Thursday, May 27, 2010

Delicious Apple Cinnamon Cake



Serves 10.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I use a 1/2t)
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 to 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 2cm pieces (3 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped assorted nuts, if you’ve got any lying around in your pantry
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Nonstick cooking spray with flour


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, cinnamon, bicarb soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs; mix on high speed until pale yellow.
  4. With mixer on medium speed, gradually shake in dry ingredients until just incorporated. Don’t overmix or your cake will be a bit on the tough side!
  5. Add apples and, if desired, nuts, to batter; mix to combine. Add vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, 75 to 90 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, and cool slightly on a wire rack.
  8. Invert cake onto rack; turn cake right-side up to cool completely on rack, and serve drizzled with caramel sauce



Caramel Sauce


Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir until combined. Do not bring to the boil!

  • 1 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt










Thursday, May 20, 2010

Delicious Blueberry Bundt Cake



If you’re serious about delicious American-style cooking, then a Bundt pan is a must-have in your kitchen!

For best results, coat the inside of the Bundt pan with cooking spray just before filling it. Otherwise, all the spray will pool down in the base and your cake will stick to the sides. How do I know this? :->


Serves 12.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use less)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for pan
  • Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of sour cream.
  3. In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  4. Bake cake until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with icing sugar before serving (if you want to be a bit fancy schmantzy!)


Friday, May 14, 2010

Mum’s Brownies

My Mum has been making this recipe for the last 30 something years. She thinks it came from Auntie Donna Baliles (one of the missionaries Mum and Dad worked with in Malawi, Africa).

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon golden syrup (be very generous!)

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

*I usually make double this recipe so half can be placed in your freezer for later on (if it makes it in there!).

Sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl of your electric mixer

Then add all the wet ingredients, turn onto low speed and mix until combined.

Spray and line a lamington tin (if making double) or smaller rectangular tin (if making single quantity). Pour mixture into tin.

Bake at 180 C for 20-25 minutes (if making single quantity) or 30-35 minutes (if making double).

Friday, May 07, 2010

Spinach Dip



1 cup Mayo

1 cup sour cream

1 packet frozen spinach (defrosted and drained)

1/3 cup parmesan/strongly flavoured cheese

¼ cup chopped walnuts

1/2 – 1 packet spring vegetable soup

¼ tsp salt

1 clove garlic (I put 2 because I love it)

Blend everything in a food processor or a good blender. Serve with crackers or raw vegetables. Yummo!

*My husband has an intense dislike of parmesan after a bad childhood experience, so we don’t use parmesan in our household!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Banana Pudding with Caramel Sauce


This week’s recipe comes from

Inspiration: 4 very ripe bananas sitting on the bench-top and people coming for an impromptu dinner in half an hour!

250g butter

1C caster sugar

4 eggs*

1C self-raising flour

1t baking powder

1C mashed over-ripe bananas**

Whipped cream and extra sliced banana to decorate


Caramel sauce

1C caster sugar

1C water

50g butter

1/2C cream


*I made double the recipe as we had a bit of a crowd. I used 6 eggs (instead of 8) and 1/3C milk. I don’t know if this is what Margaret Fulton would recommend, but it worked for me :->

**Double recipe – I used 4 squishy bananas

  1. Lightly grease a 22cm cake pan (or in my case a lamington size pyrex dish for a double recipe). Cover base with baking paper if you want to save on some scrubbing later (unlike myself who didn’t read the instructions!).
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy in your electric mixer.
  3. If your 5 year old has been helping you “mash” the bananas, then add them to the mixer at this stage to finish the process!
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  5. Fold in sifted dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in bananas (if you didn’t have a 5 year old helping you!).
  7. Pour into prepared pan.
  8. Cook at 180C for about 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the pudding.
Caramel sauce:
  1. Combine sugar and water in pan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Bring to boil and boil uncovered, without stirring, until golden brown. Cool slightly.
  3. Stir in butter until melted and then gradually stir in cream.


Serve slices of the pudding with warm caramel sauce drizzled on top.

If you are feeling super-creative, then decorate with whipped cream and sliced banana!


P1120536My little helper “lightly” greasing the pan!







Don’t let these gross pictures put you off! It will really be yummy when it is cooked!!

P1120541 P1120543

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Potato, leek, spinach, zucchini and bacon soup

I can’t remember where I found this recipe but it was amazing and such a hit with the family! (well most of them, anyway).

Serves: 4 to 6

50gm butter (I used olive oil)
4 spring onions (roughly chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
2 leeks (roughly chopped)
6 potatoes (peeled and halved)
2 packets of frozen spinach
4 zucchini (roughly chopped)
2 chicken or bacon stock cubes (make into approx 500ml stock by adding water)
2 decent sized bacon bones*

Salt and Pepper


Heat the butter over a medium to high heat in a stockpot, add the spring onions, garlic and leeks and cook until translucent.
Add the bacon bones* (piece of ham), stock, potatoes, zucchini and spinach - reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Once the soup is cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Using a blender, vitamise until all vegetables have been 'blitzed' and the desired consistency is reached (I like my soup quite smooth, but this is entirely up to you).
Season to taste.
Serve in large bowls with toasted sourdough or ciabatta (on special!) with lashings of cream.

*There weren’t any bacon bones available when I went shopping, but I did spy a nice piece of smoked ham at a decent price. It was cooked for the same amount of time as the vegetables so it was deliciously tender. My Dad broke it up into little pieces for me just prior to serving. Thanks Dad :->