Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Christmas Dessert – Limoncello Cheese Cake

In Baking, Cake, Cheese, Dessert, Entertaining, Pastry on December 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Our family decided to go with a contemporary Christmas dessert rather than the traditional Christmas pudding (though Grandma still made Christmas cake). My mum had recently made some limoncello so when I saw this recipe in Zarbo, it looked too good to pass up. Sadly, I didn’t get any photos of it before it was cut and partially demolished on Christmas day. However, I took these on Boxing Day – when I devoured some of it for breakfast. The photos aren’t fantastic (you can tell it was early morning) but I can assure you the cake was delicious – and packed a punch! It was by far the biggest cheese cake I’ve ever made.

Limoncello Cheese Cake - I used some leftover filling as a garnish rather than using cream

The cake post Christmas!

Apologies for the out of focus close up!

The recipe is taken from Zarbo cookbook (http://www.zarbo.co.nz/afawcs0139996/CATID=62/ID=787/SID=1028445078/productdetails.html) and is as follows:


(Italian Pastry – veeery short!)

70g butter

350g flour

100g sugar

pinch of salt

100g olive oil

70mls water


1.5kg cottage cheese or handmade ricotta

6 eggs

125g butter, melted

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup limoncello (can be substituted by lemon juice and zest)

1 cup flour

1 cup mixed peel

1/2 cup dried apricots (I didn’t use these and added extra of the other dried fruit)

1 cup sultanas


For the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, sugar and salt. This should resemble fine breadcrumbs. Then add oil and water, mixing to make a smooth dough.

Grease a 26 cm cake pan and line base and sides with pastry (press into pan rather than trying to roll, the pastry is very short). Refrigerate the pastry while preparing the filling.

For filling, place cottage cheese in a bowl and beat for 1 min to smooth it a little. Add ingredients in the order listed, combining well after each addition. Fold through the dried fruit carefully. Pour into pastry case. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for an hour – an hour and twenty mins (basically until set).

DONE! Eat with liberal amounts of cream (or leftover filling, if there is any).

Cinnamon Swirls

In Baking, Bread on December 27, 2011 at 1:22 am

I made this for breakfast on Christmas morning. I will be posting more of my Christmas food soon, but as I have just one photo of these and a recipe accessible online I thought I’d post it first. So in response to requests to post some recipes with photos, here is my first! Credit for the recipe goes to the lovely Alison Holst – http://www.holst.co.nz/Recipes/Cinnamon%20Swirls.

Cinnamon Swirls - Christmas Breakfast

Here are directions, taken from the link above. Click on the link if you want breadmaker instructions. I don’t use the things!

Hand-made Bread Instructions:
Measure the first six ingredients into a bowl with half the flour. Cover and leave to stand for 15 minutes in a warm place.

Stir in the remaining flour with a little extra flour or water if necessary to make a dough just firm enough to knead.

Knead with the dough hook of an electric mixer or by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes or until the dough forms a soft ball that springs back when gently pressed.

Turn in 2 teaspoons of oil in the cleaned dry bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm draught-free place for 30–40 minutes.

Lightly knead the dough in the bowl for 1 minute.

Shaping and Baking:
Rub 2 tablespoons of soft butter fairly evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 20–23cm round cake pan, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons each brown sugar and chopped walnuts over the bottom.

Roll out the dough to form a square, about 30x30cm then brush it lightly with a little melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts if you like.

Roll up to form a cylinder, then cut into about eight to12 fairly even slices. (Make the larger number for the larger pan.) Arrange them, cut side down, as evenly as you can in the prepared cake pan, leaving space around each roll to spread. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm draught-free place for about 1 hour or until twice the original size.

Bake at 180°C for 20–30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully turn the loaf out of the pan onto a plate or board straight away and serve warm.

A Selection….

In Baking, Bread, Cheese, Egg, Main meals, Snacks on December 17, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I’ve not had a chance to post for a while, so rather than doing a single post about one thing I’ve made recently – I thought I’d just post a little selection. They are a bit random, but nevermind. I guess at least most of it is baking related….

Zucchini Loaf


Eggs Rancheros and Fried Tortilla Strips

For mu birthday recently, I made Stromboli for the first time. For those who don’t know what Stromboli is (at least in this case) it’s bread stuffed with mozzarella cheese, garlic, basil and topped with rock salt and rosemary. MMMMMMMMMMM. I pretty much managed to eat the whole loaf on my own.



Stromboli Dough

Stromboli Loaf with toppings

Fresh out of the oven!


Parsnip Cake

In Baking, Cake, Dessert on December 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I made this a while ago but haven’t been able to post because I keep using up all my bandwidth downloading images, argh! But now December begins and I will soon be completely on holiday so I can go food mad and will hopefully be posting a lot more frequently.

This particular cake can be made with carrots or parsnips, but I made it with just parsnips. It also has sultanas in it, and to make things more exciting rather than your usual icing it has a meringue like topping…mmmmmmm!

Parsnip Cake

Parsnip Cake, sliced

Parsnip Cake - a slice