Posts Tagged ‘Crown St Cooks’

Last weekend I hosted a Gold Soiree at my house, to raise money for the Sydney Children’s Hospital’s Gold Week campaign. Guests were asked to wear a touch of gold and I tried to theme the food around the colour gold, including making these tasty vanilla cupcakes, and decorating them with a ‘gold’ praline.

Sparkle Cupcakery’s Vanilla Cupcakes

(Via the Crown St Cooks cookbook)

260g butter
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Buttery Vanilla Icing

115g butter
2 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 150ºC. Sift flour and baking powder. Cream butter and sugar on high speed with egg beaters for 5-15mins, depending on butter’s softness. Add eggs, one at a time, allowing to combine and not curdle. Add ½ the sifted flour and baking powder and ½ the milk and vanilla paste. Mix lightly to combine. Add remaining sifted flour and baking powder, then remaining milk and vanilla paste. Mix through to combine to a smooth batter.

Spoon mix into cupcake foils. Bake for 30mins on 140ºC to 160ºC (oven temperature may vary, depending on type).

To make topping, cream butter and icing sugar on high speed with egg beater for between 5 and 10 mins, depending upon softness of butter. Add egg white, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Cream for an additional 3mins. Use to ice cooled cupcakes.


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If you haven’t already purchased the Crown Street Cooks cookbook then you really MUST. Half the recipes are from chefs at well-known Surry Hills cafes and restaurants, while the other half are family favourites from the parents and grandparents of kids at Crown Street School. With stunning photographs, illustrations (drawn by one of the primary school’s students) and recipes such as Paella, Cafe Mint’s Breakfast CousCous,  Scottish Potato Scones and Sparkle’s Vanilla Cupcakes, it has quickly become one of my favourite cookbooks. Only $35, with all proceeds going to Crown St School and the Salvation Army. For more information including stockists, visit http://www.crownstreetcooks.com.au/

This particular soup, contributed by one of the Crown St School mums, has become a regular addition to the weekly meal plan…

Roast Tomato, Red Lentil & Cumin Soup

1.5kg roma tomatoes
2 heaped tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups red lentils, washed
2 small carrots
1 tbs tomato paste
Greek style yoghurt, to taste
Freshly chopped coriander, to serve

Prehead oven to 180*C. Cut tomatoes in half. Place cut-side up on a baking tray. Mix cumin with olive oil and spoon sparingly over tomatoes (reserve a third). Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 45mins to 1 hour, until they are soft and juicy.

In a large saucepan, saute sliced red onion and garlic in leftover cumin oil. Add washed lentils add cook over low heat for 5mins. Add 1.5lt water and diced carrots and simmer for 30mins. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and puree with a stick blender. Heat through. To serve, ladle into bowls and too with a generous serve of Greek style youghurt. Sprinkle with coriander.

The cookbook recommends serving with Turkish bread, but I wouldn’t go overboard here- this soup is very filling!

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