Chocolate or Banana Mud Cake
(Heather Clarke)

This recipe below is used by many of our guild members, it originated with Heather Clarke. The winning attributes of this recipe, is the cakes keeping qualities (allowing for several days decorating time during the week, ahead of a weekend wedding). It also tastes great, is lovely and dark & moist. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, there is a tried & tested banana alternative. It freezes well. Many of the members say, even though they have tried other recipes from time to time, they always go back to this one.

400g butter
3 cups sugar
2 cups milk
4 tbsp Golden Syrup
Warm together until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Add 5 cups of flour.
For Chocolate cake add
4 heaped tbsp cocoa
2 cups milk
4 tsp baking soda dissolved in milk
Optional* add 100g melted chocolate if desired
For Banana cake add
2 cups mashed banana
1/4 cup milk
4tsp baking soda (dissolved in milk)
Bake 160 degrees celcius for 2 hours (recipe will fill a deep 10-11'' tin). Tie wet newspaper (three or 4 thicknesses - do not overlap at join) around outside of tin. Don't use fan bake.

Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe makes deliciously dark chocolate cupcakes. And they have the best keeping qualities. After 5 days, they still look, feel & taste great (but don't worry, they never last that long)

Ingredients1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use baking cocoa, not drinking cocoa)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


1 Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
2 In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
3 Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Makes 18 cupcakes (using Wilton cupcake papers) with flat tops

Chocolate modelling clay recipe

This modelling clay recipe is great for making chocolate roses, bows and figures. You can use either white or dark chocolate melts.

310 grams chocolate (coarsely chopped chunks or chips or melts)
1/3 cup light corn syrup

1. Using Microwave: In a shallow bowl, melt the chocolate in microwave (be careful so that the temperature does not exceed 100 degrees F.) for 2 minutes; stir. If chocolate is not completely melted, return to microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir until smooth.
Using Double Boiler: Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water and stir until melted.
2. Add corn syrup to the chocolate and mix well (scrape all the corn syrup into the chocolate with a rubber spatula). Using a rubber spatula, stir and fold mixture, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl well, until no shiny syrup is visible and the mixture forms a thick ball.
3. Pour mixture onto a waxed paper sheet and spread with the spatula until it's about 1/2-inch thick; let it sit and stiffen, uncovered, for about 2 hours. At this stage it will appear oily.
Use at once or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Your Roses or bows will harden after a few days at room tempurature and can be saved by storing in a cool, dry place.

How to make MMF (Marshmallow fondant)

To make an icing that gives the appearance of rolled white fondant, but tastes great, you can use Marshmallow fondant, often referred to as MMF.

500g. mini marshmallows
2 T water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
2 tsp corn syrup (helps w/ pliability) available on Kiwicakes website
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1kg icing sugar, sifted (aprx 7C)
Vegetable shortening (Kremelta or Crisco)

Grease microwave proof bowl with Kremelta. Also grease wooden or heat proof spoon. Pour marshmallows and water into bowl. Microwave for approximately 2 minutes stopping and stirring at 40 second intervals. Mixture should be soupy. (if you want pink fondant, just use pink/white marshmallows.) Take out of microwave and immediately add corn syrup, lemon juice, salt and extracts. Stir well. Sift confectioner's sugar into mixture, one cup at a time. After approximately 5 cups, grease your hands well with Kremlta and knead the mixture in the bowl. Add the sixth cup and continue to knead. Now grease your work surface well and turn mixture out of bowl onto counter. Sift remaining sugar, regrease hands, and knead well. If mixture seems soft, add one additional cup of icing sugar. Shape into a mound and put a coating of Kremelta on outside. Double wrap in cling wrap and insert into zip-lock bag. Press air out of bag and seal. Allow to rest overnight, but, can be used after sitting for a few hours

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake (from Frances visit & demo)

recipe from Shirley O Corriher’s book ‘Bakewise’

