Real raspberry jelly slice

Raspberry jelly slice – with real raspberry jelly and without condensed milk

Sometimes it’s an interesting dish from the other side of the world that excites me; other times it’s seasonal produce or food from our own garden, or the challenge of making something from scratch. And then there is another side to me – totally smitten with the old-school Australian/British baking of my childhood. The things my Nana made, and the cakes you could buy at our local country bakery (which of course you still can, and which we do, whenever we’re on a road trip. We dip into what we call ‘the bakery fund’, which extends to my husband buying pies, pasties and sausage rolls whenever there’s a reasonable opportunity – especially if there is ‘award-winning’ something announced in the bakery window, i.e. in every second town.) Continue reading Real raspberry jelly slice

Apple and lime cake

Apple and lime cakeApple and lime cake

I realised there was not a single recipe here for apples! Plenty of apricot, plum and fig recipes – because they’re fruit trees I have, and which I love getting creative with every year. There’s also a bit of citrus (particularly lime!) going on. We don’t have an apple tree, but I do love apples … of course. Apple tarte tatin is about the best dessert going if you ask me, and I also love an old-fashioned apple and cinnamon tea cake – yes, the kind you might have made in high school. I’ve been tweaking a recipe for a few years (primarily spiking my cake with ungodly amounts of brandy; all warm and spicy in the mouth). But here is another apple thing I love. A very simple and yet elegant apple and lime ‘cake’. Continue reading Apple and lime cake

Sultana polenta cake

sultana polenta cake

‘Sultana cake’ is probably not the thing you lust after … but bear with me! This cake is beautifully buttery without being particuarly high in butter, and the sultanas … well, I like sultanas, but in this cake they taste somehow better than plain sultanas – juicy and mellowed and more sophisticated. It’s definitely a case of a thing being more than the sum of its parts. Continue reading Sultana polenta cake

Chocolate pavlova with cherries

chocolate pavlova with cherries

This pavlova has snuck onto the scene as a dessert for the festive season in our family – not as the main event (we’re all pretty wedded to Christmas pudding), but as a dessert for those barbecues and picnics in the lead up to Christmas or for Boxing Day. Continue reading Chocolate pavlova with cherries

Baby plum friands

Baby plum friands

There’s a plum tree in our backyard, down on the fence next to the chicken coop. It’s a scraggly thing – nondescript with lots of thin branches and small leaves sticking up chaotically into the air. We were going to cut it down before we realised it was a fruit tree, and eventually decided that with its position right on the fence, the tree wasn’t taking up much space or doing any harm. It’s one of our only established fruit trees so we had to love it a little. Continue reading Baby plum friands

Apricot, almond and spice cake

Apricot almond and spice cake

I think our suburb must be the apricot capital of Melbourne – there are trees drooping with fruit all around us, not too many birds to steal them, and the owners of most trees don’t seem very interested (perplexing!). I’ve taken to doorknocking and last year I found a house with two trees and a lovely Vietnamese family who were happy for us to pick what we wanted, as they eat a few apricots but prefer fruits of Vietnam. They are swimming in apricots – or squelching really, as they are spattered all over their driveway. This year we visited twice and took some eggs from our chickens as a small thank you. Continue reading Apricot, almond and spice cake

Banana, date and wheatgerm loaf

Banana, date and wheatgerm loaf

I have read that Italians sometimes eat cake for breakfast – perhaps with a milky coffee made with espresso leftover from the night before. They don’t do dessert after a meal, but sweet snacks and a decadent breakfast seem okay? (As for coffee – after midday it’s strictly without milk.)  Continue reading Banana, date and wheatgerm loaf