Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

A number of people who have read my novel, Scrappy Cupcake Angels, have commented to me that they would like to have seen recipes included in the book. In hindsight, it seems it would have been a good idea and I have taken the comments on board and plan on including recipes in my next book. But for now, I will be putting some of the cupcake recipes on my blog periodically. Here is the link to Jodi’s Jaffa Cupcakes that I posted on my blog in September last year.

Below is the recipe for the raspberry lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing that Jodi takes along to Wattle Lane Keepsakes for her scrapbooking friends. This is a lovely recipe to make during the berry season, but can also be made with frozen raspberries, thawed out first.

These cakes can easily be made dairy-free. Having a dairy intolerance, I have got used to substituting ingredients. Simply replace the butter with dairy-free spread, the milk with oat milk or soy milk, and the cream cheese with a vegan cream cheese.

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

125g butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
150g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup milk
1 cup raspberries, roughly chopped
extra raspberries for decorating

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt alternately with milk. Gently stir in raspberries.

Divide mixture between cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool, then spread with lemon cream cheese icing and decorate with extra raspberries.

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups sifted icing sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter together. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Add icing sugar and mix until smooth and creamy.

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes3

Garden Journal – December

December has been a busy month in the garden with lots of growth – both plants and weeds! I love this time of the year with all the lovely berries that are around. We have a berry farm nearby that sells fresh raspberries, blueberries and boysenberries. I made my first ever batch of raspberry jam this month. Ten jars, some of which I gave away, the rest stored in the pantry for the year ahead.

My favourite tree, the Jacaranda, is resplendent this month with its purple flowers blooming in gardens and on roadsides all over town.

We are picking zucchinis every day. They are so versatile, grated into a salad, chopped into stir-fries, or baked into vegetable dishes, cakes and loaves. Two of my favourite dishes are Zucchini and Carrot Slice, and Zucchini Blueberry loaf, both easy to make and a great way to use up that surplus of zucchinis!

Garden journal - December

Garden journal December2

This Zucchini and Carrot Slice makes a delicious vegetarian meal, and is nice cold the next day.

Zucchini and Carrot Slice

250 g zucchini
1 large carrot
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 cup grated cheese (I use hard goat’s cheese)
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup oil
salt & pepper to season

Grate carrot and unpeeled zucchini and place in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix to combine. Pour into a greased dish and bake at
180ºC for 50 minutes.

Zucchini and Carrot Slice

Zucchini & Carrot Slice

This is a healthy, nutritious loaf that can be made with fresh blueberries when in season, or frozen blueberries out of season.

Zucchini Blueberry Loaf

(makes 2 loaves)

4 eggs
2 cups raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oil
2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups peeled, grated zucchini
1 cup blueberries

Beat eggs. Gradually add sugar, then vanilla and oil. Add sifted dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini and blueberries. Divide mixture between 2 loaf tins and bake at 180ºC for 50-60 minutes.

Zucchini Blueberry Loaf

This loaf is nice spread with a little honey.

Slice of Zucchini Blueberry Loaf

Christmas Recipe Scrapbook

This year I decided to put my favourite Christmas recipes together into a little scrapbook album to save looking through my cookbooks every year searching for recipes. Most of the recipes are ones I have adapted from others over the years.

I made the album by cutting squares of cardboard and covering them with scrapbook papers. Then I punched holes in them, tied them all together with festive green and red ribbons and embellished the front cover with letters, ribbon and charms.

These are some of the pages and recipes from the album.

Christmas Recipe Scrapbook

Recipes

Vanilla and Cranberry Cupcakes

150 g butter or dairy-free spread
150 g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cranberries
150 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line muffin pan with paper cupcake cases. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla and cranberries. Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt alternately with milk. Divide mixture between cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, then ice with vanilla frosting and decorate with red and green glace cherries.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

 Vanilla Frosting

100 g softened butter or dairy-free spread
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups icing sugar
1 Tblsp milk
Red and green glace cherries to decorate

Mix butter, vanilla, icing sugar and milk to a spreadable consistency. Spread or pipe onto cakes.

