Rhubarb Apple and Prune Cake

I spoke about this cake on 612 ABC with Kelly Higgins Devine. It is an easy cake to bake that is always well received. With the cooler weather coming you might enjoy it on a picnic or at home.

Some of the produce that comes with winter is on display at your local fruit shop or markets. Last time I went to my local markets I saw a fantastic bunch of rhubarb and of course I had to purchase it. When I returned to my kitchen I couldn’t wait to bake an old favourite of mine.

Here is the recipe for you to enjoy


Serves 6
150g butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
200g plain flour
1½ tsp vanilla sugar
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
25g butter
50g  brown sugar
2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
4-5 sticks (400g) rhubarb, cut into 12cm lengths
1 green granny smith apple cut into small pieces

6 pitted prunes cut into small pieces1 First, make the topping. In a saucepan, heat the butter, sugar and cinnamon. When bubbling slightly, add the rhubarb, apple and prunes and stew for a few minutes until completely coated. Take off the heat and leave to cool.2 To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.

3 In a bowl, sift the flour, salt, vanilla sugar and baking powder and fold in with the wet mixture. Line a 23cm-diameter baking dish with high sides (minimum 5cm) with baking paper. Add the batter and spread evenly. Carefully and evenly add  2/3 of the rhubarb apple and prune mixture on top.  The last third will be placed on top of the cake before serving

4 Bake in the oven at 180C  This can take anything from 35-45 minutes. Check with a skewer: if it comes out clean, it’s done. Leave to cool

This cake is great served warm with custard or ice cream.



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Apple and Honey Roasted Macadamia Cake

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The wonderful thing about this recipe is that the basic mixture can be used with any fruit or nut combination you care to think of. You could even add chocolate chips or sultanas, anything will work once you have the mixture in the pan.

My fruit bowl was looking a bit sad and really my choices were limited so I tossed in a few apples. Luckily I had purchased some macadamias and drizzled honey over and then roasted them, the day before. This made a great combination with the sliced apple.  Have you ever roasted your own macadamias? it is very easy just pop them on a tray with foil and then drizzle honey over them, as much or as little as you fancy. Then into a hot oven around 180C . Keep an eye on them because it is easy to burn nuts because of the high oil content. When they are golden bring them out and rest until cool

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125g of unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup of castor sugar

1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract.

1/2 cup of milk

2 free range eggs

11/2 cups of self raising flour

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

To this batter add two thinly sliced apples with the skin on and cored.

And as many honey roasted macadamias as you like.

(See instructions of how to roast in paragraph above)




Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a 22 cm round cake tin with baking paper and spray sides with a light oil.

Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix well with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Then add the eggs and milk and beat well. Fold in the flour and spoon this mixture into the tin.

Top with apple and macadamias or any other combination you would like to try and bake for one hour or until golden and tested when you insert a skewer and it comes out clean.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.

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Another great recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi

IMG_5529 pumpkinAt a time when cooking, cook books, restaurants and ingredients are so popular, when gadgets and gizmos are everywhere telling you how they will make our lives easier. It is easy to forget that there are two things that money can’t buy when it comes to making food taste amazing. Love and time. It can be love for the product, love for the person you are serving, love of cooking but there needs to be some feeling going into the preparation and you need time. It doesn’t matter how quickly you can cook a meal, it tastes better when you have set aside some time to prepare it. All over the world there are people who don’t consider themselves culinary geniuses taking time to prepare a nutritious meal for their loved ones. I know you all are yelling at me but I don’t have time!  The great thing is that you can build meals that will work for the week. Like if you make a spaghetti bolognese sauce one night it can be the lasagne sauce later in the week. If you roast these ginger tomatoes for this salad they will be wonderful with another meal later in the week so make sure you make plenty. Try thinking ahead and using the meals ingredients as building blocks. With this recipe the meal is great on its own or a side dish. Can even be eaten cold for lunch.


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Yotam Ottolenghi’s Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yogurt
Serves 4

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed (we call this butternut pumpkin)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
6 plum tomatoes, halved
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 small red chili, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup/120 grams plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 organic lime
Handful fresh corianer or basil leaves
2 tablespoons roasted, chopped cashews
1 tablespoon fried shallots, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 465 F/240 C. Cut the squash in 1-inch slices and toss with two tablespoons of the oil, two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large, parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden-brown. Set aside to cool.

2. Turn down the oven to 340 F/170 C. Put the tomato halves skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking tray, sprinkle with a quarter teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and roast for 80 minutes, until softened.

4. Put all the ingredients for the lime yoghurt in a small bowl, add half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, mix well and put in the fridge until ready to serve.

5. Spread out the squash on a large platter and arrange the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the yoghurt, sprinkle over the cilantro, cashews and shallots, if using, and serve.




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