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.