Vanilla & Cranberry Cupcakes

Christmas Fruit Mince

2 cups sultanas
2 cups cranberries
1 cup raisins
Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 apple, peeled and grated
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons brandy

Process sultanas, cranberries and raisins until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Spoon mixture into a screwtop jar and refrigerate. Will keep up to 3 months.

Christmas Fruit Mince

Christmas Fruit Mince Tarts

Pastry

3 ½ cups flour
½ cup custard powder
4 tablespoons sugar
250 g butter or dairy-free spread
1 egg yolk and water to mix

To make the pastry: Sift flour and custard powder. Stir in sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add beaten egg yolk and water. Mix to a stiff dough. Chill for 30 minutes.

To make mince tarts: Roll out pastry to 3mm thickness. Cut out rounds and line 24 greased patty tins. Place 1 tablespoon of fruit mince in each shell. Roll out remaining pastry and cut out star shapes. Place a star in the middle of each tart. Brush stars with beaten egg. Bake at 180ºC for 20 minutes. Dust with icing sugar when cold.

Christmas Fruit Mince Tarts

This chocolate fudge cake recipe is one that my mother used to make when we were children and she still makes it today. Delicious!

Chocolate Fudge Cake

450 g plain digestive biscuits, crushed
200 g butter or dairy-free spread
200 g white sugar
50 g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
Nuts or dried fruit (optional)

Mix cocoa with a small amount of cold water to a thin paste. Place butter, sugars, eggs and cocoa in a saucepan. Stir continuously over a medium heat until butter has melted and sugar has fully dissolved. Add vanilla essence. Add heated mixture to crushed biscuits and mix well. Press down firmly into cake tin and refrigerate until set. Cut into pieces.

If desired, nuts or dried fruit can be added before adding the biscuits. Ice with chocolate icing or sprinkle with icing sugar.

Note: If using dairy-free spread, you may need to add a few more crushed biscuits to the mixture so that it will set properly.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

These stuffing balls are good for vegetarians as they can be cooked separate from the meat. The recipe makes 6 balls. They are nice cold the next day too!

Sage and Apple Stuffing Balls

25 g butter or 3 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 egg, beaten
4 slices bread, crumbed
¼ cup chopped fresh sage leaves or 2 tablespoons dried sage
Salt and pepper to season

Gently fry butter, onion and apple for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in breadcrumbs, sage and beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper. Form into balls. Brush with oil. Bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.

Sage and Apple Stuffing Balls

I added a pocket to the back page for slipping in extra recipes and notes.

Christmas Album Pocket

Garden Journal – November

November is a lovely time in the garden. Late spring and everything is green. Things are beginning to grow quickly now, including the weeds! The gardens are bursting with colour, and my favourite flower, the foxglove, is blooming beautifully. The sage bush is growing nicely and should have plenty of leaves to pick next month for making sage and apple stuffing balls to have with our Christmas dinner. Our strawberries are prolific this month, giving me an opportunity to make one of my favourite desserts – strawberry shortcake. It is a quick, easy recipe, and very delicious!

Strawberry Shortcake

225g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
125g butter (or dairy-free spread)
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter. Beat egg and sugar until thick, then mix into dry ingredients. Knead into a ball. Press into a greased or paper lined sponge roll tin. Bake for 20 minutes at 190ºC.
Top with strawberries and serve with yoghurt, whipped cream, or ice cream.

Garden Journal – October

Despite October being very windy, it was a pretty month in the garden with lots of plants coming into flower. The air was filled with the sweet scent of orange blossom, the lavender was abuzz with bees, and the maple tree was stunning with sunlight shining through its dark red leaves. Lemons are abundant in my garden at the moment, and I have included a recipe for my favourite lemon curd cake. Enjoy!

Lemon Curd Cake

Lemon Curd (makes 3 cups)

4 lemons
100g butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, beaten

Place grated zest and juice of lemons, butter cut into small pieces, sugar, and eggs in a saucepan. Cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Cool, stirring occasionally until thick and glossy. Mixture will thicken further when placed in fridge for a few hours.

