Author: kathyspurling

Roasted Strawberries Cakes


Cooked Strawberries adds a new element to a cake. Uncooked strawberries are full of moisture and this will often seep out and make the finished product, such as a cake too watery. Even strawberries that are seemingly tasteless can taste sweet once heat has been applied .Roasting strawberries makes delicious desert.

Simply cut washed strawberries into quarters, place on a baking tray.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and dust with icing sugar. Cook at 160c for approximately 30 minutes until cooked. The finished berries will be softened and be surrounded with a thick


Once cool I like to place a couple of strawberries on top of this cake mixture and bake at 160c for approximately 25 minutes.

The cake mixture is simply mixing 6 egg whites with 1/2 cup sr flour, 1 cup icing sugar, 1 cup almond meal , 175g melted butter, along with the grated rind of one lemon. The egg whites don’t need whipping so this is a very easy cake mixture. I like to make them in muffin or friand tins.

Tips for a better result are.

  1. room temperature egg whites are best
  2. grinding your own almonds will always taste better and fresher than shop bought almond meal
  3. Spray the inside of the muffin tray for easy removal of your cake

Jerusalem Artichokes


Yesterday I was out walking with good friend Stella.I met Stella when our two children started at kindergarten and feel lucky to have such a great friend, that also loves food and cooking.

Stella teaches at the local primary school, where they have a very fine vegetable patch. On our walk around our neighbourhood, Stella suggested we stop in at the primary school and have a look at what she described as a very strange vegetable.

Digging through the soil we turned up a great patch of Jerusalem Artichokes. They look like large pieces of ginger but are actually a tuber that are part of the sunflower family. I rarely see them at the supermarket, or even at market.

I think most people don’t know what they are or what to do with them !! Sadly they are delicious once cooked and make an excellent soup. The downside is that they take foreever to peel and it is peeling them today that reminds me how fidlly it can be !!!

My recommendation is to preserver and cook them with leek or onion , stock and make a delicious soup,or steam them and mash them like a potato.

Shanghai Noodles

images copy 12Zoe and I have been on holidays in Shanghai catching up with good friends Cheryl and Brad. I am always keen to seek out a new city and discover its eating habits and street food. My last visit to Beijing left me disappointed with the traditional Chinese foods, but this time Shanghai did not disappoint.

Whilst the weather wasn’t great , the local food was excellent. We enjoyed fabulous dumplings in local establishments and even Cheryl’s housekeeper put her hand to making her version, using beautiful fresh rolled pastry.

The highlight for me was the amazing noodles that were readily available and truly delicious. They are made fresh daily and simply melted in your mouth. I didn’t taste any rubbery noodles as is so often sold here in Australia.

Here is my recipe for one of my favourite noodle dish

Green Tea Noodles

500g packet green tea noodles

Cook noodles as instructed for about 4 minutes. Drain, wash in cold water.


4 spring onions, 100ml rice wine vinegar, 100 ml vegetable oil, 80 ml soy, 1 tspn instant dash dissolved in hot water, zest of 3 lemons, wasabi to taste.

Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss cooked and drained noodles in the dressing.

Serve with 2 tablespoon Japanese pickled ginger, 2 small avocado, 2 tspn wasabi, black sesame seeds.

Easy Pasta


Tonight Olivia asked for her favourite pasta, it was a dish of leftovers that combined the very simple ingredients of pumpkin, leek and cream, served with a good parmesan cheese.

Simply fry one leek that has been finely sliced, remember to wash the leek well as they hold quite a bit of sandy dirt. After the leek has been sautéed in butter and oil , add pumpkin, that has been cut into a small cube. cooking together this mixture will take a good eight minutes, testing to see if the pumpkin has softened.

I like to add a splash of verjuice for flavour, but you can skip this step. To this mixture pour in 300 mls of cream, thin cream would be fine. I then simmer this mixture for a few minutes until it all thickens slightly.

Don’t forget season with salt and pepper and serve on top of some fettucine and enjoy !!images copy 11

Easy Steamed Chocolate Pudding



I love to entertain but some times lack the time to pre prepare the food so am always on the lookout for something I can easily whip up with a few ingredients that are always in my pantry.

Those ingredients are Chocolate (mostly I try to hide this from my children !!!) , Coffee, Eggs and sugar.

It is easy to prepare, takes no time to make and is a delicious light desert that is beutifully matched with steamed fruit or fresh berries.

Simply melt 200g Chocolate with 100g castor sugar and 100ml espresso coffee in a double boiler or in a bowl sitting over simmering water.

Once melted beat in 4 egg yolks . Place into a small china cup or souffle mould with around 50 to 60  mls. Cover with baking paper or with foil.

Steam for around 30 minutes .



Flour less Orange Cake


Asked by a new friend for an easy cake recipe and my immediate reply was did she have a food processor ?

The Classic Claudia Roden flour less cake came to mind simply because it is so easy to make and yet delicious to eat.

There are a few variations about, namely instead of always cooking oranges you could substitute mandarin or even a lime.

If you don’t own a steamer simply boil 2 oranges for 2 hours ( covered in water) when cool cut whole fruit roughly removing the pips. ( the pips make it bitter)

Place chopped oranges along with 250 g castor sugar,250g almond meal , 1 tsp baking powder. Blend until smooth.

Place in a greased lined 24 cm tin at 170c fan forced oven for about 40 mins to 60 minutes.

Scrumptious Chocolate Cake

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?


Who does not love a great Chocolate cake. There are so many kinds – the delightful; chocolate brownie, the fudge chocolate cake, the mouse style chocolate cake and so on !!

In our workplace we generally make the cake for our fellow coworkers. I think the most popular choice is chocolate – there is something very satisfying about a good one.

One of our favourites is the Bourke Street Bakery Chocolate cake pictured above with chocolate chards and fresh raspberries.Here is a link for the recipe care of another blogger.


My Tips for making a great chocolate cake

1. Use good chocolate – most baking chocolate sold in supermarkets are made from animal fat and do not taste very nice. Use real chocolate – look for a cocoa content of 70%

2. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature – eggs and butter.

3. Older eggs will give better volume.

4. Be careful of your oven temperature and using a conventional oven will give this very rich cake a better baking result.

5. Dont be frightened of checking the cake throughout the cooking time.

6. Be careful not to un mould too early and ensure the tin in greased and the base covered in baking paper.