I have moved

Dear Reader
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. I have moved on and my new blog is now called:

Please come and visit me there.
See you soon,



German Lebkuchen cookies - November Daring Bakers Challenge

Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

Oh, Peta gave us so many choices but I knew I had to make the German Lebkuchen (gingerbread) cookies. Lebkuchen is the ultimate Christmas memory to me and this recipe is beautiful soft and moist yet firm enough to cut out any shape you like. Perfect for Christmas baking with family and friends.

In Germany it's a beloved tradition to have friends over for some cookie baking (Plaetzchen) to devour them on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve. Also important is the table decoration consisting of a wreath with four candles marking the four Advent Sundays. On the first Sunday you'll light only one candle and then the second on the second Advent and so fourth.

It's such a nice welcoming of Christmas that I miss very much here in Sydney. I still have candles on the table but since it's summer it doesn't quite feel the same to me.

Anyway, baking is still fun even in summer and these gingerbread cookies are very scrumptious. 

85ml honey
115g dark brown sugar
30g butter
225g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, beaten
50g ground almonds
25g icing sugar sifted
2 tsp water 


In a large pan place the honey, sugar and butter. Put on a low heat until the butter and sugar have melted.  Remove from the heat. Sift together the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Beat the egg in a small dish. Add one half of the flour mixture and half of the egg to the pan and mix well. Repeat with the remaining flour and egg. Finally add in the ground almonds and mix till thoroughly combined. The dough now needs to be chilled, it is very sticky and will seem along way away from being a biscuit dough but don’t worry.

Place it in a plastic bag, an easy way of doing this is to fold a bag over the inside of a large jug and tip the dough in.
Chill overnight in the fridge, in fact you can leave this dough to develop it’s flavours in the fridge for up to three days.

Roll dough out between two sheets of greaseproof paper to approx 5mm thick. Preheat the oven to 160c Fan/180c/Gas Mark 4. Cut out shapes and lay them on a lined baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool for five minutes on the tray to firm up a little before carefully transferring to a cooling rack.

Mix up a runny icing glaze combining your sifted icing sugar with the water. Line up the lebkuchen on a wire rack. Using a pastry brush glaze the tops of the biscuits by brushing on a thin layer of icing.  Apply a second coat and leave to dry. The biscuits will keep for up to three weeks in an airtight container – that’s if you can resist eating them.


Pulled pork

Saturday was a day for comfort food, it drizzled all day and was somewhat cold compared to the nice warm days we already had.
My folks were out camping and I had a nice day of catching up with friends ahead of me. But oh, this weather, I needed something to cheer me up.

Being busy catching up I didn't have too much time fussing about in the kitchen but knew a friend would come over for dinner so I pulled out my slow cooker, bought a beautiful piece of free-range pork neck and let it simmer for six hours. It was the best pulled pork I've ever made so far. Juicy and tender, easy too shred and the sauce was divine!

I can't remember when I heard first of pulled pork but it's such an easy dish and so delicious. Very versatile too, mixed it through some green leaves and vegetables and have it as a warm salad, on rye bread with beetroot relish as an open sandwich, or as I did on the third day, make it into quesadillas. Yum!

Pulled pork sandwich with beetroot relish


Recipe for pulled pork:
1.5- 2kg pork shoulder (neck) roast
1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Stubb's)
½ cup cider white balsamic vinegar
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

1. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbecue sauce, vinegar and chicken broth. Stir in the brown sugar, mustard, cayenne pepper and garlic. 
2. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours.
3. Remove the roast from the slow cooker, shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and stir the meat into the juices.

For the beetroot relish:

2kg (about 5) fresh beetroot
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
21/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs

1. Trim and peel beetroot. Grate beetroot in a food processor using the grater disc (you can use a normal grater but with this amount of beetroot, you’ll be swearing).
2. Place beetroot, apple, vinegar, orange juice, sugar and cloves in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the rosemary. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 1 hour or until the mixture thickens slightly. Season with salt.
3. Remove the rosemary and discard. Spoon the hot relish into sterilised jars. Seal and invert for 2 minutes. Keeps 2 months in the fridge.



Blueberry friands with white chocolate

Blueberries are in such an abundance right now and we all love them. They are bursting with flavour and are so healthy. Beautiful in porridge for breakfast and also good for dessert and baking. I made the friands using white chocolate and ground almonds. Very yummy!



makes 22

1 cup plain flour
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 cup ground almonds 
100g white chocolate melts, melted
160g butter, melted, cooled
5 egg whites, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 punnet (125g) blueberries
Icing sugar, to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced.
Sift flour and icing sugar into a big bowl. Add ground almonds, melted chocolate, butter, egg whites and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Divide mixture evenly into friand patty cases, filling the case to 2/3. Sprinkle top with blueberries and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre of a friand comes out clean. Dust with icing sugar. Serve.