This is a dark moist cake, looks good with Italian Meringue.  This cake can stick to the pan so line and spray well. Shirley notes: Dutch process cocoa and baking soda make the chocolate so alkaline that the cake is almost black (but any cocoa works well). Adding boiling water to cocoa enhances its flavours.  This cake is extremely over-leavened and would be sunken in the centre, but adding boiling water to the soda and cocoa causes the soda to react and give off a lot of carbon dioxide, which reduces the leavening and prevents sinking. I always bake this in a sheet and stack for a celebration cake.  The mix makes I layer of a 12” round. Frances Dalton-Hayward

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF)

2 1/3 cups white sugar
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (or any brand you normally use)
1 tsp Baking soda
1 cup water, boiling

Stir these together in a heavy saucepan.  While stirring add 1 cup of boiling water gradually.  It will bubble at first then get dark and thicken, stir briskly then place on the heat and bring back to the boil. Then turn off the heat and leave to stand on the element for at least 10 minutes – while you prepare the rest of the cake batter.

Prepare cake pans lining and spraying: either a 12” round, a 33 x 23 x 5 cm sponge roll pan or similar, or two 23 x 5 cm round pans.

¾ oil (canola, rice bran, I use extra virgin olive oil)
2 tspn pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup high grade white flour - spooned & levelled
4 large egg yolks or 2 large whole eggs Shirley like moist cakes so replaces whites with yolks, F
plus 2 large eggs yes that does mean a total of at least 4 large eggs!
¼ cup buttermilk (make your own by adding ½ tsp white vinegar to ¼ cup milk)

By the time you have assemble these your cocoa mixture should still be warm, pour it into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the oil and vanilla essence and beat on low speed for about 10 seconds.  On low speed, beat the flour into the batter and then, with a minimum of beating, beat in the egg yolks, whole eggs and buttermilk.  This is a thin batter.  Pour into prepared cake pan/s.  Place in oven rack just below the middle or place on stone[1] and bake until the centre feels springy to the touch,  about 25 mins for round layers or 35 mins for sheet cake – may take longer.  Cool in pan for at least 10 mins before cooling on rack.  This cake keeps well covered in butter cream and fondant without refrigeration but in cool dry cupboard.

[1] Shirley says in her Bakewise book, “…a baking stone placed on a lower shelf and well preheated will give you fast, even heat from the bottom and let you keep your baked goods away from the hot top of the oven.  Place the stone on a shelf in the lower third of the oven about 10cm (4”) from the floor then preheat 30-45 mins.  Then place pan of batter directly on stone, which holds the heat and in spite of the oven temperature going up and down a little, the stone stays at the set temperature.”
I have a large slab of granite (try a pizza stone) on the lower rack for all cakes, breads, scones etc which is most successful.  Only biscuits or cupcakes are cooked on the middle rack but I do leave the stone in for all my baking, just don’t let cold water get on it while it’s hot and it does require pre-heating.  I give it one hour if I am baking my bread on it so it reaches 220ºC when I put in the loaf.

Italian Meringue (Magnificent Pie Meringue) - from Frances' visit & demo

recipe from Shirley Corriher’s book ‘Bakewise’

This very stable meringue is incredibly versatile – it makes magnificent billowy white peaks to brown if you wish.  It is a large recipe so halve it if you do not need a cake iced and a pie covered too!  This recipe shows: adding the sugar as a hot syrup cooks and swells the meringue immediately- no problems with weeping. Tested often by Frances Dalton-Hayward

1 tablespoon cornflour        1/3 cup cool water

Mix together in a small saucepan and whisk over a medium heat until thick and cloudy.  Set aside until needed later.

To cover one cake
To cover a pie & cake

large egg whites (No 7)
½ tsp
1 tsp
cream of tartar
¼ cup
¼ cup

With whisks and bowls immaculately clean, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted.  Add in ¼ cup sugar and continue to beat at medium speed while you prepare the syrup below.

