White Chocolate & Lime Syrup Cake

White Chocolate & Lime Syrup Cake
Two cakes in a row…. but cake is a good thing particularly when paired with a nice hot coffee and a good book. Continue reading

Baking with Feijoas: Wholemeal Feijoa & Ginger Cake

Wholemeal Feijoa & Ginger Cake
Feijoa fruiting season is eagerly anticipated by most people in the New Zealand and many backyards have a tree or three that drop the green fruit in a thick carpet from the trunk to the drip line.  Feijoas drop when they are ripe although they can be picked to help prevent bruising. Feijoas are also known as pineapple guava and guavasteen – they are native to several countries in South America but grow extremely well here in the North Island of New Zealand. Continue reading

Honey Roasted Banana & Wholemeal Cake

Honey Roasted Banana Cake

One of the reasons I love Pinterest (actually that should probably be LOVE Pinterest) is that other people share their absolutely inspired and awesome ideas.  Ideas such as Roasted Bananas….. I have roasted all sorts of fruit: apples, rhubarb, apricots, peaches, pineapple….. but the idea of roasting bananas had never occurred to me.  Then I see Two Peas and Their Pod pinned Whole Wheat Roasted Banana Bread.  And I got very excited about the concept of roasted bananas.  So excited that I snaffled all the bananas in the fruit bowl and got my first batch roasting – never mind that the bananas were still in a perfectly edible state (ie not yet “baking” bananas). Continue reading

Roasted Pineapple & White Chocolate Mud Cake

Roasted Pineapple & White Chocolate Mud Cake
Pineapple & chocolate are a perfect pairing and this delicious mud cake was inspired by a very Kiwi confectionery (Pineapple Lumps). White chocolate & pineapple give the cake a lovely golden-yellow colour.  Using a white chocolate that has cacao solids seems to make it easier to work with (and it tastes great).  Roasting the pineapple intensifies the tropical flavour of the fruit and with the addition of the freeze-dried powder, this cake is very fragrant and pineapple-y.  The yoghurt in the ganache lends a lovely tang to the chocolate topping, though it can be omitted, and the cream quantity doubled.  The cake keeps well but most likely won’t last long enough to need storing. Continue reading

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mini Mud-cakes

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes
These mud-cakes are moist and tasty and really easy to make.  The recipe can be doubled.  Make regular cupcakes, down-sized cupcakes or mini ones (which are called mini mud mouthfuls in our house).

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Mini Mocha Mud Mouthfuls

Mini Mocha Mud Mouthfuls
I created this recipe for our local newspaper before I discovered that a few of the products featured were to be discontinued by the store that advertises on the monthly food page.  Normally that would send my tail into a spin, but I had played around with a Chocolate & Peanut Butter version using a really delicious peanut butter we get here in NZ. If you haven’t tried Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter (no, they didn’t pay me to say this nor did they give me free product, I choose to buy their peanut butter because it contains one ingredient: peanuts; it tastes really good; it is made in New Zealand with peanuts sourced from Australia) then you are missing out.  It is available at most major Supermarkets plus specialist food stores in New Zealand or you can order it on-line. It is also available in the UK, Australia, and the US.  I also use their peanut oil and am hanging out for the Smooth Peanut Butter to appear on our shelves here in Gisborne.

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Spiced Apple & Walnut Cake

Apple & Walnut Cake
I received a cool little cookbook, Sweet treats to share, to review (read the review here).  As I do, I found the apple recipes and got out my pinny.  We had Annabelle White’s Sicilian Apple Cake for Sunday night pudding tea (more on that some other time) and that was as far as I had got.  The review was a little overdue but I needed to bake something else from the book (I forgot to photograph the Sicilian Apple Cake before it was scarfed).
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Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


First up – coffee cake is not coffee-flavoured cake (although coffee cake can be cake with coffee in it).  Wiki says coffee cake is cake intended to eat with coffee or on coffee break, a single layer cake either round, square or ring (tube) shaped or maybe even in the shape of a loaf (like banana bread).  Coffee cake can be spiced, and include nuts, seeds and/or fruit.  Coffee cake is topped with a streusel topping or a glaze.  Similar to teacakes….. but tea cakes are served with tea ;-).  I like the idea of streusel topping – saves having to ice (frost) the cake.  I am still not entirely sure what the difference between coffee cake and tea cake, or regular cake is though. Continue reading

A piece of cake: Lemon & Currant Cake

Lemon & Currant Cake

This Lemon & Currant Cake is a super easy, old-fashioned style cake that takes about 2 minutes to throw together, not including the resting or cooking time.  It tastes good with a glass of milk after a hard day at school; so good that it is hard to stop with just one piece.  The wholemeal flour adds a nice nutty flavour and good texture, however the cake is also quite delicious with plain white flour. Lemon & Currant Cake

Lemon & Currant Cake

Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ – ¾ cup water
200g (1 cup) brown sugar
150g (1 cup) currants
½ cup sunflower oil
1 t baking soda
188 g (1 ¼ cups) wholemeal flour
1 t baking powder
70 g (¾ cup) ground almonds

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
Add lemon juice to water, using extra water so that there is 1 cup of liquid.
Combine brown sugar, currants, oil, zest and lemon water in a large saucepan and bring to boil.  Boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Stir in baking soda then sift in flour and baking powder.
Add ground almonds and mix until combined.
Spread into a greased & lined 20cm square baking tin and smooth the top of the mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean of crumbs.
Cool in the cake tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

Lemon & Currant Cake

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Delicious Apple Cake

It is full on harvest time in our suburban wilderness.  The apple and pear trees are full of fruit ready for picking, the peaches are offering up the last of their season’s efforts and the late plums are almost losing their bloom while the citrus and feijoas are have little fruitlets on them. 
Delicious Hoover Apple Cake
Most of the apple trees are at the back of our section in the chicken run.  It is a bit of a hike your pinny up above your knees and high step through the pumpkins growing rampant through the orchard in order to reach the row of spindly apple trees.  This is the second fruiting year so it is exciting to pick up to seven or eight apples off each of the trees. 
Mother Apples
I wasn’t thinking of picking apples but while I was out snaffling the last of the Peacherines (I wasn’t so keen on planting these hybrid fruits thinking them a bit gimmicky but The Anster won that battle and I am so pleased he did as they are delicious – better than peaches and better than nectarines but that’s a little off-track) the apples were waving out to me, calling “pick me, pick me”. Continue reading