Saturday, 15 June 2019

Spiced Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies

While the cooking time for these delicious biscuits is very short, only 10 minutes, make sure you allow time to chill the dough in the fridge for 1 hour before baking.

Makes 4 dozen                                                                                                                               


225g soft butter or dairy-free margarine
300g coconut sugar; if purchased in a block, grate finely or blitz in the food processor until finely ground
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
zest of 1 orange
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup (110g) hazelnut or almond meal
1 cup (120g) quinoa flour
1 1/2 cups (210g) fine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (50g) gluten-free cornflour (corn starch)
teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
pinch ground cloves
250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped 

      In a large bowl cream the butter, grated coconut sugar and salt with an electric beater, until light and fluffy. 

Add the orange zest and mix, then gradually add the egg, a little bit at a time. Whisking well between additions. 
      Add the hazelnut or almond meal, and sift over the remaining flours and spices. Mix to form a soft dough. Stir through the chopped chocolate and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F and grease trays (this makes many, so depending on how many you want to cook off at once you will need a few trays or rotate them).

Roll mixture into tablespoon sized balls, flatten slightly and place on the trays. The mixture is quite sticky so just dust your hands with extra rice flour if needed.

Bake trays for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

The cookie dough will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 1 week,  you can therefore bake off little batches at a time. 

Image and (adapted) recipe from My Darling Lemon Thyme by Emma Galloway

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Chocolate Pear Tea Cakes with Rosemary, Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Makes 12 Individual Cakes



1 tblsp unsalted butter at room temperature, for greasing the pan

1 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 cup sweet white rice flour (sweet rice flour is made from short grain, glutinous or 'sticky' rice)

1/2 cup gluten free oat flour (I made the flour in the food processor from organic Tasmanian oats)

1/4 cup millet flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup rapadura sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole-milk plain yoghurt

6 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

2tsp finely chopped rosemary

2/3 cup organic, dark 70-80% chocolate

1 1/2 cups chopped ripe but firm pear


Pear Pieces

Chocolate chunks

Chopped Rosemary

Coarse sugar, such as demerara or turbinado

Flaky salt (I used Tasmanian sea salt flakes)


To make the cakes, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 175 C . Brush the cups and top of a standard 12 cup muffin tin with the softened butter, or use paper liners.

Sift the almond, sweet rice, oat and millet flours together into a medium bowl along with the baking powder, baking soda and salt, adding back any bits that get caught in the sifter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, yogurt, olive oil and rosemary. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until smooth, then fold in the chocolate and pears until evenly distributed.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top. Top each cake with a pear piece, chocolate bits, a few bits of rosemary, a dusting of course sugar and a few flakes of salt.

Bake the cakes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean with a few moist crumbs, 23 -30 minutes. They are still baking from residual heat so let them cool until warm, at least 20 minutes, then release then from the pan and let them cool completely. Extra cakes will keep, airtight at room temperature, for up to 3 days.

Image and recipe taken from: The Alternative Baker by Alana Taylor-Tobin

Stone Fruit Pecan Crumble

A simple and scrumptious crumble.

The unexpected addition of salt in the fruit mixture and in the crumble itself, brings a complexity to the flavour that is quite indescribably delicious  ....



800g ripe stone fruit (plums peaches and nectarines are all great) pitted and sliced into 1cm wedges

2 tblsp (30ml) pure maple syrup

2 tsp (10 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 tsp arrowroot powder (I use Kuzu)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Crumble Topping

1 1/4 cups of raw pecan halves

2 tblsp pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp fine sea salt


1.  Preheat oven to 190 C

2.  Make the Filling:   In a 20cm oven proof dish add the stone fruit, maple syrup, lemon juice,               arrowroot powder, cinnamon and sea salt and lightly toss to combine. Set aside.

3.  Make the Crumble Topping:   In a food processor, combine the pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon       and sea salt. Pulse the mixture until you have a crumbly consistency.

4.  Sprinkle the crumble mixture on the top of the stone fruit. Bake the crumble until the fruit is               tender and the topping has browned, 22 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Image and recipe taken from: The First Mess by Laura Wright

Saturday, 2 March 2019

(Cucumber)Bread and Butter Pickles

Feb. 2019 using home grown Dragon’s Egg cucumbers sourced from Linda at Seed Freaks

· 2 kg small cucumbers (the smaller, the better)

· 2 tbsp salt

· 1 litre white wine vinegar

· 1 cup sugar

· ½ tsp turmeric

· 2 small brown onions, thinly sliced

· 3 tsp brown mustard seeds

· 2 tsp fennel seeds

· 2 tsp dill seeds

· 2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

· 12–18 black peppercorns

Makes 6 x 375 ml jars
Salting time 1-2 hours or longer
Heat-processing time 10 minutes

Slice the cucumbers into rounds about the thickness of a coin. Put into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt, then leave to sit for an hour or two (or overnight). This is to draw out any excess liquid; the bigger the cucumbers, the longer it will take. Transfer to a large colander, rinse and leave to drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, sterilise your jars. I use the dishwasher.

