27 Sep 2008

Spring Cooking (with recipes)

It is good for the soul
(and stomach)

So far we've made:

1. Very Orange Cake
2 whole orange washed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
200g butter, melted
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
3-4 tablespoons citrus marmalade

Blend 1 orange whole (skin and all). Transfer to big mixing bowl and add melted butter, sugar, eggs and flour. Mix well. Pour into prepared ring tin. Slice second orange into thin half rings - gently push into the top of the cake in whatever pattern you desire. Brush with about 3-4 tablespoons of good quality citrus marmalade (apricot is delicious too). Bake in a moderate (160'c- 180'c) oven for 50 mins or until cooked.

2. Chicken + Leek Risotto
1 large leek, thinly sliced
500g (or so) chicken breast
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cups aborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
zest of 1 whole lemon
juice of 1 whole lemon
1/2-1 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt + pepper

Gently fry leeks in a fry pan until soft and translucent. Add chicken and fry until chicken is just done (be careful not to over do it). Cover and put aside. In a small saucepan bring stock to the boil.

Wash rice. Heat butter and olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry onions until soft. Add rice and cook for about 2 minutes coating the rice in the onion/oil thoroughly. Add wine and stir until absorbed. Then add 1/2 cup of stock to rice and stir until absorbed. Repeat many many times until rice is just about cooked (although tempting, don't leave that risotto's sight for a second). Add lemon rind and juice and stir. Add chicken and leek and grated parmesan and stir well. Season as you like.

*You can leave out the chicken and add freshly snapped asparagus instead which is just as good; and add a bit more wine to to the stock mixture if you like too.

3. Sticky Date Pudding
250 g pitted dates, chopped
1 tspn bicarb soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
125g butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 self-raising flour

1/2 cup brown sugar
250 g cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
30g butter

Place dates and bicarb soda in bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each one. Then gently fold through date mixture and flour until well combined. Pour into a well-greased and floured tin (22cm) and bake in a moderate oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is coming away from the edges and when skewered in the centre comes out clean.

Make sauce by combining sugar, cream, vanilla and butter on medium heat. Stir gently until the mixture comes to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Pierce pudding all over with a skewer and pour 1/2 of warm sauce over. Stand for 10 minutes and serve with remaining sauce.


  1. Nice blog. I love your foods.
    Please send one cake for me.
    Beautiful pictures.

    Please visit:


    Good luck

  2. oh wow! such beauty and such taste.
    i wish i could have been there!

  3. awww no fair i wanna go back to that house... so dreamy and creepily and quietly romantic- when are you coming back my dear?

  4. please please do send recipes...in fact, all of your recipes. especially the risotto.

  5. Great Scott!

    Hover! You've been baking up a small tornado in your part of the world! We need to fly you over here pronto to fatten us up for the winter!

    I love how your hands keep busy be it with a blue pen or a cake pan.

  6. Yum!! your beautiful photos of the risotto inspired my grocery shopping today and I bought a leek to make the risotto! I would LOVE the recipe:) Martine

  7. Oh my goodness! That cake is one of the best looking I have ever seen. When are you going to post the recipe ;)

  8. do the cake and pudding work with GF flour with leavening in? d'ya know? i'm loving the recipes lady, keep em coming!

  9. Oh! thank you all for your kind comments.. recipes are up so I hope you will do some testing as well! And yes Jordan, plain flour with leavening (or baking powder) should work just fine.


Thank you for reading! I do so love and appreciate every one of your comments even if I don't get a chance to reply.