Cake

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
100g butter, chopped into small pieces
3 eggs
1 cup of lemon curd
Icing sugar for dusting

Rub together self-raising flour, sugar and butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add eggs and mix to combine. Grease and line a spring-form tin with baking paper. Press three-quarters of the mixture into the base of the tin. Spread over 1 cup of the cooled lemon curd, then spread over the remaining cake mixture. It can be a little sticky, so dust your hands with flour, then press out small pieces at a time and place on top of lemon curd.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 180ºC. Cool in tin before removing. Dust with icing sugar and serve with an extra spoon of lemon curd drizzled over the top. Delicious!

Garden Journal – September

As a writer, I am constantly taking note of which plants and trees are in flower at any one time of the year, so that I don’t make a blunder in my stories and have something flowering in the wrong season. Until now, I have jotted down notes here and there, but then forget where I have written them, so I decided it would be fun to start a garden journal in which I can write down observations, make sketches, and keep a record of what is happening in my own garden. It will be a little like a scrapbook in which I can paste photos and pictures. I am also going to include information on one of my favourite subjects, herbs, as well as including recipes using plants harvested from my garden each month.

I decided that September would be a perfect month to start my journal, as we are coming into spring, the garden is coming to life, and I have started planning and planting my garden for the coming season.

These are the first few pages from my journal.

Rosemary is a useful herb in the kitchen. Rosemary flowers are pretty in salads and make an attractive garnish. You can strip the leaves from the stalks and use them as skewers for the barbecue. The chopped leaves can be added to scones, breads and biscuits, and cooked in stews and soups.

These are two of my favourite recipes using leaves from my rosemary bush.

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread

1/2 cup castor sugar
250g butter
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tblsp lemon juice
2 Tblsp chopped rosemary leaves
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tblsp cornflour

Cream butter and sugar. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and rosemary leaves. Add sifted dry ingredients. Knead well and roll out to 1cm thick. Cut into pieces, prick with fork, and bake at 150ºC for 1/2 hour.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

This is a slight variation of a recipe from Alison Holst’s Bread Book

2 tsp Surebake yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp oregano
1 Tblsp olive oil

Topping
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp chopped rosemary leaves

Measure the first five ingredients into a large bowl with 1 1/2 cups of the flour, and mix. Cover and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and oregano, adding a little extra warm water or flour if necessary to make a dough just firm enough to knead.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, adding extra flour if necessary, until it forms a soft dough that springs back when gently pressed.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Knead the dough lightly in the bowl for about a minute.

Turn the dough onto a baking paper lined tray and form into an oval. Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until double the original size.

Pour the second quantity of oil evenly over the surface and dimple the surface with your fingertips. Spread the top with two tablespoons of olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary leaves.

Bake at 225ºC for 15 minutes.

To make in breadmaker

Measure the first seven ingredients into the breadmaker. Set to DOUGH cycle and START. When the cycle is complete, shape and bake as for handmade instructions.

Jodi’s Jaffa Cupcakes

While I was writing Scrappy Cupcake Angels I had fun trying out different recipes for cupcakes. I visited a local shop called Cake Stuff and was amazed at the range of accessories they had, from decorative paper cases, various coloured ready-to-use icings, edible flowers and sugar decorations, to all the different decorating tools. In Scrappy Cupcake Angels, Jodi finds comfort through baking. I, too, love to bake, and the fun thing with cupcakes is that anything goes! They can be as plain or as fancy as you like.

For a dairy-free version, replace the butter with a dairy-free spread.

Jaffa Cupcakes

150g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
150g flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tblsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
Zest of an orange
1 Tblsp orange juice
1/3 cup chocolate drops

Line patty pans with paper cupcake cases.

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add sifted flour, baking powder, cocoa & salt. Mix to combine. Stir in orange zest, orange juice and chocolate drops. Divide mixture between paper cases. Bake at 180ºC for 20 minutes. Ice with frosting & decorate as desired.

Chocolate Orange Buttercream Frosting

60g butter
250g icing sugar
1 Tblsp cocoa
2 Tblsp orange juice
1 tsp orange zest

Soften butter. Mix with other ingredients to spreadable consistency. Pipe in swirls on top of cooled cupcakes.

Makes 18 small cupcakes

Enjoy!