaves in autumn colours.  To make the chocolate leaves, brush the chocolate over the underneath side (where the veins are) of cleaned ivy or rose leaves quite thickly. Wipe the chocolate off the edges with the tip of a finger to prevent the chocolate leaves from breaking when the leaves are removed. Place onto a tray and allow to set, or if the weather is warm, refrigerate a short while until set. Remove the plant leaves carefully and decorate the cake with the chocolate leaves and pressing them lightly into the topping or glaze to keep in place. Alternatively, transfer the chocolate leaves to a large container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate mousse cake

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 593.