raspberry lamingtons

23 Jan 2023

When I went to Melbourne recently, I wanted to visit Beatrix Bakes cake shop only to discover it had recently shut its doors. The owner, Natalie Paull, still sells cakes via her Instagram page and when I saw a photo of a
raspberry and rhubarb lamington on there, I knew I had to try and make a batch.

I was able to track down the 
Beatrix Bakes brown butter sponge recipe and cobbled together the rest. I made some raspberry jelly for the dip and a batch of rhubarb and raspberry jam for the filling. I've included a recipe for the jelly and the jam for you, but of course you could just buy some good quality jam and a packet of raspberry jelly crystals.

This recipe is a fiddle with loads of steps and it's best to make the cake the day before dipping to prevent it from crumbling. 
It's quite warm in Sydney at the moment, and the jelly dip started to melt in the heat, so I dipped 3 lamingtons at a time; then put the jelly back in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm a little and repeated the process until all were done. 

Here's the recipe for you, which makes 12 lamingtons.
 For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Raspberry Lamington Recipe – makes 12
Brown butter sponge
160g (1 cup + 1 tbs) plain flour
½ tsp salt
4 room temperature eggs
150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
85g (3 oz) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Raspberry jelly
75g (2/3 cup) frozen raspberries
2 tsp gelatine powder
330mls (1 and 1/3 cup) cranberry drink
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar or to taste

Topping and filling
1 cup each shredded coconut and desiccated coconut
½ cup raspberry or rhubarb jam
250 mls (1 cup) cream, softly whipped with ½ tsp vanilla bean paste

Line an 8” square tin with baking paper, using canola spray to stick the sides down (but don’t spray on top of the paper). Preheat the oven to 170°C, conventional.

Sift the flour with the salt onto a piece of baking paper and set to one side. Over a pot of barely simmering water, heat the sugar and the eggs in the mixer bowl until they are hot to the touch. Pop the mixer bowl onto the stand mixer or use an electric hand whisk and whisk for 8 minutes on a medium/high speed until the egg mix is pale, fluffy and can hold a peak. While this is whisking, brown the butter. Either heat the butter in a saucepan over a low heat until the butter starts to turn a toasty brown or do this step in a covered bowl in the microwave. It usually takes about 5 minutes on high in the microwave but check every minute or so. You should have about 75g of browned butter. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and set aside.

Gently scrape the egg mix into a wide, large-ish mixing bowl. Sift over half the flour/salt mix and gently fold in with a whisk, turning the mix over while spinning the bowl slowly. Fold in the remaining sifted flour until it has been fully incorporated. Slowly pour in the warm melted butter mix and fold in. Scrape the mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top a little. Place on the centre rack of the preheated 170°C oven and bake until lightly bouncy in the centre and golden brown (about 35 minutes). Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate overnight in a sealed tin.

Raspberry jelly – you’ll need to start this process an hour or two before dipping. If it's a hot day you may need to use an extra 1/2 tsp gelatine powder to speed up the setting process.

Puree the frozen raspberries in a food processor or use a stick blender. Press through a coarse sieve to extract the raspberry seeds. Set aside.

Place the gelatine and 30 mls of the cranberry drink in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine has been absorbed. Place the remaining juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the gelatine mixture and stir to combine then add the raspberry puree and mix well. Leave the jelly to cool for 20 minutes then cover and place in the fridge until the jelly begins to thicken. It should be the consistency of raw egg white.

Cut the cake into 12 equal pieces then put the cake into the freezer for about 30 minutes before dipping. Once that’s done, set up a dunking station with your sponge rectangles, bowl of jelly, a wire rack, a small bowl of cold water (this has great non-stick properties), a tray of mixed coconut, and a resting tray for the completed lamingtons.

Dip each lamington into the raspberry mixture, place on a wire rack over the jelly bowl to drain off any excess jelly. Dip your fingers in the cold water and pick up the lamington and place in the coconut and then roll the lamington in the coconut. Refresh the coconut as needed. 

Place the lamingtons on the resting tray then refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until the lamingtons have set. When dry, cut the cakes in half horizontally. Spread one half with jam (1-2 tsp each) then pipe the whipped cream on top then sandwich together. Repeat with remaining cakes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Rhubarb raspberry jam - makes about 600mls 
300g thinly sliced, washed and trimmed rhubarb
300g raspberries fresh or frozen
350g caster sugar
60mls fresh orange 
1 tbs finely grated orange rind

Place all the ingredients into a bowl, cover and stand overnight.