¾ cup
1 ¾ cup
1 ½ tsp
1 tbspn
Corn syrup or glucose
¼ cup
½ cup
½ tsp
1 tsp
Pure vanilla essence
1/8 tsp
¼ tsp

In a heavy unlined saucepan (do not use non stick coated pot), stir together the remaining sugar (¾ or 1¾ ), the corn syrup and water.  Bring to boil and rinse down the sides of the pan with water on a pastry bush.  Continue to boil until the syrup reaches 120ºC (hard ball stage) use a candy thermometer to check temp or drop small amount into cold water.

Continue beating whites until stiff peaks form.  Ideally, have the whites stiff when the syrup reaches 120ºC.  Drizzle the hot syrup carefully into the meringue while beating on a medium speed[1].  Try to avoid drizzling onto a beaters or side of bowl.  The meringue will swell dramatically to fill the whole bowl.  Beat until the meringue has cooled, about 10 to 13 mins.  Beat in vanilla and salt, then beat in about  2 - 3 tablespoons of the reserved cornflour paste, 1 tablespoon at a time.  The meringue is essentially cooked but is still snow white.  It is a perfect palette for a masterpiece.

Spread and cover over layers of Deep Dark Chocolate Cake and wait for the fantastic response.  Black and white looks good in the plate. Great on Lemon Coconut Cake too, sandwich cake with lemon curd then cover with meringue for lemon heaven!  Or spread meringue on pie and place in middle of preheated oven (190ºC) for about 10 mins to brown ridges.  Remove and touch up with blowtorch if needed.

[1] Use fresh room temperature eggs for successful meringue. Beat at a medium speed for longer for a more stable foam and add sugar as soon as soft peaks form.  Using cornflour paste prevents shrinking when baked and prevents tearing when meringue is cut.

Lemon Coconut Cake (from Frances' visit & demo)

Recipe from Toba Garrett’s book “The Well Decorated Cake”

This is a delicious cake which I use a lot (with but often without the coconut!) and keeps for three weeks wrapped in the fridge uniced, I’ve kept it in the fridge for a few days but it’s so easy to eat I don’t know how long it keeps.  Keep for two months in freezer.  Best with a butter cream icing rather than fresh cream. Try the Italian Meringue for a lemon meringue cake! Frances Dalton-Hayward

1 cup (250g) butter
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup lemon curd (or lemon flavoured yoghurt)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 3 lemons

3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup coconut, optional, if not using no need to substitute with any dry ingredients

5 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease and line pans, these can be 2 x 20cm (8 inch) or 1 x 25cm (10inch) or 1 x deep sponge roll tin.

Cream together butter, sugar, zest, lemon juice, and lemon curd for 5 minutes.  Stop and scrape bowl and cream for another minute.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the coconut if using.

Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.

Alternately add the dry and liquid  ingredients to the batter in three turns.  Mix batter until smooth.  Spoon batter in to prepared pans.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes for 20 cm pans and the same for the sponge roll pan but 60 – 70 minutes for the large 25 cm pan or until a tooth pick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Chocolate Chip Biscuits (Diana Johnson)

250g butter, softened
½ cup sugar
3 Tblspn condensed milk
½ tspn vanilla essence
2 cups flour
2 tspn baking powder
1 ¼ cups chopped dark cooking chocolate

Preheat oven to 170deg. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the condensed milk and vanilla essence. Sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into butter mixture alternately with chopped chocolate.

Roll into golf ball size balls and place on prepared trays at least 8-10cms apart to allow for spreading. Flatten with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 20 mins or until golden. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Feijoa Loaf                   (Laura Dalton)
In a large pot boil for 5mins stirring regularly:
·         1 generous cup of diced / mashed feijoas 
·         1 cup sugar
·         1 cup water
·         50 grams butter
Let cool (1/2 hour or more) then stir in:
·         2 cups sifted flour with
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 beaten egg
Pour into greased and lined baking/loaf/muffin tins.  Bake at 175` fanbake and start testing with a skewer after 15mins. Worth doubling when fruit is abundant in autumn – this loaf freezes well.

