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.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Christmas Pudding (our family recipe)

Though Christmas is a few month's away, it's coming up time to make the Christmas pudding. This has traditionally been a job only done by mum. My job has been to stir and stick my thumb in and pull out a taste of the (raw) mix for luck in the year to come. We still have a collection of silver that goes into the pudding too: for the lucky few to find once it's time for eating.

1 3/4 lb (920g) mixed dried fruit
4oz (125g) shredded dried peel
3 tablespoons rum
8oz (250g) butter
8oz (250g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 eggs
1 medium size grated carrot
1 small grated apple
4oz (125g) breadcrumbs
2oz (60g) chopped blanched almonds
6oz (185g) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice

(At least a day before you'd like to make the pudding, cover a tray with the dried fruits and sprinkle with the rum. - this is not in the recipe - this is something I've watched mum do every year though ...)

Cream butter and brown sugar, then add orange and lemon rinds. Beat in eggs one at a time and mix well. Mix in dried fruits, and grated carrot and apple. Fold in the breadcrumbs, almonds and other dry ingredients. (this is where the original recipe in mum's hand written book says to add the rum). Mix together well and allow to stand for at least an hour.

Fill into a greased pudding bowl. Tie floured pudding cloth securely over the top. (mum uses a layer of baking paper, and a layer of aluminium foil tied around the rim of the pudding bowl - and over the top only). Plunge into boiling water and boil rapidly for 5 hours. Top up the boiling water in the pan as required.

On the day, boil 2 to 2 1/2 hours before serving.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Lemon yoghurt cake with peach and blueberry salad

This cake is inspired by the wonderful cookbook writer Claudia Roden. Her Middle Eastern books are so fabulous. I had the pleasure of cooking breakfast for her once at Australia's national produce celebration The Harvest Picnic. And it was truly an honour. This recipe was collected at a local farmers market and supplied there by Country Valley. Shared, with thanks ...

4 large eggs, separated
100 g (3 1/2 oz / heaped 1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
3 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
400 g (14 oz / 1 3/4 cups) Greek-style yoghurt
grated zest of 1 lemon
icing (confectionsers') sugar for dusting
whipped cream

6 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
155 g (5 1/2 oz / 1 cup) blueberries
55 g (2 oz / 1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a 22cm (8 1/2 inch) spring-form cake tin with butter and line the base and side with baking paper.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a thick, pale cream. Beat in the flour, then the yoghurt, lemon zest and lemon juice until it is thoroughly blended. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the yoghurt mixture in two batches.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. (Check the cake after 30 minutes, and cover with foil if over browning.) Unclip the spring-form tin and slide the cake onto a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile place the peaches, blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl. Split the vanilla bean lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Add these to the fruit salad and toss all the ingredients until combined. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature to macerate for several hours.

Transfer the cake to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Serve wedges of cake with peach and blueberry salad and a dollop of whipped cream.

Serves 6

Saturday, July 25, 2009

GINGER biscuits

here's another of the recipes I grew up on with mum baking in the kitchen ... from her handwritten recipe book


1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cup self raising flour
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add golden syrup and egg and mix well. Mix together sifted self raising flour and ground ginger. Add this flour ginger mix to the butter sugar syrup and egg mix. Add a little lemon juice for flavour (but not enough to make the mixture runny).

Spoon mixture onto greased baking trays a teaspoon at a time. Cook in a slow oven.

Friday, July 17, 2009


60g (2oz) butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or paste)
1/3 cup milk

topping (extra)
15g (1/2oz) butter
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanill then flour and milk. Cook in moderate oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While cooling on cake tray, make topping.

Melt extra butter and brush on top of cake. Mix extra castor sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on cake.

Delicious while warm. Still delicious when cool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ARROWROOT biscuits

125g (4oz) butter
125g (4oz) arrowroot
125g (4oz) icing sugar
2 eggs
125g (4oz) flour

Beat butter to a cream, add beaten eggs and stir in flour. After beating the mixture well, add the finely sieved arrowroot and icing sugar.

Roll out and cut into oval shapes, place on greased tray, prick with a fork, and bake for 1/2 hour in a slow oven.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Custard Creams

This family recipe is taken from mum's handwritten cookbook (of recipes that were swapped over the kitchen table and the back fence and even included as a note in a letter). It dates to the 1960s at latest, even perhaps earlier. Enjoy!


