Friday, May 16, 2014

Apple tart

There are many kinds of apple pies or tart. A friend gave my mother this recipe and it is a family favourite. 

Half cup butter
Half cup sugar - preferably raw or brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup self-rising flour
Pinch of salt
Half cup milk
Tin of apples

Set oven to 180 C and grease a pie dish. 
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light. 
Mix in the egg. 
Add the flour, salt and milk. Mix lightly.  
Use half of the dough to cover the sides and bottom of the prepared pie dish.  Distribute the apples evenly over the base and cover with the rest of the cake mixture. (It doesn't matter if you can't cover the apples perfectly. )
Bake for 40 - 50 minutes until golden brown and baked through. 

Melt and mix
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey (or golden syrup)
2 tablespoons sugar
Boil for a few minutes, stirring until ingredients are dissolved and incorporated. 

When the tart comes out of the oven, prick with a fork and spoon syrup over the pie, letting the syrup run down the sides. 

Serve the pie with cream or runny custard. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spice biscuits

These traditional biscuits are a favourite and we bake them at Christmas time every year, mainly because that is the only time we bake biscuits. You can ice them for a festive look, or, dip  them in chocolate and decorate with sprinkles. (The gold candy cane shaped biscuits in the photo were dipped in white chocolate and dusted with gold edible powder.) If you don't want to ice them, then sprinkle on sugar crystals - coloured ones, if you can get them, look very pretty - before baking them.

3 cups flour

1½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon and ground ginger each
2 teaspoons mixed spice
½ teaspoon nutmeg and cloves each
125g butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated rind of an orange

  1. Prepare3 baking trays - line with baking paper. (No greasing necessary.)
  2. Preheat oven to 200° C.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients.
  4. Rub in the butter.
  5. Whisk the eggs, vanilla and orange rind together and mix into the flour mixture to make a soft dough.  Add a little milk if necessary.
  6. Roll pieces of the dough out on a floured surface to about 3mm thickness. Cut out shapes and place on the prepared baking trays
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light brown.
This is a softer biscuit, but if you like it more crisp, roll the dough out thinner or bake for longer. Be careful though not to burn them.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Breakfast cake

The last slice of this healthy and delicious cake.
This cake is an adaptation of a new carrot cake recipe I wanted to try out. It happened like this: There were 4 egg whites in the fridge and I thought to use in all up with a carrot cake recipe that was in my recipe folder for some time. When checking our supplies there was only one carrot left! (We always have lots of carrots on hand!) Decided to add grated apple - have done this with the carrot cake I usually make - though the recipe calls for a tin of crushed pineapple, which I didn't have. I decided on the spur of the moment to use a banana which was getting a bit overripe. Since I didn't have the required nuts either I decided to replace that with pumpkin and sesame seeds. We ended up this this moist and delicious cake. It lasted 4 days and to the last slice it was still moist and delicious. (Other things I changed was replacing one cup of flour with whole wheat flour and half the amount of sugar.)  I didn't know what to name this new creation, but I thought it is healthy enough as a breakfast/lunch snack, thus the name. So here is the recipe - before I forget what I changes I made:

1 cup standard flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup raw sugar
4 eggs (I used 4 leftover egg whites and 2 whole eggs)
1 cup sunflower oil
1 carrot, grated
2 medium apples, grated (leave the skin on)
1 banana
½ cup sesame seed
½ - 1 cup pumpkin seeds (I didn't measure when I added the seeds)

  1. First grate the carrot and apples, and mash the banana.
  2. Set oven to 180°C and spray a ring cake tin with cooking spray.
  3. Sift the flours, baking soda, salt and spices together, and add the sugar. Mix gently to distribute ingredients evenly.
  4. Add the eggs and oil and mix lightly.
  5. Add the carrot, apple, banana and seeds and mix it lightly through the dough. If the dough feels too stiff you could add a bit more oil to the mixture.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

I'm sure raisins added to the mix would be lovely, but my family don't like raisins.

It is satisfying when an experiment turns out well. The previous time I had to throw out the cake - it was inedible!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Coconut biscuits

A traditional favourite my mother used to bake at Christmas.
Coconut biscuits

300 ml sugar
250g butter
2 eggs
1 cup desiccated coconut
3½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
3½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
Red glacé cherries

  1. Put butter in sun to soften - do not melt it because it will change the texture of your biscuits. Take eggs out to bring to room temperature. 
  2. Cut cherries into eight pieces each - I use about half a packet. 
  3. Prepare the baking sheets. 
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. 
  5. Beat in the eggs. 
  6. Mix in the coconut. 
  7. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and make into a fairly stiff dough. 
  8. Set the oven to 200° C on the bake function - not fan bake. 
  9. Put dough into cookie press and fill the baking sheet. (One press gives a small biscuit which is ideal around Christmas time when you only want small snacks with all the delightful temptations around. Two presses gives a bigger biscuit with a softer texture, which is the way I like it.) Put a piece of glacé cherry in the middle of each biscuit. 
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are a light golden brown. 
  11. While the first batch is baking, prepare the next batch so when you take the biscuits out of the oven the next batch is ready for baking. 
  12. Leave biscuits to cool a bit before placing them onto a cooling rack. 
This quantity of dough makes about 3½ baking sheets if you make the smaller biscuits. 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Gluten-free coffee and date cake

This gluten- and dairy-free cake is moist, light and easy to make. Best of all is that you don't have to buy special ingredients. 

