Archive for June, 2018

I’m not much of a baker, but this turned out quite well. Shame I didn’t grease the pan well enough! A few bits stuck but it wasn’t the end of the world. I didn’t have any icing sugar so I made a quick lemon glaze instead.


The cake

75g unsalted butter, softened

125g caster sugar

3 eggs, separated

1 tbs finely grated lemon zest

2 tbs lemon juice, plus extra dash (2 tsp) lemon juice

1/2 cup cake flour (self raising)

1/2 cup natural yoghurt

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp poppyseeds

The glaze

1/2 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup water

* I also finely shredded some lemon zest. Put in a cup of boiling water for 3 minutes. Then strained and added to my glaze when it has cooled.


Preheat oven to 170c fanforced.

Grease your tin well!

Beat butter and sugar with electric beaters until pale and fluffy.

Add yolks one at a time, beating well.

Beat in zest and juice.

Sift flour.

Add poppyseeds.

Add the yogurt and oil and beat mixture till well combined.

Whisk eggwhites in a clean bowl to firm peaks, then fold into mix.

Fill the tin gently and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack.

While it’s cooling, make your glaze.

When the cake is cool, poke all over with a skewer.

Slowly spoon over the glaze.

Allow at least an hour for the glaze to be absorbed before serving.


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My dad loves this old English boarding school style of dessert, so it was the perfect end to the birthday meal. (Even if it exploded out of it’s casing in the steamer!)


1 cup self-raising flour

pinch of salt

125g shredded suet

1/3 cup dried currants

1/4 cup caster sugar

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

finely grated zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup whole milk

custard, to serve


Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the suet, currants, sugar, lemon and orange zest.

Pour in 150ml milk and mix to a firm but moist dough, adding the extra milk if necessary.

Shape into a fat roll about 20cm long. Place on a large rectangle of baking parchment. Wrap loosely to allow for the pudding to rise and tie the ends with string like a Christmas cracker.

Place a steamer over a large pan of boiling water, add the pudding to the steamer, cover and steam for 1 1/2 hours. Top up the pan with water from time to time.

Mine exploded from the paper being too short!

(But it was heart shaped, which was nice)

Remove from the steamer and allow to cool slightly before unwrapping. Serve sliced with custard.

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Pimped Up Couscous


25g butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 small zucchinis or 4 baby zucchinis, thinly sliced

1 small French shallot, finely sliced

1/2 teaspoon freshly minced garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 beef stock cube

2 cups boiling water

1/3 cup peas

2 cups instant couscous

100g crumbles feta

1/4 cup finely shredded mint leaves

2 tomatoes – de-seed and retain the seeds, finely dice the tomato cheeks


In a large frying pan, melt half the butter and add the oil on a medium heat.

Sauté the zucchini and shallot until golden and tender.

Remove from the heat and place in a large serving dish. Add the chopped tomato cheeks, mint, feta. Set aside.

Add the remaining butter, garlic, tomato Centers/seeds and spices and mix through gently.

Dissolve the stock cube in 2 cups of boiling water, add to the pan to collect all the spice mix. Add the peas.

In a medium bowl pour in your couscous then pour the spice/stock mixture over the couscous, place a plate over the top of the bowl and leave for 5 minutes before fluffing the grains with a fork.

Gently transfer the couscous to the salad dish and fold through to evenly disperse all the ingredients.


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Super Umami Bolognese

Trust me!


25g butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

500g premium mince (beef or pork or veal or a mixture)

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon of freshly minced garlic (never preserved from a jar!)

1/4 cup finely chopped stalks of fresh parsley

800g tin diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1/3 cup red wine – I used Chianti

4 anchovies (trust me!)

1 tablespoon dried mushrooms – powder them in a blender or mortar and pestle

1/2 cup finely shredded fresh parsley leaves

Parmesan and black pepper to serve


In a large pot, melt the butter and add the olive oil.

Brown the mince.

Add the herbs, garlic, parsley stalks and stir through.

Add the tomatoes, garlic paste, wine – stir through.

Add the anchovies and the powdered mushrooms, stirring through.

Reduce the heat, to the lowest flame. Simmer for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.

When it is thick, rich, and all the liquid has reduced – add the parsley and a generous amount of black pepper before serving.

Use on pasta or in your lasagna.

