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.