1 cup pitted dates
Half cup of strong coffee
2 cups of ground almonds
125ml raw sugar
5 eggs, separated
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking soda
1tsp each ground ginger and cinnamon
Half tsp nutmeg and ground cardoman
Generous pinch of salt
70g walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 150 C and lightly oil a square 20cm cake tin. Line the base of the tin with baking paper. 
Bring the finely chopped dates and coffee to boil in a small saucepan en simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
Whisk egg yolks, mix in the almonds, sugar, walnuts, vanilla, salt and spices.
Add the baking soda to the dates and mix into the egg and almond mixture. 
Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form and fold into the almond mixture. 
Spoon mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. 
Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the tin. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Macaroni and cheese

I find the traditional macaroni & cheese, which is made with a cheese sauce, too rich. This version is made with an egg and milk custard which is lighter. It's delicious hot or cold. 

250g macaroni noodles
2 - 3 cups of milk
3 eggs
2 cups grated Edam cheese

Cook the macaroni in plenty of boiling water (add a teaspoon of salt when the water start to boil - and yes, pasta needs to be cooked with salt!).
Beat the eggs and milk with seasoning - a good pinch of salt and lots of pepper. Dried herbs also add further flavour. 
In a greased dish, add half of the macaroni, sprinkle half the cheese over. Repeat with the rest. Pour the egg mixture over. It must cover the pasta. You could top it up with milk if necessary.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius - fan bake - for 45 minutes. 

Add a cup of chopped ham or leftover meat. 
Chopped celery or mushrooms also works well.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hearty soup

The ultimate in nourishing comfort food, this is the basic recipe for the soup we have from autumn through to spring. It is a meal in one bowl and freeze well. I always make a big pot, keep some in the fridge and freeze the rest.

Cooking and preparation time: 1.5 - 2 hours.

2 onions or leeks
1 kg lean mince meat or chicken breasts/thighs
250g - 500g red split lentils (more lentils makes a thicker soup)
3 large carrots, grated
A wedge of cabbage, finely chopped
Half a head of broccoli, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, peeled and chopped in small cubes ( include the leaves)
1 tin of tomatoes, any flavour
1 tin of tomato purée 
Seasoning and your favourite combination of spices and herbs

Fry the onions in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot, over a slow heat until softened. Add spices and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the meat and break up the mince as it fries. Keep the chicken pieces whole and cut them up finely at the end of the cooking.

Add the lentils and enough boiled water to cover to the halfway mark. Add salt and pepper. Boil for 20 minutes. (Chop up the veggies in the mean time. You can use any vegetables in season. I also like to use mushrooms.)
You can see how much vegetables are added to the soup - makes it healthy and tasty!

Add all the chopped vegetables and skim off the foam as it forms. Boil for about 10 -15 minutes.
Here you can see the foam that forms when adding the vegetables.

If you have used chicken, chop it in small pieces. Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée. Check your seasoning. Chopped fresh parsley is another good addition at this stage.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why no new entries?

The Saturday kids are taking a break over summer when they mainly BBQ but they will be back in winter so watch this space!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007


1 onion
Garlic and ginger
4 sticks celery
1 leek
1 red capsicum
1 can tomatoes
1 can whole corn kernels
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked shrimps
150g ham
200g chorizo (about 4)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Dice all vegetables.
Brown the onion, garlic and ginger.
Add the paprika and cayenne pepper and fry for 1 minute.
Add the ham and chorizo and fry for 3 minutes.
Add the celery, capsicum and leek and fry for 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, corn and stock and bring to boil.
Add the rice.
Simmer until vegetables are cooked, add the shrimps ans warm through.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chocolate ramekins

4 eggs at room temperature
100g 70% cocoa solids chocolate
100g sugar
75g butter
50g standard flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Cream together eggs and sugar.
Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl set over hot water.
Leave to cool for 4 minutes and then stir in the eggs.
Fold in the flour.
Spoon the mixture into the ramekins (makes around 8).
Bake for around 15-20 minutes.
Serve with cream or ice cream.

Chicken korma

1 onion
Garlic and ginger
500g chicken breast
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup plain yoghurt
3/4 cup cream

Fry onion, garlic and ginger until browned.
Add chicken and brown.
Add spices and stir for 2 minutes.
Add yoghurt, bring to boil and simmer for around 10 minutes.
Add cream and warm through.
Serve with couscous or basmati rice.

