Sep 15, 2011

Fig and Port jam

Long time no see, but I'm back! Hopefully for a long time now. Trying to catch up with latest stuff and I find out that can't read food blogs now, because I'm so jealous! Figs are in season everywhere except New Zealand, but accidentally I haven't posted this recipe in April (when the figs are in season here), so lucky you! This jam has an interesting Port accent which makes it such a great pair to a cheeses or for rich red meats such as duck. Use this jam to make great sauces for roasted duck... delicious! And it's really easy to make.

1 kg black mission figs
800 grams sugar
50 ml Port
3 tbsp lemon juice.

Cut the figs into quarters, put in a heavy bottom pan, cover the figs with sugar and leave for a day at room temperature.

Put the pan on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to minimum and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Process cooled jam in a blender or food processor and pass through a sieve to discard the skin pieces (

Return the pan to a heat, add lemon juice and simmer until desired consistency, then add the Port and simmer for another couple of minutes. Pour into sterilized jars.


Jul 17, 2011

Old fashioned blueberry semolina cake with blueberry vanilla glaze

Old fashioned blueberry semolina cake

Simple cake for a cosy weekend tea time :) This a hard combination to resist - juicy blueberries in a moist yoghurt cake. Well... just try it yourself!

80 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
200 grams fine semolina
160 grams caster sugar
150 grams yoghurt
3 eggs
⅔ cup melted butter, cooled
half of vanilla pod (keep the rest for the glaze)
300 grams fresh blueberries

Sift the flour, baking powder, semolina and caster sugar together and place in a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and yoghurt.

Pour the eggs mixture along with the melted butter into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the blueberries and fold through very gently.

Pour the mixture into the cake mould and bake in a pre-heated 170°C oven until golden and cooked through - about 40-50 minutes. Also you can bake it in a muffin pan or individual cake pans. If so adjust the baking time to 20-30 min. 

Remove from the oven and let the cake sit in the mould for about 5 minutes then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the blueberry glaze:
2 tsp blueberry juice (from fresh or frozen blueberries),
half of vanilla pod,
1 tsp lemon juice,
icing sugar to the right consistency (about 3/4 cup)

To make blueberry juice mash the blueberries in a medium sized bowl releasing lots of dark blue juice. Remove the blueberry skins from the juice and discard.  Add lemon juice and vanilla seeds, then add icing sugar until right consistency. Pour the glaze over cake.

Jul 8, 2011

My first wedding cake

My first wedding cake

No recipe today sorry. Just wanna show you my first ever wedding cake. It was such a mission from start to finish, but finally it's ready and I hope bride will love it. 
What's inside? I decided to make it simple - classic chocolate cake with swiss meringue buttercream all covered with fondant. I made about 60 sugar gum roses! It was my first experience with sugar gum as well.
And... I have a new order for a wedding cake in August.

Jun 26, 2011

Tiramisu cake

Tiramisu cake

I made this cake as a present for a house-warming party. It was a first time I made tiramisu in a cake form, so I modified my classic recipe a little bit to make it work. I added gelatine to keep it stay and for the stronger texture.

2 ready made round sponges (21cm diameter and about 3-4cm thick)
1,5 package lady-fingers biscuits
1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder (I used Dutch-processed)

Tiramisu cream:
250g mascarpone,
250ml heavy cream,
3 eggs,
100ml Kahlua (any coffee liqueur or Irish Cream would work well)
1 leaf gelatine (you can add 1 more leaf for stronger texture or for the summer time),
1/2 cup caster sugar,
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence,

Soak gelatine leaf in cold water. Set aside.
Put the mascarpone in a small bowl and gently fold in the liqueur and vanilla seeds (or vanilla essence). Set aside.
Put the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar on a double boiler and whisk until sugar dissolved and mixture is hot on touch. Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy then gently fold in the mascarpone mixture.
Whip the cream until soft peaks and fold in the mascarpone mixture.
Drain the water from the gelatine and dissolve it in microwave or over a double boiler.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks, continuing whipping slowly add the dissolved gelatine and whip until glossy. Slowly fold in the mascarpone mixture.


100ml strong espresso,
4 tbsp sugar,
50ml Kahlua.

Mix all ingredients and stir until sugar dissolved. Allow to cool.

