We recently hosted an intimate family dinner party for my partner’s 40th birthday – a dinner of 18 guests which while not a fabulously large number of guests it was still a reasonable group to have, and the most we’d had for dinner so far. It was a dinner where champagne was probably going to be flowing so plenty of delicious food and a generous serving of dessert was a must. I felt that a big, decadent yet nourishing (and not overly sweet) chocolate cake of several layers would work well.
Zimtsterne (‘Cinnamon Stars’).
These magical little biscuits have a very special place in my heart. Baking these is a family tradition, so Christmas just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them! The process of making the dough (and.. tasting the dough of course), cutting the biscuits, icing them and then eating a few biscuits just out of the oven brings me just as much joy as giving little goodie bags of these to loved ones.
As we transition into spring, enjoying warmer sunnier days, we begin to naturally yearn for fresh flavoursome salads. Warming winter food, however, can still be all that we feel like, the weather can certainly chop and change (.. especially in Melbourne!). Cool spring days may call for soups and curries but nourishing hearty salads can also hit the spot. This one’s particularly nice, a beautiful wholesome salad that’s delicious served any way – warm or cold, on it’s own, as a side dish or mixed with other things such as feta, leafy greens, boiled egg or slithers of cooked chicken. It’s a very versatile one, and one that in my experience is always well loved at dinner parties and BBQs.
So, you might be thinking – why put parsnip in a carrot cake and add yoghurt icing when decadent moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is so amazingly good? Good question. I too adore carrot cake with the real deal icing and have no objections whatsoever – by no means should this cake replace the sweet decadent well loved traditional carrot cake, at all. This creation though, is a special one – parsnip adds an edge, the spice brings warmth and this icing, well, it may surprise. My taste testing family and friends approved with happy wide eyes.
Just a fun spin on the traditional style carrot cake – the sweet zesty yoghurt is moreish and as a little soaks into the cake it adds even more moisture. This icing is also a delicious easy way to add more dairy to your world. Research shows that many women in Australia aren’t getting the calcium they need. Natural or Greek style yoghurt is beautiful served with wholesome vegetable packed cakes so why not turn it into icing?