Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American followers. We don’t celebrate it out here in Australia, but it was a perfect excuse to make apple pie for dessert (after having the equally American dish of meatloaf for dinner).Yum yum.

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And all that baking was just too much for Pip!

Banana slice


I thought it was about time to try out my new camera on some food pics, and, with the weather being so unseasonally cold, this spiced banana slice were a perfect choice (plus we had one over-ripe banana – perfect!).

The recipe and orginal post can be found here.

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Orange and choc-chip muffins


These muffins are a Nigella recipe which I found in a back-issue of Delicious Magazine that we have lying around (but the recipe can also be found here, among other places).

I replaced the white choc-chips for dark, as that was all we had, but they’re just as delicious either way.

Makes 12

250g plain flour
50g fine cornmeal/polenta (not instant)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150g caster sugar
150g white chocolate chips
90ml vegetable or groundnut oil
1 large organic egg
200ml full-fat milK
1 orange, zest and juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Line a muffin tin with papers.
  2. Measure the flour, cornmeal, raising agents and sugar into a bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. In a measuring jug, mix together the vegetable oil, egg, milk and zest and juice of the orange.
  4. Pour the mixed liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon. A lumpy batter makes for a lighter muffin; in other words, do not overwork.
  5. Divide among the paper cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked, when a cake tester should come out dry.
  6. Let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes, before removing the muffins, in their papers, and eat warm.


Caramel Walnut Slice


This slice isn’t far off being the perfect sweet, chewy, old-fashioned-style slice. The recipe is also highly convenient, as while the base is part-cooking, you can make the topping.

Recipe from The Australian Woman’s Weekly cookbook The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits.


1/2 cupself-raising flour
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup castor sugar
60g (2 oz) butter



2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup coconut
90g (3 oz) walnut pieces
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Sift the flour into a bowl, add sugar and coconut, mix well. Melt the butter, add to the dry ingredients, mix well. Pressed the mixture into a greased/lined tin (28cm x 18cm according to the recipe, I used a 23cm x 23cm tin). Bake in the oven at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.



Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla with a fork. Add coconut, chopped walnuts, brown sugar and baking powder, mix well. Spread the mixture over the partly-cooked base, return to moderate oven and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is cooked. Cool in the tin; cut into squares or slices.



Banana White Choc Muffins



These muffins are the Banana Butterscotch Muffins from Nigella Express, but I’ve substituted the butterscotch chips for white choc. These muffins are incredibly easy to make and so very delicious, not to mention a great way to use up some over-ripe bananas.

Orginal recipe found here.


3 very ripe bananas
125 ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
250 grams plain flour
100 grams caster sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
150 grams  white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400°F and line a 12-bun muffin tin with muffin papers.
  2. Mash the bananas and set aside for a moment.
  3. Pour the oil into a jug and beat in the eggs.
  4. Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in the beaten-egg-and-oil mixture, followed by the mashed bananas.
  5. Fold in the white choc chips, then place equal quantities in the prepared muffin tin – I use an ice cream scoop and a spatula – and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.



Peanut Butter and Choc-Chip Biscuits



These biscuits are so moorish, it’s almost criminal. The recipe comes from the Australia Women’s Weekly Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits, the version of it we have was published around the time I was a baby (vis: over 20 years ago). The only alteration I’ve made to this recipe is adding in choc-chips. I had originally wanted to make normal choc-chip cookies, but since we didn’t have all the ingredients, I ended up making these beauties instead.

Makes about 30.

125g butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 castor sugar
1/3 peanut butter (I used smooth, I assume crunchy would work just as well)
1 1/4 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dark, but milk would work too)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Cream butter, vanilla, lemon rind, sugars and peanut butter. With a wooden spoon work in the flour, soda and salt, making a stiff dough.


Roll heaped teaspoonfuls into small balls and place on a lined/greased oven tray. Press the buscuits down with a fork, first crosswise and the lengthwise, for a crinkled effect.


Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on a rack until cool enough to pick up without burning fingers and mouths. Eat.


Banana Slice with Lemon Icing


This delicious banana slice is based on a recipe from the Nursing Mothers Association of Australia Cookbook. I’m not quite sure how we’ve got this cookbook, since it was published more than 15 years before I was born, but we do, and it’s a good one. It has so many great staple recipes. Some are a bit dated, the book being from the ’70’s and all, but a lot of the sweet things in particular haven’t aged a day. And besides, retro is cool.

For the slice:

1 ripe banana
60g butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar (brown or castor)
1 egg1 cup self-raising flour (plain or wholemeal)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup milk
1/4 chopped walnuts

For the icing:

15g butter or margarine
1 teaspoon hot water
3/4 – 1 cup icing sugar
Few drops of lemon essence OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice OR 1 tablespoon lemon curd

Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line/grease an 11″ x 7″ lamington tin.

Peel and mash the banana. Cream the butter and sugar, add the banana. Beat for two minutes. Add the egg, beat well. Add alternatively the milk with the flour and spices. Stir in the chopped nuts. Decant into the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked and slightly browned.

While cooking, make the icing. Melt the butter. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined.

Ice the slice while still warm.