Thursday, 13 September 2012

Buttermilk & Berry Slice

This one looked so great in the picture that I had to try it, and I just love how buttermilk makes things moist and fluffy.

150g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 2/3 cup self raising flour
2/3 cup butter milk
300g frozen mixed berries
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup flaked almonds


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.. Grease 20cm x 30cm slice pan and line with baking paper
  • Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time
  • Stir in flour and buttermilk and mix until smooth
  • Gently fold in berries and pour into prepared tin, smooth top
  • Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the cake
  • Bake for 55 mins or until golden and a tester comes out clean

Kumera Cake

I must admit I am the first person to say that I don't like vegetables in cake.  I don't like carrot cake, or zucchini cake.  But I do eat pumpkin pie so I thought kumera is pretty close to pumpkin maybe this will be nice, very moist anyway!  For those of you who have not spent time in NZ kumera is a sweet potato.

1 3/4 cups plain four
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bi carb soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup sultanas
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
500g kumera peeled and grated
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Grease and line a 20cm round cake pan
  • Combine flour, baking powder, bi carb, cinnamon, sugar, sultanas, walnuts and kumera in a  bowl
  • Whisk together the eggs, oil, zest and juice.
  • Pour into the dry mixture and mix until well combined
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 mins, then turn the oven down to 160 degrees and cook for a further 30 mins or until cooked when a tested comes out clean
  • Can be served with a cream cheese frosting

Sticky Date Cookies

In my family we love anything with the words sticky and date in the title.  We have puddings, cakes, cheesecakes but this is the first recipe I have seen for sticky date cookies!  They just look so moreish! Recipes + recipe.

150g dried dates
180g butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg yolk
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bi carb soda
1 cup demerara sugar


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
  • Place dates in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and stand for 5 mins
  • Drain dates and using a blender, blend until smooth
  • Beat butter, sugar and essence in a bowl until creamy
  • Add the egg yolk beat
  • Add the date puree, beat to combine
  • Add the flour, ginger and bi carb soda, and beat until a soft dough forms
  • Place denerara sugar in a bowl and roll tbsp of the dough into a ball and then in the sugar
  • Place on the tray and flatten, allow room to spread
  • Bake for 15 mins or until edges are firm

Orange & Blueberry Cheesecake

This is a healthy alternative to the yummy full fat creamy cheesecakes you are used to, but it does taste good!  It's from Recipes+


250g low fat cottage cheese
220g extra light cream cheese
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup Self raising flour
1/4 cup skim milk
100g frozen blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees.  Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm spring form pan
  • Process cheeses, zest and sugar until smooth
  • Add the eggs and mix through
  • Add flours and milk and process until mixed
  • Pour mixture into the prepared tin
  • Top with the blueberries
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until set.  Turn oven off and let cheesecake cool in oven with door ajar.
  • Remove from tin and chill for 6 hours 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Turkey Chilli Con Carne

This is another healthy recipe from my personal trainer.  Its a nice change to a lot of red meat.


2 tablespoons canola oil
500g Ingham Turkey Mince
1 packet taco mix
1 cup water
400g can rich peeled tomato
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chilli powder
200g can super sweet corn kernels
300g can red kidney beans


  • Heat oil in a large, heavy based frying pan over a medium heat. 
  • Cook turkey mince for 5 minutes, or until browned. 
  • Sprinkle taco mix over mince, stirring to combine well. 
  • Add water, tomatoes, tomato paste and chilli powder, stirring to combine ingredients.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove cover, add corn and kidney beans to pan, stir through. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • Serve deep bowls of chilli con carne with steamed rice or green salad, if desired.

Parmesan Chicken

Here is a healthier version of crunchy chicken that your kids will love.


1/2 cup plain flour
3/4 cup Kellogs All-bran Fibre Toppers
1 cup panko bread crumbs (sometimes they are in the Asian isle of your supermarket)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup continental parsley, finely chopped
800g chicken tenderloins
2 eggs, lightly whisked
olive oil spray


  • Preheat oven to 200 degreees and line 2 baking trays with gladbake
  • Place the flour on a large plate
  • Blitz the toppers in your food processor and put ina  bowl with the breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley
  • Season with pepper
  • Dip the chicken into the flour, then the egg and then the mixture
  • Place on the trays and spray with the olive oil
  • Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden

Sticky Pear and Caramel Cake

Again I was inspired by an episode of Masterchef in which Debra made a sticky fig and caramel cake.  But figs aren't in season and so I used pears instead.  I have to say the cake is Divine!


