Pumpkin and Blueberry Tart


Yet another tart from my kitchen combining the autumnal goodness of cinnamon, oats and pumpkin ๐Ÿ˜€ (the other one is here)


The addition of blueberries made a nice fruity match, and I’m sure cranberries or boysenberries would do just the same ๐Ÿ™‚ The texture of the filling is quite thick and almost fudgy; I haven’t had an authentic pumpkin pie yet so I’m still learning. I made my own ground oats for the tart crust using the food processor; I don’t think you could just substitute oat flour as it wasn’t quite fine enough. It doesn’t take too long anyway, and then you just add all the rest of the crust ingredients into the processor after! It’s amazing served with yogurt, but cream or ice cream would do the trick too.


Pumpkin and Blueberry Tart
3 cups oats (2 cups oat flour in the end)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cardamom
100g butter, cold
1 cup blueberries
1/2 tin condensed milk
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 eggs
2 cups plain pumpkin puree

In a food processor, whizz up the oats until quite fine, like ground almonds. Measure out two cups of it and pulse with the brown sugar and spices to combine. Chop the butter into little cubes and pulse with the oats until the butter is dispersed and the mixture begins to clump. Press the mixture into a 30x10cm tart tin, and freeze for about 20 minutes.

Heat the blueberries until they are thick and syrupy, then chill until cool completely.ย Preheat the oven in the meanwhile, to 170 degrees Celsius. Whisk together the filling ingredients apart from the blueberries. Spread most of the blueberry mixture into the bottom of the tart crust. Spread the pumpkin filling on top and then drizzle some blueberry compote on top and swirl. Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool in the tin. Serve with some blueberry compote and yogurt.



Oven-Less Mille Feuille {using a Sandwich Press}


Once again, the sandwich press proves its worth… I’m not sure if you have one on hand, but in New Zealand it isย more likely than not that you will find a sandwich press in any household or workplace than not. There are of course multiple variations on this indispensable appliance, and my one used here has grill-shaped irons. You could easily use a press with flat irons ๐Ÿ™‚

How to make it?
Oven-Less Mille Feuille {using a Sandwich Press}
Simplyย grease your iron,ย thenย cook puff pastry until golden. Cool.
The next bit is up to you; what to fill it with. I used a whipped chocolate ganache. You an use whipped cream, cheesecake filling… custard… I also used blueberries and dried cranberries to decorate. Cut your puff pastry into three-four even size layers. Fill with some sort of cream filling and any other goodies. Chill for about 30 minutes.ย Don’t leave it too long, it gets soggy ๐Ÿ™‚ย 


The combinations of flavours are endless… I recommend googling a recipe for inspiration and drawing from those flavours ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been a busy week, so just a quick recipe to keep you in the swing of baking!


Vegan Coconut Custard and Apricot Parfaits



When breakfast looks this good…. you know the day is off to a good start ๐Ÿ™‚



I am no longer fully vegan now, I did a month as a trial and whilst I learned a lot, I’m not quite ready to go there yet. But hey, who knows what the future holds? Anyway, this was one of my experiments, one which actually worked for once….


It’s super easy, makes a delicious breakfast or dessert and you can change up the fruits and garnishes easy-peasy ๐Ÿ™‚ Custard and berries…….

Vegan Coconut Custard and Apricot Parfaits
3/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup coconut cream
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
To assemble:
Fresh or dried apricots
Coconut threads
Pine Nuts, toasted if you like

Gently heat the soy milk, coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla essence until bubbling around the edges. In a bowl, mix a little bit of the heated mixture with the cornflour until a smooth paste forms, then add back to the liquid and continue to heat over very low heat, stirring continuously. When nice and thick, pour into a bowl and cool.

To assemble, layer the custard and apricots into wine or dessert glasses (or cute jars, the limits are endless!) and top with coconut threads (toasted are nice) and pine nuts. Serve and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Makes 8 small servings but would serve 4 for dessert.


Make some crumble!


Probably the easiest dessert ever! Which is good for a hectic week ๐Ÿ™‚ There are no specific measurements but none are needed! Featured here is apple and blackberry. This can be vegan or gluten free too!


