Orange Butter Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze

Here is the recipe for the orange butter cake with cake with honey-orange glaze that I made this morning:

For the cake

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

Finely grated rind 2 large oranges

½ cup orange juice

3 teaspoons baking powder

1½ cups plain flour

125g butter melted

Place all in a bowl and beat for 2 minutes with an electric beater.
Pour into a 20cm round cake tin that has been greased and the base lined with baking paper. Bake at 160 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack for at least 20 minutes to cool slightly.

To make the honey-orange glaze:

Place ¾ cup orange juice and 1 rounded teaspoon honey in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring, then cook over medium heat until reduced by one third.
Place the cake on a plate. Insert a skewer into it in several places, then pour over the glaze.

The dregs of autumn produce

There have been lots of bits and pieces needing attention in our kitchen, and supplies are getting low of some preserves. There were for instance, the last of our tomatoes that simply will not ripen, so this is end of run (sob) for the year. The very last scrappy stragglers have gone the way of green tomato pickle, which is fine really as I had none left in the pantry.

IMG_0917A generous friend up in the north-west brought us some beautiful little pumpkins – about 1.4 kilos each. I’ll be filling and roasting one of these for dinner tonight. I think a nice lamb and rosemary stuffing would be very acceptable.

IMG_0914Limes and lemons have gone into their respective cordials. Elderflowers are still plentiful, so there are two batches of sparkling elderflower on the go.

That just leaves oranges. I made a cake from some of them, with a new topping. Robert dislikes icing, so made an orange and honey glaze. I can post the recipe if anyone would like it.  The remaining oranges will go into marmalade. I need some of that too, to glaze a piece of corned silverside that I will be cooking for tomorrow’s lunch.


And meanwhile Tom enjoys a smooch on the couch on this chilly winter morning.



He could, of course, be outside in the winter sun, but ex-feral Tom prefers an old woolly jacket on the couch, with the wood heater warming the room for good measure. Don’t think he suffers from too many trust issues any more. Good life for a cat I think.


Olive oil and more

No-one could say it’s as a day of rest in our household today. First thing this frosty morning was a gluten free class in the cooking school. Lovely, lovely ladies who came along.
Immediately after the class the space was turned into an olive oil extracting plant.

One of Stephanie and Nat’s olive trees produced over 30 kilos of olives. Next step – extract the oil.

IMG_0880The mega mincer was employed to break up the olives, then the two Kitchen Aids to ‘malax’ the mixture.


Nat then adapted his 20 ton hydraulic press to finally extract the oil. It’s quite a process but looks like the end result is going to be great.

IMG_0895IMG_0897IMG_0905IMG_0907Meanwhile, Robert was bottling off his latest brew of beer.


And Carmichael, the slow combustion stove, is roasting for our dinner a delicious leg of Derwent Valley lamb, while chunks of north-west coast pumpkin, a gift from a friend, are about to be baked on the top shelf.

IMG_0900Just the sort of day I like!

Roadside stall

I had a request this morning for a list of what is out on the roadside stall at the moment. (Sorry to that person, somehow lost your message).

There are by way of cordial and other syrups: blackcurrant syrup, raspberry and redcurrant syrup, cumquat cordial and rosella syrup.

Pickles and chutney style things – tomato sauce, spiced rhubarb sauce, piccalilli, mint sauce, pinot grape (gluten free) worcestershire sauce and tomato chilli pickle.

Jams and jellies – raspberry/blackcurrant jam, raspberry/blueberry jam, red currant jelly and soft set rosella jelly.

Frosty paws

Young Truffles experienced a proper frost for the first time in her life this morning. She very soon scampered back inside and straight under the blankets, a much better option with the electric blanket on its highest setting.


Rosella recipes

The fruit that is, not the birds.  Well, all those rosellas I was sent from Queensland?  They were quickly processed.  I made cordial syrup, jam and soft set jelly.

The flavour of the rosellas is delicious.  Apparently you should avoid cooking them for to long as you lose the wonderful intense colour.


Why soft set jelly?  Because I want to use it for a range of things – to flavour a jus or gravy.  I used just a teaspoonful or so in a roast pork gravy on Sunday – delicious.

I’ve also made ice cream from this ‘jelly’.  If it’s  firm set it clumps in little blobs in the mixture – soft set gel means it mixes in well.  The ice cream matched very well indeed with gooseberry pie.


In case anyone would like the recipes, here they are:

Rosella Syrup



Citric acid or lemon juice

Cover the rosella fruit with water and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Strain of the liquid through a colander, then strain again through a sieve lined with muslin.

For each cup of liquid, add 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, stirring.

Reduce heat and simmer one minute. For each litre of the syrup, stir in 1 teaspoon citric acid (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice) and one tablespoon cider vinegar.

Bring back up to the boil, then immediately pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal immediately.

Soft-set Rosella Jelly



Citric acid or lemon juice

 Barely cover the rosella fruit with water and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Strain of the liquid through a colander, then strain again through a sieve lined with muslin.

For each cup of liquid, add 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, stirring.

For each litre of the liquid add 1 teaspoon citric acid (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice).

Bring back to the boil and then cook briskly for 30 minutes. Remove any scum that has formed on the top with a slotted spoon.

Pour into warm sterilized jars and seal immediately.

Rosella Jam

 1kg rosellas


Lemon juice

Remove the seed pod from the rosellas (this is made easier by using an apple corer). Place the pods in a saucepan and barely cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer 15 minutes. Strain off and retain liquid (discard seed pods).

Meanwhile place the red calyxes and bracts in another saucepan and barely cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer 5 minutes.

Add the seed pod liquid. For each cup of this mixture add 1 cup of sugar and to each litre add 1 teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoon lemon juice.

Bring to the boil and cook briskly until setting point is reached. (about 25 minutes). Pour into warm, sterlised jars and seal immediately.

Rosella flavoured ice cream

2 cups cream

1 cup milk

150ml soft set rosella jelly

Mix together with a whisk and then churn in an ice cream machine.

New dinner guest ….

Don’t know that Robert is going to be too pleased about this latest dinner guest.


He’s been very proud of this flower bush (think it might be a chrysanthemum), but now this visiting wallaby thinks it makes a mighty fine snack.


Susie’s Grandma’s Easy Raisin Bread

This recipe was rung in by Susie.  This is most certainly a favourite in her family – her Gran’s recipe for a quick and easy raisin bread.  Serve sliced, with butter.

Susie says that the edges are delicious, sweet and crunchy – even better are the end pieces.

2 cups self raising flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup raisins

1 egg, lightly whisked

A little milk

MIx all together well and pour into a greased loaf tin.  Bake in a moderate oven for 35 to 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Chutney

Here is another listener request – pumpkin chutney.  Might be handy if you have lots of pumpkins from the garden.

Pumpkin Chutney

3 tablespoons olive oil

250g onions, finely chopped

1 cooking apple (such as Granny Smith), cored and finely diced

500g pumpkin flesh, diced

6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup water

1 tablespoon grated green ginger

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 tablespoon salt

125g sultanas

375g brown sugar

90g white sugar

2 cups cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Heat the oil, in a saucepan and sauté the onions, apple, pumpkin and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the water and cook until the pumpkin is just tender. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat and cook over medium to medium-low heat for about 40 minutes, stirring often.

Pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately. Leave to stand 2 weeks before using to allow flavours to develop and mature.

Makes approximately 1.25kg.