Buttery Lemon Bars (Ngaire Le Clerc)

250g butter
2 cups flour
½ cup icing sugar

Cream the above, press into a deep 19x30cm pan and bake 15 mins at 180deg C. Then beat together:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
½ tspn salt
1 tspn lemon rind
5 Tblspn lemon juice

Combine with:

5 Tblspn flour
1 tspn baking powder

Mix well. Pour on hot crust and bake at 180deg C for 15 mins until golden. Dust with icing sugar.

Cognac Triple Choc Brownie (Kimberley Costello)

·         300 g really soft butter (but not melted)
·         3/4 cup caster sugar
·         1.5 tsp vanilla
·         4 eggs at room temp, beaten
·         40 mls Cognac (Hennessy is good)
·         1.5 cups plain flour
·         1 cup good quality cocoa
·         Half cup White choc
·         Half cup Milk choc
·         Half cup Dark choc (70% cocoa solids)

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until very pale. Add vanilla. Turn mixer on to low and add egg a little at a time and mix well after each addition. Add Cognac, and mix. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Take half of each chocolate and chop. Leave some chunky and chop the rest until quite fine. Add all choc and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mix and very gently fold together BY HAND until JUST MIXED. Turn mix out into a lined baking tray (roughly 20x30cm) and spread evenly into tin. Bake at 175 degrees celcius for 20-25 mins. A skewer should come out clean but not too clean. (nice and gooey in the middle best!)

Anzac Slice with Golden Syrup (Jeanine Rossouw)

·         125g butter, chopped coarsely
·         1 cup (220g) light brown sugar
·         2 Tbsp golden syrup
·         1/4 cup (60ml) water
·         1/2 tsp baking soda
·         1/2 cup desiccated coconut
·         1 cup rolled oats
·         1 cup plain flour, sifted
·         2 cups icing sugar
·         1 Tbsp golden syrup
·         20g butter
·         2 Tbsp hot water

Preheat oven to 120 C. Grease 24x32cm swiss roll pan, line base and long sides with baking paper, extending it 5cm over sides. Stir butter, sugar and syrup in medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in the combined water and soda then coconut, oats and flour. Spread mixture into the pan, bake ~45 min. Meanwhile make golden icing. Sift icing sugar into medium heatproof bowl, stir in syrup, butter and enough water to make a thick paste. Set bowl over medium saucepan of simmering water, stir until icing is spreadable. Spread slice with icing. After 15 min transfer to a wire rack to cool and set at room temperature. Cut into 40 fingers. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Tasti Fruit Slice         (Lynne Butcher)

·         1 1/2 Cups Flour
·         1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
·         1 Cup Coconut
·         2 Cups Mixed Fruit
·         1 Cup Sugar
·         1 Tbl Golden Syrup
·         150 gm Butter                                                                                                                                                                                 
·         1 Egg
·         1 – 2 Tsp Icing Sugar
Sift flour and baking powder, add coconut and mixed fruit.
Put sugar, golden syrup and butter in saucepan, heat gently until butter has melted.
Cool slightly. Add egg to saucepan then pour over dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
Press into sponge roll tin and bake 20 mins at 180c. When cool dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.
Chocolate Fudge Cake     (Heather Clarke)
Place in saucepan and melt:
·         225 grams Butter                                           
·         1 cup Sugar
·         2 Tablespoons Cocoa                                   
·         1 large Tablespoon Golden Syrup

Allow to cool then add:

·         2 cups Flour
·         2 teaspoons Baking Powder (sifted together)
·         1 cup Coconut 

Mix well and place in sponge roll tin. Bake at 180 degrees C for approx 20 mins.

Ice with chocolate icing while still warm.

Cut into pieces when cold.