Home' Greymouth Star : November 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
hristmas cake is an English
tradition that began as an oatmeal
plum porridge served to people
on Christmas Eve to fill their
stomachs after a day of fasting.
Later on dried fruit, flavourings
and honey were added to the mixture that, in turn,
morphed into the Christmas pudding we know
In the 16th century, oatmeal was removed from
the original recipe. Butter, wheat flour and eggs
were added to hold the mixture together, plus exotic
eastern spices to provide a festive flavour. Anyone
wealthy enough to own a proper oven, baked their
cakes. Other wise the cakes were boiled. It was not
until the 19th century that baked cakes became the
Rich fruit cakes — like a good wine — improve
with age. They are best baked at least one month
before enjoying. D uring that time, the flavours
mellow and the texture compacts making the cake
easier to cut.
Recipes developed by New Zealand home
economists or food consultants use New Zealand
standard metric measuring spoons and cups. O ur
metric tablespoon holds 15mls; the Australian
standard metric tablespoon, 20 mls.
The difference may not matter when there is one
tablespoon of sugar needed in a recipe. However, if
a tablespoon of baking powder is required then the
balance of the recipe would be out of kilter if the
Australian tablespoon was used.
Level measurements are also important. A heaped
cup of flour instead of a level cup would alter the
texture, colour and cooking time of a cake.
To measure dry ingredients in a cup, spoon the
required ingredient lightly in to the required level.
Using a spoon, gently remove any excess by lifting
it off the surface towards the mark indicated on the
cup. Either hold the cup at eye level to ensure the
measurement is correct or place the cup on the
bench and bend down so your eye is level with the
To measure dry ingredients in spoons, fill
to overflowing by dipping the spoon in to the
ingredient then level it by running the straight edge
of a knife over the top of the spoon.
Do not pack the ingredients down unless this is
stated in the recipe.
Gluten-free coconut oil
I used Heilala coconut oil — it has an intense
coconut cream flavour. Heilala has partnered with
the Tonga National Youth Congress and Oxfam
NZ to produce coconut oil from farms that use
sustainable, organic agriculture methods.
1⁄2 cup Heilala Virgin Coconut Oil
5 tablespoons creamed honey
3⁄4 cup apple sauce
1 cup each: craisins, sultanas, chopped dried
apricots, pitted prunes, pitted dates
3 large eggs, well beaten
11⁄4 cups gluten-free baking mix
finely grated rind 2 oranges, 2 lemons
Preheat the oven to 160degC. Line the base and
sides of a 23cm springform cake pan with baking
Melt the coconut oil and honey in a large
saucepan. Add the apple sauce and dried fruit
and stir well. Cook on low for 2 minutes, stirring
Remove from the heat and add the other
ingredients. Mix well. Pour into the prepared pan.
Smooth the top.
Bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted
in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Wrap in foil and store in a cool place.
Raw Christmas cake
In keeping with the current fashion for ‘raw ’, I’ve
developed this delicious fruit and nut cake. It keeps
in the refrigerator for about a week or it can be
3⁄4 cup mixed dried fruits eg craisins, chopped
1⁄4 cup orange juice
3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts
3⁄4 cup each: almonds (with skins), cashew nuts
1 cup long thread coconut
3⁄4 cup (packed) pitted dates, chopped
1 tablespoon each: finely grated orange rind,
2 tablespoons each: lemon juice, honey
1 teaspoon finely grated root ginger
Combine the fruit mix ingredients in a bowl.
Cover and stand for 1-2 hours.
Lightly oil an 18cm round cake pan. Line the base
with baking paper.
Place the almonds, cashew nuts and coconut in
a food processor. Whizz until very fine. P lace in a
Place the dates, citrus rinds, lemon juice, honey
and root ginger in the food processor. Mix until
Return the dry ingredients to the
food processor and mix until a dough forms. Place
in a bowl and add the fruit mix ingredients.
Press into the prepared pan. Chill for at least an
hour. To serve, cut into thin slices.
Mincemeat Christmas cake
Light in fruit but dark in colour.
13⁄4 cups wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
400g Christmas mincemeat
1 cup softly packed brown sugar
150g butter, softened
1 cup mixed dried fruits
50g flaked almonds
finely grated rind 1 lemon
3 eggs, beaten
1⁄4 cup each chopped mixed peel, flaked almonds
1⁄2 cup brandy
Preheat the oven to 160degC. Lightly grease a
deep, 20-23cm diameter cake pan and line with two
or three layers of baking paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
Add the remaining cake ingredients. Beat with an
electric beater or wooden spoon until well mixed.
Spoon evenly into the prepared cake pan and level
the surface with a wet hand. Sprinkle the peel and
flaked almonds over the top.