6oz (180g) butter
6oz (180g) self raising flour
2oz (60g) icing sugar
2oz (60g) custard powder

Cream butter and icing sugar. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. Place teaspoons on greased tray or form into small balls and press down with a fork. Bake at 425F for 10 to 12 minutes.


2oz (60g) butter
4oz (120g) icing sugar
2 tablespoons condensed milk
vanilla essence
yellow colouring

Cream butter and condensed milk and slowly add icing sugar, then vanilla and colouring (you can leave the colouring out if you like). When cold, join two biscuits together with filling.

Sunday, July 5, 2009



125g (4oz) sugar
125g (4oz) butter
1 egg
vanilla essence
1 level dessertspoon honey
280g (10z) plain flour
2 level teaspoons cream of tartar
2 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

125g (4oz) icing sugar
30g (1oz) butter
vanill essence


Preheat hot oven (approx 475F) and prepare greased baking trays. (I use baking paper).

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add honey and a few drops of vanilla essence. Sift dry ingredients three times. Add slowly to butter mixture, beating well after each addition.

Shape a rounded teaspoon of mixture into a ball. Place on greased tray and press down with a (floured) fork. Bake in a hot oven until golden brown (about 12 minutes).

When cool join two biscuits together with jam (I like raspberry for these biscuits) and the filling.

Filling: Cream melted butter and icing sugar and add a few drops of vanilla essence.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jam Drops

Mum baked all the things we grew up on - it wasnt unusual - it was how she grew up and how all her family were fed. On their dairy farms, it was an afternoon ritual to stop each day for afternoon tea, and the biscuit barrell was always filled with home baked goodies! Another of those family recipes, probably at least 50 years old.

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 egg

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and flour. Roll out and form into small buns. Make a hole in the centre and put in jam and close round the jam. Bake on greased tray in moderate oven.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Patty Cakes

Cupcakes is a newer term for what mum called Patty Cakes ... this recipe won prizes 50 years ago (this was just a list of ingredients - no instructions apart from temperature + cooking time)

95g (3oz) butter
95g (3oz) castor sugar
2 well beaten eggs
190g (6oz) self raising flour
3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add well beaten eggs one at a time. Add flour, then milk alternatively. Place mixture in patty cases.

Cook in moderately hot oven (425F) for about 15 minutes.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Walnut Fruit Bread

3 egg whites
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 cup plain flour
4oz (125g) walnuts
2oz (65g) preserved ginger
2oz (65g) green glace cherries
2 oz (65g) red glace cherries
2oz (65g) glace pineapple

Beat egg whites until soft peaks from, gradually beat in castor sugar, beating well after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Fold in sifted flour, whole walnuts and roughly chopped ginger and glace fruits.

Spread into greased (10" x 3") bar tin. Bake in a moderate oven 30 to 35 minutes or until just firm. Cool out of tin.

When cold, wrap in aluminium foil, put aside for one or two days. Using a very sharp knife, cut bread into wafer thin slices. Put slices on to oven trays and bake in slow oven 45 minutes or until dry and crisp. Makes about 40.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Date Delight

185g butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups self raising flour
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cup dates
grated rind of a lemon

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Add melted butter and honey and mix well.

Add eggs.

Press into greased slice tin (cooking times based on 11" x 7" approximately).

Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes until brown.

Notes: (1) lemon icing complements the ginger and date (2) if preferred replace ground ginger with ground cinnamon

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dad's Favourite Date Slice

1 cup chopped dates
1 cup coconut
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
125 g (4oz) butter
1 egg

Add melted butter to sifted flour and other dry ingredients. Mix well. Add lightly beaten egg. Press into greased tin and bake for around 20 minutes in a slow oven. (mum's slow varies - i'd say this should be from experience moderate to slow around 140C - time will depend on the size of the tin)

Cut into fingers when cold.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

EASY slice

This recipe has been made in our family for over 40 years. It seems (as the name suggests!) almost too easy...

1 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
125g (4oz) butter

Melt butter and pour over dry ingredients. Mix. Cook in slice tin in moderate oven 15 - 20 minutes.

Ice while hot - chocolate or lemon


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Date Crunchies

There are a wealth of recipes we grew up on as kids in mum's old hand written cook books. I don't remember anything being bought from supermarkets or shops. Everything was made at home. Here's another of those family recipes to share with you.

8oz (250g) flour
12oz (375g) dates
4oz (125g) rolled oats
6oz (190g) sugar
5oz (160g) butter
grated lemon rind
2 - 3 teaspoons water

Heat chopped dates, rind and water until soft. Pour melted butter over the flour, sugar and rolled oats mix.

