Cakes, Community, Food

Recipe – Lemon Madeira Excellence

Lemon Madeira Cake Recipe


220g butter

3/4 cup caster sugar

zest of  lemons

3 eggs

1  1/3 cup Self Raising flour; then make up to 2 cups with Plain flour

1/4 cup lemon juice

some additional sugar, (extra)


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer
  2. Add lemon zest and eggs  mixing well after each addition
  3. Stir in flours and lemon juice gently till evenly mixed
  4. Spoon into a greased and lined 23cm x 13cm x 7 cm loaf tin
  5. Top unbaked loaf with additional caster sugar
  6. Bake for 1 hour  at 150 degrees celsius. (30 mins for small loaf pans)
  7. Allow to cool in tin before removing
  8. Dust with Icing sugar to serve

Something to Ponder About

Cakes, Community, Food

12 Days of Christmas – Danish Pebernødder

Another Christmas recipe from the wonderful blog of My Danish Kitchen.

I tried this recipe the morning. Apart from the usual problem of getting biscuits to brown in this new oven, I altered the recipe by adding some perlsukker ( pearl sugar chips) on the top for my husband who has both a sweet tooth and an aversion to edible items not previously seen! I think I am on a winner.

Here is the fruit of my efforts:


Cakes, Community, Food

Kitchen tip of the Week

Flour Power


If you have forgotten to label your containers of white flour, don’t worry.

Put a teaspoon from each container into a cup of water.

Self-Raising flour will bubble to the surface and plain flour will not.  (Self raising flour is plain flour with baking powder added)

Cakes, Community, Food

Carrot and Pineapple Cake – Healthy but Sweet

The recipe I use originally came from a Vegetarian restaurant that closed down long ago. I follow the basic recipe, except for a few minor additions, and, for many years, I was using raw unrefined sugar, and this creates a denser moister cake. In doing that, it was necessary to line the cake tin, and cook the cake for longer. I found the edges would sometimes over-brown and cook faster than the centre, so I now use refined white sugar (the white death!), however, the results for this recipe are much better. Note that the pineapple must be well drained, otherwise it will be a very moist cake. You have been warned!

Carrot and Pineapple Cake
Carrot and Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing


1 Cup Grated Carrot

1 Cup Wholemeal Plain Flour

1 Teaspoon (tsp)Baking Powder

3/4 Tsp Bicarb Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Nutmeg

3/4 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

5 Tablespoons Oil

1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts

400 g Tin Crushed Pineapple, well drained

(if you haven’t got access to crushed pineapple, blitz pineapple slices in the food processor till chopped finely)

For the Icing:

3 Tablespoons Butter

3 Tablespoons cream cheese

250 g Icing sugar

2 Teaspoons grated Lemon RindCarrot Cake


1. Mix all the dry ingredients together, making sure that there are no lumps of soda or baking powder.

2. Add all the wet ingredients and the carrot, mix well.

3. Pour into a greased and lined loaf or round tin.

4. Bake at 180° for 40 – 45 minutes

5. Meanwhile, make the icing and beat together the butter and cream cheese, then beat in the icing sugar, lemon rind and vanilla.

6. When the cake is cool, swirl the icing over the top of the cake, decorate with a few chopped walnuts and serve.

Healthy but sweet, something I should ponder more over.

Cakes, Community, Food

Chocolate Brownies – so Quick and Easy ‘No-Nuts’ Recipe

This is a very easy recipe,  one you really can’t muck it up, even if you add the ingredients together in the wrong order. It takes around an hour from start to finish, including time for cooling out of the oven.

No icing is required and the kids and parents at the Playgroup gobbled it up furiously. A good sign, no doubt. It is even a recipe children could make so very easily. In fact, next time I will make it AT playgroup!



125 g butter, melted

1 1/2 cups caster sugar, (or fine white sugar)

1/2 cup cocoa

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup Plain All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking powder

1 cup White Choc bits


Pre- heat oven 170 degrees celsius or equivalent, and grease and / or line a lamington tray 8″ x 10″ with baking paper.

1. Melt the butter (I use the microwave on med high for 1 minute or so)

2. Combine the castor sugar and cocoa and salt in a large bowl

3. Add the eggs and vanilla together and add to sugar and cocoa mix.

4. Stir in the melted butter, (which by now has cooled a little and won’t cook the eggs!)

5. Fold through the combined flour and baking powder, and finally the choc bits.

6. Spread into the lamington / slice pan evenly.

7. Bake 170°  for 25 – 30 minutes.

8. Cool a little and slice into rectangles for serving.

The best thing is this slice is sweet enough, there is no need whatsoever to ice it, however, a dusting of vanilla sugar looks divine for presentation purposes. ( and no nuts, so great for kids with allergies!) Something for those with a sweet tooth to ponder about.

Cakes, Food

Swedish sandwich cake – Healthy, delicious and Decorative food.