Bake for 11⁄2 hours or until a skewer inserted in
the centre comes out clean. Cover the cake with
baking paper if the top begins to brown too much.
Sprinkle with brandy and cool in the tin for at least
Turn onto a cake rack to finish cooling. Wrap in
foil and store in a cool place.
Rich chrissy cake
Dried banana slices provide a point of difference
3⁄4 cup each: Demerara sugar, rice bran oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
finely grated rind 1 orange
1⁄4 cup each: orange juice, raspberry jam
11⁄2 cups high grade flour
1 teaspoon each: ground mixed spice, cinnamon
750g mixed dried fruit
125g dried banana slices, coarsely crushed
Preheat the oven to 150degC.
Line a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper,
ensuring the paper is 3cm higher that the rim of the
Beat the sugar and oil, until well mixed. Beat in
the eggs, orange rind, orange juice and jam. Sift in
the flour and spices. Add the dried fruit and banana
slices and mix to combine.
Spoon into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with
a wet hand.
Bake for 11⁄2 hours or until a skewer inserted in
the centre comes out clean.
If the top of the cake looks a little brown towards
the end of cooking, cover it loosely with a sheet of
baking paper, ensuring it is supported by the paper
lining the sides of the baking pan.
When cool, wrap in foil and store in a cool
here is a middle way
for you to drink and
Speights Mid Ale is
showing the way. It
is a new beer at 2.5%
alcohol. But, you say,
2.5% is a light beer.
What is a middle beer or a mid ale?
It is a smart idea from the marketing
people. Re-brand light beer.
Make a light beer the same colour and
flavour as a full strength beer and put it
on tap and call it a new name, a mid ale.
Now when you are in a pub with your
friends you can drink the mid ale and
not get wasted.
You can say ‘Yeah, nah, I’ll have a mid
It ties in perfectly with the new
drink-driving controls that are due
in December. O ver 400mg of alcohol
per litre breath and you still lose your
licence and a probable $600 fine. If
you blow between 250 and 400mg you
will be given a ticket for $200 and 50
So the lower alcohol drink is safer to
drink. For an average sized male with
no food, four 300ml (12oz) glasses of
regular beer at 4% in an hour will put
him at 400. Whereas four
glasses of 2.5% will put him
at 250. Then it is one an hour
for responsible drinking.
drink — the middle way.
What do these words have in
common? Affinity, Flight, Breeze, Little
Harvest, Simply Lighter, First Frost,
Bright, Light ... Yes, these are some
of the names that wine companies
are using on the labels of their lower
Most refer to Sauvignon Blanc but
there are also Pinot Gris, Riesling and
Rose. You can expect some stores to
group these 9% alcohol wines on a
If you cannot find them, ask for them,
then they will happen.
Old Fashioned Whiskey — Muddle a
sugar cube and three dashes Angostura
bitters in a short glass, add ice, 60ml
bourbon or more, a lemon twist and stir
Scotch whisky prices should start to
drop as they have a serious oversupply
problem with sales down 15% this year.
They increased production last decade
to fulfil demand. The opposite has
happened with American Bourbon with
a higher demand coming from China
and Russia and there is a three-year
lead time between production and sales
therefore shortages and higher prices.
“My idea has always been that when
you are young you like sweet wines;
and then you get sophisticated, and
you drink dry white; and then you get
knowledgeable, and you drink heavy
reds; and then you get old, and you
drink sweet again.” — Sally Raphael
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 7
Gluten-free coconut oil festive cake.
Perhaps you should try the middle way
Tuatara Nui APA — Big, nui, is the right word.
Big in resinous aromatics that start the assault
on your senses, then you get a barrage of hops
that almost over whelm the malt flavours on your
palate. The biggest bitter hoppy American Pale
Ale I have tasted. The back label states “frailer
souls will blanch at the thought of having their
taste buds assaulted in this manner, but the rest of
us will love the Nui big time”. 500ml. 7%. $10.
Red wine choice
Red Knot Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
— full-bodied red from the red heart
of Australian winelands, McLaren Vale,
South Australia. Lush ripe blackberry
and blackcurrant aromas and flavours
wrapped in coconut spice from the time
in oak barrels and gentle tannins. It will
go well with a rich flavoured dinner.
Drink now till 2018. Dry. $15 to $22.
White wine choice
Kahurangi Riesling 2011 — A
delicious example of Nelson Riesling
with succulent tastes of ripe limes
and hints of honey balanced with that
essential shaft of acidity. At three years
maturation it is drinking nicely but will
improve till 2017. Medium Dry. $17.
Links Archive November 4th 2014 November 6th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page