Tropical Cakes

Monday, July 20, 2015


Pineapples in winter?? I know I was surprised too, my natural instinct being to bypass them at the grocer and this I did for a period until recently when their sweet perfume caught me off guard and voila a pineapple came home with me. And yes they are to be enjoyed in winter too. Combined with a stock of bananas from my cousin's tree it seemed an opportune time to make this cake. You could say it's a close relative of the hummingbird cake from the United States, the addition of coconut sets it apart. I've been making this cake for a good while now and it's the only cake my "I don't like cake" husband raves about and I agree with him. It disappears in a day it's that popular, mostly because the man devours more than his fair share. My approach to cakes is generally a little rustic meaning I don't bother with frostings because vegan toppings take a lot of time to make and the hero is the unadorned cake right? So you could as in the case here layer the bottom of the baking tin with pineapple rings for the pineapple upside-down cake look. And serve with ice-cream, vegan or otherwise.

Roasted Macadamia Nut Butter

Friday, June 19, 2015


A couple of weeks ago we took a car trip up north to the Byron Bay hinterland. It took an entire day with frequent stops on route to reach the tiny hamlet of Eureka. We rented a modest house, perched on a hill, with awe-inspiring views. The only other living creatures during those two days that we saw were the neighbouring horses chewing innocently in the morning light. I find it incredibly thought provoking when surrounded by nature, in this case my mind was spinning in an endless loop trying to work out if we could move up there. To say that the area resonated with me is an understatement, I loved everything I saw. Acreage up high with rolling hills and views of the ocean (if you're lucky), a plot of organic vegetables and herbs growing in the garden and rows of fruit trees in your very own orchard. Organic markets rotating through the towns, the sea a short breath away and above all the relaxed vibe of the residents and passing through folk.

Hazelnut Cacao Nib Biscuits

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


This is the new chocolate chip biscuit. Healthier and seriously good. I've been experimenting for the longest time for an everyday biscuit, having never been totally satisfied with the end product until now. And I have cacao nibs to thank for this revelation as it provides that hint of chocolate without being over the top and that crunch which has delighted me in the past shines through in this biscuit. It holds together really well and is less crummy than other biscuits, important detail when sharing with kids. It's baked until the crust borders crisp whilst leaving the centre agreeably moist. I've made these with almond meal in the past and they are equally delicious. If you have a thing for hazelnuts and chocolate like I do than this will be like manna from heaven. Next time I think I will make them smaller, skip the nibs and sandwich two biscuits with abit of melted chocolate a la baci de dama.

Cardamon and Cinnamon Spiced Almond Milk

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Brrr...it's incredibly cold, I've been in shock this past week about the prospect of getting through a winter and it's still only autumn. After devouring salads for breakfasts these past few years I see how foolish that would be in the coming months. In a pinch a bowl of porridge with stewed apples is more like it, something warm to shake off the cold. It's okay but my big breakfast fantasy would probably be along the lines of scrambled tofu, tomato beans, grilled portobellos, and sautéed greens alongside warm quinoa. Best reserved for weekends I think. If that sounds like too much work for a morning meal then a warming glass of spiced almond milk has always kept the chills at bay. Actually it needn't be reserved for mornings and you can make it in advance as it lasts a few days in the fridge.