Spread half the oats mixtured in greased slice tin and press down firmly. Spread the softened date mixture over the bsed. Sprinkle the rest of the oats mixture over the top.

Bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour. Wait until quite cold before cutting into fingers.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dossie's Chocolate Cake

Aunty Dossie was one of my first cooking inspirations. When I was younger I would go and stay on her dairy farm where I had my first 'farm to table' experiences. In fact, it was those authentic and truly fresh flavours that ignited my interest in cooking. She is no longer with us, and here is her Chocolate Cake recipe, shared in her memory.

125g (4oz) butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons coconut
1 heaped cup Self Raising Flour
3 level tablespoon Drinking Chocolate

Besat butter and sugar, add milk and vanilla, then chocolate, flour and coconut.

Put into a greased sandwich tin. Bake in a moderate oven.

The recipe is simple and economical and most probably at least 40 to 50 years old.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Boiled Chocolate Cake

It is such a delight to read and cook and taste the recipes from my childhood. These all came from mum's old hand written cookbooks, from recipes that were passed over a kitchen table and a cup of tea, posted from relatives or swapped over the backfence.

Bring slowly to the boil, stirring continuously:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa
125g/4oz butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Allow to cool.

When cold, stir in 2 well beaten eggs, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 cups self raising flour.

Pour into greased tin and bake in a moderate oven for 35-40 minutes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Boiled (and moist) Fruit Loaf

Sometimes these old family recipes seem a bit old-fashioned when I check out the latest food magazines, TV shows or food blogs. They are however my old favourites, and the favourites I was brought up on and all come from mum's handwritten old recipe book, from recipes that were shared and passed on pieces of paper over the kitchen table, over the back fence, and sometimes in a letter ... how things have changed!

Put 1 cup water, 1 cup raisins, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 cup sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and cool.

Add 1 cup self raising flour, pinch of each salt, ground nutmeg and allspice, with 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Mix. (The mixture will be rather runny).

Pour into a well greased loaf tin and cook in a moderate oven until the edges are coming away from the tin. Leave for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Varations: try mixed fruit, or dates instead of raisins - I'm going to add a little bit of dried apricots or dried figs in with the raisins next time ...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Salted Peanut Biscuits

A very simple recipe that was used in our family for the last couple of generations - good food for kids (little or big):

1 cup self raising flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup corn flakes
1 cup sugar
125g butter
1 egg
30g salted peanuts

Melt butter and add to beaten egg and sugar. Mix in dry ingredients and peanuts.

Place spoonfuls on greased tray and bake in moderate oven 15 to 20 minutes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Golden Crunchies

Mum made these for us when we were kids. And, the recipe now comes to you from her hand written recipe book:

Golden Crunchies

2 cups self raising flour
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g butter
125g sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 dessertspoon golden syrup

Heat milk, bicarb of soda and golden syrup. Beat butter and sugar until creamy then add hot liquid. Stir in sifted flour.

Drop teaspoons on a greased tray allowing room to spread. Press down with a fork. Bake in moderate oven 10 to 15 minutes. While still hot lift on to cooling rack.

(note from Becca - I make the mixture more rounded like a ball before placing on tray and pressing with a fork)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Coconut Biscuits

There are lots of delicious ways to use coconut in sweet dishes. These biscuits are a simply no fail recipe. Hope you like them.

4oz (125g) butter
1 cup sugar
Cream with vanilla

Add 1 egg, then 1 cup self raising flour and 8oz (25og) desiccated coconut.

Roll into balls and press down with a fork on greased tray.

Bake in moderate oven 10 to 15 minutes.

Another family recipe from mum's old hand written recipe book

GEM scones

for anyone that's new - these are old family recipes from mum's handwritten notebooks - the kind of things I grew up on as a kid and she grew up on when she was a kid - enjoy!

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 large cup self raising flour
1/2 cup milk

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add milk and egg, then sifted flour.

Have gem irons heated and greased. Cook in hot oven about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CREAM scones

from the handwritten family cookbook - translated for your taste pleasure

2 cups Self Raising flour
1 x 300g carton cream
1 heaped tablespoon icing sugar
1 beaten egg

Knead the above ingredients lightly and cut into scones.

Bake in hot oven 10 to 15 minutes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


OK I have a confession to make - I don't drink lemonade, therefore I haven't ever had any in the home to try this recipe! However, it seems very simple and it is in mum's favourites cookbook which means its been tried by someone in the family:

Combine 1 cup thickened cream, and 375ml can of lemonade. Fold into 4 cups Self Raising Flour. Cut into rounds and place on greased tray.

