Passionfruit yogurt syrup cake

This recipe features in Julie Le Clerc’s Favourite Cakes book which is quite literally becoming one of my favourite cake books! I am keen to try this cake recipe with other fruit. I can see it working well with plums in the winter or maybe even feijoas right now!

Cake ingredients
1 cup rice bran oil
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain yoghurt (or passionfruit)
juice and finely grated zest of 2 lemons
pinch salt
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted


1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and flour one 20cm bundt cake tin.

2. Whisk oil and sugar together to combine. Whisk in eggs until mixture is creamy then stir in yoghurt, lemon juice and zest. Stir in flour until just mixed through. Try not to over mix at this stage or the batter will become heavy and the resulting cakes will be hard.

3. Spoon mixture into prepared tins and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

4. Remove to a rack to cool and serve drenched in passion fruit syrup.

Syrup ingredients and method
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 5-10 minutes until syrupy. Pour part of the hot syrup over cold cake and the rest into a jug to serve.


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Puffed quinoa, tahini, nut and honey bars

This recipe is adapted from Simon Byrant’s Vegies cookbook. This cookbook is full of delicious and nutritious meals which make vegetables the star of the dish rather than being an after thought. It also has some tasty sweet snacks. For this recipe I reduce the chocolate and sugar but I don’t think it suffers from it at all!


1 cup puffed quinoa
1/2 cup seaseme seeds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup hazelnuts (pre-toasted and shelled)
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 to 1 cup dried fruit – I like to use cranberries or diced apricots
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup LSA (ground linseed, sunflower and almond)
100g dark chocolate (optional)


1. Place all dry ingredients (minus the LSA) onto a baking tray into a preheated oven at 100 degrees celcius. Place the tahini and honey in separate ramekins also in the oven to soften. Warm everything for 30 minutes.
2. Transfer warm ingredients into a big bowl and add the warm liquids. Mix well and then add in the LSA and dried fruit.
3. Grease a baking tin used for slices – either square or rectangle will do and line with baking paper. Spread the mixture into the tin until it is about 1.5cm deep. Place in fridge for 20min.
4. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and melt chocolate in a bain marie or very carefully on a low heat for short periods of time in the microwave and set aside.
5. Bring the slice out of the fridge and cut into desired size. Spread the pieces out on a tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with the melted chocolate (optional).
6. Allow the chocolate to set (faster in the fridge), before popping the slice into a container in the fridge. Keeps well in the fridge for a week or so.

A tasty and healthy snack!


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Apple and olive oil cake with maple icing

This cake is simply stunning. It is a great recipe to have in your baking repertoire as you can make up the cake a few days in advance, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for the flavour to mature. Once you want to ice the cake simply take out, slice in half and smother in the maple icing. Delicious!


  • 80g sultanas
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 280g plain flour
  • ½ a teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ a teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 160g caster sugar
  • ½ a vanilla pod
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 bramley apples, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • 2 egg whites

Maple icing ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 85ml maple syrup
  • 220g cream cheese, at room temperature


  1. Grease a 20cm springform or loose bottom cake tin and line the bottom and sides of it with baking parchment. Heat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  2. Place the sultanas and water in a small saucepan and simmer on low heat until the water has been absorbed. Leave to cool.
  3. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
  4. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Mix the vanilla seeds, olive oil and sugar together with a electric whisk/food processor.
  5. Gradually add the eggs to create a smooth thick mix.
  6. Last of all add the diced apples, sultanas, and the lemon zest then lightly fold in the dry ingredients.
  7. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold these very gently into the main batter in 2 additions, trying to lose as little air as possible.
  8. Spoon batter into the lined tin, level it with a palette knife. Bake for an hour and a half or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Let it cool completely in the tin.

Icing method

  1. Beat together the butter, muscovado (or brown) sugar and maple syrup together until light and airy. Using an electric whisk or kitchen aid will help save some elbow grease here.
  2. Add the room temperature cream cheese and continue beating until thoroughly blended and smooth.


  1. Carefully cut the cake in half, horizontally, using a serrated knife.
  2. Spread a 1cm layer of icing over the bottom half of the cake.
  3. Carefully place the top half on top and spoon the rest of the icing on top of this.
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Roast honey ginger beer can chicken with noodle salad

Roasting a chicken on a beer can on my barbecue is my favourite way of cooking a whole bird. The Vietnamese inspired marinade gave great flavour, even though the skin was pretty charred. This would well as a marinade on chicken wings or drumsticks.



  • 1 free range chicken
  • 1 lemongrass stem, white part only, finely sliced
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Noodle salad

  • 1 head of brocolli
  • 3 bunches of bok choi
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 2 bunches of bean thread vermicelli
  • 4 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 bunch of Thai basil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds



  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients, rub over the chicken, especially under the skin
  2. Place the open grill plate in the center of the barbecue and heat to 170ºC
  3. Open a can of beer, drink a couple of mouth fills, place on the grill then insert the chicken on top
  4. Cook for 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pierced – I find with this method, the breast is the last to cook
  5. Once cooked, carve the chicken, making sure to keep the charred skin

Noodle salad

  1. Boil water in a steamer, then place the the brocolli florets, top with the steamer with the green leafy part of the bok choi
  2. Finely slice the stems of the bok choi and throw into a hot wok with some oil to soften
  3. Crush the garlic and add to the bok choi
  4. Dice the spring onion and add to the wok and turn off, toss around
  5. Add the bok choi and brocolli to the wok, reserving the boiling water
  6. Add the vermicelli to the reserved water and set aside for 3 minutes to soften
  7. Add the cooked vermicelli to the wok
  8. Add the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, chilli, basil and sesame seeds and toss through to combine

To serve, place a bed of the salad in a bowl, and top with the chicken

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Vegetable, lentil and quinoa burger patties

This is a variation on my previous mushroom, lentil and quinoa burger patties using what I had at the time and to show how versatile the recipe is. The aubergine and courgette give great flavour, and I liked the difference of the yellow lentils which I normally only use in soups and dahl.


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used a mix of white, red and black)
  • 1 cup cooked yellow lentils
  • 1 cup of barbecued slices of aubergine and courgette, minced up in a food processor
  • 1 brown onion, minced and fried in olive oil until coloured
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 4 Tbsp plain white flour


  1. Prep and cool all the ingredients, then combine in a large bowl and mix thoroughly
  2. Using your hands, grab small handfuls and shape into patties, then lay on a baking paper covered tray
  3. Place the tray into the fridge for 10-30 minutes to help set
  4. Fire up the barbecue, and cook for 3 minutes each side on a hot plate until lightly charred.
  5. Serve on burger buns with coriander yoghurt, sliced cheese, tomato and lettuce
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Coriander yoghurt dressing

90g Greek yoghurt
90g coriander leaves finely diced
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Combine ingredients, taste and serve.

So far I have had this with salmon, which I cooked in a bag with coriander root, and with vege burgers in place of mayo.

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Quick burger buns

I was wanting to make burgers when I got home tonight, but I did not have any buns, so I quickly whipped these up.


  • 1 Tbsp active yeast
  • 2 Tbsp rye starter (optional)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of strong white flour


  1. In a mixing bowl Combine the yeast, starter, water, oil and sugar in a bowl and let set for 5 minutes to activate
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix into a rough dough, then turn out and kneed for 10 minutes (or use a stand mixer)
  3. Divide the dough into 8 portions, roll each into balls and place onto a tray lined with baking paper, then rest for 30 minutes
  4. Place into an oven preheated to 220ºC for 10 minutes or golden brown, then turn out on a wire rack to cool
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