To assemble:
Put one circle of sponge on the bottom of 23cm spring-form cake pan. Arrange lady-finger biscuits around the sides of the pan. Moist the sponge with prepared syrup then cover with the half of mascarpone cream. Cover with second sponge, moist it with the syrup then cover with the remaining mascarpone cream. Dust over with the cocoa powder. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Tiramisu cake to selebrate

May 16, 2011

Red lentil and carrot soup

Red lentil soup

It's almost winter here in New Zealand - time for hearty, filling and comforting food. This healthy and low fat soup is perfect for a cold winter's evening. For vegan version replace butter with olive oil.

Ingredients (Serves 4-5)
50g/2oz unsalted butter (olive oil for vegan version)
1½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp each ground allspice, ground cumin, and chilli powder
½ tsp each curry powder and ground coriander
2 onions finely chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
85g/3oz split red lentils, rinsed
25g/1oz long-grain rice
1.7 litres/3 pints vegetable stock or water
400ml/14fl oz tin coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp chopped coriander

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and add the ginger, allspice, cumin, chilli powder, curry powder, and ground coriander.

Cook over a low heat for three minutes, stirring continuously. Add the vegetables, stir to combine, and cook for a further eight minutes. Stir in the lentils and rice before adding the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the lentils have started to break down.

Blend the soup in a liquidiser or food processor until smooth. Return to the heat and add the coconut milk, lime juice, and coriander. Heat through but do not let it boil again. Serve immediately.

Apr 14, 2011

Chocolate Feijoa and Banana Bundt Cake

Chocolate cake with feijoa and banana

We have a crazy amount of feijoas this year. I'm making different jams, salads and of course cakes. I adapted this recipe for feijoas. The result is a velvety not too sweet cake with a delicate feijoa tang.

1 ¾  cup flour 
1 cup sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder 
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt 
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cup peeled and mashed feijoas
1 mashed ripe banana
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract

For glaze:
100 g melted chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).  Coat bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, feijoas, banana and brown sugar.  Add egg, then stir in oil and vanilla extract.

Gently add flour mixture to liquid, mixing until just combined.  Some lumps are good, but make sure to fully incorporate.  Pour into bundt pan and bake about 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks for 20 minutes and then remove from pan.  Let cool fully on wire racks.   

For the chocolate glaze:  Melt the chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler then pour it on cake.

Apr 4, 2011

Chocolate mousse cake


The fudgy consistency of this cake and the silken texture of the tofu mousse are delicious combination.

250 g good quality chocolate,
200 g butter,
1 tbsp coffee powder, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix (or normal flour)

Preheat oven to 180C. Spray 2 23 cm spring-form cake tins with baking spray and line with baker paper.

Melt chocolate and butter over a gentle heat until melted but not too hot. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Slow add egg whites in 4 lots. This process takes about 10 minutes but it is worth it. Add vanilla, coffee and flour on a very low speed then gradually beat in the chocolate mixture.

Carefully pour into the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cover tins with a damp tea towel to trap the steam and keep the crust soft. Cool in the tins.

For the mousse:
300 g chocolate,
640 g silken tofu (must be silken)
1/2 cup simple sugar syrup (or 50 ml maple syrup, or 50ml liquid honey, or 50 ml agave nectar )
1 leaf gelatin (optional)

Simple sugar syrup is made up of 2 parts of sugar and 1 part of water. Bring the water to boil, dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat once sugar is dissolved completely. Allow to cool before use.

To make the mousse, melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in microwave. Place silken tofu and sugar syrup in the blender or food processor. Blend until smooth add the melted chocolate and blend again. I also added 1 leaf gelatin dissolved in 2 tbsp of water.

To assemble, slice the top of the cakes to form even surface. Line the original spring-form with cling film, allowing a good overhang. Place one cake into the bottom, covet with a thick layer of mousse, add the second cake and finish with remaining mousse . Fold the cling film over or cover with a dinner plate and refrigerate for 4 hour or overnight.

To serve, remove from the tin, transfer to serving platter and smooth the sides of the cake with a palette knife. Decorate with fresh seasonal fruit or berries, ganache or topping of your choice.

Chocolate mousse cake
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