Orange-Kumara Mini-Cakes


Let me introduce you to kumara, the Maori sweet potato. Aka divine, as fries, in cakes, roasted….


And it makes the most gloriously orange cake batter!



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I was inspired by these beautiful edible flowers ๐Ÿ™‚ The cakes are simply muffins that I turned upside down….!


Orange-Kumara Mini-Cakes
1+1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
4 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup mashed kumara
Zest of an orange
Juice of 3 oranges
25g butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
Juice of an orange
Orange zest
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
Orange food colouring if you feel the need

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, mix together the egg, butter, kumara, zest and orange juice. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry and fold very gently until JUST combined. You can add a little dash of milk or water if you feel it’s too dry. Spoon into about 10 of the cupcake/muffin holes. Bake for 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave for a few minutes and then unmold and cool on a wire rack.

When cool, make the frosting by softening the butter and mixing in the rest of the frosting ingredients until smooth and lightened slightly. It should be a pipe-able buttercream-y frosting so add some more icing sugar or orange juice if necessary. Spread a little bit of frosting onto the bottoms of the kumara cakes then pipe the rest of the frosting on top as a wee halo (you could get creative here if you like). Annnnd done! They last very well for two days, as they are moist cake.



Cardamom Strawberry Custard Tarts


A recipe to desperately soak up the last rays of summer sunshine here in New Zealand…..!


This recipe makes two cute little tarts filled with glorious cardamom custard, but I also made one with kiwifruit compote, which is the result of heating mashed kiwifruit in the microwave to thicken a little. It’s an easer

I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever your kitchen is ๐Ÿ™‚



Cardamom and Orange Strawberry Tarts
Tart shells:
1 cup plain flour
1 Tbsp white sugar
Zest of half an orange
25g margarine or butter
1/4 cup cold water
Cardamom custard:
3/4 cup milk
2 cardamom pods, crushed to open
2 egg yolks
1 tsp arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp sugar
To top:
A handful of strawberries
Edible flower petals

To begin, the pastry cases. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and get out your two 10cm diameter tart tins. Mix together the flour, sugar and orange zest until combined then rub in the butter. Mix in the cold water a bit at a time, working gently into a soft dough that isn’t sticky. Roll out to about 4mm thick (between some greaseproof paper if you like) on a lightly floured surface and line the two tart tins. Blind bake them in your choice of method (beans/rice etc) for 10 minutes, then remove the beans/rice etc and bake for 5 minutes more until lightly golden. Leave to cool in the tins, and meanwhile you can make the custard.

Heat the milk and cardamom pods in a bain marie (or simply a bowl over a pot of simmering water) and in another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and arrowroot until paled slightly. When the milk is steaming, pour a bit at a time into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the whole thing back into the bain-marie and heat. Stir CONTINUOUSLY, or you will get lumps, until thickened and about the consistency of yogurt. Pour into another bowl and leave to cool. When cool, spoon into the tartlet cases. Slice up the strawberries thinly and arrange on the top of the tartlets. You can add little bits of edible flower petals if you like. Makes two, and they are best eaten on the day they are made!


Vegan Chocolate Orange Donuts


Is it just me or are donuts becoming ever more accessible in the kitchen these days? I admit, these were made with a kitchen top donut-maker but even baked donuts are everywhere. Are they the latest cupcake….? Maybe!


Either way, they are delicious, deep-fried or not. With butter and eggs or without!


If any of you reading this are following me, I apologise for the lack of posts recently ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be more onto it when uni starts again!


Vegan Orange and Chocolate Donuts
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp plain oil
3 tsp vinegar
Juice of one orange
Roughly 120mls water
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp margerine
Juice of half an orange
Orange zest
Maybe a little extra water
Orange food colouring (optional)
To decorate: Chocolate sprinkles
Instructions: If you are using the oven to bake these babies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease your donut tin.

Mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, vinegar and orange juice. Pour in most of the water and mix well. If the mixture is still too thick to pour, add a little more water and mix again. Preheat your donut maker and pour the batter in, filling to the top. Alternately, fill up your donut tin holes and cook for about 10 minutes, until they spring back when touched lightly. Cool on a rack and make the icing: Chuck all the icing ingredients in a bowl except the food colouring and heat in the microwave for ten seconds. Mix, and if the butter isn’t melted, repeat. When smooth and spreadable, ice the top of the donuts and sprinkle with the chocolate hail/jimmies/sprinkles. Devour!

Makes about 12x5cm diameter donuts


All the drips and drops of orange icing and sprinkles that managed to miss the donuts themselves…..!

Orange and Blueberry Yogurt Tarts


It’s full Summer here and that means it’s tart season. Cooking for two means that most of my recipes are for two little tarts, like these refreshing ones. Full of oats and yogurt and fruit means that they make an excellent dessert AND breakfast!


I’ve never made a tart base like this, but it’s based on a recipe for cookies that I have involving blending oats, banana and other goodies. It seems to work, but it’s not a shortcrust replacement yet ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Here is the recipe! ๐Ÿ˜€

Orange Yogurt Tarts
Oat crust:
1 cup oats
1 Tbsp ground almonds (optional)
Pinch of anise seeds
Zest of half an orange
20g butter (softened)/coconut butter/vegan spread
Bit of any sugar or honey
About 5cm worth of banana
1&1/2 egg whites
1/4 cup yogurt
Orange Zest
Handful blueberries
To top:
Sliced Orange

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and find your two 10cm diameter tartlet tins. That includes the bases, they are known to escape…..

In a little blender, whiz together the base ingredients until smooth. You could do this by hand, it would just take a little longer ๐Ÿ™‚ Press into the tartlet tins and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the filling, leaving the oven on.

For the filling, whisk the egg whites until slightly frothy and all the protein gloops have separated. Mix in the yogurt and orange zest. Sprinkle the blueberries into the tart shells and pour the filling on top. You may have a little leftover, but the aim is to fill to the top. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is set and only slightly wobbly in the middle. Cool in the tins.

When ready to serve, unmold from the tins and segment the orange. Arrange the orange slices on top of the tartlets and enjoy with a little more yogurt, or maybe some whipped (coconut) cream!

Makes two, best eaten on the day they are made, or else the shell gets a bit soggy.


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!

Orange or Lemon Spongy Pudding

This one’s a winner ๐Ÿ˜‰ Whilst I have found it very difficult to photograph it and truly do it justice, just trust me with this one. It’s great to make when you have excess citrus lying around, as it uses lots of juice, and easily feeds a crowd. At the same time, the left overs make a great breakfast or lunch or pudding the next day, hot or cold.
You would be surprised at how good this is with no effort: it forms a lemon/orange curd -like sauce on the bottom, then a layer of custard and then a light fluffy sponge on top, all out of one batter simply poured into a dish! This one is an orange pudding, but the original recipe calls for lemon. I assure you, both are delicious and I would struggle to pick a favourite. I have some pictures of a lemon pudding somewhere, but I don’t think they are any more impressive than this one….. Anyway!

Lemon or Orange Spongy Pudding:
100g butter
Rind of 2-3 lemons or oranges
1 cup sugar
ยฝ cup flour
4 eggs
ยพ ish cup of lemon or orange juice
1&1/2 cups milk

Prepare a bain marie for a flat pudding dish (about 5 cup capacity), making sure the water reaches about ยพ the way up the side and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Melt the butter and sugar together in a generous size saucepan. Stir in the rind, flour and sugar.
Separate the eggs and mix the yolks into the butter mixture, along with the juice and milk.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold very gently into the batter until just combined. Pour carefully into the dish and bake for about half an hour until lightly golden on top, and just set.
You need to serve this with something cold to cut through the hot and sharp delicious flavours of the pudding; anything from ice cream to pouring cream to yogurt does great, Iโ€™ve tried all of them and I can assure you they are all delicious!

Have a great weekend everyone ๐Ÿ™‚