Fruit Crumble Recipe


Fruit, any random, fresh or frozen!

Butter or coconut oil

Honey/any sugar/maple syrup

Spices or vanilla

Oats/any flour/coconut/seeds/nuts


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Put all the fruit in an oven dish.

Soften or melt some butter or coconut oil and mix in some of the sweet ingredients and mix in some spices. Keep adding oats/flour etc until you have a crumbly mixture and sprinkle it on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes until golden!

Apple-Oat Dessert Cake (Vegan!)


Just a quick wee recipe to get you through the week! If it is fall/autumn in your area of the world, then these apples will be a hit, I’m sure ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus it’s all one bowl! In half an hour, you can have morning or afternoon tea on the table. I had mine with some leftover caramel sauce (use coconut cream instead of cream if you are making vegan caramel sauce).


Have a good week everyone! ๐Ÿ˜€
Vegan Apple Dessert Cake
250g wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
100g brown sugar
210g apple, chopped
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup water
1 Tbsp oats to top

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 20cm square baking tin.

In a large bowl, mix in the flour, baking powder and baking soda, ginger and sugar, followed by the apples. Make a well in he middle and mix in the vinegar, oil and water until all combined. Pour into the tin and top with some oats, Bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out with only a few crumbs.

Cut and enjoy!


Divine Sweet Vanilla Risotto with Red Fruits and Cinnamon

I present to you your next dessert or breakfast. It is delicious as either. Or maybe lunch, a snack, up to you!


I had one in a cafe and was determined to recreate it at home. For once I think I did it better……..



I have never tried or made rice pudding so I can’t compare then but I have a feeling they are similar. Also it is gluten free, which makes it a good alternative to porridge. I’d have it any day! I admit we were a bit lazy and used plums and berries that were already poached but you can use any fruit, fresh or cooked. I have a lot of ideas for sweet risottos now!


It is a bit of a labour love but I found it doesn’t take as long as a savoury risotto so bonus! It’s worth the try at least once ๐Ÿ™‚ Here is the recipe:

Divine Sweet Vanilla Risotto with Red Fruits and Cinnamon
About 2 cups milk
1/4 cup (or so) of sugar
1 cup risotto rice
Vanilla paste or essence
Knob of butter/margarine
To top:
Poached red fruits like berries and plums
Some cinnamon

In a medium sauce pan, gently heat about one cup of the milk with the sugar and vanilla until the sugar has dissolved. Add all of the rice and start mixing/ massaging the rice over the low heat. The rice will begin to plump up and absorb the delicious vanilla-scented milk. When the milk has almost been absorbed, add some more and keep stirring. After about 25-30 minutes, taste it to see how the rice is cooked. If it’s still too raw for your liking, keep adding milk until it is perfect. When it is done (you may like it firm to the bite or super creamy), take it off the heat and mix in the butter/margarine. Get out those plates and serve the risotto into it. Pour some fruits on top and dust with cinnamon!

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Makes about 4 servings and it lasts well in the fridge, you can heat it up the next day.


Kiwifruit Meringue Tartlets for Two!



Kitchen=endless possibilities=dessert for breakfast! Why not? Kiwifruit has tonnes of Vitamin C so it’s got some health benefits….


My aunt has an adorable tiny apartment in Wellington with a tiny kitchen (Rachel Khoo style!) and being baking deprived, I was preeetty keen for something cute and delicious……


They are easy as, and if you like lemon meringue pie/tart or just tart-curdy-fruity desserts in general then I guarantee you will love this.


I actually took some pictures of the process this time (hooray for remembering….!). I made a quick short pastry and lined two tart tins, plus I had some extra pastry so I cut out some wee hearts:

Then I made some easy kiwifruit curd!


It lightened in colour as I expected but it didn’t lose it’s incredible forest green! Before cooking:


And after:


And from there it all kind of happened. These are off my phone so sorry they are not the most amazing quality. I made a meringue topping over a double boiler so all I had to do was brown the billows with a blowtorch to finish it off. You can probably just do a normal meringue and chuck them into the oven to brown up if you want!