The next day transfer the ingredients into a heavy-based saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the mixture jells when tested on a cold saucer. Stand the jam for 10 minutes to settle before pouring into hot sterilised jars. 
Store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. Once opened, keep the jam in the fridge and use within 1 month.

Yes, they were a fiddle and the kitchen floor was covered with coconut, but I'm pleased to report that the lamingtons tasted as good as they looked. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


'plumb' crumble cake

15 Jan 2023

Welcome to my first post for 2023. I hope you all had a good break over the holiday season. I've just returned from a few days in Melbourne, and I don't know about you, but I am not looking forward to returning to work this year.

As soon as plums appear in the fruit shop, I buy a few so I can make plum cake. I wanted to make something a little different this year and whilst searching, I found
this recipe
on the Monday Morning Cooking Club website.

recipe (and the story behind the name) really appealled to me but I decided to change it a little. I swapped the original crumble recipe for my favourite walnut crumble. Using the food processor made light work of both the crumble and the pastry. The pastry, which needs to rest for at least 2 hours before making the cake, was very soft and quite difficult to roll out. I rolled out the base with a rolling pin but in the end, I pressed the pastry up the sides of the tin using my hands.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm cake. 
For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. Please note the pastry needs to rest for at least 2 hours before making the cake.

'Plumb' Crumble Cake – makes a 17cm cake. 
Crumble Topping
½ cup (70 gm) walnuts 
¼ cup (55 gm) brown sugar
¼ cup (35 gm) plain flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
30 grams (1 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into small chunks

60g plain flour
60g self-raising flour
Pinch salt
65g unsalted butter, chopped
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
25g sour cream or yoghurt

To assemble
6 whole plums washed; stones removed then quartered. 
1½ tbs caster sugar

Crumble Topping
Pulse the walnuts in a food processor just a few times until coarsely chopped. Tip out into a small bowl then combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until just combined. Place the crumble topping into the bowl containing the chopped walnuts and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate the topping while making the cake. 

Put the flours, salt and butter in a bowl and use your fingertips to mix them together until the butter is evenly dispersed and the mixture forms crumbs. Add the sugar, vanilla, egg yolk and sour cream and mix together using your hands or a wooden spoon. When a soft, sticky ball of dough is formed, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can also make the dough in a food processor.

Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes before using. Thoroughly grease a 17 cm springform cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C, conventional. 

On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough thickly to fit the base and halfway up the sides of the tin (use all the dough) then place the plums on top, arranging them very close together. If rolling out the dough proves troublesome, just press the dough into the base and halfway up the sides of the tin. Sprinkle the plums with the caster sugar. 

With your hands, squeeze the crumble mixture together and then break it up over the top of the plums. Place the cake on the centre rack in the oven and bake for an hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the cake is golden on top and the plums are cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or ice cream.

It was a bit tricky working out if/when the cake was cooked. It looked ready after an hour, so I took the cake out but then I changed my mind and returned the cake to the oven for the full baking time. 

I had my slice of plum cake and, upon reflection, it tasted very much like something I'd made before. A little onsite reading revealed I'd made a version of the famous German plum cake known as Zwetschgenkuchen.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


xmas 2022 - chocolate crinkle cookies

23 Dec 2022

Last year I wanted to make a batch of lemon crinkle cookies for the cookie box but ran out of time. In the end I'm glad, because when I made the lemon crinkle cookies a few weeks ago, I was underwhelmed with their flavour. Even though there was 1 tbs of lemon rind in the mix, they barely tasted of lemon, so it's back to the drawing board. 

Undefeated I turned to option number 2 - chocolate crinkle cookies. I'd already bookmarked 
a Jill Dupleix recipe and made a teeny addition to the recipe by adding some espresso powder. I also made the cookies a little smaller but otherwise they were made as written. As the cookies are made with oil, they're dairy-free and take no time to put together. Please note, the chilling time is not optional so it's best to start this recipe a few hours before baking or the day before.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 24 cookies. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Jill Dupleix – Chocolate crinkle cookies - makes 24
180g caster sugar 
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract 
100ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
180g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt

For rolling
50g caster sugar
100g icing sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla extract and oil with an electric mixer until thick and glossy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and combine until it forms into a soft, thick dough. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight, to firm up.

Heat the oven to 180°C conventional and line two baking trays with baking paper. Place the caster sugar and the icing sugar on two separate plates.