150g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 eggs
1 cup Self Raising Flour
1/3 cup milk
2 pears, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup caster sugar
50g butter
1/3 cup cream
1/3 cup honey
1 vanilla bean (the one you scraped the seeds out of)


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a springform pan
  • Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds until creamy
  • Add eggs one at a time
  • fold in flour and milk, mix well
  • place all ingredients for the caramel in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted.
  • Bring to the boil and cook until it turns golden brown (without stirring)
  • Pour caramel into the tin and arrange pears cut side down onto of the caramel
  • Cover the caramel gently with the cake batter
  • Place on a baking tray and bake for 45-50 mins or until a tester comes out clean

Thursday, 6 September 2012

More Banana! - Chocolate Banana Choc Chip Cake

This recipe I found when surfing the net for more "banana" recipes!  It is from the recipe site


    • 1 1/4 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon Bi Carb soda
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup bananas, very ripe and mashed, about 3
    • 1 cup chocolate chips (I have used dark, milk and white and they all taste good!)


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees, grease or spray a 20cm cake tin pan and line the base.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients, set aside.
  3. Cream butter, add sugar and eggs, mix well,then add bananas and mix briefly.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients until incorporated, don't over mix, stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake 50- 60 minutes until it tests done, cake will just start to pull away from edges.
  6. Cool slightly then remove from pan.

CWA Cakes from Masterchef

Did you watch that episode of Masterchef Allstars where they bought back Merle and two other ladies from the CWA and the contestants were given a cake to cook?  I got very inspired so went on a hunt for the CWA recipes for a few of the certain cakes.  I found them on The Land Cookery Recipes and the cakes below were all made in a few days, cut up and frozen for lunches.

Of all the cakes I would have to say that the Lumber Jack Cake was the clear winning, I have made these before but this version is absolutely outstanding!!

Citrus Sour Cream Cake 

125g butter
1 cup caster sugar
3 x 60g eggs
½ cup mixed peel
¾ cup self-raising flour
¾ cup plain flour
½ cup sour cream


  • Preheat oven to moderate temperature (180ºC). 
  • Grease and line base of loaf tin with baking paper
  • Cream butter add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, beat well between each addition.
  •  Transfer mixture to larger bowl, stir in the peel with half the sifted flours and half the sour cream, finally add the remaining flours and cream. 
  • Spread mixture into prepared tin. 
  • Bake in moderately slow oven (160ºC) for about 1–1¼ hours or until cooked. Stand 5 minutes before turning out to cool on a tea towel covered rack.

Lumberjack Cake

Fruit Mixture
2 large Granny Smith cooking apples diced
250g pitted dates
1 teaspoon Bi-carb soda
1 cup hot water


  • Place apples, dates and water into saucepan and bring to the boil, turn off heat, add bi-carb soda, stirring well. 
  • Allow to cool approx 2 hours (this can be done the day before and can be done in a microwave on high for 5 minutes).

Cake Mixture
125g butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups Plain flour


  • Pre-heat oven 180°C. Line bottom and sides of 20cm square tin with Glad baking paper.
  • Place sugar and butter/margarine into a bowl and mix well together than add vanilla and eggs. 
  • When mixed add fruit mixture and then sifted flour.
  • Place mixture into prepared tin, cook in oven for 50 minutes or until cake springs back when tested.
  • Remove from oven and spread with topping, place back in oven for approx 15 minutes or until topping is golden brown. 
  • Oven may be turned up to 190°C for this process.

60g butter
½ cups (100g) firmly packed brown sugar
½ cups (125ml) milk
⅔ cups (50g) shredded coconut


  • Combine ingredients in medium saucepan using wooden spoon stir topping mixture over low heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolves.

Banana & Coconut Cake

I have a friend I cook for who is a banana freak and so in an effort to cook something different I went on a search for Banana Cakes!  This one is really yummy adding the coconut makes such a difference to the normal banana breads.


180g butter
150g caster sugar
2  ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence (I use homemade)
2 tbsp desicated coconut
180g Self Raising flour


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a 20cm cake tin
  • cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  • Add the mashed bananas, coconut and vanilla essence and beat until combined
  • Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition
  • Add the flour and mix well
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 mins or until a tester comes out clean.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Gary Meaghan's Potato Gnocchi

I always wanted a good recipe for Potato Gnocchi I have tried before but it came out a bit tough!  So when Gary made this in Masterclasss this season I gave it a go, even bought a drum sieve to get it just right.  Guess what!  It was amazing!!  Even got glowing reviews from an Italian friend of ours who I fed it to!  It takes time to make but trust me it is worth it!!

I served it with burnt butter and sage.