Here is the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

Kiwifruit Meringue Tartlets for Two!
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp custard powder or cornflour
1 Tbsp white sugar
50g butter
A splash of milk
Kiwifruit Curd:
3 kiwifruit
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp agave or honey
1 egg yolk
Spritz of lemon juice (optional)
1/4 tsp arrowroot powder
Meringue Topping:
1 egg white
2 Tbsp caster sugar

Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees Celsius and grease two 10cm diameter tartlet tins if you need to! Place them on a tray lined with baking paper.

To make the pastry, mix together the flour, custard powder/cornflour and sugar until combined. Rub in the cold butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add a splash of cold milk at a time and knead gently until the dough comes together smooth and mixed. Roll out the pastry with a bit of flour if necessary and line the two tart tins (I didn’t blind bake these babies). With the leftover dough, cut out about 12+ little hearts with a cookie cutter (or any other shape!). Place the hearts on the tray next to the lined tartlet tins and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked. My wee hearts cooked at the same time as the tartlet cases but this may not happen with your oven so you may want to keep an eye out.

Meanwhile, time to make the curd! Pass the kiwifruit through a sieve (some seeds will be leftover, you can add them back depending on how many seeds you want in there!) and place in a bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water. Mix in the sugar, agave/honey and egg yolk. Keep mixing over the heat until the curd becomes thicker and paler. Add in the arrowroot (if you need it!) and continue to cook until the curd is the consistency of a thick jam (about 15 minutes).

By then, your tartlets will be out of the oven. Divide the curd between them and bake for a few more minutes until slightly set (it won’t be very sticky to touch). Take the tarts out of the oven and put aside.

For the meringue, whisk the egg white and sugar continuously over a saucepan of gently boiling water until stiff peaks form.

To assemble, dollop the meringue on top of the tartlets in any way you so desire and arrange the pastry cut-outs on top. Brown with a blow torch if you are feeling adventurous!

Makes 2, best eaten on the day they are made.


Have a nice week everyone! ๐Ÿ˜€

Sami xx

Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake

I laughed because when I looked at what I wrote about this cheesecake a few years ago, I said it was its own level on the food pyramid. It’s true.


I liked it so much I even went to the effort of putting up a sheet to photograph it! I am sure you will love it too, especially if you are a lover of both chocolate AND cheesecake.


This is my dad’s recipe and specialty ๐Ÿ™‚


The gingernuts in the base give a nice tangy contrast to the rich sweet filling, but I am sure you can switch them with another plain biscuit if you like.

Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
125g malt biscuits
125g gingernuts
100g butter
250g dark chocolate
250g cream cheese
ยฝ cup (100g) caster sugar
150mls cream
2 eggs


Line a 23cm diameter spring-form cake tin with tin foil.

Crush the biscuits until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuits until combined.ย  Press onto the bottom and the sides of the tin with a glass or your fingers. Refrigerate until set.

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Cool slightly. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Set aside. Separate the eggs and whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Set aside. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Set aside. Beat the egg yolks slightly. Set aside. Beat the egg yolks into the cream cheese mixture. Slowly beat the chocolate in a bit at a time. Working quickly so the chocolate doesnโ€™t melt, carefully fold in the egg whites, then the cream. Pour into the cake tin cover in tin foil. Refrigerate 4 hours until set.

Serves 20 (or 5 for 4 days……!) (well it really depends on how hungry you are. It’s pretty rich).

Lasts for about a week

Enjoy my lovelies!



(Vegan/3 ingredient) Blackberry Ice Cream with Passionfruit Sauce

Ice cream can be so easy. I didn’t know! Did you? Coconut cream= delicious vegan ice cream! Yay! Happiness! (Sorry about the pictures, these were snapped moments after the devouring had already begun).

