Granola for breakfast!

What’s not to love about Bill Granger? I came across his name when I was on holiday in Sydney earlier in the year. The recommendation came through from a colleague that I must *must* visit Bill’s in Surry Hills, for breakfast one morning.

Bill Granger is known for his modern twist on breakfast and brunch-food and excels in such dishes. While I was in Australia, I was lucky enough to enjoy a couple of bowlfuls of what is labeled on the menu as ‘Bill’s Granola’ – served with greek yoghurt and fruit compote, this was divine. I went back a few more times to enjoy the same meal.

Recently I was back over in Sydney and a visit to Bill’s in Surry Hills had become quite high on my list. Surry Hills is a delightful wee suburb, minutes on foot from the CBD and well worth the small trek especially in the early morning sunshine and fresh spring air. I went back for the granola again, and then later in the week tried the ricotta hotcakes, with banana, topped with a slice of honeycomb butter – this dish was also pretty exceptional and I could have done with a tub of the honeycomb butter to take home with me. I have since found the recipe online, and this will be appearing on my blog one day very soon.

When I eventually arrived home I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came across Bill’s granola recipe in a blog post written by the man himself, and couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen and make it…so here we are (with some of my own additions….).

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Granola for breakfast!
Serves 4

  • 100 grams jumbo porridge oats
  • 50 grams mixed seeds
  • 50 grams blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 50 grams pecans, roughly chopped
  • 25 grams desiccated coconut
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • Greek yoghurt, to serve
  • rhubarb, or a selection of berries

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all of the granola ingredients together. Tip out on to a lined baking sheet and spread out to form an even layer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times until the nuts are toasted and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Serve with rhubarb and thick Greek yoghurt. Enjoy!

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Late Summer Plum Cake


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My family love stone fruit, especially plums! I have wonderful memories of eating loads of fruit in the summer holidays as we traveled to our favourite holiday spots across New Zealand. Being one of three kids, we sat shoulder-to-shoulder, often sandwiched between pillows, or clothing, or nursing a picnic basket on our laps – maybe a fresh bag of plums Mum had picked up from a stall on the side of the road. My memories are endless.

When I came across this cake recipe by Helen Jackson a few months ago on Foodlovers, it only made sense to make it for my Mum on her birthday. I have this thing about people making their own birthday cakes – it just isn’t right to me.

I was pretty happy with the way this plum cake turned out. We served it, dusted with a light sprinkling of icing sugar, and a dollop of unsweetened yoghurt on the side. It is moist, tender, and wonderfully fruity. It has just the right amount of sweetness.

You can of course use any kind of plums to make this cake. Do note, if the plums are too ripe, they will turn a bit mushy while baking. If they are not ripe enough, they won’t soften enough to infuse the cake with their wonderful juices. Choose ripe plums that are still quite firm to touch.

Alternatively, you can make it with apples, nectarines or peaches!

Late Summer Plum Cake
Serves 12

  • 8 large plums
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 300 grams butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Slice the plums and toss with sugar in a bowl, set aside. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line a round cake tin with baking paper.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add milk, vanilla and then combined flour, almonds and baking powder, gently mix.

Spread batter evenly into cake tin and then cover the surface with sugared plums.
Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until cake tests cooked.  Serve fresh and almost warm with a dollop of yoghurt. Enjoy!

This is my entry for Sweet New Zealand. This month is hosted by Monica at Delissimon. Get along to her blog and check out all the mouthwatering recipes at the end of the month.

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Tramper’s Oat Slice

Don’t ask me why this recipe, which I found sandwiched between a few hundred pages of one of my Mum’s recipes books, is called Tramper’s Oat Slice. I suppose it is a bit like a homemade energy bar…maybe that’s why.

From the look of it, it was probably a recipe found in the Dominion Post a couple of years ago, and it has become a favourite in our household.  The blurb before the recipe says that the recipe was developed by Deb Baxter who owned a cafe in Blenheim. It’s a real sort of muesli, health bar and is quite tasty, and nutritious!

The addition of lemon juice and lemon rind really adds to the slice and gives it a great tangy flavour that comes through the oats and seeds. You can add as much dried fruit as you like – things like chopped apricots work well, alongside sultanas. This is the kind of slice that you can mix up, and change depending on what you might have lingering your pantry cupboard. Enjoy!

Tramper’s Oat Slice
Makes 40

  • 125 g butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated

Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees. Grease a sponge roll tin with a small amount of spray, and line with baking paper.

Place the butter in a bowl, add sugar, golden syrup. Beat until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat until well combined.

