For those of you who don’t know, a lamington is an Australian/New Zealand cake. It is a dense sponge covered in chocolate sauce (the Australian version) or raspberry sauce (the New Zealand version) then covered in coconut.

As a child growing up in New Zealand, lamingtons were something we had a lot, I had always thought my Mum made them but she confessed that she always bought them cos they are so fiddly to make!

I have only made them once myself, and they were perfect, again I used a Woman’s Weekly recipe of Mum’s. This time I couldn’t find the recipe so I found one on line. I have gone for the chocolate one as I couldn’t find a recipe for the raspberry sauce.

Now a few hints, because you need a dense sponge you should use plain flour and a good few spoons of baking powder, this ensures that the sponge rises well. Always make the sponge the day or two days before, because it needs to be a little dry so it doesn’t fall apart when you dip it in the sauce.

Here is the cooked sponge, due to the amount of baking powder it has gone over the tin (I followed the recipe to the letter and used the correct sized tin)

Now the perfect lamington should measure 4cm by 4cm so I got my ruler out

And calculated that there was no way I could get 4cm by 4cm squares out of this, but then I am absymal at maths.

I cut up the cake as well as I could and then I set up my production line.

Now even though I baked my cake the day before it started to fall apart the minute that I dipped it. Next time I make them I will make the sponge two days in advance or if I feel really lazy I will just buy a madeira cake and cut that up to ice.

Here is the finished product, looks awful. That will teach me for shouting at MasterChef Australia contestants for not being able to make a lamington!


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Coffee and Walnut Cake

I’m not keen on coffee or walnuts for that matter but in cake form they are pretty damn good.

My Mum used to make coffee and walnut cake when I was young, she made it in a tin that had a hole in the middle, I have been trying to find a similar tin over the years and have yet to find one.

The thing I love about this cake is the fact that it is deliciously retro: to me it has the kind of taste that transports me back to my childhood, it is the sort of cake I will only eat if I know it is homemade, like carrot cake, shop bought versions tend to taste vile in my opinion.

I decided to make this cake for my Dad’s birthday: he loves cake and when I asked him what he wanted me to bake him he requested coffee and walnut cake like Mum used to make.

I have only made this a few times before and I used a Woman’s Weekly recipe that my mum gave me (the recipe she used) this time I used the Primrose Bakery’s recipe which is a Delia Smith adaptation.

I used two 8in tins as stated in the recipe and followed each step very carefully, here is the batter in the tins.

And here it is all baked.

Looks promising so far but here is the thing I think ruined it. In the recipe it suggests you make a coffee syrup from sugar, water and instant coffee to pour onto the cakes. I did this as the recipe instructed and all it did was make my cakes soggy! I ended up having to dry them out in the oven and then they stuck to the tins, needless to say I will not be adding a coffee syrup to the baked sponges should I make it again.

Anyway, all iced and ready to go here it is, albiet it a wee bit wonky, won’t win any prizes at the W.I but hopefully Dad will like it.


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Forgotten Cuts of Meat

We are big fans of belly pork ever since my husband came home with it one day cos it was so cheap, since then I have always sought out the cheaper cuts of meat because with the right cooking they taste fantastic.

Yesterday I bought some lamb breast “on a whim” the reason being it was cheap!  I walked round the supermarket thinking “I’ll make a Morroccan inspired slow cooked lamb dish for sunday lunch”

When I announced this to my husband he looked so disappointed- he wanted roast potatoes so I looked online for an alterantive recipe.

I tried the GoodFood site who suggested coating it in mustard and chucking white wine over it, on the Jamie Oliver forum, a member suggested making a stuffing and rolling and roasting it in a low oven for 2 hours.

So I decided to stuff and roast 😀

So I rolled it out like so, fat side up and snipped off the extra fat I guess that the supermarket did quite a good job at preparing at as at the butchers I think you would have to do a little more fat snipping.

I made a stuffing from-

200g breadcrumbs (made from a stale bit of french stick)

1 pack of pancetta (the cubed stuff you fry off, could use snipped up bacon or lardons I guess)

few sprigs of chopped rosemary

half a copped red onion

2 cloves of garlic

7 mushrooms- very finely chopped

black pepper

1 egg

10g melted butter

I mixed the whole lot together, flipped the lamb over seasoned it with sea salt and black pepper then smeared on the stuffing, spreading it as evenly as I could.

Then I rolled it up and tied it with string, there was a loose bit that I rubbed with rosemary and rolled up for my little girl to have.

I tied it up with string and then made some cuts in the skin and poked a few more sprigs of rosemary in. Then it went in a pre heated oven which was set at 160c and cooked it for 2 hours. The little joint I got out after an hour.

Not the best picture but this was the result!

After resting for 20 minutes this is what it looked like when sliced.

It was served with roast potatoes, carrots and green beans and some lamb gravy I found in the freezer.

It was quite fatty but it had loads of flavour and was quite rich and filling. So for £3.50 for the whole lump it was a bargain!

The leftovers were chopped up and put into a box of rice with some baby spinach for tommorrows lunch.


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Hello world!

Hi, I’m a a married mum of one who loves good food. Reading about it, thinking about it and cooking it.

Hope whoever stumbles upon this enjoys reading it!

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