Fennel, mandarin & hazelnut salad

There is no kitchen tool more lethal or more useful than a mandolin. It requires your full concentration; one glass of wine for bravery is recommended, any more than that would be irresponsible. Mandolins are perfect for creating winter salads from fennel, cabbage, radishes, carrots… there are endless possibilities. This salad is less a recipe than a…

Lemon meringue ice cream

Lemon curd, meringues, cream, Greek yoghurt. You actually can’t go wrong with this recipe and it can as easy or complicated as you feel like being. I felt like being complicated, so I made the lemon curd and meringues myself (I drew the line at making own Greek yoghurt, however). I’ll assume that you feel…

Anzac caramel slice

1. Caramel 2. Oats Actually, maybe three of my favourite things – long thread coconut. Oh wait, four – butter. This slice contains a lot of good things. Make it, eat a piece, and then go for a vigorous walk. Then come home and have another piece. Anzac caramel slice Adapted from this recipe For the base…

Plum buttermilk cakes

Growing up, many favourite meals came from Lois Daish and her column in the New Zealand Listener. Mum’s recipe scrapbooks contain many cut-outs of these columns, which I later copied down when I moved out of home and started making my compilations of favourite recipes. When I phone my mum on a Saturday morning during summer,…

Date cake with grilled coconut brown sugar topping

This cake broke my Sunday afternoon baking drought. One autumn Sunday in March after a trip to the fruit and vege markets, I came home and unpacked my market haul, arranged the Omega plums and lemons into my favourite Katherine Smyth bowls, and found myself baking this cake without really planning to. Cakes for no good reason are…

Baked Plums with a Crunchy Coconut Topping

I made this for the first time in Central Otago with apricots poached from an old tree we discovered along a path by the Clutha River. Growing amongst wild thyme these were the most amazing apricots. We ate as many as three greedy girls could manage and then filled up our backpack. For pudding that evening we sliced the apricots in…

Plum, tangelo & almond cake

I make this cake every summer, at least once. The last time I made it I took it round for dessert at a friends’ place. After finishing his (let’s be clear, generous) first slice of cake, one friend announced he was going to quickly have another before his stomach told him that he was too…

Sunday madeleines

If you invite me around and say not to bring anything, that you’ve got it all covered, including dessert, a tiny bit of me feels disappointed. Not because I’ll have to eat your undoubtedly delicious creation (you are my friend for a reason, after all), but because it’s such a good opportunity to make one of…

Basil dressing

A startlingly green and startlingly delicious dressing which is fabulous on tomatoes or mixed through boiled waxy potatoes and green beans to create a potato salad. Essentially just pour this on top of raw or cooked vegetables and enjoy. This recipe makes a lot but can be easily be quartered or halved: make as little, or as much, as…

Rhubarb & crème fraiche tart

I have a fond spot for Alison Holst. Some of the first recipes I remember making as a kid were from her books: citrus slice, ‘one pan dinner’, crunchy lemon muffins. Last time I was at mum’s I spent an afternoon going through a pile of old Alison Holst recipe books. Some of it – the food…

Sponge cake

My Dad is a sponge cake expert. An electrical engineer, he takes an analytical approach to the production of baked goods. Sunday morning pancakes, for example, involved the use of a second ‘finishing pan’ set to a lower heat, to allow pancake production to keep pace with my family’s enthusiastic pancake-eating. He took a similar approach to…

Strawberry & pistachio tart

A heavenly combination of a puff pastry base, spread with tangy lemon curd cream, and covered in strawberries and toasted pistachios. I made this as a birthday cake for a outdoors picnic and can confirm that it goes well with paper cups of bubbly. Strawberry & pistachio tart Adapted from a Dish magazine recipe puff pastry 400g, quality store-bought or homemade; I made…