Spiced Apple and Feijoa Cake

Spiced apple and feijoa cake

Feijoa season has landed in EnZed… Ye-haaa!  I had a hankering for feijoas. And Cake. Introducing spiced apple and feijoa cake.

Last weekend  I found myself in possession of 30 odd free range eggs last week and spent the weekend in the kitchen. First I whipped up this carrot cake, always a crowd pleaser. Second I had a hankering for feijoas. Off I went to the green grocers to buy some, ouch NZ$8 for a bag of 10! I need to make friends with someone who has a feijoa tree. Any takers?

Anyway, I had a play in the kitchen, tweaked an ancient apple cake recipe I had, added ground almonds, feijoas, ginger, spice and bugger me days, this spiced apple and feijoa cake turned out perfectly the first time. I’ve made it again since to test it – boom, perfection! I shared a sneaky photo on my Facebook page and there were lots of requests for the recipe to be shared. So, here you go! (more…)

Chocolate Caramel Slice Recipe

chocolate caramel slice recipe

Oh yes. My chocolate caramel slice recipe.

The Boy and I have been watching Zumbo’s Just Desserts on TV3 on Monday and Tuesday nights. Despite having an epic savoury tooth I can’t help but develop intense cravings whilst watching Zumbo’s for… SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR. Enough, I thought. Time to whip up something decadent to enhance our viewing pleasure.  Frankly, I don’t think you can go past chocolate caramel slice, for me this is the ultimate treat, the king of home-baking. 

Here’s my recipe, it’s a bit of a hodge-podge of various recipes I’ve tried over the years.  

Now, don’t tell anyone… Sometimes I make it with…. Double the caramel topping.  I know.  I’m such a porker.  But try it, don’t  just shake your head in disbelief at my porkiness. (more…)

Cafe Style Carrot Cake Recipe

cafe style carrot cake recipeMy mate Cam dropped off a box of carrots and kiwifruit the other day. I have no idea where he got them from and, frankly, I’m too nervous to ask:  I might get arrested. Suffice to say there were enough carrots in there that I’ve been whipping up enough carrot related dishes to the point I’m wondering if we’ll turn orange.  That happened to my little brother once when he was a toddler. Crack up. Anyway, top on the lists of carrot culinary delights was my tried and tested cafe style carrot cake recipe that I’ve made on and off over the years (more years than I care to admit, cough. Shit. I’m old).  

This is one of those recipes that’s been handed around and I love going to a mate’s house to find they’ve made it (unless it’s better than my version… Then I feel aggrieved).   So if you’ve been on the hunt for a top notch carrot cake recipe, look no further, I’ve got you sorted.

This cake is moist, packed full of flavour and texture and super-filling (I know we shouldn’t be getting full on carrot cake, but good luck with that after you’ve made this).  Yeah, it’s delicious.  It’s also super healthy because it contains vegetables. Snort. Oh, it’s also beautifully decorated, if I do say so myself. As you may know I detest decorating cakes with a passion, so this is cake decorating at its best: Get some stuff and sprinkle it on. Easy and effective. Who can resist a pretty looking cake,  especially when there is no art or skill to it?

Lastly, as with a lot of my recipes, this is definitely one where you can substitute ingredients. Don’t like walnuts? Use chopped almonds. Not a date lover? Use raisins or craisins or even diced apricots. Can’t be arsed with faffing around decorating the cake – just use shredded coconut. Or don’t decorate the cake. Let the icing shine. You get my drift.  


Coconutty Bark (sugar free goodness)

My version of Cave Girl’s brilliant recipe!

Way back in September I took part in Sugar Free September. The whole low/no sugar movement is gaining momentum and I thought I’d give it a whirl. The Executive Summary of that story is:  I did it, I feel great and fast forward now, We’ve stayed sugar free (mainly) because we feel GREAT.

Sure, there’s been a couple of what I call ‘Relaxing Moments’ but they aren’t biggies by any stretch of the imagination.  What am I relaxing on? Wine mostly – Pinot Gris to be precise, my tipple of choice when the weather gets warmer.  In context though, as someone who had a serious weakness for chocolate at 3pm, it’s nothing short of miraculous that I’ve eaten four squares of chocolate since late August. That’s it for the extent of my ‘sugar deviation’ not bad, right?   I’m staying sugar free because I feel amazing. But I won’t witter on about that here because I went on about it here. 

Anyhow, one of the things I enjoyed most about Sugar Free September was trying out new food and recipes and I thought it would be fun to share my favourite recipe from September. If you follow me on Facebook you’ll have seen this before as I shared the recipe for Pecan and Caramel Bark from the Cave Girl blog which, frankly,  is a recipe of pure genius.  So, with Cave Girl as my inspiration, I made up my own barky version and… YUM!  Both bark recipes are so good that, even if I fall well and truly off the sugar bandwagon, I’ll still whip this up. Now, while I shared the recipe on Facebook, those little buggers at Facebook are playing mind games with me as some of my posts on my Facebook just vanish – like POOF! Gone! I have no idea why (if anyone knows – please enlighten me as this palaver drives a woman batty). So, for prosperity, here’s the Coconutty Bark recipe I posted on Facebook here on the blog: Now it’s kept safe for us all to enjoy!  (more…)

Carrot, Date & Nutty Muffins (sugar free)

Carrot Date and Nutty MuffinsOne of the main reasons I’ve really enjoyed #sugarfreeseptember as it’s forced me to try out new recipes. I know you probably think I try out lots of new things, but, to be honest, I often churn out the same thing: Tried and true family favourites. It’s been good to get out of my comfort zone this month.

Anyway, I’ve struggled a little with ideas for baking to satisfy my Husband’s super-dooper sweet tooth. I struck gold when I chanced upon a recipe in Taste magazine which was a recipe from Auckland’s Wilder & Hunt cafe for their bestselling Morning Glory Carrot mini cakes. Being sugar free these looked right up our alley. I modified the recipe a little to suit our taste buds, as well as to comply with what was in the pantry! The result were these glorious Carrot, Date and Nutty Muffins that’ll absolutely make again!  (more…)

Dairy Free Chocolate Brownie Recipe

SAMSUNG CSCMy son had his birthday party this weekend and unbeknownst to me one of his little friends has a dairy allergy. Being someone who thrives on feeding people, I just couldn’t bear the thought of her not being able to join in and eat birthday cake or dessert so I whipped up this brownie for her. When I say “whipped up” I mean it: This took four minutes. I had the brownie ready to go in the oven long before the oven had reached the desired temperature! (more…)

Date Cake with Crunchy Caramel Coconut Topping

caramel date cakeI’ve been making this exquisite moist date cake with a crunchy caramel and coconut topping on and off for years. I love it because it’s a reasonably non-fuss cake that I can be made at reasonably short notice and the ingredients are pantry staples I always have on hand. Taste wise, it’s a sensation: It always gets people groaning and asking for more. The only thing to note is that it is best eaten on the day it is made, if not the day after. That’s usually no problem, it gets demolished! (more…)