Inquiring Minds Want To Know…

9 Sep

The new frog is Litoria rubella, or the Desert Tree Frog. Don’t you love his beautiful bronzey colour? I find all my froggy info (and pics) at this site. I thought it was time for a new look – I’ve had the same theme and the same frog (Litoria phyllochroa, the Green Stream Frog) for well over a year.

The recipes: the Yoghurt and Apple loaf is actually a muffin recipe from this book, which I picked up for $2 at an A&R liquidation sale last year. It is a good solid textbook type of cookbook, with classic everyday recipes, but is sadly doomed to obscurity in these days of celebrity chef cookbooks, with their gorgeous, almost pornographic photography. You know the ones I mean. I tweaked it a bit, but here’s the original recipe:

Yoghurt & Honey Muffins – makes 12

  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 75ml / 5Tbsp clear honey
  • 250ml / 8fl oz natural (plain) yoghurt
  • 1 large egg, at room temp
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 50ml / 2fl oz lemon juice
  • 150g / 5oz plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 175g / 6oz wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour
  • 7.5g / 1.5 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
  • 1.5g / 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to190*C (350*F).  Grease 12-cup muffin pan, or line with paper patty-pans.
  2. Melt the butter and honey in a small pan. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk together the yoghurt, egg, lemon rind and juice in a bowl. Stir in the butter and honey mixture and set aside.
  4. Sift together both kinds of flour, the bicarb soda and nutmeg into another bowl, returning the bran to the bowl, then fold the dry ingredients into the yoghurt mixture. Note: depending on the thickness of your yoghurt, the mix can be a little dry a this stage, so I sometimes add a little extra milk to get a good, cake-battery consistency.
  5. Fill the prepared cups two-thirds full. Bake for about 20-25 mins, until the tops spring back when touched lightly. cool in the tray for 5 minutes before turning out. Serve warm or cold.
  6. My mods: I peeled and grated two granny-smith apples and stirred them through after step 4, then baked for 40 mins in a 23cm (9in) square cake tin. I’ve also been known to add a can of pie apricots and swirl them through.

The Honey Cake recipe, I found in the back of a library book, of all places. The book was a Disney Winnie-the-pooh story about Piglet and Roo spending a day together, and making a huge mess in the kitchen while Kanga is out. Kanga comes home, sees the mess, and not only helps them clean it up, but then teaches them how to cook the cake properly (clearly a work of fiction – any real mother who came home and found her child and the neighbour trashing the place would kill them both and do the midnight flit). On the last page was a recipe for the honey-cake that they made. The recipe was a little vague on things like oven temp, cooking time and tin-size but a bit of trial and error has made this a standard lunch-box favourite.

Pooh-Bear’s Honey Cake

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 100g / 3.5oz caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp clear honey
  • 90g wholemeal (whole-wheat) self-raising flour
  • 3.5g / 1/2tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp caster sugar, extra
  1. Preheat oven to 160*C (320*F), grease and line a deep 23cm (9in) square or 20cm (8in) round cake tin.
  2. Separate egg yolks from whites, placing them into two separate bowls.
  3. Add sugar and vanilla to egg yolks beating well with a whisk until pale and thick. Add honey and whisk until well combined
  4. Sift flour, yeast and cinnamon, then add by spoonfuls to yolk mixture, beating well between each addition. set aside.
  5. Add extra sugar to egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form
  6. Gently fold whites into yolk/flour mixture.
  7. Pour into prepared pan, bake at 160*C (320*F) for 30-40 mins, or until top is golden and springs back when touched lightly.
  8. Cool in tin for 5 mins before turning out. Serves 12.

Now my hands are very cold, so I am going to go and wash up the breakfast things to thaw them back out. Then there is a mountain of clothes to sort, fold and put away. Sigh. Some parts of the full-time mum thing are way more fun than others. But I’m still glad to be back – I’ve missed you guys!


3 Responses to “Inquiring Minds Want To Know…”

  1. Bells September 9, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    Georgeous recipes. I love the sound of a honey cake. Right up my alley. I’m going to make it.

    And welcome back!

  2. amy September 9, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    Thanks for the recipes! Monday is my baking day with Nicholas, and we will try at least one of these, if not both. I’m waiting for the right sort of apples to come in season for apple sauce and apple crisp, but until then… mmm, honey cake.

  3. Kate September 9, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    Thanks for the recipes! I am sitting here savouring my brownie, swathed in rugs, hot tea to hand, while my husband watches that movie in the other room. I will try your recipes later this week, ingredients willing!

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