• Mixed berry cheesecake

    Summer in Australia can be brutal – and as we move towards the end of the seemingly constant stream of 30°C plus days, I felt the need to indulge in a light, cool dessert.  Lo and behold, the mixed berry cheesecake.  Yum! Ingredients 250g plain biscuits (I use Arnott’s Butternut Snap, so an ‘oaty’ biscuit is great) 100g butter 250g cream cheese 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup thickened cream 1 tsp lemon zest 1 tsp lemon juice 3 tsp powdered gelatine dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water 2 cups mixed…

  • Hummingbird cake

    This cake is a favourite – it’s sweet and moist, but not over the top.  It has that fulfilling ‘tea cake’ feel to it, which I think comes through with the cinnamon and fruit taste to it.  And if you like Banana Bread, then you should absolutely love this too! Ingredients 1 cup plain flour 1/2 cup self raising flour 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda 3/4 cup caster sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 bananas, mashed 200g crushed pineapple in juice, not drained Method Preheat…

  • Carrot cake

    There is absolutely nothing better in autumn than home made carrot cake, made with the carrots you’ve pulled out of your garden.  Autumn is the season I associate with apples, carrots, pumpkin and falling leaves – this is mostly because I always forget to plant my carrots until mid-end of spring! The cake itself is dairy-free and nut-free, but if you would like to add Cream Cheese Frosting or walnuts, then you absolutely have that option (I like both!). Ingredients 1.5 cups self-raising flour 1.25 cups brown sugar 1 tsp…

  • Cream cheese frosting

    There is NOTHING better than a super delicious frosting for a cake, and there isn’t a frosting much better than cream cheese frosting. I could be super biased, but I think this is best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever made.  This frosting is best on citrus and berry based cakes, such as orange and poppyseed cake, carrot cake, or even a sneaky swipe on banana bread. Ingredients 250g cream cheese 1/4 cup orange juice 1 tbsp orange rind 5 cups icing sugar Method Literally just throw it all in your…

  • Orange and Poppyseed Cake

    There is nothing I like better than a tart citrus-based cake…  Well, except a really good chocolate cake!  But orange and poppyseed is definitely one of my favourites. Ingredients 50g butter 2 tbsp grated orange rind 1 cup caster sugar 1 eggs 1/4 cup orange juice 1 cup self-raising flour 2 tbsp poppyseeds 1/3 cup milk Method Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced), and grease a 6cm/2″ deep, 22cm/9″ round cake tin. Add butter, rind, sugar, egg, orange juice, flour and milk into a large bowl and mix well. Add…

  • Apple and cinnamon tea cake

    My parents have a small hobby farm where we grew up.  On the farm we had some cattle, horses, chicken and the occasional sheep that escaped from the neighbours.  We also had an small orchard, as my mum is great with plants.  There were peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and apples. Every year when the summer was finishing up and the leaves were starting to turn we would collect the apples into milk crates and bring them into the house, where we would peel, core and chop them.  Then we would…

  • Chocolate Brownies

    Brownies are one of those magical things that have migrated from the US, along with Coca-Cola, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hallowe’en.  And the best brownies are slightly gooey in the middle… just like these ones! Ingredients 125g unsalted butter, melted 3 eggs 1.5 cups white sugar 3/4 cup plain flour 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch cocoa powder is the best) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch of salt 125g dark chocolate, chopped Method Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Grease a 20cm or 9″ slice tin and line with baking paper.…

  • Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

    One of my ‘go-to’ recipes is my cookies and cream cheesecake.  It’s relatively simple and very delicious – a definite crowd pleaser.  It is based on my white chocolate cheesecake recipe, but I make it as a larger slab type recipe for bigger groups.  It has the potential to last up to a week in the refrigerator – but alas, it has never lasted that long with my friends and family. Crust: Ingredients 500g Oreo cookies 120g butter Method Put the Oreos into a food processor and blend until fine…

  • Lemon Lime Tart

    My mother’s favourite dessert is a really tart citrus tart.  Like, it has to really bite as you take a mouthful, and then once in your mouth it takes on this sweeter, smooth consistency. Ingredients Base: 1.5 cups plain flour 1/4 cup self raising flour pinch of salt 1/2 cup caster sugar 100g butter 1 egg Filling: 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons worth) 1 tsp lemon rind 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 limes worth) 1 tsp lime rind 1 cup caster sugar 3/4 cup thickened cream 5…

  • Brandy Custard

    My favourite side with plum pudding at Christmas time is Brandy Custard.  Well, brandy custard and ice cream.  I use a family recipe, and while it’s probably a little heavy on the brandy side, it is what I am used to (and besides, isn’t Christmas a perfect time for a little indulgence?). Ingredients 550g* of milk (full cream / full fat) 200g* of cream (pure or thickened) 4 egg yolks 100g caster sugar 1.5 tbsp cornflour 1/3 cup brandy * I weigh these out with my Tupperware scales as they…

  • Magic Study

    Magic Study – Maria V Snyder

    Release date: 1 October 2006 Rating: ★★★★★★★★ – 8/10 Goodreads link Book Depository link Magic Study (Study series #2; Chronicles of Ixia #2) blurb: You know your life is complicated when you miss your days as a poison taster… With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be united with the family she’d been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased.  But although she has gained her freedom, she once again finds herself alone – separated from her lover Valek and suspected as a spy for her reluctance…

  • Rocky road

    Rocky Road

    I can’t eat whole nuts, so I generally just don’t eat nuts at all because there’s a fine line between what I can eat and what will make me sick (I’m not anaphylactic, but it’s not pleasant).  What I can get away with (luckily) is eating foods that may contain traces of nuts.  However, I know that this is not the case for some – and I sympathise entirely. It’s also really hard to get rocky road not just without nuts, but without peanuts (the worst kind if you have allergies).…