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Well University certainly is taking over my life, again. However, I have sneakily managed to include food (and culture) into my final year project. Pretty exciting for me seeing as I love food so much! I really need to find more time for baking though; the holidays are coming up very soon so stay tuned.

As i’ve said in my other cheesecake posts, it’s simple to make this recipe gluten free. Simply swap out the wine biscuits for rice biscuits and you’re set! Just remember that you’ll need more rice biscuits as they react differently to liquid. I’d probably use 300g of rice biscuits for the same amount of butter, do experiment though as I don’t do it often so can’t comment on exact quantities.

P.S This cheesecake is deliciously tangy. It’s my favourite yet!

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It’s been a little bit of radio silence, things got hectic when University and moving city and house got involved.

So i’ll make this short and sweet, actually this cake was rather sweet. If I was you and didn’t have a huge sweet tooth I would reduce the sugar in the cake by about 50 grams. Also decorating with turkish delight would turn this into the prettiest cake, and maybe a couple of small roses retrieved from the garden too.

This cake is completely gluten free. The original recipe had 50 grams of plain flour but after substantial reading I learnt that small amounts of flour can be swapped out for cornflour. It doesn’t rise completely the same but you don’t compromise on taste, or texture. As it turns out this wee cake doesn’t dry out,  turn into a brick or turn to glue in your mouth. Gluten free winners all ’round.

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IMG_2035Well this is a little embarrassing… I’ve been on holiday for just under a month and I get back, charged and ready to share a wonderful recipe with you and I have no idea where I put the pictures. Woops. Under normal circumstances my kitchen would already be churning out another cake but, mum’s belated birthday cake is on the list of things to bake tomorrow. Long story short, it’s a repeat picture but a brand new recipe.

Quick tasting notes: Tender crumb, delicious lemon flavour and smell, blueberries


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Guess what? I’m going to Malaysia tomorrow! Unfortunately that also means that I haven’t quite found the time to write up this post in it’s entirety. We are talking about the part where I share the recipe of course – it’s the most important, let’s be honest. So instead I leave you with a tantalising picture of what I will be sharing, when I return in a month.

This cake is a funny one. It has a really small amount of flour in it and I think as a result the batter ends up looking… really strange almost as if it has curdled. It all comes together perfectly in the oven though and it’s also a really delicate and moist. My cake came out pretty yellow because I used my grandma’s amazing free range eggs that can only be described as pure sunshine. Honestly, they make everything go bright yellow. What I’m trying to say is your cake may not be as bright and that’s just fine.

Anyway it won’t matter because you won’t be able to bake it yourself for another month! I really am sorry but time somehow got a little lost over the last week.

Ttfn, ta ta for now!


Barley is one of the worlds healthiest grains. It’s packed full of fibre and selenium, and is a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese. It’s one of the most produced cereals and is found in ancient cultures all over the world. It is used in the creation of beer, in salads, breakfasts, vegetarian burger patties and a whole lot more. Barley is a versatile grain and lends a delicious nutty flavour to any dish, or drink.

While cordial still has tonnes of sugar in it, what it doesn’t have on store bought cordials is colours, additives, flavourings and preservatives. You can take out all the white sugar and go straight raw sugar with a bit of light or dark muscovado, whatever combination you want to make you feel the least guilty. Please note that I have already heavily reduced the sugar content from the original recipe and I don’t know what reducing it further would do – it may not turn into a syrup like cordial.

I guess what I’m saying is you win some and you lose some, this is the better of two evils (sugar/ artificial rubbish they put in store bought food) and it’s supremely delicious, zesty and extremely refreshing. You only need about two tablespoons per big glass of cold water, adjusting for taste, but I find it to be best on the less concentrated side of things. It’s a really strong drink so don’t put too much in there!

The next cordial to make on my list, blackcurrant and lime.

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The season is upon us and I am totally unprepared for it. The last present was bought today, everything isn’t wrapped and I have only just managed to fit a bit of baking in. To top it off only two christmas cards got sent out and I highly doubt they are going to arrive on time.

I seriously don’t understand how anyone gets anything done whilst holding down a full time job. Add to that having to move out of our flat early due to ‘EQC repairs’ and at least ten hours worth of cleaning, visiting the dump and transporting large items between houses. Ten hours is being kind to the time it took for all of us to scrub down a flat that was dirty before we even moved in. I have come to learn how much I dislike bulk cleaning. Also how bad the dump smells. It was probably the least festive two days approaching Christmas but it’s soon here and I have managed to catch up with the times as best I can!

