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Australia Day Cupcakes, Roast Veggies & A Walk in a Beautiful Place

Posted Jan 29 2010 1:24am
On Tuesday was Australia Day, which marks the date that the first fleet arrived in Australia in 1788. Its a public holiday for us aussies, and is celebrated by many with an aussie bbq, a day at the beach, aussie flag tattoos, clothing and anything else you can imagine. I even saw aussie underware for sale!

For Mikey and I Australia Day meant a day of relaxing doing nothing much!

Anyhow, I decided to make some lamington cupcakes in honor of Australia day. Lamingtons have been around since the early 1900's and were first concocted in Queensland, traditionally they consisted of cubes of buttercake, dipped in chocolate icing and then coconut. Nowadays some bakers choose to add cream and jam to the centre of these yummy little cakes.

Because I have had not so lovely experiences with cutting up cake (it always falls apart) I decided to make lamington cupcakes. And of course I had to fill them with raspberry jam and cream!

If you haven't tried a lamington (or even if you have), I really encourage you to give them a go. They certainly are easier to make than they look!

For the cake part I used a basic cupcake recipe, or you could also use a pre-bought sponge cake and cut it into square pieces (thats the dangerous but possibly easier option).

Makes approx. 22

1 Tblespoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½ C soymilk/ricemilk
2 1/8 C flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 C sugar
½ C oil
1 ¼ tsp. Vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place cupcake cases in cupcake tin, set aside.
- Place apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill with milk to equal 1 ½ C. Stir well and set aside, the mixture will curdle.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the soymilk mixture, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand-held mixer, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Fill each muffin cup with ¼ C batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack.

To make into lamingtons…

¼ C strawberry or raspberry jam
3 C shredded coconut
2 ½ C rich chocolate icing mixture (I used CSR)
½ C boiling water
1 packet soyatoo cream topping/or other type of cream

- Once cooled, carefully peel the cupcake cases from the cupcakes.
- Mix chocolate icing mixture with the boiling water and mix well.
- Pour coconut into a deep bowl.
- Dip each cupcake into the chocolate mixture to coat completely, drain off excess mixture.
- Immediately place cupcake into the coconut and coat completely.
- Repeat with each cupcake, place on tray and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Remove from fridge, cut each cupcake in half, spread one side with jam and the other side with 1 tsp cream, sandwich back together and refrigerate for an hour.

- Eat and enjoy.

The inside...

I also wanted to show you this super-easy, but really delicious recipe Mikey and I made. It consists of various roast vegetables, cous cous and a tomato sauce. Its almost so simple I wasn't going to share it, but I know some of you out there don't know all that much about cooking so thought I would share it anyway :)

Roast Vegetables with Cous Cous
Sweet potato
Paprika powder
Dried mixed herbs
Dried onion flakes
Cous cous
1 onion
1 1/2 tins diced tomatos
balsamic vinegar

- Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
- Peel potato, carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato. Cut all vegetables into chunky pieces, put into a large bowl.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons oil to the vegetables, enough to coat them.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons onion flakes, 3-4 tablespoons paprika and dried herbs and salt and pepper, mix well.
- Spread vegetables over two trays lined with greeseproof paper and sprayed with non-stick oil spray. Cook until browned, approx 20-30 minutes.
- To make sauce. Dice onion and fry until soft. Add tomatos, a dash balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then simmer 10 minutes.
- Prepare cous cous as per directions on packet/box.

Easy as that!

This week we went to the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens which is up in the Adelaide Hills about an hour drive away. The gardens are HUGE! and really lovely, although the best time to go is in Autumn when the leaves are all shades of red, green, yellow and purple or in spring when the flowers are blooming.

We had a picnic under the trees and then went for a rather long walk around the gardens.

The only bad thing about the botanic gardens is that its very very steep, so not everyone is able to walk up to the top. As you can tell from the next photo which was taken once we reached the top of the gardens, I was very hot, and worn out lol It was a pretty warm day which didn't really help.

Theres Mikey, rushing ahead.

For the other aussies, what did you do to celebrate Australia Day?

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