Thursday, January 23, 2014

100 year old Bread Pudding

This recipie comes from over 100 years ago, it is the original pudding for using up stale bread.  I have rated it difficult for that reason. Soaking the bread for 24 hours seems a bit excessive ( at least with modern bread ).  I would go for  a much shorter time. 

 I have reproduced the recipie just as it appears in my mothers cook book, but I feel a little topping is required, possibly sugar and nuts, crumble, almonds, shredded coconut,  or some marmalade.   

You could play around with the recipie by adding different fruit, berries,  apples or peaches would be nice.   You could also vary the bread by using raisin or cinnamon bread.

Also,  I think 'meat tin' may refer to a baking dish.  I would break the bread up before soaking.  It states "1 or 2 eggs" - I would go with 2 I think.

Fruity Pumpkin or Gramma Cake

This is a cake for using up mashed pumpkin, but my mother used to make it with gramma pumpkin, which I have not seen around much.


The recipie uses orange or apple juice - or brandy for special occasions!  I will leave that up to you.  Also, the recipie gives instructions for preparing the cake tin, but I think a more modern method will suffice.  It also gives advice for a "very moist cake" soak the fruit in brandy or juice overnight.  It is an unusual recipie as it only uses egg whites, and not the yolk.

It has been typed using carbon paper, and I have one of the carbon copies.  I suspect mum may have been one of many to have this recipie, but don't know who it came from originally.  It must be from after 1968 as it quotes grams not ounces.  I do remember it tasting wonderful.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Special" Fruit Cake

I do not know what made this cake special, but I do know it came from Mrs Crawford, who used to live diagonally opposite us in Cabramatta.  She and mum were very good friends, even though we all thought Mrs Crawford was rather stuck up.  There is no spice or nuts in this cake, which makes it quite unique, and it is a very large cake!

There are no baking instructions with the original recipie - mum would not have needed them!

Basic Muffins

Vary this recipie by adding whatever fruit or nuts you like (about 1 cup)  You can also take out a little plain flour and substitute oats or sunflower seeds etc.  You can also sprinkle chopped nuts or granulated sugar on top (not so healthy).

These are very useful when you have an abundance of fruit, as they can easily be frozen for later.

Ambrosia - what more is there to say?

I found that this is loved by children and adults alike, a quick and easy dish for a crowd.  You can use any fruit, and if you are using berries (eg. strawberries) don't make this too far ahead or they will turn to mush.

Really, the sky is the limit in terms of your fruit combinations.  Pineapple, macadamia's  and coconut would make a great Australia day dessert, but cherries and some grated chocolate would be terrific too.  Think outside the box, and make your own combinations.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Basic sweet and sour sauce.

This can be made as a sauce, or directly in a wok with vegetables (such as capsicum, onion, pineapple) that have already been stir fried.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Rating : Easy


3 tbls sugar
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls sherry
1 tbls vinegar
2 tbls tomatoe sauce
2 tbls cornflour
1/2 cup stock.

Mix together and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes.


Lemon Cordial

In a jug mix
  •  the juice of   6 lemons, 
  • 1.5kg white sugar, 
  • 8 cups boiling water 
  • 1oz tartaric acid,
  •  2 oz. citric acid.

This cordial mixture does not need to be refrigerated.



This is filed under "Lebonese salad", and came from the 1970's. Once you have made one batch you will never buy tabbouleh again!

Lemon Delicious

I don't even have the method on the recipie card for this!  That is because I have made it so often that I could do it in my sleep.  My family loves this recipie, especially in winter when a warm pudding is needed.  

I think what they like is the crunchy top, the soft cake and then the lemony sauce underneath.  I always serve it hot with ice cream.

Whillie's Nice Biscuit Almond Dessert Cake

My friend, Whilomena White, makes this dessert often.  I finally got the recipie from her many years ago.  The secret is in the almond esscence, make sure you use a good one and taste as you go.  It's the perfect marriage of bitter almond and sweet, and perfect for a crowd.  The biscuits soften and turn into a cake.

You can  substitute Amaretto for the rum, but you need to  make this the day before and finish off on the day you want to use it.

I suspect it originally came from an Arnotts Nice Biscuit packet.


Original Creme Caramel

I dont know where this recipie originally came from, but it was back in the 70's, and I have used it ever since.  You can up the cream content if you like by substituting it for some of the milk.  This makes 4 small souffle - dish ramekins, or one large one.  

It is the perfect dinner party dish because it looks and tastes wonderful, and you make it the day before.  Making a really large one is a spectacular dessert for a crowd, simply double the recipie. 

Use a vanilla pod if you have one - it tastes much nicer, but if not use vanilla Extract never  Essence.
Another point to remember is not to over-heat the milk and cream, bring it just to the point where bubbles start to form at the sides of the pan.
Straining is important - otherwise you will not have a smooth custard.
Don't over whisk either - the aim is not to put air bubbles into the custard.


A note about the caramel - how dark (and bitter) you make it is up to you, personally I love it very dark, but most people make it similar to the one pictured.  The wonderful thing about this dessert is that it is a combination of the sweet, bitter caramel and smooth rich custard.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

One step impossible pie

This is a quick and easy standby, when you have an unexpected visitor and nothing for dessert you can put this together from the fridge and pantry.  Cooks  in a jiffy and tastes good.  All the ingredients are blended, placed in a pie dish and baked.  Once done you will have a lovely pie with a crust at the bottom, custard in the centre and coconut on top.  Magic.

Sylvia Heard's famous choko pickles.

Seriously, mum was famous for these pickles.  When I was young we had a choko vine, so we used those, and I vividly remember helping dad by picking them up off the ground and putting the chokos into buckets.  As mum got older she moved and simply bought her chokos.   Dad used to help mum make many bottles of these pickles, and later in life he helped by chopping the vegetables in a blender for mum to then cook.

