Wednesday, January 27, 2010

South African Tradition- Bran Buttermilk Rusks

RUSKS...... as South African as Table Mountain and Green Market Square.To those who have never encountered a rusk I would explain it as being very similar to Biscotti. Dunk it in your favourite cuppa coffee and you will be hooked, I promise!
With so many variations of this comfort food, it was hard to pick one to make. I love buttermilk and it is an essential ingredient in most of my cakes. So here is a recipe for a killer rusk!
Bran Buttermilk Rusks
Set the oven to 180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit
3 1/2 cups / 450g all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bran flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
125g unsalted butter
140g granulated sugar
1/2 cup/125 ml vegetable oil
1 cup/ 250 ml buttermilk
1 large egg
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, bran flakes and raisins.
2. Melt the butter, granulated sugar and oil in a saucepan and remove from the heat.
3. Whisk the egg into the buttermilk and add to the butter mixture.
4. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
5. Prepare a 9x5 inch loaf tin or 8x8 inch tin with vegetable oil.
6. Fill your pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and your tester comes out clean.
7. Once baked turn out of your baking dish and let it cool on a rack for 10-20 minutes.
8. Cut rusks into finger shapes and lay them on a baking tray.
9. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 Fahrenheit. Place the rusks back in the oven to dry out for 6 hours or overnight.
Now it is ready to dunk in your favourite hot bevvy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gingerbread Village

For my neighborhood ornament exchange I was asked to make a red velvet cake. I had just bought the Wilton Gingerbread pan with 6 cavities and decided to do little gingerbread houses. I iced them in blue and white royal icing. The cake was red velvet layered with cream cheese icing and I used Swiss Meringue Butter cream as the exterior finish. Thanks to Barbara for hosting the exchange, we had fun.