A reblog from

Tuna and egg sandwich cake (Smörgåstårta aka võileivatort)

Sandwich cakes / Kaks võileivatorti2

Although it’s Sweden that is most famous for its sandwich cake – smörgåstårta – sandwich cakes aka  võileivatordid have been popular in Estonia for a few decades now. We celebrated our older kids birthday parties last weekend – our daughter turned 4 and our son 2 in January, and I made three sandwich cakes for the occasion. One with ham and egg filling, using dark rye bread and decorated with small cheese-filled ham rolls. The other was with tuna and egg filling, using light wholegrain bread and garnished with strips of cucumber and egg.

Here’s the recipe for the latter. It’s incredibly easy to make, and tastes like one big nice tuna sandwich. As with all sandwich cakes, it’s best made a day before, but garnished just before serving. I’ve made it with dark rye bread previously, but prefer making it with sliced wholegrain bread these days.

You’re welcome to follow my Sandwich cake Pinterest board (there are some great ideas for decorating sandwich cakes) or check out the relevant topic on my Estonian site (võileivatordid ja nende kaunistamine).
Smörgåstårta is a savoury Swedish party cake
Tuna and Egg Sandwich Cake
(Maitsev ja mahlane tuunikalatort)
Serves 12 to 18
Original idea: Pereköök, November 2000 (adapted over the years)

Tuna sandwich cake / Tuunikalatort / Tuunikala-võileivatort2
24 square slices of (wholemeal) toast bread

2 canned tuna chunks in brine or oil, drained
1 medium-sized leek, white and pale green parts only
2 hard-boiled eggs
200 g good-quality mayonnaise (I use Jaani)
150 g sour cream, smetana or creme fraiche
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To cover:
about 150 g mayonnaise or a mix of mayonnaise and sour cream

To decorate:
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 green cucumber
salad leaves or finely chopped fresh parsley

Cut the leek half lengthwise, rinse, if necessary, to get rid of any dirt. Cut into thin slices. Crush the tuna with a fork, chop the egg finely or use the coarse grater. Mix the eggs, leeks and tuna.
Add the mayonnaise and sour cream, season with salt and pepper to taste. You’re aiming for a well-seasoned and moist sandwich filling here – add more sour cream or mayonnaise, if your filling seems to dry.

(You can remove the crusts from your bread slices for a neater finish. I almost never do.)

Place 6 bread slices on your serving tray, neatly next to each other. Spoon half of the tuna and egg filling on top. Then cover with another 6 bread slices, the rest of the tuna and egg filling and the final six bread slices.

That’s how easy it is 🙂

Now cover the sandwich cake with cling film and place into the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, spread some mayonnaise on top and on the sides of the cake. Cover the sides with finely chopped parsley or some salad leaves.

For the topping, I prefer thin strips of coarsely grated cucumbers, egg whites and egg yolks, but it’s really up to you.


More Sandwich cake ideas, and the Recipe for Skagen mix, is found here:

Cakes, Food

Blueberry Muffins with Brown sugar

Blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries
Blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries

We must take advantage of blueberries when they are in season, and if you live in my corner of Australia, that is right now. They are cheap as chips and so good for you, protecting against diseases and ageing, as well as helping to metabolise carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which is excellent if you are wanting to loose weight. See below:

Thus, I will share with you my recipe using brown sugar and a little butter. Nutritious, easy on the waistline, simple and quick to make, and very few dishes to wash up. That is the kind of recipe I like to ponder about.


2 cups Plain flour ( this means general all purpose flour)blog pictures 002

3 teaspoons of Baking powder

3 Tablespoons of Brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup ( 55 grams) melted butter

1 punnet fresh blueberries (that is around 125 g)

1 tablespoon brown sugar, (extra)blog pictures 004


Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.

Melt butter in separate bowl, let cool slightly, then add milk and egg and mix well.

Add wet and dry ingredients together and stir gently for 30 seconds, or until well mixed.

Gently fold in blueberries. Don’t fuss too much. You don’t want to smash them like at Cold Rock.

Fill muffin cases 2/3 with mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of each muffin and press down lightly.

A 12 muffin baking tray requires a moderate oven (190 degrees) for 12 – 15 minutes.

Test them close to the end of the cooking time to see if they bounce back when lightly pressed.

This is a good sign to say that they are cooked through.

Enjoy with a dob of sour cream or cream. ( if you are not counting calories, or course)

Makes 12 Muffins

blog pictures 005

Blueberries nutrition facts


Sweet, juicy blueberries are rich in pro-anthocyanin natural pigment anti-oxidants.

These tiny, round blue-purple berries have long been attributed to the longevity

and wellness of indigenous natives living in the subarctic regions in the Northern hemisphere.

  • Blueberries are very low in calories. 100 g fresh berries provide only 57 calories. However, they possess notable health benefiting plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness.
  • Blueberries are among the highest anti-oxidant value fruits. In addition, these berries have other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotene-β, lutein and zea-xanthin.
  • Altogether, the phyto-chemical compounds in the blueberry help rid off harmful oxygen-derived free radicals from the body, and thereby, protect the human body against cancers, aging, degenerative diseases, and infections.
  • Further, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus condition.
  • Fresh berries contain a small amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. Altogether these vitamins work as potent anti-oxidants, which help limit free radical mediated injury to the body.
  • The berries also contain a small amount of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  • Furthermore, they contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.