Add flour, baking powder, coconut, rolled oats, sultanas, apricots, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat until well combined.

Place in tin, and press down. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Slice up when the slice has cooled down a bit and store in an air tight container.

Stewed Feijoas

New Zealanders love feijoas and I’m not sure how true it is or not, but apparently it is the one fruit we most look forward to here in Aotearoa. The aroma and flavour of fresh feijoas is just unbeatable and best of all, they are packed with Vitamin C.

Feijoas are another one of those things (like many I blog about) that take me back to a particular time. The taste and smell of feijoas return me to when I am am 7 or 8 years old to Francis Drake Street in Waipukarau where my Nana lived. We would sit underneath her feijoa tree and eat a huge number, one after another, maybe 20-something in a row…skin and all. Although my sisters and I were in fruit heaven, I think my Nana was more concerned about the state of our tummies in the hours or days following.

Memories aside, they are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime in between. You can enjoy them fresh just scooped right out of their skin or enjoy them cooked, chopped, sliced or blended in so many combinations. Stewing feijoas is an excellent way to use up fruit that otherwise might go to waste. This makes a delicious dessert or is perfect cold over cereal for breakfast. Enjoy!

While you have feijoas on the mind, be sure to check out this amazing blog dedicated to feijoa recipes: Feijoa Feijoa. Brilliant.

Stewed Feijoas
Serves 2

  • 12 feijoas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water

Slice the feijoas in half and scoop out the insides of approximately 12 feijoas. If they are particularly large or you want more of a puree, feel free to cut them up a bit more.

Fill a pot with water and put on to the boil. Add a 1/2 cup of sugar (white or brown – doesn’t matter too much). Wait till the sugar dissolves and add the fruit. Simmer for about 10 minutes until fruit has softened.

Sour Cream Berry Cupcakes

Meet Ming. Ming makes cupcakes. Infact she makes cupcakes, cookies and savouries. I don’t know a lot else about Ming expect she is just an ordinary homebaker like you and I, who likes taking pictures of her baking.

What I do know is that I haven’t quite come across another baking site like hers that makes me drool quite as much as I do when I’m scrolling through this one. Her website is a documentation of a project to test, experiment and create new flavours of cupcakes and other delicious treats. Sounds like a perfect little life to me.

Although I discovered this wee beauty a while ago, I have only made this one so far and it sure is delicious! I definitely recommend.

On a side note, I finally got myself one of these! I can now decorate to my heart’s content and not worry about the little wee things getting squashed!

Sour Cream Berry Cupcakes
Makes 10

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 115 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)

For the icing:

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla and egg. Stir in the sour cream.  Add flour mixture.  Stir in the berries.  Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together until it goes nice and smooth and creamy. Slowly mix in the icing sugar and blend it till it’s really well combined and then throw in the lemon rind and the vanilla essence and give it another couple of stirs. Ice the cupcakes once cooled and if you like, you can top with additional berries or decorate with some white chocolate.


Banana Muffins

Muffins, muffins, what to write about muffins?

I personally think muffins are completely underrated. Or should I say, homemade muffins are completely underrated. My opinion of muffins is often tainted by the cafe or supermarket type – often too dry, too dense, too sweet…….I could go on. They really make you forget how incredibly moist and delicious a fresh, baked-from-scratch muffin can be.

A muffin recipe would have to be one of the easiest recipes to follow. So easy and often with very few ingredients, you can have these in the oven in 10 minutes flat. The greatest thing about this recipe is that the *best* banana aroma fills your house as they bake…

Banana Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Spray 12 cup muffin tray with cooking spray.
Sift flour into a bowl then add sugar, oil and milk. Mix well but do not beat. Add mashed bananas and fold through mixture. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden.

Spiced Apple Cake

Today’s short blog post is definitely a sure favourite in my family. This cake is super spicy with the sweet combination of cinnamon and brown sugar alongside fresh apple! Yummo.

 Spiced Apple Cake

For the cake:

  • 125g butter (melted)
  • 2 medium apples (grated)
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp salt

For the topping:

  • 25 grams of butter, melted
  • ½ a cup of rolled oats
  • ¼ of a cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I added a tad more!)

Melt butter in the microwave. Add grated apple, skin and all. Add sugar and egg and beat until well mixed. Stir in sifted ingredients, mix to dampen then turn into a square or round tin. I like to try and jazz things up where I can so I decorated the top of the cake mixture with a circle of overlapping apple slices.

To make topping, stir dry ingredients into melted butter. Sprinkle over cake. Bake at 180 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

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