Mums maiden name was Heard, her married name Clark, but I decided to call them after her maiden name.  She used to give them to everyone we knew in the neighborhood, and be asked if she had any extra often.    Be warned they are addictive.

There is only 15 minutes of cooking time but the pickles are made over two days.  On the first day its cutting and soaking.  The next day is cooking, making the pickle mixture, combine and cook.  Then bottle.

The   measurements are exactly as she gave them to me.

Mum and dad, taken around 1950
Ron and Sylvia Clark.

Jenny's Passionfruit Cake

My friend Jenny makes this often when passionfruits are ripe on her vine.  It is a perfect cake for "bring a plate" if you have passion-fruit available.  It is best made in a ring tin - I don't know why, it just is!

Passhionfruit Cake 


Rating : Easy



In a mixer, mix :
125 g softened butter
2/3 cup castor sugar
2 (55g) eggs
2 cups self raising flour
Pulp of 3 passionfruit  (if there are lots of seeds I like to take some out)
a little milk to make a dropping consistency.

Place in a greased ring tin and bake at 180C until cooked.

Top with passionfruit icing, made with icing sugar mix, a tbls butter and the pulp (minus most of the seeds) of 2 passionfruit.


Ukranian Varenneky

This is my mother-in-laws recipie, as taken down by my nephew before Katherine died.  He is an expert at making it, me - not so much!  Varenneky are delicious though, and lovely the next day fried in oil and onion.  Definately NOT low cal.

You can make sweet ones by adding sugar to the cheese, and dusting with icing sugar & cinnimon at the end.

A note about the cheese - My mother in law used what she called "farmhouse cheese" the closest is a cream cheese - but not Philadelphia.  It needs to be one you buy from a good deli.  The best cheese to use is Quark if you can get it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Picnic Fruit Slice

I once thought I had lost this recipie and I was in a panic, as it is my stand-by for using up fruit that is past its best, and for any picnic we are going on.  Luckily it turned up filed incorrectly in my little box. 

I don't strictly apply the 1 cup of fruit rule, as I do use whatever I have, and particularly put apples or peaches on the top as a sort of topping.  Also, I often add coconut to the recipie, about 1/2 a cup.  It seems to be a very forgiving recipie in that regard.

Picnic Fruit Slice

Rating: Moderate  (but once you have made it - easy)


1-1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
1 cup fruit
3 oz butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs


Cream butter, vanilla, sherry and sugar, add eggs one at a time.  Fold in Flour and fruit.
Bake in a lined slice tin at 350C until cooked.

French Quiche Lorraine

I have no idea where this recipie came from, but I do know it is French, so it is probably from a French chef or cookbook.  This recipie is for the filling, and is delish!  I have doubled it and made a large quiche, and it works fine.

What is important in this recipie is the ratio of milk and eggs, and the seasoning.  Note that there is no salt, you can add pepper if you like, but the cayenne is usually enough.  Once you have the recipie under your belt, you can vary it with things like mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, spinach etc. but then it is not "Lorraine"

Perfect Banana Cake

Also from the cookbook of a café in Brisbane, page 105, this Banana cake is perfect for using up those ripe bananas, and slices beautifully.

You can substitute 2/3 cup of yogurt for the milk and lemon juice.  Sometimes I add a little more milk or yogurt as wholemeal flours vary quite a bit,  the mix should not be too dry. It is not a cake that rises a lot, so make sure you fill the tin quite well.

 I also usually add whatever berries I have in the fridge to the mix, blueberries or raspberries.  Do this at the last moment so they do not disintegrate. Frozen berries or pears would it also work well, and vary the nuts according to what you prefer or have on hand.  I usually don't worry about the cinnamon and sugar on top, but if you are making it to take to afternoon tea it is a nice touch.  You could add cinnamon to the mix if you like.

Cook in a loaf tin or sandwich tin.  This recipe makes two loaf tins, and freezes beautifully.  Just freeze slices on a tray, transfer to a freezer bag and get a slice out to toast for breakfast

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Quintessential Carrot Cake

There used to be a great organic café in Brisbane - this is in the time when these types of cafes were new!  Back in the 70's they put out a cookbook, and I somehow found a copy and photocopied some of the recipies.  One of them was this carrot cake, which is moist, tastes wonderful and will feed a crowd. 

You can halve the recipie if you like and make a smaller cake.  You can make this recipie in two loaf tins, or one large square tin, or half in one loaf tin.

If I want a carrot cake, then this is the one I make as it is a never-fail recipie.  It is also fine without the icing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I love to make homous, you can vary the taste by just adding a little more lemon juice, or olive oil.  It tastes a lot better than the bought ones, and is super easy.  Basically, just bung it all in a food processor and away you go.


Rating : easy


  • 600g canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 tbs tahini paste*
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Toasted Turkish bread, to serve


Place the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini paste, cumin and lemon juice in a food processor and process until combined. Add 1/4 cup (60ml) of water and process again until quite smooth.

Serve with toasted Turkish bread.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mum's Anzac Biscuits

Originally from one of our neighbours, Mrs Lamb.  I remember these every April at our house.
Sometimes I add a tablespoon of whiskey to the butter mixture!

Anzac Biscuits

Rating : easy


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1 cup Self Raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 4 oz (115 grams) butter


Pre heat oven to 170 deg. centigrade. 
Mix all dry ingredients together, except for bicarb.
 Melt butter and syrup together.
 Mix bi-carb soda and boiling water together and add to butter and syrup.
 Mix into the dry ingredients. 
Place teaspoon fulls onto a greased tray and bake in oven 10 minutes.  Do not lift off tray until cool, then put onto wire rack until fully cold.