Upside-down pineapple cake

300g self-raising flour
5 tbsp warm golden syrup
450g canned pineapple rings
200g butter
Pottle plain yoghurt
300g sugar
5 eggs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line the bottom of a baking dish with baking paper and cover with the syrup.
Arrange the pineapple rings on top.
Cream butter and sugar together.
Stir in the yoghurt.
Mix in the eggs.
Fold in the flour.
Pour the mixture over the pineapple rings.
Bake for around 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Rest for 6 minutes and then slowly run a knife around the edges to release.
Turn out cake and slowly remove the baking paper.
Serve with cream or ice cream.

Pork pie

Sheet flaky pastry
1 onion
Garlic and ginger
750g minced pork
1 large apple, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsps sweet chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Mix together the onion, garlic, ginger, pork, apple, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and sesame oil.
Spoon into oven dish and cover with the pastry (Be sure to poke some holes in the pastry so steam can escape).
Bake for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 180 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.

Syrup sponge

200g golden syrup
100g butter
Pottle plain yoghurt
150g sugar
3 eggs
175g self-raising flour

Pour the golden syrup into the bottom of a pudding bowl.
Beat butter and sugar together until light.
Stir in yoghurt.
Beat in the eggs.
Fold in the flour.
Spoon the mixture into the bowl.
Cover the top with foil and secure.
Place in a deep pan half-filled with boiling water.
Steam for 2 hours checking the water level every now and then.
Tip the pudding onto a plate and pour warmed golden syrup over the top.

"No butter" butter chicken

1 onion
Garlic and ginger
2 tsps curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
500g chicken breast
Can tomatoes
1 tsp garam marsala
1 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup cream

Fry onion, garlic and ginger until browned.
Add curry, cumin and coriander and stir for about 2 minutes.
Add chicken and brown and then add can tomatoes.
Bring to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Stir in garam marsala, yoghurt and cream and warm through.
Serve over couscous or basmati rice.

Custard tart

Sheet sweet shortcrust pastry
6 eggs
Pottle plain yoghurt
80g sugar
500 ml cream

Heat oven to 170 degrees C.
Roll out the pastry and cover the bottom and sides of a pie dish.
Bake blind for 10 minutes.
Remove paper and bake for another 5 minutes.
Whisk eggs and sugar together.
Stir in cream.
Warm over low heat until hot but not boiling.
Pour filling into pie dish and bake for around 45 - 50 minutes.
The filling should be set but not firm.
Leave to cool.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Snapper fish curry

Snapper are a favourite NZ firm-fleshed fish.

2 onions
Garlic and ginger
2 tsp spice blend (see below)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp turmeric
Can tomatoes
1 cup water
500g snapper

Spice blend

1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp allspice

Fry onions, garlic and ginger until the onions start browning.
Add all the spices and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and water.
Add fish, cover and simmer until fish is cooked (about 10-15 minutes).

Served with rice. (We use basmati rice).

Blueberry sponge pudding

1 tin blueberries (or blueberries in season)
50g butter
4 Tbsp yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup standard flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Pour the blueberries into a baking dish.
Cream butter, vanilla and sugar.
Stir in yoghurt.
Beat in the eggs.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder and fold into mixture.
Stir in milk.
Spoon mixture over berries and bake for 40 minutes (or until sponge springs back when lightly pressed).
Serve with cream or ice cream.

Can be used with any other berries as desired.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Shepherd's pie

8 medium potatoes
50g butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheese

800g mince
1 onion
1 leek
Garlic and ginger
Herbs and spices
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp chutney
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Peel and quarter the potatoes and boil until soft.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Brown onion, leek, garlic and ginger.
Brown the mince.
Add in herbs and spices and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the stock, chutney, tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Mash the potatoes and add the butter, milk and grated cheese.
Pour the mince into a baking dish and cover with the mashed potato.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

White chocolate tart

300g white chocolate
100g butter
5 eggs separated
100g sugar
2 tbsp standard flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Melt the chocolate and butter over boiling water.
Leave for 10 minutes to cool.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together and then fold in the chocolate mixture.
Fold in the flour.
Beat egg whites until stiff and then fold in.
Spoon into cake tin and bake for 35 minutes.

Baked custard

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
Beat together eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla.
Place 4 ramekins into a baking dish and pour the mixture into them.
Pour boiling water into baking dish until halfway up the ramekins.
Bake for 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Spaghetti bolognese

1/2 packet spaghetti
800g mince
1 onion
Garlic and ginger
Herbs and spices
Tin tomatoes

Place the spaghetti in boiling water and cook until al dente.
Brown the onion, ginger and garlic.
Then add the mince and brown.
Add the herbs and spices and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tin of tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.

Kiwifruit and honey cake

It's the kiwifruit season and some were going off so we made this cake to use them up.

50g softened butter
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed kiwifruit (if you don't have enough use plain yoghurt to top up)
2 cups standard flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Cream butter and honey.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat in.
Fold in the kiwifruit.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and fold through.
Fold through the milk.
Spoon into a cake tin and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked.