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Sour Cream Frosted Gingerbread Cake with Cherries

10 Dec


What you will need:
3 cups of self raising flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster (fine) sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
2 cups icing (confectionery) sugar, sifted
8 tablespoons butter, unsalted
Cherries and Mint for garnish

What to do:
Grease and line 2 round baking tins. One 30cm and the other 20cm in diameter. Pre heat your oven to moderate. In a large bowl beat together your sugars along with the butter using an electric mixer. Once the sugar has dissolved add the honey and eggs and continue to beat until combined. Sift in the cloves, ginger and cinnamon and gradually fold in your sifted flour along with the milk. Beat your mixture until smooth then pour into the tins and bake for around 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow your cakes to cool before frosting.
CakeTo make the frosting beat the butter using an electric mixer until it has softened and lightened in colour. Now gradually add your icing sugar and sour cream and continue to beat until smooth. Add a generous layer of frosting on top of your larger cake. Now carefully place the smaller cake on top, ensuring it is centred. Ice the smaller cake and garnish with some cherries, mint and a light dusting of icing sugar. Serves around 20. Enjoy!

<Download the Recipe Card PDF>

Festive Entertaining with Maggie & Brooke

3 Dec


Today I am very excited to introduce Brooke and Maggie, authors of the Love of Cooking cookbook series.  Brooke and Maggie are a mother daughter team and Award Winning authors of 11 cookbooks and counting. Recently Brooke and Maggie were kind enough to answer a few questions and share some of their entertaining tips and tricks as well as their recipe for creating the perfect turkey gravy. Here’s what they had to say;

The Love of Cooking Cookbook Series is made up of a group of recipes that we have been collecting for years mixed with recipes from family & friends.  As the number of books grows (11 so far) we find ourselves asking for recipes wherever we go. We have found that almost anyone will give you a recipe if you ask because it is a real compliment to the cook. The first volume is made up of 5 books, each sold as ebooks. Appetizers, Salads, Sides, Soups & Main Dishes. You can buy them separately or in the volume.  We also have 4 books in our Holiday Series. 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving & now Christmas.

girl cooking

Mom & I have always loved to cook & loved to cook together. We also have been looking for a project to do for years. When we discovered that we could write & publish ebooks ourselves it was a perfect fit for us. We love to cook & know that it is not easy for everyone. We want folks to fall in love with cooking again & not just run through the drive thru. We have written these books like we are telling a friend how to make a dish. We like to say that they are easy enough for a beginner but delicious enough for even a seasoned cook to enjoy. We encourage cooks to find their way around the kitchen by feeling free to try different spices, or amounts of spices in a dish to suit their taste. Don’t be afraid to mess up. We all make dishes that end up in the dogs dish. Start with a basic dish & play with it. The more you try the easier it will get. Our recipes are a good starting point to get you used to being a success in the kitchen. We absolutely love to find a recipe & add or change an ingredient & make it our own. So many of our recipes are what we call cleaning out the frig recipes. Something has to be made with the fresh spinach that is going to go bad soon. So we make a new dish with spinach. It is so fun to create a new dish & anyone can do it.


Festive Entertaining Tips & Tricks:

Christmas is just around the corner. Getting ready can be daunting. Especially if you are in charge of Christmas dinner. We are big on making list. 1st: decide on a menu. 2nd: take each dish you are planing to make & figure out what you need. Make a list of what you need for each. 3rd: shop in your own pantry to see what you already have (it is expensive when you double buy). 4th: go get the rest at the store. Go early for non-perishables & then last minute for fresh stuff (a quick in & out ). We have lots of meal & snack ideas in the Christmas book, but our Appetizer book is just loaded with starters if you are having a holiday party & just  serving snacks (or you need to bring one).

Maggie Brooks recipe for the perfect Turkey Gravy:


“*The secret to making the perfect turkey gravy is using homemade turkey stock rather than chicken broth from a can.”

What you will need:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 c defatted drippings from turkey
4 c turkey stock*
Salt & Pepper

What to do:
Melt butter in a medium  skillet. Add flour, stirring constantly. Add the drippings from your turkey. This is what gives your gravy a rich taste & colour. You can put this in a cup & skim off the fat. The easier way is to use a kitchen tool called a gravy separator. It is a measuring cup with the spout at the bottom so you can leave the fat at the top & pour out the good drippings. Slowly add stock and stir until slightly thickened. Turkey gravy is not as thick as cream gravy.  be sure to add salt & pepper to taste and you’e done.

Traditional Roast Turkey with trimmings Plated

Easy HomemadeTurkey Stock:

What you will need:
4 lb pkg turkey wings
12 c water
1 med onion, cut into chunks
2 carrots, cut into chunks
4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

What to do:
Put all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to your mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat & simmer for about 2 hours. Stir often & add more water as the liquid cooks down. Put a colander on top of another stock pot and strain the stock. If you like meat in your stock, de-bone the wings & add the meat to the strained stock.

A chance to win your favourite Maggie Brooks Cookbook!


Brooke and Maggie recently launched a new website; Love of Cooking Christmas, which offers sneak peaks into their recently released Christmas Cookbook . The website also offers free instructional videos for making your favourite desserts and treats including; Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies and Raspberry English Triffle. To gain access to these free videos all you need to do is subscribe and check your inbox for the link. To celebrate the new website Brooke and Maggie are offering 2 lucky readers the chance to win a copy of their favourite Maggie Brooks e-book.

To enter simply subscribe to the fore-mentioned videos and comment below with the title of the book you would like to win.

Competition is open worldwide and closes 21st December. Winners will be notified by email the following day. Good luck!

Sweet Treats

2 Dec


Cherry pieThis White Chocolate Cherry Pie is super easy to make, requires no baking and can be made in less than a hour. A perfect festive dessert or afternoon treat with a coffee.

What you will need:
200 grams of shortbread biscuits
6 tablespoons of melted butter
350 grams of cream cheese
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 jar of cherry pie filling or you can make your own.
What to do:
In a bowl crush your shortbread biscuits into a fine crumb. Mix in the melted butter and firmly press your crumbs into the base of a lined pie dish. Place your base in the fridge. In a fresh bowl beat together your cream and cream along with the sugar. Once your mixture is smooth fold in the vanilla and melted white chocolate. Spoon your mixture on top of the base and top with your cherry pie filling. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours and Enjoy!

Festive Treats

29 Nov


This cream cheese berry roulade makes for a great festive dessert or snack and although it looks impressive is fairly easy to make.

What you will need:
4 tablespoons (fine) caster sugar
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons dutch cocoa
120 grams extra dark chocolate
300 grams cream cheese
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blueberries, strawberries and icing sugar for garnish.
What to do:
Preheat your oven to moderate and grease and line a shallow slice/lamington tray. Seperate your egg yolks and whites into 2 separate bowls and set aside. Melt your chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water and allow to cool slightly. Add the sugar and cocoa to the bowl containing the eggs yolks and beat using an electric beater until your mixture becomes light and fluffy. Now fold through your chocolate and vanilla. Using a clean set of beaters beat your egg whites until a stiff peak and gently fold into the chocolate mixture, being careful to not to over mix the batter. Pour your batter into your prepared tray and cook for around 15 minutes or until the sponge springs back when touched. Allow the sponge to cool before turning out onto a lightly icing sugar dusted board lined with grease proof paper. In a bowl beat together your cream cheese, vanilla and sifted icing sugar. Spoon half of your cream cheese mixture onto the top of the sponge and gently roll. Top your roll with the remaining cream cheese mixture, berries and a dusting of icing sugar.

Festive Sweets

28 Nov


These Chocolate Bark Cookies are super easy to make and the recipe can be easily altered to make an assortment of varieties. Feel free to switch the white chocolate for milk or dark, add your favourite nuts, coconut and even candy!
What you will need:
1 pack of cookies of your choice (I used a thin Shortbread variety)
250 grams of white chocolate
1 cup of fruit and nut mix
What to to:
Melt your chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water. Once fully melted coat your chosen cookies in the chocolate and arrange on a lined tray or board. Arrange your fruit and nuts (or candy) on top of the cookies while the chocolate still isn’t set. Allow the chocolate to fully set at room temperature and you’re presto an easy festive snack. Enjoy!


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