Remember – if you’re adding pasta to your sauce, add about 1/4 cup of the water you cooked the pasta in to your sauce before you stir through your pasta.


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Miso Chocolate Blondies

My friend Rachelle made these – they were lovely and gooey with a hint of salted caramel from the Miso. She was kind enough to send me the recipe, so I can share it too 😀


• 170 g butter

• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (280g)

• 3 tablespoons white miso paste

• 2 eggs

• 2 teaspoons vanilla paste

• 1 1/2 cups flour (200g)

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 cup dark chocolate (180g) , roughly chopped

• 1 cup walnuts , toasted and roughly chopped


1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm square tin .

2 Toast the walnuts by spreading out in a single layer on a baking tray and toasting for 5-8 minutes or until fragrant and starting to brown. Set aside to cool, then roughly chop.

3 To brown the butter, melt the butter in a small pot – ideally in a pot with a light coloured bottom so you can see the colour of the butter. Swirl the pan occasionally to keep ti cooking evenly. The butter will start to foam and change colour from yellow to a toasty brown – the milk solids will cook faster and start to settle to the bottom. Once it is starting to brown and smell nutty, transfer the brown butter to a bowl to cool (you can pop it in the fridge or freezer to do this faster).

4 Once cool, whisk in the brown sugar, then the miso, eggs and vanilla essence.

5 Fold in the flour and baking powder until only a few bits of white streaks remain, then gently fold in the dark chocolate and walnuts.

6 Bake at 180° until golden, 30-35 minutes. The skewer test won’t work as it always comes out clean unless you hit chocolate, so look for a just crisp top that is starting to crack. It will firm up more as it cools.

7 Leave to cool, then cut into squares. It also freezes well.

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Mini Pav

I had 4 egg whites left over after using the yolks a couple of days before to make custard. I found this great recipe that would use up the egg whites! It works better with ‘older’ eggs.

These are the fabulous individual rustic Pavs. I’ll also include instructions on how to use this recipe to make a giant one.


4 egg whites (cold!)

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons cornflour

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cornflour.

For mini Pavs

Preheat to 130c

Line an oven tray with baking paper (use a dab of meringue as glue to keep the paper steady on the tray)

Use an ice cream scoop to portion the mini pavs, leaving room for them to expand, rise and spread.

Smooth them out with the back of a spoon and make a few little peaks which will help secure your topping later.

Pop in the oven, cook for 75 minutes

For a large Pavlova

Preheat to 150c fan forced.

Line a tray with baking paper, use a Dan of meringue in each corner to secure the paper to the tray.

Draw the outline of the shape you wish to make your Pav. Gently transfer your meringue mixture in to the frame you have created. Dab your spatula to create little peaks, this will allow to you secure your toppings later.

Bake for 65 minutes.


You can eat them on their own, drizzle melted chocolate over the top, or of course you can top it in classic Pav style – beat heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and some vanilla until thick and garnish with seasonal fresh fruit.

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Spiced Carrot Cake

I made this recipe with a bunch of ingredients I found in my parents pantry. I didn’t expect it to work, but it did! I would have put whipped cream cheese frosting but we didn’t have any cream cheese…


1/2 cup plain white flour

1 1/2 cups spelt flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup caster sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cup canola oil

1/3 cup thick Greek yoghurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups grated carrot

1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts (you could use almonds or hazelnuts or pecans or walnuts or unsalted pistachios)

1/3 cup dried currants


Preheat oven to 170c fanforce

Rub a bunt tin with butter (you can also follow this with a light dusting of flour) to prevent the cake from sticking

In one large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients.

Whisk gently with a whisk to ensure everything has been dispersed evenly.

In another medium bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients.

When they are well combined, gently fold the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients.

Gently transfer in to the bunt tin.

Place in the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Before serving, you can trim the cake so that it has a flat base – unlike the one pictured below (we were too impatient!)

To serve, you can simply dust with icing sugar or waiting until the cake is completely cool so you can ice it with the whipped cream cheese frosting recipe below.

Whipped cream cheese frosting recipe.


100g cream cheese (room temperature)

20g unsalted butter (room temperature)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup icing sugar (sifted)


Place all ingredients in a sturdy bowl and use an electric mixture to combine until it’s light and fluffy.

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