Gluten-free Ginger and Coconut Cake

4oz butter – melted
2 tablespoons golden syrup
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs – beaten
½ cup coconut
2 cups gluten-free self raising flour – sifted
2 level teaspoons ground ginger
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
pinch of salt
½ cup milk
(shredded coconut and flaked almonds
for topping)

Add the golden syrup to melted butter while still warm and stir in the brown sugar.  When the mixture has cooled, add the beaten eggs and mix well. Stir in the coconut and add the sifted flour and spices alternately with the milk.
Pour into a greased and lined 18cm square cake tin.
Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the batter and then scatter with flaked almonds.
Bake in a moderate oven (160°c fan forced) for about 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Using gluten-free flour makes this a nice light textured cake.

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Apple Tea Cake

4 oz. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups self raising flour, sifted
1 teas. vanilla essence
4 tablespoons milk
2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
nutmeg and cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar together,
add the beaten eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Stir in the sifted flour alternately with the milk.
Pour mixture into a greased and lined 20cm round tin.
Arrange the sliced apple around the top of the cake
and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Bake in a moderate oven 160°c for about 35-40 minutes
or until a skewer comes out clean.

This Apple Tea Cake is best served with butter and, of course, tea or coffee. One of my mother’s recipes, it is an old family favourite and can be baked as two tea cakes by using smaller cake tins. Alternately, the mixture could be halved for a small afternoon tea cake.

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Pear & Coconut Upside-down cake

¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup light olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
¾ cup desiccated coconut
2 cups self raising flour, sifted
¾ cup milk
2 pears
1½ tablespoons moist coconut flakes

Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking paper, grease the top of the baking paper.
Quarter and core the pears, slice lengthwise into 10mm slices.  Sprinkle the greased and lined tin with the moist coconut flakes and top with pear slices, making sure the base is completely covered.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar, beaten egg, olive oil and vanilla together until smooth.
Stir in the coconut and the sifted flour alternately with the milk. Mix well until blended.
Pour batter over the pear slices and smooth top.  Bake in a moderate oven 160°c for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  Cool slightly and invert onto a wire rack to cool.

A nice moist cake, which can also be gluten and dairy free, simply by  substituting gluten free flour and soy milk.



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Potato-crusted Summer Pie

1 sheet of frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 red onion, finely sliced
½ small bunch of spinach, finely chopped

4 or 5 dollops of ricotta cheese
5 small chat potatoes, sliced finely
3 eggs, beaten
grated parmesan cheese

Line a 19cm ovenproof pie dish with the thawed pastry, trim edges.
Cover pastry with baking paper, fill with dried beans or rice.  Bake in moderate oven for 15 minutes, remove paper and beans, bake a further 10 minutes, cool.
Microwave onion and a teaspoon of butter in a covered microwave safe dish for about 3 minutes. Drain well, let cool and spread into pie case.
Microwave the spinach in a tablespoon of water, drain well and spread over the onion.
Spoon the ricotta cheese over the spinach and spread evenly.
Microwave the sliced potatoes, for about 4 minutes or until tender but still firm enough to separate. Arrange overlapping slices of potato over the filling.
Pour beaten eggs carefully over the potatoes and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake at 160°c for about 40 minutes, or until set.

Wanting to use some ricotta cheese and having a few packets of frozen pastry in the freezer, I made this pie with the ingredients available. You could substitute the vegetables and use zucchini instead of spinach and top with sliced kumara (sweet potato).

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Fruit Loaf

1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
2 oz. margarine or butter
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 level teaspoon carb soda
1 cup mixed fruit
1 egg
Melt butter and sugar in boiling water
Let mixture cool, then add sifted flours, carb soda and fruit, mix well.
Beat egg and add to mixture. Pour into a greased and lined 22x12cm loaf pan.
Bake in moderate oven 160°c for approximately 40 minutes.

Served with butter and honey, or on its own, this fruit loaf is a family favourite.

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Nutty Fruit Squares

1 cup wholemeal SR flour
½ cup raw sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups mixed fruit or sultanas
2 eggs
4 oz. butter
2 level tablespoons honey
Sift flour into a bowl, add sugar, walnuts and mixed fruit
Beat eggs, add to mixture
Melt butter, stir in honey and allow to cool slightly
then stir into fruit mixture
Pour into a greased 26x17cm lamington pan
Bake in a moderate oven 160° for about 30 minutes
for serving cut into squares


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Tomato crop

We harvested around 80-90 tomatoes from just one plant.  What an amazing result from a $4 Canabec Super tomato seedling.
Having a surplus of ripening fruit, we decided to preserve some of the excess. I sautéed a mixture of onion and garlic then added diced tomatoes, basil, oregano salt and pepper and simmered until thickened.

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2 egg-whites
a pinch of salt
4 oz (125g) castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
flaked almonds / hundreds and thousands
Beat the egg-whites with the salt until they are stiff . Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is again very stiff and fold in the vanilla. Place dessertspoons of the mixture on greased oven trays – press almonds into meringues, or sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. Bake in a slow oven 125°c for about 1 hour or until quite dry.

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Cheese Cake

1 cup biscuit crumbs
2 oz. melted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sugar
2 dessertspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
pinch of salt
2 eggs
Combine biscuit crumbs and melted butter and press into a greased 8″ ovenproof pie dish. Beat cream cheese until smooth, gradually add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and eggs – beating constantly until smooth. Pour filling into crumb crust.
Bake in a slow oven at 160°c for about 35 minutes.
Chill before serving.

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Rustic cheese scones

2 cups self raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 rounded tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (or similar)
extra grated cheese

Melt butter in a little milk, add to remainder of milk.
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl, add grated cheese and stir in melted butter and milk using a knife.
Lightly knead dough on a floured board, roll into a round shape. Brush top with milk or butter and sprinkle with extra grated cheese. Cut round into wedges and bake on a greased tray 225°c for 15 minutes.

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