A selection of my latest bakes

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Passionfruit (Panama Red)

I planted this passionfruit vine in very early spring last year (September 08) some six months ago. The main reason for putting this in, was to cover a rather ugly fence and the fruit it would give me, would be a bonus. I am so excited as this is my very first fruit. There are loads more still to come, but they drop off the vine in their own good time, when they are ripe. Most are still green. That's fine, as it gives me time to hunt for recipes. I shall be putting this plant on my gardening blog http://salsgardensanctuary.blogspot.com/ in the next few days with a few more pictures and a bit of history of the plant and the flower. Meanwhile, here are some lovely recipes that I have found and wish to try.

Passion Fruit Freeze
2 Cups orange Sorbet
1 Cup milk
3 Passion fruit
Cut open 3 passion fruit and scoop pulp and seeds into the milk. Stir with a fork to extract the juice from the pulp. Strain into blender. Add the sorbet and blend for 15 seconds or just until all the sorbet is smooth. Pour the passion freeze into a tall, chilled glass.
If available, place a sprig of mint on top and serve immediately.

Passionfruit Curd

Many recipes require that you make this in a double boiler, and you can do that. Just mix all the ingredients and cook slowly in the double boiler for about 10 to 15 minutes, until thickened. If you do not have a double boiler, don't worry. This recipe works just as well if you keep an eye on your heat and keep stirring.

5 tablespoons unsalted Butter. ½ cup Icing Sugar. 2 tablespoons Lemon juice. ½ teaspoon Lemon zest (optional) 2 Eggs. Pulp of 3 Passionfruit, strained (about 3 tablespoons)

Melt sugar and butter in a small stainless steel or porcelain saucepan over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add passionfruit juice, lemon juice, lemon zest and eggs, in that order, stirring constantly. (You don't want the eggs to congeal before they are incorporated into the mixture, therefore you add the other ingredients first to cool the temperature slightly, and then make sure you stir the eggs well when you add them) Return to stove and cook on low heat, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and coats the spoon. The curd will thicken more as it cools. Refrigerate or store in sterilized jars.

Passionfruit Milk Shake

1 cup cold Milk. 2 Passionfruit. 2 large scoops of Chocolate Ice Cream. Whipped Cream for garnish (optional).

Scoop the pulp from the two fruit into the milk. Stir the mixture with a fork to extract the juice from the passionfruit pulp. Strain if desired to remove the seeds. Place ingredients in a blender and process on HIGH for 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy. Serve in a tall, chilled glass with a straw. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Very Dark Sticky Gingerbread

This is gingery, spicy and oh so sticky and tasty. Yummyness (I know that is not a word, but it should be) at it's best. A special THANK YOU to Rita's Mum in Scotland, who has been making this for years and has now passed it on to her daughter Rita and then on to me. My! How I would love to get into her recipe collection.You will need..

1/2 pint of Milk.
5 ozs dark soft Brown Sugar.
2 tablesps. Treacle.
2 tablesps. Golden Syrup.
4 ozs Butter.
2 Eggs (beaten)
1/2 lb S.R. Flour. (sifted)
1/2 teasp. Bicarb. Soda.
1 tablesp. Ground Ginger.
1 tablesp. Ground Cinnamon.
1 tablesp. Mixed Spice.
Pinch of Salt.


Put the first five ingredients in to a saucepan on a low heat and melt the lot together stirring now and then, don't burn it. Now let this cool . When it has cooled, add the beaten eggs and mix. Now add the sifted Flour, Bicarb Soda, Ginger, Cinnamon, Mixed Spice and Salt.
I did this all in one big saucepan to save on washing up and used my hand mixer.
Grease and line your tins. It will make 1 x 2lb and 1 x 1lb loaf. I used something different again as I wanted it to be more of a slice. Oblong tin measuring 8 inches by 12 inches, the mix covered the bottom well and rose beautifully.
Oven temperature 180c/350f. And bake for around an hour, or until cake tester comes out clean.
This is a wonderful recipe and very much a *keeper* in my home. Hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Shrove Tuesday/Pancake day. I adore pancakes. With anything. Lemon and sugar, Maple syrup, Potato pancakes, Savoury pancakes. I could go on and on, and fill this page up with different ways of eating these delights. Today, we had them with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream. Delish.
This morning, I did a Google search for different recipes for these. Boy there is a load out there. In the end I used, the *bung it in and no real measuring recipe* I have used for years.
A hint though... The first one is always rubbish. Prepare yourself for this and put it straight in the bin, from then onwards, perfect pancakes.

You will need...
2 cups S.R. Flour (sifted)
2 Eggs (beaten)
2 teasps Vanilla Essence.
1 tablespoon Butter (melted)
1 tablespoon Castor Sugar (if making sweet ones)
600mls Milk (or maybe a little more 'cos I just bunged it in)
Butter for cooking in.