This was made quickly with hand picked berries (many scratches were endured) and hand picked banana passionfruit (that was a bit of a disaster too). All foraged ๐Ÿ™‚ You don’t have to make a custard for this ice cream and you don’t have to wait for the mixture to cool either! So if you are a beginner with frozen goodies then fear not. I have an ice cream maker but if you don’t, there are many other methods you can use instead (it sounds silly, but Google it, as there are many people with great tutorials on this!).
(Passionfruit sauce v ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Blackberry Ice Cream with Passionfruit Sauce/Swirl
Ice cream:
500g fresh blackberries
50g sugar
400mls coconut cream (you can chill the can beforehand if you like)
400g passion fruit pulp
50g sugar

Make sure the bowl for your ice cream maker is frozen if necessary, and place a container to store your ice cream in in the freezer.
In a food processor, whizz up the berries until very smooth. Add the sugar (if it is even necessary) to taste, a bit at a time. Keep whizzing until the sugar is combined. Pour in the coconut cream, pulse until combined and then churn until frozen (about 10 minutes when I did it!). Transfer to the container and freeze for about 3+ hours.
Meanwhile you can make the sauce/swirl. Boil the passion fruit pulp and sugar until very hot and a lot of the liquid has come out of the seed pods. Push through a sieve until only the seeds remain (you can add a few back to the sauce if you like!) and then continue to boil until thick and syrupy. Cool then chill.
Half an hour before serving, take out the ice cream to warm a bit. If you are using the passionfruit as a sauce, simply serve the ice cream and drizzle the sauce on top. If you want a swirl, mix about the ice cream and ripple the chilled sauce through it. Serve.
(You can swirl the sauce through the ice cream hours before serving if you like, to save time).
Makes about 1 litre of ice cream (enough to serve 8 nicely, I found) and about 75mls of sauce.

This is my creation after it melted a bit…. nice colours though!

Have a nice week everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

Orange Custard Parfaits

The name ‘parfait’ always makes me chuckle a bit because it means ‘perfect’ in French. So now every time I say “c’est parfait!”, I think of this:

Anyway, it is now Autumn down in the Southern Hemisphere, for us in NZ. It certainly is beginning to feel like it! This dessert reminds me of it, the colours and the tastes (quite delicious by the way, although don’t go overboard with the orange zest on top or you won’t be able to taste other flavours).


We had an Italian over for lunch (hence the Italian books in the background, we were showing him what we had always wanted to make and hadn’t), so I thought I would make something light and special for afterwards. It doesn’t take that long to make, I made it while he was stirring a delicious risotto in the kitchen! ย I let people choose if they wanted white chocolate or dark chocolate on top, because we all have preferences…… haha I can imagine some of your rolling your eyes at that. Bakers are too often the victim of chocolate-debates, including ‘White chocolate isn’t real chocolate!’.


But if they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it.

Don’t be alarmed by the components in this recipe, it’s all small batches and you have no egg whites or yolks leftover!
Here is the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

Orange Custard Parfaits

2 egg whites
ยผ tsp cream of tartar
100g castor sugar
400mls milk
Orange zest
100g sugar
2 eggs
55g cornflour
100ml fresh orange juice
To serve:
100mls whipping cream
Chopped white and dark chocolate
Orange zest

Start with the meringue! Line a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a super clean glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites until bubbly, then add the cream of tartar. Whip faster, and add the sugar a bit at a time, whipping until glossy between each addition. When all the sugar is added, continue to whip until the mixture is thick and at stiff peak stage. Spoon onto the tray into about golfball sized blobs. TURN DOWN THE OVEN TEMPERATURE to 120 degrees Celsius and bake the meringues until crusty, about 30 minutes. Cool on the tray.
Meanwhile, make the custard. Heat the milk and the orange zest over low heat until boiling, and in another bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs and cornflour until thick and light/pale. When the milk has boiled, mix the milk slowly into the egg mixture until combined, then pour back into the saucepan and stir continuously over low heat. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that the custard doesnโ€™t catch. When nice and thick, take off the heat and mix in the orange juice a bit at a time. Cool.
When ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Pick out your serving bowls or glasses, between 6 and 8 of them. Start with spooning the custard into the bottom, then crumble over some meringue. Spoon over some cream, then top off with the chopped chocolate and a tad of orange zest. Done!