Happy Valentines Day everyone. Whether or not you really go in for this particular 'celebration', maybe it's just a good excuse to tell all the nice people in your life how much you lurve them...and maybe cook them something pretty and sweet? Like the butter cake below perhaps.
Last weekend we ducked town to my parents' place for the annual Rydal Show (more on this in an upcoming post) and had the chance to catch up with most of my family (with a few notable exceptions - you were all greatly missed...). We picked blackberries, took the kids swimming in the lake, cooked and ate and it was great. The perfect little escape from our dry, hot reality at home.
In any case, the blackberry harvest was impressive so Mum made jam and sent us all home with a jar or two (and by the way Dad - it set perfectly!), then I pilfered a few handfuls to garnish the simple butter cake made for morning tea on Sunday (recipe comes after the Friday List).
The Friday List
Things I want to cook very soon; Felafel patties with harissa yogurt from a new favourite A Couple Cooks then No bake granola bars from David Lebovitz and maybe a batch of Peanut butter pretzel bars from Top with Cinnamon.
Looking for some last-minute Valentine's day inspiration? Perhaps this beautiful confection, or this beetroot cake with goat's cheese and thyme glaze will fit the bill. Or for a complete love-in; what about these healthy/heart-shaped chocolate caramels?
Two more great Australian blog-y discoveries; from Tasmania comes The Sunday Best and from all over our great continent comes Common Threads; a collaborative blog project by six Australian bloggers all posting on common themes. Beautiful.
If you've ever wanted to make edible, lickable wallpaper for your kids' rooms (who hasn't?), then this post from The Guardian is for you...
Lots of great discoveries in this post by Kenko Kitchen, and a beautiful recipe for ice cream pavlova too! Talk about over delivering...
Simple butter and yogurt cakeThis recipe is pretty basic but useful to know as it yields a delicious loaf that goes well with pretty much any fresh or poached fruit. This version did sink a little in the middle, but that was only because an impatient Tom Hansen opened the oven every five minutes or so while it was cooking.
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Finely grated zest and juice of one orange
3/4 cup natural (Greek-style) yogurt
Preheat oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well between each addition. Fold through the flour, baking powder and lemon juice and zest and then the yogurt.
Gently spoon into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is cooked through and just beginning to pull away from the tin's sides. Let cool a little then serve in thick slices with a little extra yogurt and fresh berries.
Swap the orange with lemon.
Fold fresh chopped fruit through the batter before baking.
Ice with a tangy lemon glaze and finish with extra lemon zest.