Wednesday, 24 April 2013

ANZAC Cookies

With ANZAC day tomorrow I thought it would be appropriate to whip up some ANZAC cookies. These were one of my favourite cookies to bake as a kid. There was no waiting for butter to come to room temperature, no eggs, and no creaming of butter and sugar. I just wanted hot buttery cookies as soon as possible. 

For ANZAC's you simply gather your dry ingredients, mix up your wet ingredients and combine. They're that easy. Oh, and it's a bit of fun watching the syrup bubble up and fizz like a mini volcano when you add the bi-carb soda.

This particular recipe results in a chewy golden brown cookie with that desirable sweet salty bite from the addition of bi-carb soda. If you like crispy cookies just bake a little bit longer than recommended below. Remember to watch your cookies carefully towards the end of baking as they tend to burn very quickly and will continue to cook on the tray once removed from the oven. 

How do you like your cookies - soft and chewy or hard and crispy?

Recipe: ANZAC Cookies

Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine Dec/Jan 2013
Makes 13 large cookies
Oven Temp: 160°


2 cups rolled oats
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup golden syrup
125g butter
1 tsp bi-carb soda
2 tbsp boiling water

  1. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut.
  2. Place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan. Melt over low heat stirring occasionally.
  3. Combine bi-carb soda and water and stir into butter and syrup. The mixture will froth up quickly. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon mixture onto prepared trays and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes (for large cookies) or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the trays for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Ensure you give the cookies plenty of space on the tray as they tend to spread. 
  • I usually weigh all my ingredients but didn't in this case to keep things simple.
  • I used a 2" (5.5cm) cookie scoop to make 'large' cookies.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Apple Almond Spice Cake and Some Bundt Cake Tips and Tricks

The apple season is coming to an end at Old Farm New Farm with only some of the late season varieties still on the trees, namely red delicious and granny smith. I'd been ignoring the red delicious as they tend to be quite thick skinned and floury, and definitely my least favorite on the farm. However, on tasting a couple I was a bit surprised at how nice they actually were this season. They had quite an enjoyable mellow flavour and a notable almondy character. 

Though red delicious aren't traditionally a cooking apple I used them in this recipe as I was looking for an apple that was going to break down easily through the cooking process. And having already baked to many apple cakes this season I wanted a cake that wasn't immediately recognisable as apple and thought the lack of acidity in the red delicious would help hide the apple in this apple cake. 

Inspired by classic tea cakes I used cinnamon for spice and almond liquor to enhance the almond notes of the red delicious. The almond meal and grated apple added texture and moisture. The apple all but disappeared resulting in a cake with a very moist and delicate crumb. The most notable quote from the testers was 'Delicious!'.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

I've been a bit slow getting the momentum going on Old Farm New Farm, but there's a very good reason. There's a baby on the way. Oh and we're renovating a house as well. 

I'm about 38 weeks now and have finally decided to wind down and limit myself to light duties. So crafting it is. 

I had a go at my first quilt, a bassinet blanket. It was a bit spare of the moment but fell in love with the fabric on a recent trip to Spotlight.

 Can you tell we're having a girl?

Design features include two layers of wool wadding because I'm paranoid the baby's going to be cold coming into winter. I'm also putting a layer of wool over the mattress for extra warmth.

Mums been busy too, madly knitting. I've shared some of her creations below.

So the count downs on, who's gong to come first the baby or the new bathroom. My bet is on the baby, they tend to be unpredictable.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Farm Diary

The apple season is in full swing at Old Farm, New Farm and it's turning out to be a good one. The jonathans are ready for eating and walking around the orchard I can't but help myself to the windfall golden delicious. Still a while yet until the granny smiths come in to their own.

The late summer peaches are ripening daily and I already have a batch of peach jam stowed away in the cupboard. I don't think I used enough lemon juice though. There's just no acidity to cut through all the sugar.

I already have a few apple crumbles under my belt but I'm looking forward to experimenting with some new recipes. Here's some of my apple season inspiration:

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Winter Kitchen - Orange and Walnut Bundt Cake

Picking up a kilo of blood oranges at the market the other day I began what's fast becoming my annual marmalade madness. For me, spending three days carefully tending to orange quarters really pays off. I just can't get enough of marmalade!

I followed up the jam making with an orange cake. I remembered Coconut and Quinoa's method of incorporating whole, pureed oranges and reserved some of the cooked orange quarters for the cake. 

Incorporating the pureed orange resulted in a really moist melt in your mouth cake with intense orange flavour. The walnuts added nuttiness and texture. And the bundt tin, was just because I like bundts.

I'd love to hear your feedback if your trying the recipe. Let me know how it goes in a regular cake tin. I'm thinking the high moisture content might make for a slightly soggy center but see how you go.

Orange and Walnut Bundt Cake

125g Butter, room temperature
200g Sugar
1 Egg
150g Pureed Orange, method below
½ tsp Grated Lemon Rind
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
150g Plain Flour
2½ tsp Baking Powder
60g Walnuts, ground
½ cup Milk

Heat oven to 180°. Butter a 6 cup bundt tin and dust with flour.


In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high for 3 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat for 6-7 minutes until well and truly creamed. Add the vanilla, pureed orange and lemon rind and beat to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour baking powder and walnuts. Stir the flour mixture into the batter in three batches alternating with 1/4c milk after the first and second additions. Be careful not to over mix. The batter should be fairly stiff but still light and fluffy.

Transfer the batter into the bundt tin, spreading evenly and smoothing the surface. Bake for approx. 35min until a knife comes out cleanly but the cake still appears steamy and moist.

Method for pureed orange

'Method' is probably a bit misleading as I didn't really have one. The oranges were left over from the marmalade making process. In brief, I used blood orange quarters that had been steeped over night and simmered for 2 hours. By this stage the skins had become extremely soft with little flesh left at all. I blended about 150g with a stick blender until smooth.

If you wanted to make your oranges from scratch I would suggest simmering 2 quartered oranges for at least an hour. Once completely cool, carefully press oranges to remove some of the juice and blend.

Monday, 11 June 2012


It seems lately that I'm spending all my energy just trying to keep warm. It's a real winter this year and wetter than it's been in a while. But I'm making the most of it, using all this seasons winter vegetables in warming stews and soups.

The canning mum did back in summer is paying off. I've just started using the peaches (on everything). Last night was a simple peach crumble. I had the leftovers on my porridge for breakfast this morning - very nourishing on a cold winters day and slightly cheeky.

Spending some time in the garden also, cleaning up mainly preparing the ground for next season. Will also have to start my seedlings soon.

I'm going to finish my marmalade toast now and watch the fire crackle.

The dam at full capacity.