Using a dessertspoon take about 24 grams of the mixture and roll into a ball between your palms. Roll in the caster sugar until lightly coated, then in the icing sugar until heavily coated. Place on the trays 5cm apart and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the tops are set and nicely cracked. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

Now I've nibbled on a few of these cookies and I can assure you that they're very, very good and best of all, deeply chocolatey.

That's the final post for me for the year and what a year it has been. I'm going to take a few weeks break from the blog and will see you again mid-January 2023.

Bye for now,



xmas 2022 - gluten free Roasted Almond and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

22 Dec 2022

Today's Christmas cookie box recipe is for these salt flecked gluten free r
oasted almond and chocolate chunk cookies, slightly adapted from an Aran Goyoaga recipe. If you've not read or heard about Aran, she is the queen of gluten free baking.

The cookies use buckwheat flour and almond meal instead of regular flour. The cookies can be made directly after mixing but I prefer to refrigerate my cookie dough overnight before baking.

Here’s the recipe for you which makes 15 cookies, adapted from an Aran Goyaga recipe. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. 

Roasted Almond and Chocolate Chunk Cookies – m
akes 15 cookies 
Scant ½ cup (120g) almond butter
55g unsalted butter or dairy-free butter, room temperature
Scant ½ cup (100g) caster sugar 
¼ cup (55g) light brown sugar 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 large egg 
¾ cup (105g) light buckwheat flour 
1½ tbs (12g) almond meal 
½ tsp sea salt flakes 
½ tsp bicarb soda 
90g 70% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided 
90g roasted and salted almonds, coarsely chopped, divided
Flaky sea salt (optional) 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the almond butter, butter, caster sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until creamy and light, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the egg then beat until combined. 

In a small bowl, stir together both flours, the salt and bicarb soda. Add to the mixer and beat until it nearly comes together. Add about three quarters of the chopped almonds and chocolate and continue beating until combined. The dough will be sticky and spread a bit. The cookies can be baked right after mixing however I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap then refrigerated the dough overnight. 

The following day preheat oven to 190°C, conventional. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Portion out 40g of dough per cookie (about 1½ tbs of mixture). You should be able to make 15 cookies. Place 6 cookies onto a tray, as the cookies will spread. Dot the tops of the cookies with some of the remaining chopped almonds and chocolate chunks. Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt on top.

Bake the cookies until the edges are golden brown but the centre still appears soft, 9 to 12 minutes. The tops will puff up slightly. I like to bake one tray of cookies at a time and I rotate the tray mid bake to ensure even browning. Cool the cookies on the baking tray until you can lift them without falling apart, at least 10 minutes. Repeat with the second tray then bake the remaining 3 cookies on the now cool first baking tray. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

I found the flavour of the buckwheat flour a little intense and next time I'd swap some of it for GF plain flour. Otherwise the cookies were easy to make, baked up well and were very tasty and best of all, my friends loved them.

See you all again tomorrow with my last Christmas cookie recipe.

Bye for now,


xmas 2022 - chocolate peppermint cookies

21 Dec 2022

Growing up, my favourite biscuits were chocolate biscuits with a baked on white peppermint flavoured topping. With that in mind, I 
decided I needed to make some chocolate peppermint cookies to place in my cookie box. I adapted an Erin Jean McDowell recipe, which you can find here, and used my own filling recipe. 

The recipe made loads of cookies so I made some small star shaped biscuits and some filled cookies. Best of all, the cookies last for ages in an airtight container.

Here's the recipe for you which makes either 24 2 inch cookies or 40 small star sandwich cookies. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Chocolate Peppermint cookies – makes 24 2 inch cookies or 40 small star cookies
113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (100g) caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
175g plain flour
⅓ cup (35g) cocoa 
¼ tsp bicarb soda
¼ tsp fine sea salt

45g unsalted butter, at room temperature
45g cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups (150g) icing sugar, sifted
pinch salt
¾ tsp vanilla extract
⅓ tsp natural peppermint extract
2 tsp milk
2 tbs very finely chopped candy cane (if making the 2 inch cookies)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla; mix to combine.

Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarb soda and salt into a medium bowl. Transfer to the bowl of the mixer and mix until the dough comes together. Form into a 1-inch-thick disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C, conventional. Line a tray with baking paper and set to one side.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper until the dough is ½ cm thick. Use a 2 inch round or a small star shaped cookie cutter to cut the dough into shapes and then transfer the cookies to the prepared baking tray. (You can place the cookies close together; they won’t spread much.)

