Cauliflower Cake a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi

You may remember in October when I went to a lunch hosted by Yotam Ottolenghi at Gerard’s Bistro. I know that I will never forget what an enjoyable afternoon it was. He is such a charming man in a time when charm seems harder and harder to find. I also admire his recipes and he has taught me a few great tricks as I have worked my way through from his cookbooks.

The poor maligned cauliflower seems to have problems convincing people about how delicious it is. Strange as I only have great memories, Morroccan roasted cauliflower with almonds is an all time favourite. This Cauliflower Cake from Yotam’s cook book Plenty More is a fantastic way to serve a meal without meat and packs into lunch boxes too.

Image 4I served mine with a lentil and lemon salad but any salad will do.



  • 1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1 1/4-inch/3-cm florets (1 pound/450 g)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled (6 ounce/170 g) ( I only had a white onion)
  • 5 tablespoons/75 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 7 eggs (scant 1 pound/440 g)
  • 1/2 cup/15 g basil leaves, chopped ( I used parsley instead)
  • 1 cup/120 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 ounces/150 g coarsely grated Parmesan or another mature cheese
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds

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Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

Cut 4 round slices off one end of the onion (each 1/4 inch/5 mm thick) and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with the oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk well, and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2-inch/24-cm spring-form cake pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter, then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the pan so that they stick to the sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set; a knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.

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Chicken Coriander and Sesame Seed Meatballs

IMG_2551Welcome to 2015! After a lovely long break from Everydaycook I am back with new recipes and more stories to share with you. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas holidays and cooked up some amazing meals to share with family and loved ones.

I enjoyed a quieter Christmas this year with my parents and my family. We have our first wedding in March, my eldest daughter is marrying her long time partner. Therefore we thought it better to have a  quiet time before all this excitement.  Moments like these make you stop and think about your life and how lucky you are to celebrate the marriage of your daughter.

I am also trying to look my best so I have been making nice light healthy meals. This chicken coriander and sesame seed recipe is one of my latest summer meals. It is great served with flat bread and a big salad. Left overs are great in sandwiches or with a salad the next day.

IMG_2546I found this recipe in a Marie Claire cookbook and made a few changes.



500 grams of minced free range chicken

4 spring onions chopped thinly

25 grams of fresh coriander chopped

11/2 teaspoons of sea salt

11/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

finely grated zest of 3 limes

finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce

Tahini dressing

1/2 cup of tahini

1 tablespoon of lime juice

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper.


Preheat the oven 180C and line a tray with baking paper.

Put the chicken mince, spring onion, coriander, lime zest and all the ingredients except the sesame seeds into a bowl and mix really well.

Roll the mixture into walnut size balls and then roll them in the sesame seeds until well coated.

Place them on the prepared tray and sprinkle a little sesame oil over them all.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

For the tahini sauce just mix all the ingredients together and serve with the chicken meatballs and flat bread.



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Vanilla Naked Cake with Berries and Cherries

IMG_5921To celebrate that our Mother was turning 80, I decided to have a party with some of her friends. In all twenty eight guests arrived, some had known Shirley since she was a little girl and others were more recent friends. All her children were there, my brother and his wife from Florida and my sister and my niece flew in from Perth. Even one of Mum’s cousins had flown in from New Zealand and my dear school friend came in from Sydney. Of course I catered for the party so there was a lot going on in my kitchen that week but my favourite item was the cake! I made a double layered Vanilla Yoghurt Cake with Philadelphia cream cheese icing and decorated it with fresh berries, cherries and tiny roses. It brought sighs from the guests and Shirley was delighted. Isn’t that what a birthday cake is meant to do? The best news about these cakes are that they are quite easy to put together so I’m sharing the recipe with you. Perhaps you have a loved one with a birthday soon?

IMG_5831Vanilla Yoghurt Cake


1 cup canola oil
1  cup caster sugar
3 free range eggs
1 cup full fat vanilla yoghurt
1 teaspoon of real Vanilla Essence
3 cups self-raising flour


Two packets of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and half a cup of icing sugar mixture.

Method for Cake

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin. (I made two of these).

Whisk together the vegetable oil and caster sugar in a mixer or with a hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk again. Then mix in the yoghurt and vanilla essence. Fold through the flour like you would with a muffin mix – a little lumpy is OK so don’t over mix. Then pour into the prepared cake tin.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven or until cooked through.


Just place the cream cheese and icing sugar in a blender and whisk until thoroughly mixed.

To decorate the cake place the cake on a platter and then spread a good layer of the cream cheese icing on top. This can be followed by another layer if you are making a large cake.

Ask your florist for some edible roses, not that guests will eat them but so that the cake is safe to eat. Sprinkle alternate berries, cherries and heads of roses and then shake icing sugar over the whole cake. Poke a few berries and roses in between the two layers into the icing.


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