Bringing real baking into your home with deliciously simple recipes.
Prep 15minBake 50-60minMakes 8-10 serves
This is a wonderful cake that was originally inspired by a recipe my Aunt Joey used to make. No, it isn’t a mistake, a whole orange, rind and all goes into this cake. It is best to use a thin-skinned navel orange that is around in winter and spring, as it has no seeds and very little bitter pith.
It makes a wonderful dessert when served warm with vanilla ice-cream or a perfect picnic cake as it travels really well. The syrup keeps this cake deliciously moist and saves you from icing it – another great shortcut. If however you would prefer to ice it, a buttercream or glace icing flavoured with finely grated orange zest would be perfect.
Melted butter, to grease 1 orange, quartered, core and seeds removed 220g (1 cup) caster sugar 125g salted butter, melted and cooled 2 eggs, at room temperature 225g (1½ cups) self-raising flour
Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm round cake tin with melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper
Place the quartered orange, sugar, butter and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the orange is finely chopped. Add the flour and process using the pulse button until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Stand the rack over a baking tray.
Meanwhile, to make the Orange syrup, place the orange juice, marmalade and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil gently, uncovered and without stirring, for 5 minutes or until reduced slightly.
Use a skewer to prick cake all over. Gradually pour the hot syrup over the hot cake, allowing it to soak in. Pour any syrup that has collected on the tray into a dish or jug, Serve warm or at room temperature with any syrup caught on the tray in a jug on the side.
This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
These macaroons are commonly crumbled and used in the traditional Danish Lagkage (layer cake), a traditional Danish birthday cake. They are wonderfully crisp on the outside while being mor-ishly soft on the inside and are truly addictive as a ‘sweet’ treat. While not traditional, I’ve taken the liberty of adding a sprinkling of flaked almonds for extra texture.
100g almond meal 100g pure icing sugar, sifted Good pinch of bicarbonate of soda 2 egg whites, at room temperature Pinch of salt 25g (¼ cup) flaked almonds, to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Put the almond meal, icing sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a medium bowl and mix until evenly combined.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites and salt in a medium clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the almond meal and icing sugar mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until evenly combined.
Use two metal teaspoons to spoon slightly heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined tray about 4 cm apart to allow for spreading. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and then bake in the third top of the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden and aromatic.
Cool the macaroons on the tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 20 macaroons in total.
These macaroons will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Danish pastries are possibly Denmark’s most well-recognized food specialty, even though it is Austria that should actually be credited for originally creating them! Traditionally based on a leavened puff pastry (basically a puff pastry made with a yeast dough) the making of them is quite an involved process. Luckily, the pastry used here is a short-cut one with chunks of butter already incorporated into the pastry when initially mixed which cuts out the process of interleaving it with the pastry dough as you fold it – if you haven’t made puff pastry before, this is a great recipe to start with.
125ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
250g (1⅔ cups) plain flour
185g butter, chilled and cut into 2 cm cubes
1 egg, at room temperature, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons caster sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
5 tablespoons good-quality raspberry jam
2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted, to decorate
125g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water
¼ teaspoon natural almond extract
Put the milk in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Put the flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor and use the pulse button to process until the butter is cut into 1 cm pieces (make sure your don’t process any further). Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the egg, sugar and cardamom to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and butter mixture and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix until it is just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands. Knead for 30 seconds or until smooth. Shape into a rectangle and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the out until about 40 x 25cm, keeping the edges as straight as possible. With a long side nearest to you, fold the right third of the dough in to cover the centre third and then fold the left side in also. Turn the dough clockwise a quarter turn. Fold the dough into thirds as before to make a small rectangle. Flip the dough over on the bench and repeat the rolling and folding process again. You will finish with a small rectangle. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out the pastry with a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about (30 x 35cm) and about 5mm thick. Cut in half to make two 15 x 35cm rectangles. Spread the raspberry jam down the centre to cover the centre third of both rectangles. Cut the pastry diagonally into 2cm-wide strips down both sides of the jam and then fold the strips, alternating form each side, into the centre over the jam. Transfer the pastries on the lined tray. Cover loosely with a slightly damp tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 minutes or until the pastry is ‘puffy’.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool on the tray.