Bake in moderate oven 15 - 20 minutes.

By the way, if you do try it, please let me know how it goes ... the liquid to flour proportions seem right, the air bubbles should help raising, the lemonade would sweeten ... wondering if I should go and buy a can of lemonade just for the heck of it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PUMPKIN scones

I promised it and here it is - mum's PUMPKIN SCONE recipe

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
2 cups self raising flour
1 egg
milk if necessary

Beat butter and sugar, add egg, pumpkin, and then flour. Shape into scones. Pat together place on greased flat tray. Bake in hot oven for 10 minutes.

Enjoy while hot!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

@fridley thanks for sharing this recipe:

Cream 1 cup of margarine, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1 cup of white sugar

Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla essence

Add 1 1/2 Cup of self raising flour, 2 cups of rolled oats, 1 packet of chocolate chips (I like to use dark chocolate chips)

Place spoonfuls on baking tray leaving room for spreading
Bake in medium oven for about 12 mins

You can add more rolled oats if they are spreading too much.
If you like them crunchy, cook them until they are a rich caramel colour.
If you like them chewy, cook them until firm. They will be a little soft when warm.

Gram's recipe says that this will make 72 cookies but this will depend on your self discipline... how much dough is eaten before it makes its way to the oven... and how small you make the cookies. James (@fridley) added up to 2 cups more oats than the recipe...


Sunday, April 5, 2009

ANZAC biscuits

They're certainly popular here in Sydney! You see ANZAC biscuits in every cafe or take-away these days. I've tried a few and none compare to the recipe with which I grew up. Mum's family ANZAC biscuits recipe dates back to World War I (1914 - 1918). They're easy and delicious to make.

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup coconut
1 cup (plain) flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb of sda
2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut.

Melt syrup and butter together. Mix bicarb of soda and boiling water, then add to the melted syrup and butter mixture.

Add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients.

Place dessertspoons of mixture on a greased baking tray. (I use a small flat dessertspoon not heaped as the mixture spreads considerably. Place the rounds of mixture well apart.)

Bake in a SLOW oven for 20 minutes. Leave biscuits to cool on tray 2 - 3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Footnote: ANZAC Day is celebrated on 25th April.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Raspberry Crumble Bake

I've been making this so long - its a little note of ingredients in my book with no instructions - think I got the ingredients one day off mum over the phone so here's my attempt with adding the 'how' as well as the 'what'...

Preheat a moderate oven and grease a slice (12" x 8") tin (I also add baking parchment to the bottom of the pan).

12oz (360g) Self Raising Flour
1 egg
3oz (90g) butter
60z (180g) sugar
4 rounded tablespoons jam (OK well I'm generous here and use about double this)
1 level teaspoon cinnamon

Mix the flour and sugar, crumble butter through with your hands add egg and mix well. Cover the slice tin with a bit over half this mix to make a base. Press firmly. Spread the jam over the base. Crumble the rest of the mix loosely over the jam. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

(My lazybones addition is to soften the butter in the microwave or in a bowl over hot water, then mix.)

(My variations - I've used this to make all sorts of seasonal delights by changing the variety of jam, replacing the jam with fruitmince.)

It looks delightful cut in little squares then dotted with a half teaspoon quenelle of mascarpone, or a teaspoon of lightly whipped cream.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This is a simple recipe for baked Rice Pudding from a 1959 cookbook.

1/2 cup rice
1 quart milk (that's just under 1 litre)
1/2 teaspoon sugar (white or brown)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash rice, add remaining ingredients and pour into greased baking dish. Bake in 275F (that's 135C) oven 3 hours. Stir frequently during the first hour. Serves 6.

Variations: Add 1/2 cup raisins or 2 eggs during last hour. I also vary with lemon or orange rind, lavender or rose petals infused in the milk, or hisbiscus tea infused in the milk (strain after infusing before making as above).

I love these simple nostalgic recipes. We can do so many things from the basic.

Oh by the way the 1959 Cookery Book is Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pecan Slice

Someone gave this recipe a few years back. It's typed on a loose piece of paper sitting inside the cover of one of my notebooks. Sorry I can't remember who gave it to me or I would credit you! (let me know if you read this and I will credit you though...)

