Desserts & baked goods

The Ultimate Super Easy Large Chocolate Cake: Annabel Langbein – New Zealand’s super cook
Very large, delicious and moist.  Freezes well.
Watch her make it here:
3 cups self raising flour
2 cups sugar
3/4  cup cocoa
200g  softened butter
2 tsp baking soda- lumps squashed
1 cup milk
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs unbeaten
1 cup boiling hot coffee
Heat oven to 160 C.
Prepare a 30cm round cake tin by lining it with paper.  Alternativey use a regular cake pan and a loaf tin.
Place all ingredients except coffee in a large bowl.  Add hot coffee and beat with wooden spoon or beater until smooth and lump free.  Pour into tin/s and bake at 160C for 60 minutes.
Ice/frost when cold.
“Clafoutis” or Fruit Batter Pudding: R Graham Leigh (

(say Cla-foo-tea)

Clafoutis is a country pudding which originated in the Limousin region of central France. Traditionally it was made with the first ripe red cherries of the season, but almost any fruit can be used.  It is very quick and easy to make, the ingredients are probably already in the fridge and store cupboard – and it’s delicious!

4 free-range eggs

75g/3ozs plain flour (preferably unbleached flour, as it usually has no raising agents added)

75g/3ozs caster sugar, plus a tbsp for sprinkling to serve

225ml/8 fl ozs whole milk

225ml/8 fl ozs cream

about 450g/1lb fruit

a pinch of salt

butter for greasing the pan

Equipment : A food processor and a 25cm/10” diameter ceramic pie dish Oven temperature: 200°C/400°F/Gas Mk 6


Butter the pie dish/roasting tin

Put all the ingredients except the fruit into the food processor and zap them until you get a smooth batter – it takes only a few seconds.  Alternatively, whisk them together with an electric hand-held mixer.

Prepare the fruit:  the best sort of apples are the floury varieties rather than crisp ones, and pears must be ripe; peel, core and slice them. Stone fruit (plums, greengages, peaches etc.) should be stoned and halved or quartered.  Bottled or canned fruit must be drained before putting in the dish.  Fresh soft fruit is fine if it’s firm (blackberries are good), but strawberries are not ideal, and ripe raspberries tend to disintegrate, though they still make a tasty pudding.  The best sort of dried fruits (figs, apricots, prunes etc.) are the “Ready to Eat” types; the ordinary sort need to be soaked first – and it can be in wine, brandy or whiskey if you like!

With the fruit scattered in the pan, pour the batter over, and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes – or until the top is a golden colour, and it feels firm to the touch

Sprinkle with a tablespoonful of caster sugar immediately, and serve warm with cream, thick yoghurt or vanilla ice cream


Light as a Feather Coffee Swiss Roll: Valerie Kingston, Glenilen Farm


Prepare a swiss roll tin lined with greased parchment paper.

3 eggs, separated

3 oz plain flour, sifted

3 oz sugar

1tsp baking powder

1 dessertspoon Irel coffee extract


1 tub Glenilen farm double cream

1 dessertspoon sugar

1 dessertspoon Irel coffee


Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Whisk egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl, I find the Kenwood Chef does a great job, until stiff .

Keeping whisking, add the egg yolks followed by the sugar. You should now have a lovely light creamy foam.

Very lightly fold in the flour and baking powder with a spoon, not all at once, in 2 or 3 batches.

Now gently fold in the coffee and when mixed spread into tin, gently.

Bake for 10 – 15 mins until just firm to touch.

Put a clean tea towel on a cooling tray, tip the cake out onto tray , remove parchment paper and use tea towel to roll up cake. Leave to cool completely.

Whisk the cream with sugar and coffee until stiff.

Tip: if you think the whipped cream is too stiff add milk a teaspoonful at a time, until at the desired texture.

Unroll the cake , spread on the filling, roll up again.

Trim the ends, and dredge with icing sugar.

Enjoy! It’s a firm favourite as a tea time treat in our house, and also freezes well. Could also be left flat, split and cream put in as a sandwich, and cut into squares, or alternatively bake in two small sandwich tins for a more traditional cake.


Healthy Baked Apples: Alison Wickham

Per person:

1 Bramley apple

3-4 dried whole dates

Preheat oven to 180C or 350 F.

Wash and core apples, keeping apple whole. Cut a line around the apple horizontally in the skin. Check that stones have been removed from dates and stuff each apple with three or four. Place a half an inch of water in a baking dish big enough to contain the apples.  Bake for 30 minutes or until soft. Serve warm with lashings of low fat Vanilla yoghurt.


Fruit Crumble topping – A Wickham

3/4 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup of soft brown sugar

2 & 1/2 tablespoons butter

Rub the butter into the brown sugar and oats until it looks crumbly.  Sprinkle over any raw sliced fruit, in a piedish with about 3/4 cup of water in the base.  Add any of the following to spice the pudding up:  cinnamon,  lemon zest, raisins, unsalted uncooked nuts, combinations of fruit (e.g. apples and almost any other fruit, or rhubarb) rhubarb with orange zest, or crystalised ginger etc.!  What ever you think tastes great.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 180 C until topping is crisp and fruit tender.  Serve with vanilla icecream or yoghurt.


Shortbread – A Wickham

1/2 lb butter (I use the regular kind. Butter needs to sit at room temperature for a while to be soft enough- not oily though.)

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 and 1/2 ounces cornflour

10 ounces of plain flour  (it should not contain any raising agent, so check the bag)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy and then add in remaining ingredients.

Mix well.  You may need to knead the dough to get it to stick together into a thick non-sticky lump.

Turn out onto a long strip of greaseproof paper. Using the paper to help, shape into a long rectangular log about 2 inches by 1 inch and cut with a sharp knife into 40 pieces (about 1/4 inch deep).
 Alternatively roll out 1/4 inch thick between sheets of cling film, or on a silicone sheet,  and cut into small shapes with fancy cutters (check cooking time after 15 mins if you choose to do this).

Place on a greased oven tray. As these cookies have no eggs or raising agents they spread only a small amount.

Bake in a cool oven (160 C) for approximately 20 minutes until golden. They should not be brown, but a pale creamy – gold colour, but crisp right through the centre when cool. (They brown up more after they are removed, so be careful.)

Cool on a wire rack.

Source: Original recipe from New Zealand Anchor or Fernleaf butter wrapper circa 1970.

I used to make these in the early 2000’s for the Clonakilty Market and Inchydoney Hotel.

Part of a tray about to go into the oven.