Place flour into a large jug, add eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla and last the milk.
Mix with hand mixer until you are happy there are no lumps and all ingredients are well combined.
In a fry pan, place a little butter and heat until melted, but not burnt. Wipe out the butter now with a paper towel. Leaving just a little that has coated the bottom of the fry pan. Place a soup ladle full of batter into the fry pan on a low heat. Do not disturb until you see bubbles rising through the pancake then toss or flip. Around two minutes on this side and then your first pancake is done. Now, like I said. My first one is always rubbish, yours might not be. Then repeat this until you have enough pancakes made. Makes around 15 pancakes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Green Tomato Chutney

Such a wonderful chutney, although some might find this too hot with the Cayenne pepper. It can be left out. Scald the tomatoes in boiling water before you peel them, makes it much easier. Don't over cook this chutney as it does dry out quickly. So tasty with a curry or just in a sandwich with cheddar cheese.

2lbs. green tomatoes.
8oz. onions.
8oz. apples. (Cooking apples are the best for this)
1tsp. salt.
1/2tsp. cayenne pepper.
1/2tsp. dry mustard.
8oz. brown sugar.
1/2pint malt vinegar.

1....Peel, chop and put into a saucepan the toms, apples and onions.
2....Add half the vinegar and cook gently until toms and apples are soft, keeping the mixture well stirred.
3....Then add rest of vinegar and all other ingredients. and continue to cook steadily until the chutney thickens.
4....This should take no longer than 15 mins.
5....Pot up while still hot into clean, dry and sterilized jars.
Please note. Cider vinegar could be used to give a paler chutney, and pale brown sugar too.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Worthy Blogs

After a disaster in the kitchen (my first attempt at bread making, all in the bin!) I have spent the day looking at other people's blogs. My goodness me! There are sooo many beautiful, well written, fabulous photography, wonderfully laid out, and presented so expertly, blogs out there.

I found this on *Google images* and would like to award it to the following bloggers. Please ladies, pass it on to who you think is worthy.

ERICKA....... of http://ohmy-applepie.blogspot.com/

ROSIE........ of http://bakingcakesgalore.blogspot.com/

MARIA....... of http://bakingcakesgalore.blogspot.com/

And last, but far from least, ALL THE LADIES OF THE CWA (EXETER)...... http://crazycozies.blogspot.com/ for the wonderful work you are doing.

Please ladies, come and visit, copy and paste your award on to your blog and remember to pass it on.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Semi Dried Tomatoes.

Okay, okay. I expect a few of you have already done this, but this was only my second time and am thrilled to bits with the results.
I used a lovely recipe from a dear cyber friend and blogger, Coby from
I used my own home grown cherry tomatoes and basil. I then, after being in the oven, put them in to a olive oil that is infused with garlic and chili. The aroma coming from the container they are in is divine. Sweet, garlicy and almost toffee like tomatoes. Does that make sense? Am that impressed with my semi dried toms that today I bought some Roma tomatoes, and they are sliced and ready to go in to a slow oven in the morning.
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Options of one or more of: Crushed or sliced garlic, grated ginger, sugar (I always like a little sugar), basil leaves torn, finely chopped chillies, extra virgin olive oil.


1. Set oven to 100 degrees C or less.

2. Clean and dry any type of tomatoes, though I favour Roma, and the cherry ones work well too. Remove core, and cut into pieces, remembering that the drying process will shrink them somewhat. If using cherry tomatoes, just halve through the core. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other options you're choosing to use.

3. Put tomatoes on a baking paper lined baking tray, skin side down. Dry slowly. Expect them to take at least three hours, When done remove from oven. Leave to cool slightly before storing in clean jars filled with olive oil - store in fridge.
My little cherry toms only took 2 hours in the oven. I think the Roma's will take the three hours to do.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Knit up a cosy for BREAST CANCER.

This is such a worthwhile cause. Please, everyone, get involved.

The dear ladies of the CWA (Exeter. N.S.W. Australia) are doing more than their bit. Have a look....http://crazycozies.blogspot.com/

And with our help, either by knitting, crocheting, sewing or simply donating they should reach their target.

There are some lovely patterns on the site too, to give you inspiration. They have just had their first entry from a lady called *Glad*. Hers is a heart warming story too.

I am sure we all have some spare yarn or wool stored in our cupboards, just waiting to be made in to a tea pot cosy. And if you are a bad knitter, like me, they promise not to laugh. So, go on, GET INVOLVED.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweetheart Biscuits

My dearest valentine gave me a pair of pink Sapphire earrings and a pendant to match. He certainly knows how to win my heart.
The way to his heart is through his stomach. (Sorry honey) But it is true, he loves his food. So I spent a lovely couple of hours in the kitchen and came up with these.
The recipe is from http://www.taste.com.au and here it is....