To make the Icing, put the icing sugar in a medium bowl and stir in the water and almond extract to make a smooth pouring consistency. Drizzle over the cooled pastry and sprinkle with the almonds and set aside to set. Serve at room temperature cut into slices.
This Danish Pastry is best eaten the day it is baked but will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Reminiscent of the good old Digestives, these biscuits easily swing between savoury and sweet. Serve them with blue cheese or dip them in dark chocolate to give them the flavour preference you prefer.
150g wholemeal plain flour
130g (1 cup) oat bran
75g (⅓ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
125g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
60ml (¼ cup) milk
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Put the flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture with the milk and use the pulse button to process until the mixture starts to come together as a dough. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and bring it together with your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out until about 5 mm thick. Use a 6 cm round cutter to cut the dough into discs and place them on the lined trays about 3 cm apart. Prick the tops of each biscuit twice with a fork. Reroll any off cuts and cut out more biscuits.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden around the edges, aromatic and cooked through. Cool on the trays.
These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Place the butter, sugar, flour, cornflour, cocoa powder, hazelnut meal and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor (see Baker's Tips) and process for 1 minute or until the mixture starts to form a dough (be careful not to over-mix).
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, add the chocolate and bring together with your hands to combine evenly.
Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays about 5cm apart. Flatten each with a fork so that they are about 1cm thick.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can make these shortbread by hand. Leave the butter at room temperature for a little while for it to soften slightly. Put the sugar, flour, cornflour, cocoa powder and hazelnut meal in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the vanilla and then use your fingertips to rub the butter through the dry ingredients until it starts to come together and forms a dough. Continue the recipe from Step 3.
These shortbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Hailing from the 70s and reaching peak popularity in the 90s, sticky toffee pudding now sits alongside the likes of lemon delicious, rice pudding and chocolate fondants as a classic. Sweet, sticky and completely addictive, it is always a crowd pleaser.
200g fresh dates, pitted and chopped 250ml (1 cup) water 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature 150g (¾ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar 2 eggs 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour Cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 18 x 28cm shallow cake tin with melted butter and line the base and two long sides with one piece of baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides.
Place the dates and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until pulpy. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and then set aside for 20 minutes or until cooled to room temperature.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the cooled date mixture and then the flour until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Meanwhile, to make the toffee sauce, put the butter, sugar and cream in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove the pudding from the oven and pour a quarter of the hot toffee sauce over. Set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the warm pudding from the tin, cut into portions and serve drizzled with the remaining warm toffee sauce and accompanied by cream or ice-cream.
Any leftover pudding and sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat both separately in the microwave on medium in 1-minute bursts until warmed through.
Prep 15min (+20-30min chilling time)Makes: Enough for a 23cm/9in round tart case
A really good, well-made, homemade pastry is always the secret to a fabulous pie or tart and shortcrust pastry, when you have a good recipe, is one of the simplest and quickest pastries to make. Here I have given lots of making ahead and freezing tips as well as some great variations to use in a selection of both sweet and savoury tarts and pies.
225g (1½ cups/8oz) plain flour Good pinch salt 150g (5¼oz) chilled unsalted butter, diced 3-3½ tablespoons (60-70ml/2½fl oz) iced water
Combine the flour and salt in a large, wide mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs with some larger pieces of butter still visible.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons (60ml/2fl oz) of the iced water over the flour and butter mixture. Use a butter or round-ended knife in a cutting motion to mix, turning the bowl frequently, until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together. Press a little of the mixture between your fingers – if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more water; if it doesn’t add the remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon (10ml/⅓fl oz), a teaspoon at a time, combining with the knife until it reaches the right consistency. The pastry should be soft but not sticky.