3/4 cup (110g) plain flour
1/4 cup (35g) self-raising flour
90g butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (200g) pecans


60g butter, melted
1/3 cup (80ml) golden syrup
1/4 cup (50g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons self-raising flour

Sift flours into medium bowl, rub in butter, stir in egg.

Press mixture over base of greased 19cm x 29cm rectangular slice pan.

Bake in moderate oven 15 minutes.

Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle evenly with nuts. Pour topping mixture over the nuts.

Bake for further 15 minutes or until topping is just set. Cool in pan.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Caramel Self Sauce Pudding

This is another wonderful family recipe, the type of recipe that women used to pass around and share with each other. From the family hand written cook book:

1 cup Self Raising Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix into batter and spoon into greased oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup brown sugar, (and optional 1 teaspoon instant coffee).

Gently pour 1 3/4 cup boiling water over the batter and topping. (I pour over the back of a spoon).

Bake in oven 190C or 375F (a little less for fan forced) for 40 - 45 minutes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Golden Syrup Dumplings

Dating back to the Depression, this Australian family recipe was winter comfort food in harder times...

Syrup: 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon golden syrup, 1 tablespoon butter

Dumplings: Rub 1 tablespoon butter into 1 cup Self Raising Flour. Mix to a soft dough with 1 beaten egg and a little milk. Form dough into about 8 balls and drop into the boiling syrup.

Allow to simmer with lid on the pot for 20 to 30 minutes.

(another in the collection of family recipes from mum)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Golden Syrup PIKELETS

another in the recipes from mum's handwritten cookbook of the 50s and 60s:

2 eggs
1 cup SR flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Beat eggs, add sugar and syrup and keep beating until fluffy. Add milk then sifted flour and beat until smooth. Allow to stand 1 hour. Put 1 dessertspoon of mixture at a time on a hot greased pan. Turn when bubbling.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mum's cakeshop PIKELET recipe

Mum had a few recipes in her well worn and stained handwritten cookbook. Mostly these days I search the net, record my fav links or swap recipes on Twitter.

This is the recipe I grew up with for PIKELETS and they were always light and fluffy (AND they keep a little bit longer, fresher, than other recipes I have tried - still best to make them same day of course though).

Below is the traditional sweet version: I've also halved the sugar and added a little white pepper then served (instead of a blini) with smoked salmon (and lemon cream/mascarpone).

  • Sift 1 cup SR flour, pinch of salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix together.
  • To 1 egg well beaten add 1/2 cup milk
  • To 2 tablespoons boiling water add 1 dessertspoon butter then 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
  • Add the boiling water mixture to the egg/milk mixture
  • Add liquids to the flour/sugar mixture. Mix until smooth.
  • Heat pan, grease lightly, turn when bubbling!

Mum told me she got the recipe from a lady who worked in a cakeshop (circa 1950s)!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Caramel Slice

Another of those family recipes that I can date back quite sometime. This certainly was used in the family as early as the early 1960s. It was our (my brother and I) childhood favourite.


1/2 cup butter
1 cup SR flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, then flour and salt.

Cook in greased slice tin in moderate oven until golden.


1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup milk
about 4 tablespoons icing sugar

Stir continuously over low heat until boiling. Boil 3 minites without stirring. Cool then beat in the sifted icing sugar. Pour topping over base, and allow to set.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Banana Cake

Bananas are right in the peak of the season at the moment, so this is as good a time as any to try out our family recipe for Banana Cake. The original recipe below pre-dates metric weights. I've added the metric in brackets; just make sure to use a smaller teaspoon and tablespoon if you are not using the other metric measurements. The recipe is probably based on a 55g or 60g egg.

  • Preheat oven to medium heat (around 165C fanforced or 325F)
  • Prepare cake tins - original recipe is for 2 x 7" sandwich tins well greased
  • (I use 1 x deeper larger round tin or 1 x rectangular deep loaf tin)
  • Mum used to put old butter wrappers in the pans (- I use baking parchment)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 2 oz margarine (I shudder of course I use butter around 60g)
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarb of Soda
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ripe bananas


Cream the butter and sugar, until pale and lightly fluffy. Add the beaten egg and then the well mashed bananas. Add sifted flour. Dissolve the bicarb of soda in warm milk then add to the rest of the mixture.

Bake for around 20 minutes for two tins. Sandwich together when cold with a cream filling. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar on top.

(I bake for about 35 minutes in one tin. I serve it as it comes!)


This family recipe has been used here in Australia since at least the 1950s. I don't know how much older than that it may be.