Monday, October 26, 2009

Dossie's Cinnamon Sponge

Mum was a reasonable baker! We grew up at home on only home cooked treats. Her older sister Aunty Dossie (Harris) though, that was a different matter. WOW, could she cook. Everything on her dairy farm was made from scratch. Everything tasted delicious. The pantry was lined with bottles and jars of home preserves from the excess of each season. I can still taste the icecream that she whipped by hand, made fresh from the cream of her own cows. Every Australian country woman could (and most still can) make a sponge cake. That's what you serve when special visitors come. "You whip up a sponge".

Some special recipes in mum's hand written book are designated: (Dossie's). This is one of those recipes.

3 eggs
small 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup arrowroot
2 teaspoons (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon syrup
(I tested this with golden syrup from the era and my knowledge that is what the I think the recipe meant)

Beat the eggs and sugar for 20 minutes (that's what it says!). Add dry ingredients then fold in 1 teaspoon syrup.

Bake in sandwich tins in a moderate oven for 7 - 10 minutes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


you know where most of my recipes comes from - this one in mum's old handwritten book - is so badly stained and used it took me quite a while to decipher - but here it is - JUST FOR YOU!

4oz (125g) butter
1 small cup brown sugar
1 egg
vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup dried fruit (chopped dates, raisins or dried apricots)

Cream butter and sugar; add egg and vanilla, then dried fruit. Sift flour with baking powder and add to mixture. Cook in a Swiss Roll tin in a moderate oven for 30 minutes. When cold cover with chocolate butter icing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


This recipe has an interesting tie as its come from two sources: mum and a Sydney friend. Many of you may remember mum comes from an Australian country town Wingham. So does my friend Michael who now lives in Sydney and when we discovered this common bond, both of original settler families, he sent me an email of recipes he had discovered on a visit 'home'. This was in mum's book, and in Michael's collection.

Chocolate Slice (with weetbix)

3 weetbix (crumbled)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
125g melted butter

Combine dry ingredients. Mix in melted butter. Press into baking tray and cook in a moderate oven for 10 minutes. Ice with chocolate icing while hot. Cut into squares.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

ROSE and COCONUT sour cream cake

This is an adaptation, a new adaptation this week, but I had so many people asking for it that just had to put it down in writing.

125g (4oz) butter
1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons rose syrup
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
300g (9 1/2oz) carton sour cream

Grease a deep 23cm (9") square cake pan; line with paper.

Cream butter, essence and sugar in small bowl. Add 2 eggs, one at a time and beating after each addition. Add rose syrup, then sour cream and self raising flour (half and half). Finally mix in the coconut. Spoon into the prepared cake pan.

Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour. Stand before turning out.

I made a royal icing (icing sugar and boiling water) and added a tablespoon of rose syrup. The original Australian Women's Weekly recipe suggested Coconut Ice Frosting:

2 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut
2 egg whites lightly beaten
pink food colouring

Combine sifted icing sugar in a bowl with coconut and egg whites; mix well. If desired, tint pink with a little colouring.

Rose syrup:

Make sure you use roses that have not been sprayed with insectides (and rose petals that therefore are edible). Place rose petals in 2 cups water and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and measure. Add an equal quantity of sugar to water and bring again to the boil.

Date Maple Slice

This did come out of mum's handwritten cookery book - but it's a magazine cutout (perhaps from the 70s) and sorry I don't know which magazine for attribution - here's the recipe:

2 cups chopped dried dates
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
125 (4oz) butter
1/2 cupe castor sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cup wholemeal plain flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons raw sugar

Grease a 23cm (9") square cake pan.

Combine dates, water, syrup and rind in a saucepan. Bring to boil, simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all liquid has been absorbed; cool.

Beat butter, castor sugar and eggs in a small bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. (Mixture may look to have curdled but will come together when the dry ingredients are added.) Stir in sifed flours; press mixture together.

Roll 2/3 of dough between sheets of greaseproof paper until large enough to cover bse of pan. Spread filling over base. Roll remaining dough between sheets of greaseproof paper until 3mm (1/8") in thickness. Cut dough into 2cm (3/4") wide strips. Arrange ina lattice pattern over the filling.

Brush top of slice with milk, and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Cook in a moderately hot oven 190C (375F) for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate oven 180C (350F) and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in the pan before cutting.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Becca's Saffron Ring

generous pinch of saffron threads
2 sprigs lemon thyme
(optional grated lemon rind)
1/2 cup milk
4oz (125g) butter
1/4 cup yoghurt
3 eggs
1 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
pinch of salt

Place sprigs of lemon thyme in scalding milk off the heat. Strain, place in a clean saucepan with the saffron and bring to back heat. Add cubed butter to the milk; heat slowly until the butter has melted and remove from heat. (Do not boil) Bring back to room temperature. Mix the yoghurt into the milk and butter.

Grease 8" (20cm) ring pan and line base with baking paper.

In a large bowl, whisk whole eggs and gradually add the castor sugar, making sure the sugar dissolves between each addition. Alternatively add sifted flour, and butter mixture, (1/4 each time) to the eggs and sugar base. (Add optional grated lemon rind) Whisk until light. Pour into prepared ring tin.

Bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes. Allow to stand a few minutes, before turning out to cool.

Serving suggestions: lemon icing or with carrot lemon & raisin compote, yoghurt or honey ice cream.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Caramel Biscuits

4oz (125g) butter
1 large cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups self raising flour

Beat butter and sugar to a cream and add the egg, vanilla and then the flour.

Place small teaspoons on a greased tray, press down with a fork. Bake in a moderate oven.