Make a brine by putting the vinegar, sugar, turmeric and 500 ml of water into a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and bring to the boil. Let it bubble for 5 minutes.

Transfer the cucumbers to a large bowl. Add the onions, along with the mustard, fennel and dill seeds, and the chilli flakes, if using. Use your hands to mix everything together well.

When the jars are cool enough to handle, use small tongs or clean hands to carefully pack the cucumbers into the jars, adding 2 or 3 peppercorns to each jar. The jars should be full but not over-packed – the brine needs to cover every slice of cucumber, and if they are packed too tightly the brine won’t be able to get into every nook and cranny. 

Carefully fill the jars with the hot brine until the cucumbers are completely covered. Remove any air bubbles by gently tapping each jar on the work surface and sliding a butter knife or chopstick around the inside to release any hidden air pockets. You may need to add more brine or cucumbers after doing this (the liquid should reach about 1 cm from the top of the jar). Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth or paper towel and seal.

Heat-process then store in a cool, dark place. Although these pickles will keep for up to 12 months, they start to lose their crunch after about 6 months.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Persian Love Cake

A delicious recipe based on one from Gourmet Traveller


360gm (3 cups)       almond meal

220gm  (1 cup)        rapadura sugar

220gm  (1 cup)        coconut or dark brown sugar

120 gm                    unsalted butter

2                              eggs, lightly beaten

250gm                     yoghurt, plus extra to serve

1 tblsp                     freshly grated nutmeg

45gm (1/4 cup)       pistachios, coarsely chopped


1 Preheat oven to 180C. Combine almond meal, sugars. butter and 1tsp salt in a bowl, then rub with fingertips until coarse crumbs form. Spoon half the mixture into a lightly buttered and baking paper lined 26cm- diameter springform pan, gently pressing to evenly cover base.

2. Add egg, yoghurt and nutmeg to remaining crumble mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Pour over prepared base, smooth top, scatter pistachios around edge and bake until golden (30-35 minutes). Cool completely in pan on a wire rack to room temperature, then serve with extra yoghurt. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Spiced Crab Apples

A fabulous and surprising addition to the cheese board or pre dinner drinks, all year round.

Combine in a large saucepan:
350g sugar
350ml red or white vinegar
Cover and boil until the sugar is dissolved; about 5 minutes.
450g whole crab apples with stems. Firm, tart fruit is best.
Simmer briefly, until just tender, depending on fruit and ripeness. Do not let them get mushy. Remove from the syrup and place into jars.

Add to the syrup in the pan:
1 x 2.5cm piece cinnamon stick
6 allspice berries
4 whole cloves
Boil until thickened a little then pour over the fruit in the jars. Seal. Leave for a month before using.
Serve with cheese by removing each piece by the stem. The pickling syrup may be re-used for more pickling or poured over ice cream.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Pineapple and Ginger Upside Down Cake


Made for gardening, June 2018


250g butter, softened

1¼ cups rapadura sugar

5 eggs

1 cup milk kefir or thin yoghurt

2½ cups flour

2 tspns baking powder

1 Tbl ground ginger or 4 drops ginger essential oil

1 tsp ground cinnamon or 2 drops cinnamon essential oil

½ tsp ground cloves or 1 drop clove essential oil

Caramelised Pineapple

1 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced into ½ - 1cm thick slices

85g butter

½ cup rapadura sugar


Melt butter and sugar, add half the pineapple slices and cook 3 minutes, turning once. Remove and cook the other half. Remove. Reserve syrup.


Fresh Ginger Syrup

Into the last of the reserved syrup grate a good knob of fresh ginger and heat gently.

  • Make caramelised pineapple
  • Pre heat oven to 170°C
  • Grease a deep 23cm round cake pan; line base and sides to above the sides of the tin
  • Set butter and sugar to beat until pale
  • Make caramelised pineapple
  • Drizzle cake tin with 2 Tbl reserved syrup and arrange caramelised pineapple slices, overlapping. Use them all. Doubling up is ok. Keep rest of the syrup for the sauce. Make more if necessary.
  • To beaten butter and sugar, add 2 spoons of the plain flour then gradually add the eggs, beating well between additions. Add a little more flour if it looks like curdling.
  • Beat in kefir / yoghurt
  • Stir in the rest of the flour mixed with the baking powder
  • Spread mixture over the pineapple
  • Bake 1 hour and check. If necessary, top with foil
  • Bake a further 10 minutes or until a knife comes out clean
  • Meanwhile make suryp
  • Stand cake 5 minutes then turn out onto a beautiful serving plate.
  • Serve with fresh ginger syrup
  • Enjoy!