Repeat until all the dough is used, rerolling the dough several times if needed. Press the tips of a fork into the centre of each cookie to keep them from puffing up too much while baking.

Bake the cookies until they appear set, 6 to 9 minutes. Cool a little before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Turn half of the cookies over so the fork marks are facing down.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the salt, the vanilla and peppermint extract to taste and the milk; mix until well combined. 

Pipe the icing into a mound in the middle of each turned-over cookie using a ¼ inch piping tip or a teaspoon. If making the circle cookies, sprinkle a little candy cane dust over the top of the icing, then top with another cookie and gently press together. If making the star shaped cookies, skip the candy cane dust. Let the cookies sit for about 1 hour to allow the icing to set before serving.

The cookies were so tasty - delicate intensely chocolate cookies paired with a creamy peppermint filing. Yum!

I'll be back tomorrow with another cookie recipe from the cookie box, so see you all again soon.

Bye for now,



xmas 2022 - not quite bonnie's rugelach

20 Dec 2022

Last year in the lead up to Christmas, I saw lots of cookie boxes on Instagram. As I was in lockdown with nowhere to go, I decided to give one a try. My cookie selection included a gluten free cookie, a chocolate cookie, a nut based cookie and a jam filled cookie. I got a little ahead of myself though and I've already shared my recipe for 
pistachio rose shortbreads, the nut based cookie, so I had to quickly come up with another cookie recipe to share with you.

I thought I'd make some rugelach as part of the selection. I have a confession to make though. Until I'd made these rugelach I'd never eaten one before. I made the rugelach from a recipe in Sweet by Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. I used 2 different fillings, a pecan and raspberry jam filling and a filling made with chopped pistachios and coarsely chopped dried sour cherries. Each filling recipe is sufficient to make 24-36 rugelach. The recipe in Sweet was adapted from Bonnie's Stern's original recipe. I didn't have any quince paste in my cupboard so I used raspberry jam just like Bonnie did.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 24 - 32 rugelach. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup, a 20ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C.

Not Quite Bonnie’s Rugelach from Sweet
160g plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp finely grated lemon rind
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
125g unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut roughly into 3-cm cubes
125g cream cheese, fridge-cold 
Pecan Filling 
40g pecan halves
100g light brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
175g raspberry jam 
1 tsp lemon juice

Pistachio Filling 
50g unsalted butter at room temperature 
100g light brown sugar 
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla paste
40g dried sour cherries, coarsely chopped 
40g chopped pistachios
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ tbsp raw sugar 
To make the pastry, place the flour, salt, baking powder, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste in a food processor and pulse for about 15 seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse for a few seconds more, until the mixture has the texture of fresh breadcrumbs. Add the cream cheese and process just until the dough comes together in a ball around the blade; be careful not to over process or the pastry will be tough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few seconds, just to bring it together. Divide the pastry in two; cover each half loosely in plastic wrap, then press to flatten into discs. Transfer to the fridge for 1 hour. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. 
Pecan Filling
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside. Spread the pecans on a separate tray and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool, then chop finely and place in a small bowl with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix together and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the jam and lemon juice to form a smooth paste. 
Pistachio Filling
Mix the butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a small bowl until well combined. 
Take one of the pieces of dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface to form a 24-cm circle, about 3 mm thick. Use a small spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the jam evenly over the surface and then sprinkle with the sugar-nut mixture. Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, if you have one, cut the dough as though you are slicing a cake into twelve or 16 equal triangles. 

One at a time, roll each wedge quite tightly, starting from the wide outside edge and working toward the point of the triangle, so that the filling is enclosed. Place them on the lined baking sheets, seam side down, spaced about 3 cm apart. Repeat the rolling and filling process with the second disc of dough.
If you're making the pistachio filling, spread the butter evenly over the surface of the dough then sprinkle the cherries and pistachios over the butter. Slice into 12 or 16 and roll as above. Repeat the process with the second disc. Once rolled, chill the rugelachs in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C, conventional. Just before baking lightly brush the tops of the rugelachs with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for 20–25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown all over. Don’t worry if some of the filling oozes out; this will add a lovely toffee taste to the edges of the cookies. Remove from the oven and rest on the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
These will keep for up to 4 days in an open container, separated by pieces of baking paper, and the whole thing wrapped loosely in aluminum foil. Don’t keep in an airtight container; the sugar will weep if you do and turn the rugelach soft and sticky. 
See you all again tomorrow with some more cookie recipes.

Bye for now,


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