Bring the pastry together with your hands in the bowl or turn out onto a cool bench top and then bring together. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 5-10 seconds or until it comes together but isn’t completely smooth. Shape the pastry into a disc about 2cm/¾in thick, wrap well in plastic wrap, baking paper or beeswax wrap and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to rest. Use as directed.
This pastry is also enough for a 24cm/9½in square tart case; ten 6cm/2¼in or eight 8cm/3¼in) individual round tart cases; a 12cmx34.5cm/4¾inx13½in) rectangular tart case; or 24 tartlet cases (1 Tbsp/20ml/¾fl oz capacity)
Keeping in the fridge
Shape uncooked pastry into a disc. Wrap well in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Stand at room temperature for about 1 hour (depending on the temperature in your kitchen) until softened slightly and pliable enough to roll easily.
Freezing uncooked pastry
Shape uncooked pastry into a disc. Wrap well in plastic wrap, then seal in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Transfer to the fridge to thaw completely (this will take about 1 day). Stand at room temperature for about 1 hour (depending on the weather) until softened slightly and pliable enough to roll easily.
Freezing uncooked pastry case/s
Place the pastry case, still in the tin or dish, in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen, leave the pastry in the tin or dish or remove and seal in freezer bag or an airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 months. Bake in the tin or dish directly from the freezer or transfer to the fridge to thaw completely in the tin or dish (this will take about 1 day) and then bake as directed.
Rich Shortcrust Pastry: Increase the butter to 170g (6oz). Replace the water with 1 lightly whisked egg yolk.
Parmesan Shortcrust Pastry: Combine 40g (½ cup/1½oz) finely grated parmesan to the flour and butter mixture just before adding the water.
Mustard Shortcrust Pastry: Add 1½ teaspoons dry mustard powder to the flour and salt before rubbing in the butter.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry: Stir 2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar or caster sugar to the flour and butter mixture just before adding the water.
Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry: Reduce the flour to 200g (1⅓cups/7oz). Sift the flour with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons icing sugar and the salt before rubbing in the butter.
Sweet Orange & Vanilla Shortcrust Pastry: Reduce the flour to 200g (1⅓cups/7oz). Add 2 tablespoons almond meal, 2 tablespoons caster or icing sugar and 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest to the flour and salt before rubbing in the butter. Add 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract with the water.
Serve with milk and a dollop of Greek-style yoghurt for a satisfying and tasty breakfast that will take you through to lunchtime without the need to nibble.
300g (3 cups) rolled oats 75g (½ cup) pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 75g (½ cup) sunflower seeds 65g (1 cup) shredded coconut 100g natural almonds, coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 125ml (½ cup) unsweetened apple juice 2 tablespoons single-origin floral honey 90g (½ cup) dried blueberries (see Baker’s Tips) Milk, Greek-style yoghurt and coarsely grated apple or other fresh fruit of your choice
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour over the apple juice and stir until evenly combined. Spread evenly on the oven tray and then drizzle evenly with the honey.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes, until evenly toasted and crisp (the muesli will crispen further once cooled). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Stir in the blueberries.
Serve with milk, yoghurt and apple or fruit of your choice.
Store the toasted muesli in and airtight container or jar for up to 1 month.
You can use 75g (½ cup) currants in place of the dried blueberries.
This muesli (without the blueberries) makes a wonderful crumble topping. Reduce the baking time to 20 minutes.
Almond & Blueberry Bircher Muesli (for 3 serves): combine 1½ cups of Toasted Almond & Blueberry Muesli, 185ml (¾ cup) natural apple juice, 95g (⅓ cup) natural Greek-style yoghurt, and ½ large red apple (such as pink lady), coarsely grated. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until the muesli has soaked up the liquid and is creamy. Serve topped with yoghurt, coarsely grated apple and coarsely chopped toasted almonds. Keep any remaining muesli covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.