Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

This is the latest version of a much varied recipe… the original goal was to make real gingernut biscuits, and then inspired by Hilary that idea was eclipsed by the desire to get as much ginger into a cookie as possible. Buy the freshest ground ginger you can get, spice shops and markets are your best bet. If you can only get hold of the supermarket stuff increase amounts to compensate.

I often make these gluten free and lactose free, just use direct substitution of nuttelex for butter, gluten free flour for real flour etc. They taste pretty much identical gluten and lactose free.

3/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
2-5 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cacao
100g dark chocolate
small bag of crystallised ginger

Preheat oven on moderate heat.
Cream butter and sugar, whisk in eggs and milk. Sift dry ingredients into bowl and mix well. Break up chocolate, roughly chop crystallised ginger up and fold through.
Drop large dessert spoons of mixture onto trays lined with baking paper and place in oven for 10-15 minutes. They should still be a little soft when done.

Use a metal spatula to transfer onto wire cooling rack, cool, EAT!

Use golden syrup in place of milk.
Omit dark chocolate and cacao and increase amounts of ginger used.
Increase the amount of ginger used, by many many times. 😉


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Ricotta Hotcakes

This is from a Donna Hayes recipe that I cut out of the Age years ago, it’s been a standby of mine ever since. A lot of her recipes tend to be a little bland for my tastes, but this one is an exception. Like, an exceptional exception.


1/2 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
200g ricotta

Mix sugar, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla together and sift in flour.
In a second bowl whisk egg whites till peaks form or whenever your arms give out.
Gently fold in egg whites and crumbled ricotta.

On a medium heat, melt a little butter in a heavy bottomed frypan. Spoon in two to three hotcakes, they should be fairly fat, but not so thick you can’t cook them through. Turn once and pile on a plate. A little butter between each hot cake will keep them tasty and good while you fry up the rest.

Serve with ice cream, maple syrup, more butter, raspberries and basically anything you can think of that’s yum.

Eat ’em.

Serves three hungry people, more if well behaved.

Notes: If you’re feeling lazy you can just put the eggs in whole and skip the whisking malarkey entirely, they are basically fluffy clouds of joy if you do however, so give it a go.

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2 lemons
4-5 tbsp caster sugar
½ tbsp rosewater
a few sprigs of mint, slightly crushed
ice cubes

Put the kettle on to boil and while you wait, juice the lemons. Put the sugar in a
small jug and pour over about a 1/4 cup of hot water, stir till dissolved. Add ice
cubes, mint, rosewater, lemon juice and enough cold water to make about 1 ltr.
Decant into a bottle with a good seal and put it in your picnic basket!

Vary the amounts according to taste; less sugar will bring out the sharpness of the lemon, more will soften it.
Some people like to strain the lemon juice through a little tea strainer to exclude seeds and pulp. I like the bits though and leave them in.

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In making Grapefruit Marmalade I cut a little too much grapefruit up and wondered what to do with it… and this was my answer. Tart little Grapefruit cupcakes.

1 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of grapefruit juice and finely diced rind
3 eggs
2 cups gluten free self raising flour

Melt butter slightly by placing bowl in sink of hot water. Beat in sugar, eggs and grapefruit. Then gently mix in flour.

Line cupcake trays with paper cases and fill with batter.

Place in medium-hot oven untill done. Turn oven down if they are browning too rapidly, up if they are not browning at all.


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Grapefruit Marmalade

I found this recipe printed on the back of some recycled copier paper when I was in first year university. You can use virtually any citrus fruit, and you can even do it with plums if you add a bit of lemon juice.

You will need:
An equal volume of white sugar

Glass jars with matching metal lids

Finely slice the rind and pith of half of the grapefruits, peel the rest and roughly chop up the flesh, discarding seeds and any woody parts of the fruit. Do this over a plate to retain the juice.

Place in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Simmer until the peel is soft and slightly clear. Remember that once you add the sugar the peel will not become any softer. So don’t rush.

Add in as much sugar as you have fruit, and stir well. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Now sterilise the jars. Wash them in warm soapy water then place into a large deep pot full of boiling water.Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then drain and place on a clean teatowl or wooden chopping board to dry (the hot jars can crack if placed on a cold surface.)

There are a number of rather more reliable methods to sterilise jars, this is the method I use at home though. Use at own risk.

Now check the jam. Drizzle some of the liquid into a saucer and place in the fridge till cool. If it turns to jam you’re done, if not, keep simmering.

Decant the jam into jars and seal, wiping any drips from the sides.

And there you are, jam!Apparently this jar is from France, fancy.

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This is my version of red bean porridge or shiruko.

adzuki beans
3 corms star anise
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon white sugar

Soak the adzuki beans in water overnight.

Rinse and measure how much adzuki beans you have, add water at about a 3:1 ratio and bring to the boil uncovered at a high heat.

Add star anise and cover. Simmer on low until beans start to fall apart slightly.

Drain off excess water, crush beans up and add coconut milk. Stir over medium heat till bubbling.

Serve with a little sugar and a cup of milky tea.

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For Lucy Luna and Sarah Seahorse, birthday girls extraordinaire.

1 cup tapioca pearls
7 cups water

½ cups caster sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup boiling water

6 tbls cocoa powder
3 tbls coconut extract
1 tbls syrup


2 cups boiling water
4 tea bags of rooibos tea


Bring water to boil and rinse pearl, when water reaches a rolling boil add the pearl and cover. Leave for 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Whilst waiting, prepare the syrup, tea and paste.
For syrup: Add both kinds of sugar to one cup of boiled water and stir till dissolved over medium heat, do not allow to boil.
For paste: Mix cocoa powder, coconut extract and a little syrup together to make a runny paste.
Prepare the tea.
Remove pearl from heat and let sit covered for 13 minutes. Rinse in warm water and drain. Pour syrup over the tapioca pearls and refrigerate till cool.
Once the tea is sufficiently steeped, refrigerate this also.

To serve:
Spoon about a tablespoon of paste into each glass and pour in a little tea, stir till dissolved. Add ice, desired amount of tapioca pearls, syrup, a shot of vodka and top with chilled tea.

Drink with a large straw.

Serves 4.

Other ideas:

There are lots of different kinds of bubble tea, I got the basic idea for this recipe (an adaption of Lucy and Angies favorite Bubble Cup flavour) from here and here.
With the addition of coffee this would really be ‘cocoa mocha nut’, but I’m just not brave enough to mix instant coffee into the paste…
You can also add agar jelly, which is simple to make. Pre-mixed packets of it can be found at most Asian grocers in a range of nifty flavours, the instructions vary depending on which one you purchase but are usually in English/Engrish.
You can also make pretend alcoholic bubble tea by mixing aloe vera juice, cubes of agar jelly, wedges of lime, some ice and the spirit of your choice. Sarah may remember this from the last time we went camping…

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