  • Rock salt, to bake
  • 1kg floury potatoes, Sebago (or brushed potatoes), washed
  • ½-1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40g Butter
  • 1/2 bunch sage leaves

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Line a baking tray with about 1/2cm layer of rock salt. Prick the potatoes all over and place on salt. Bake for 1-1.5 hours or until very soft. Immediately cut in half and press through a potato ricer or drum sieve placed over a large bowl. Add egg and season with salt, mix until just combined. Sprinkle half the flour onto a clean bench. Place potato mixture on top, flatten the mixture and sprinkle with remaining flour. Press mixture down with your fingers and fold it over with a pastry scraper or spatula, repeat this process until all the flour has been incorporated. Bring the dough together to form a ball. Divide dough into three, roll each into a 2cm diameter sausage shape using small amounts of flour to dust.  Cut into diagonal pieces about 2-3cm long and set on a floured tray.
  • bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, reduce to a simmer, gently add gnocchi and cook until they rise to the surface. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon to an oiled bowl.
  • Heat one tablespoon oil in a non stick frying pan, add gnocchi and brown on both sides.
  • Remove from the pan, add the sage leaves cook for a few minutes until crispy, pour butter and sage leaves over the gnocchi and serve.

Matt Moran's Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

I liked the look of this dessert when they made it on Master Chef this season so for a dinner party I had a few months ago (that's how far behind I am on recipes) I made it, it was yummy!  Matt did it with Cherry Soup but I served it with a pistachio biscotti crumb and limoncello sauce.

  • 360ml milk
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 12g gelatine leaf, soaked in cold water
  • 360ml Greek yoghurt 

  1. Place the milk, sugar and vanilla bean in a saucepan and place over a low heat until hot, do not boil. Take off the heat and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean. Place back over a low heat and heat again until hot ensuring it does not boil.
  2.  Place the gelatine in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Remove and squeeze off excess water. Add to the milk and stir until it has completely dissolved. Stir through the yoghurt. Pour into 6 dariole moulds with a 150ml capacity. Place in the fridge to set over night.
  3. To remove the panna cotta from the moulds dip each mould in hot water for 3 seconds then carefully turn out into shallow serving bowls
If you want to make the biscotti I used Fig Jam & Lime Cordials recipe you can find it here. I used pistachios and lemon rind as the flavouring, and for the Limoncello sauce I mixed Limoncello with some water and a little sugar and boiled it til it was syrupy.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Stuffed Eggplant

This is a recipe that I got from Better Homes and Gardens, I used Tivo to tape it and then watched writing down the recipe!  It is really tasty, my 7 year old did just eat the meat out of the eggplant like it was a bowl but hey, maybe one day he will eat the whole thing!!


3 Eggplants, halved
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp oil
600gm minced Lamb
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (fresh)
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp dried mint
2 eggs
salt and pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

500ml chicken stock
1 tin diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves

  •  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Scoop out flesh of eggplants with a melon baller
  • fry the garlic in the olive oil until tender
  • In a food processor place the lamb, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, cinnamon, chilli flakes, mint and eggs, and process until smooth
  • Place in a baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Stir together the stock, tomatoes and tomato paste, and pour into the bottom of the tray, not over the eggplant.  Place the bay leaves in the tray. 
  • Cover the tray with baking paper and then foil.
  • Cook for 1 hour
  • Remove the foil and baking paper and cook for a further 10 minutes or until browned

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tomato Tart

My husband reads the Age on the train to work on his IPad, so I often get recipes sent to my IPhone (yes we are an apple family!) that he would like me to make for him.
This is one of those recipes by Katrina Meynink.
Can't wait for summer when I can try it with lovely home grown tomatoes!!

1kg roma tomatoes, halved
3-4 sprigs thyme plus extra to serve
2tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
3 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar
Persian fetta to serve

Preheat the oven to 125C.
Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and thyme in bowl until well coated.. Season with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes, cut side up and in 1 layer for 2 hours.
In a small bowl whisk the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the roasted tomatoes and toss gently to coat.
Turn the oven heat up to 190.
Layer the tomatoes cut side up over the base of 1 large fry pan or alternatively 4 individual crepe pans also works well for individual serves. Spoon over the balsamic syrup. Cut the puff pastry slightly larger than the diameter of the base of the fry pan you use. Gently place the pastry over the tomatoes, tucking in the edges around the circumference of the pan. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
To serve, gently invert the tarte onto a plate. Add a spoonful of Persian fetta, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over a few fresh thyme leaves. Serve hot.

Thai Turkey Burger

Did you know that turkey is one of the meats with the lowest amount of fat?  So it's not just for Christmas!!  These were really yummy even my 7 year old scoffed them down.

1kg Turkey Mince
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 small bunch coriander
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil 

Combine turkey, curry paste, coriander, cumin and salt and pepper in large bowl. Using 3/4 cup mixture at a time, shape mixture into eight 2cm-thick patties.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Cook patties, in batches, for 5 to 7 minutes each side or until cooked through.