Sweet Heart Jam Drops.

125g butter, softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
5 tablespoons raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 2 baking trays. Line with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk. Beat to combine. Add flour. Stir to combine.
Roll 2 tablespoons of mixture into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 10 balls. Place balls 10cm apart on trays. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball to form a 7cm round, shaping edges to remove any cracks.
Gently press a 5cm heart-shaped cutter into the centre of each round, being careful not to cut the whole way through. Using the tip of a small knife, scoop out the dough to make a heart shaped indentation. Gently smooth indentation. Fill each heart with 2 teaspoons jam, spreading out to edges.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden. Cool on trays. Makes 10
I doubled the recipe because I wanted to make other shapes as well without the jam.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vanilla Apple Cake.

A box of Apples was a very recent purchase at a very good price. I mainly bought them so I could have a store of frozen apples in the freezer, ready to use. But there was nearly a 100 apples in the box, far too many for my already bursting at the seams freezer.
So, off I went searching the blogs for some nice recipes using apples. And found this on Rosie's blog. http://rosiebakesapeaceofcake.blogspot.com
I made a couple of changes, ie: had no Demerara sugar, so used raw instead. And used some of the partially cooked apples instead of raw apples. For the topping, I used raw sugar and mixed spice instead of the cinnamon.
This cake is moist, sweet, fruity and a keeper. I shall make this often, there's only one small slice left.
Thank you Rosie.
Please visit Rosie to see the full recipe.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kashmiri Pulao

Carrying on from the previous post, here is my attempt of Kashmiri Pulao.
Only, I had no nuts of any kind at hand so used flakes of coconut instead. It was nice, but no where near as good as Anil's from Toukley Indian restaurant. But I will try again.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Superb meal at Indian Restaurant

Last weekend, we visited a superb Indian

restaurant in Toukley. N.S.W.

Here is their website, so you can check out the

excellent menu for yourselves.


The service was very friendly and quick. Chef Anil was only too pleased to tell me how he made

the Kashmiri Pulao (top picture) and I am sure he would pass on any other recipes any one would ask for. Such a nice man and eager to please.

The next picture is of one of the mains we had.

Seafood Fantasia. And it was. Mussels were left in the kitchen for this, as we don't like mussels.

So it was Prawns and Calamari in a delightfully spicy, rich, but not overly hot sauce.

This is the Beef Vindaloo that hubby ordered.

A little too hot for my tastes, but he said the beef was very tender and very tasty indeed.

Just love the silver bowls that the mains were served in, don't you?

This next picture is of my main, Mango Chicken.
Chicken breasts and mango cooked in a very mild curry sauce.
Described on the menu as *Kiddie friendly* It was absolutely gorgeous.
Sweet and fruity, and went so well with the
Kashmiri Pulao.

I actually forgot I had my camera with me, so only managed to get photo's of the mains.
Entrees we ordered were..
Spring Rolls.
Garlic & Peppered Prawns & Calamari.
All served with a fab mint Yogurt.
Also had plain Basmati rice with the mains.
For sides, we ordered...
Tomato and onion.
Mango Chutney.
Mixed Pickles.
Cucumber Raita. (To die for)
Plain Naan and Garlic Naan.

So please, if you are in this area, go see Anil and Mani, and tell them I sent you. It was one of the best Indian meals I have ever eaten.

Thank you Toukley Indian Restaurant, we shall be back.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gingered Flapjacks

There are so many recipes out there for flapjacks. This one I used, is from
http://www.scottishrecipes.co.uk/ with the addition of ground ginger.
I know they are simple to make, but today I had the need to make some thing quickly, tasty and without much effort. So on went the air conditioning and then the oven.

The ingredients....

75g of Butter.
75g light Brown Sugar.
1 tablespoon of Golden Syrup.
175g of porridge Oats.
2 tablespoons ground Ginger.


1. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the fat and sugar have melted.
2. Add the ground ginger and porridge oats and blend thoroughly.
3. Press into a well greased 18cm square sandwich tin.
4. Bake in the centre of a moderate oven at 180c for 25 minutes or until evenly golden brown. 5. Mark into fingers whilst warm.
6. Allow to become almost cold in the tin before removing.
7. Enjoy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Birthday cake for Moi.

It's still very hot here in N.S.W. and I certainly wasn't going to put the oven on to make my own birthday cake, however, if my birthday was in the cooler months, I would have. So...
The TIRAMISU cake was got from *THE CHEESECAKE SHOP*. And was meant to serve 16 people, but this was so delicious, it is almost gone and only 5 people have had some. Yes, they were BIG serves. I had mine with a glass of Tia Maria on ice. Went with it very well indeed.
Happy birthday to me, YAY.