Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sparkling Elderflower

From ‘A Year in a Bottle’ by Sally Wise.

The beautiful elderflower heads make a deliciously flavoured non-alcoholic drink, ideal to serve on its own or as part of a mocktail or a cocktail.

3 cups of sugar
4 cups of boiling water
14 cups of cold water
6 elderflower heads…I add at least 10. Most individual flowers on flower head, need to have opened but it is good to have a few on the head that are unopened.
2 lemons chopped roughly
2 tablespoons of white vinegar or cider vinegar ( I use apple cider vinegar)

Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water in a food-safe bucket or ceramic container.
Add cold water and then the elderflower heads, lemons and vinegar.
Stir well to mix.
Cover and allow to stand for 48 hours.
Strain and pour into clean bottles ( PET bottles are best as they allow for a degree of expansion without exploding. If using glass bottles leave about 1/3 of bottle unfilled.)
The Sparkling Elderflower will be ready in 1 to 2 weeks.
Chill before CAREFULLY opening and preferably outside.
Makes approximately 4.5 liters.

Sparkling Cordial can also be made using raspberries or rhubarb.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Fruit Shortcake

Fabulous. Made by Kylie using GF flours for the Gumboot Girls October 27th.

125g butter
125g sugar
1 egg
125g SR flour
125g plain flour
Stewed, bottled or fresh fruit of choice. 

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well. Mix in flours until it forms a dough. Refrigerate at least 30 mins. 

Heat oven to 170°, and grease a slice tin, or pie dish. 

Cut off two thirds of the dough and roll out to fit the base of the tin/dish. Brush with a little egg white before spreading the fruit on top. 

Roll out the remaining dough to about 4mm thickness and cut into strips to form a decorative lattice pattern on top. 

Bake for 30 mins or until golden brown. Cool a little before slicing. 

Kylie added an extra layer of Frangipane to her Rhubarb shortcake. 


125g butter
125g sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
125g Almond meal
Splash of rum/brandy/amaretto (I just used vanilla paste)

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and yolk one at a time. Fold in almond meal and run etc. 
Use in pastries, pies, tarts etc. 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Erika's Pineapple Cheesecake

Which I turned into a gluten free  cherry cheese cake for the Gumboot Girls.

2 cups of sweet biscuits in the blender. ( I used a mixture of almond and hazel meal instead )
90 gm of melted butter
2 teaspoons of hot water
1 tablespoon of gelatine
¼ cup of hot water ( I warmed up some of the preserving syrup instead of water )
375 gm of Cream Cheese
½ cup of castor sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
¼ cup of lemon juice
425 gm can of crushed pineapple  ( I used my home preserved Lapin cherries instead )
1 ¼ cup of whipped cream

·      Combine biscuit crumbs, melted butter and 2 teaspoons of hot water.
·      Press mixture into sides and base of a cake tin (20cm), refrigerate.
·      Dissolve gelatine in ¼ cup of hot water.
·      Beat cream cheese until smooth, gradually adding sugar, dissolved gelatine, vanilla essence, lemon juice and ¼ cup of pineapple juice.
·      Blend well.
·      Fold whipped cream and drained pineapple into mixture. ( Cherries, with their stones removed )
·      Pour into shell.
·      Chill until firm, preferably overnight.
·      Decorate with strawberries and enjoy.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Erika's Nut and Date Cake


250gm. almonds
250gm. walnuts
250gm. dates
250gm. dark chocolate
6 egg whites
Half cup of castor sugar


·      Chop up nuts, dates and chocolate into small pieces.
·      Beat egg white until stiff then gradually add castor sugar while still beating.
·      Fold all the ingredients together until fairly well mixed.
·      Spoon into a greased tin.
·      Bake at 180 degrees C. for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked.
·      Serve hot or cold with whipped cream.

Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake

INGREDIENTS Serves: 16 (Hah!)


  • 200 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing) 
  • 200 grams caster sugar 
  • 200 grams ground almonds 
  • 100 grams fine polenta (or cornmeal) 
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • zest of 2 lemons (save juice for syrup) 


  •  juice of 2 lemons 
  • 125 grams icing sugar 


  1.  Line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/ 350°F. 
  3. Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer. 
  4. Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while. 
  5. Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. 
  6. It may seem wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. 
  7. Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin. 
  8. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan. Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done. 
  9. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Gerda's Poppy Seed Cake

Made for Gumboot Girls September 2016
Adapted from Robert’s birthday 2006

5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup melted butter / oil
2 cooking apples peeled and grated / cooked quinces
125g ground poppy seeds
1 teaspoons vanilla
20g baking powder
40g self-raising flour (rice or buckwheat + baking powder)
125g coarsely chopped walnuts
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease and line 20cm cake tin.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale.
Add remaining ingredients to the yolks, except the whites. Mix well.
Fold in the whites.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a wooden skewer.
Cool then turn out onto a serving plate.
Dust with icing sugar.

Serve with yoghurt and more of the quinces.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Rock Buns

We had a fabulous afternoon at the Cygnet Community Garden on Oct. 11th, with Costa, from Gardening Australia and about 60 people from all over the place. The Cygnet Community Gardeners cooked up a feast. Here’s my rock buns recipe. It is such an old recipe it is in ounces and I like to leave it that way.

It can easily be made gluten free by using half nut meal and half quinoa flour or buckwheat flour.

180°C fan forced

Makes 15 or so

Instructions Ingredients
rub in 4 oz. butter
8 oz. plain flour
2 level tsp. baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice

add 4 oz. castor sugar
grated rind 1/2 large lemon
4 oz. mixed dried fruit including some mixed peel /crushed nuts /ginger if you like

add 1 beaten egg
1-2 Tbl. milk and the juice of the lemon to make a stiff, crumbly mixture

Place spoonsful on a greased baking tray and cook 10-15 mins.

Leave 5 minutes before removing from the tray.