Mixed in with December are two family birthdays, this cheesecake actually featured in the second of those birthdays. I haven’t even had time to get the first cake to you. It’s a fantastic raspberry and white chocolate cake that I know everyone will want to try (the exciting twist is in the rosewater icing). It’s from The Caker up in Auckland and she is just something special. I couldn’t pass up her book on the recentish Click Monday Sale. While the book is reassuringly casual, and affordable, the cakes are magnificent. I can’t wait to try more. This cheesecake didn’t come from her book though, it’s a variation of my other cheesecake recipe.

While I love a great New York Cheesecake, sometimes, especially at this time of year, it’s a bit dense. The addition of mascarpone and sour cream lighten it up the texture so much. It has a really wonderful silken texture that goes really well with the super sweet butterscotch sauce. If the cheesecake was too dense it would all be a bit much, as a person with an underwhelming sweet tooth this is very much the case.

A perfectly dainty, impressive birthday cake (or dessert for your next potluck) for a positively non-dainty person. He loved it.

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ging ging1Everyone has the one baked ‘goodie’ that they always search for when they go out. The one item they can’t walk past and say no to. That one thing for me is ginger crunch. I have to try as soon as I see it on display. It’s something I can’t control, it happens, I accept it. The world keeps turning.

So far the best ginger crunch I’ve had is from a cafe called The Lotus Heart on St Asaph Street in Christchurch. It’s one massive slice of delicious, spicy ginger goodness with enough pistachios to satisfy any craving. I would highly recommend it if you live in, or are visiting, Christchurch. The other amazing thing about it is, it’s only $4.50. I have never seen ginger slice so cheap, so large, and so delicious at any other cafe.

With the slice fresh in my mind I really, really wanted to bake it myself. It didn’t come close but it was still exceptional. It’s different from The Lotus Heart but in a great way. It’s crunchy, buttery and melts in your mouth – basically a perfect shortbread. Topped with a thin layer of ginger icing and pistachios for good measure  I created a typical cafe slice (although it really is a lot better than most; I’m still dreaming of the original slice that started it all *sigh*) fit for mass consumption!

There are a few things I would love to experiment with. Firstly, brown sugar in the base instead of white. I think a half teaspoon of mixed spice would also be wonderful thrown into the base. Maple syrup would make a delicious substitute for golden and if you’re into crystallised ginger, chop some up and chuck it on top with your pistachios.

Or just go to The Lotus Heart, maybe I should see if they will give me their recipe….

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IMG_1808IMG_1819 This is by far the most different, unusual, delicious and moorish cake I have made yet. I’d say a huge factor is my deep love of cardamon, the aroma wafting through the kitchen whilst it was doing it’s thing in the oven was mouth watering. I love that this cake isn’t very sweet either with the total sugar count reaching half a cup of sugar and nothing else. It’s a little fantastic don’t you think? Especially when honey is supposed to be rather good for you.

My recommendation, experiment with different honey! Manuka, clover, bush, rata, there’s so much out there and it will most definitely affect the final flavour. Especially with the stronger tasting honey out there. If you’re not a fan of cardamon you could always substitute in cinnamon but please, please give this a go with the original spice first.

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IMG_1831 IMG_1823I just couldn’t resist. After making the no-bake peanut butter slice I knew I had discovered a huge section of unbaked goodies that I had yet to explore. A section I plan on expanding in the near future (Somehow no-bake treats become more and more appealing as Summer approaches. Maybe I just don’t want to make the kitchen hotter than it already is, maybe the heat is making me lazy.)

Either way, i’m loving the minimal dishes and no-fuss ‘whip it all together in a bowl’ attitude this category of baking flaunts. Did I mention a typically short ingredient list paired with an even shorter prep time? No wonder I’m in love.

While I would have loved to have posted a cake to me, it’s bad luck. That and I’ve been so busy making an entire week out of my birthday that I haven’t actually made anything this week… This lemon slice was made a couple of weeks ago that I never got around to posting so decided it would be a good one for a rainy day. Mum made me a most beautiful oasis pound cake (Coconut and pineapple) as well as a butterscotch no-bake (very on topic) cheesecake!! It was so delicious, creamy and smooth. A perfect way to end a perfect day #2 of my birthday week.

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IMG_1800IMG_1807 I can honestly say I never thought that tea leaves in baking would, or could, result in deliciousness. I was pretty wrong about that. The cookies have a delicious lemon flavour and then after a few seconds the tea starts to shine through. If you don’t like tea, or the caffeine that comes with them, you can always substitute it for a herb like rosemary or sage. That or have it without anything at all and I promise you it will still be delicious.

It would appear today is a lazy day, so you know what? This is me, over and out. Enjoy your tea in a cookie!

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