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Bee-sting Pastries

The Beesting Cake (see image at the bottom of this post) has its origins in Germany.  It is said that the cake is called “bee sting” as it is thought that a bee was attracted to the honey topping on the cake, and that the baker who invented the cake was stung.   This popular German confection, aka Bienenstich Cake, can also be made as individual pastries (photo and recipe by Carolie de Koster). Also check out my recipe for Beesting Buns. They are a great alternative if you are craving Crispy Creme!

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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.
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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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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.

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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 Art Of Cooking page 45.


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Schicttorte (German Layered Cake)

Schichttorte 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. 

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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.