Olive Oil Rosemary Apricot Cake: Poh Bakes 100 Greats – Poh Ling Yeow

Poh Bakes_CVR

Images and recipes from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99) Photography by Alan Benson.


Olive Oil Rosemary Apricot Cake


“For the non-sweet tooths out there, this one’s for you. This savoury combination of olive oil, rosemary and lemon in a cake is just sensational and so wonderfully Mediterranean.  If you are desperate to make this outside of apricot season, apricot halves tinned in syrup make a good substitute.


Olive Oil Rosemary Apricot Cake_pg185

Feeds 10–12



5 eggs, separated

165 g (53/4 oz/ 3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar + extra 1 tablespoon, to sprinkle

1/4 teaspoon salt

185 ml (6 fl oz/ 3/4 cup) olive oil

Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

10 apricots, halved & stones removed, or tinned apricot halves, drained


To serve

1 quantity Vanilla Sour Cream or Vanilla Crème Fraîche (for both, see page 203) or Yoghurt Mascarpone Cream (see page 206)




Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) fan-forced. Grease the ring of a 20–22 cm (8–81/2 inch) springform tin, then turn the base upside down, so it no longer has a lip. Place a piece of baking paper over it, then clamp the ring around it to secure.


To make the cake, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until just foamy. Add only 55 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) of the caster sugar in two batches, whisking well between each addition, until soft peaks form. Set aside.


Combine the egg yolks, remaining caster sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed until pale and thick. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil, whisking on high speed until all of it has been used. Add the lemon zest and juice, rosemary and flour, and stir with a whisk until just combined. Whisk in one-third of the egg whites to loosen the mixture, then add the remainder and stir very gently with the whisk until combined.


Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and arrange the apricot halves in concentric circles on top, working from the outside in. Sprinkle the extra 1 tablespoon caster sugar evenly over the surface, and bake for about 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes
out clean. Rest the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, before releasing
the ring and sliding the cake onto a wire rack to cool. Rest for about
30 minutes, before slicing and serving with your choice of dolloping cream – warm works for this cake!




Page 203:


Dolloping Creams


With all the different styles of dolloping cream, you should know you don’t actually need a recipe. All you want is to remember the ratio. Rule of thumb is icing sugar will always be 10% of the cream amount no matter what. For example, you would mix 30 g (1 oz) icing sugar with 300 ml (101/2 fl oz) of cream, then it’s generally 1–11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or to taste. With the cultured creams, you could probably add a smidgen more icing sugar to balance the sharpness but, as is, they will be especially perfect for those who prefer things not overly sweet.


Makes about 300 ml (101/2 fl oz)


Crème Chantilly

300 ml (101/2 fl oz) thickened (whipping) cream

30 g (1 oz/ 1/4 cup) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar or icing (confectioners’) sugar mixture, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence


Vanilla Sour Cream or Vanilla crème Fraîche

Sour cream and crème fraîche are the next options. Both of these
are cultured creams, so have a desirable sharpness that is great for cutting through sweet things, but they differ in fat content.

Sour cream has a lower fat content, which means it does not whip. It’s structurally more similar to yoghurt, so you get a more runny finish that will separate if left for a while. Sour cream is also easier to find.

Crème fraîche, on the other hand, can be whipped because of its higher fat content, but it will only be to soft to medium peaks.

To make Vanilla Sour Cream, use the crème Chantilly recipe, but swap out the cream for sour cream, and stir with a spoon to combine.

To make Vanilla Crème Fraîche, use the crème Chantilly recipe, but swap out the cream for crème fraîche, and hand-whisk to soft or medium peaks. This will split if you overwhisk it, and the only remedy is to start again with fresh ingredients.


Page 206:


Yoghurt Mascarpone Cream


I love the look of surprise on people’s faces when I give them a spoonful of this. They expect ‘rich’ and they expect ‘cream’, but what’s wonderful is that, instead, they get this light, mildly sharp, vanilla-y, subtly sweet cultured flavour that, to be honest, trumps a conventional crème Chantilly in most cases. It doesn’t always hold well, depending on what brands of yoghurt and mascarpone you use, so it’s not good for engineering anything that needs to be structurally sound such as between layers of cake. It’s best for dolloping generously on things like pavlova or other meringue desserts, slices of tea cake or poached fruit.


Makes about 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups)




250 g (9 oz/1 cup) mascarpone cheese

250 g (9 oz/1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt

50 g (13/4 oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar mixture

1–2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste OR vanilla extract



Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. This will keep perfectly for up to 2 weeks, seeing as both the cheese and the yoghurt are cultured forms of dairy.


Mostly Healthy Always Tasty…Win a Copy of Anna Gare’s “Delicious Every Day”

Delicious Every Day is a book I highly recommend. I have this book and regularly make dishes from the recipes here. And now you have a chance to own this book too courtesy of the lovely people at Murdoch Books Australia.  For your chance to win simply tell me  in the comments of this blog post, the very appropriately named band that Anna belonged to – hint – look here  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/cooking-food-drink/quick-easy-recipes/Delicious-Every-Day-Anna-Gare-9781742663906




****Giveaway open to Australian residents only. Giveaway ends midnight 28 January 2017.


*Many thanks to the supportive people at Murdoch Books Australia for providing a copy of this book for the giveaway.



Crackers – Real Food Projects – Kate Walsh

Real Food Projects

Recipe and images from Real Food Projects by Kate Walsh [Murdoch Books] photographer Cath Muscat.



“Walk into any deli and you’re almost guaranteed to be gobsmacked by the cost of good crackers. But don’t settle for the cheap cardboard-tasting ones from the supermarket – try these instead; they’re dead easy to make, the ingredients cost very little, and they taste so amazing you’ll never be tempted to buy crackers again.


This is a basic recipe, so feel free to play around with the toppings – smoked salt, different chillies, seeds, dried herbs and spices. Roasting the spices in a small frying pan will really intensify their taste, so please don’t skip this step. You can also try incorporating some different flours like spelt and wholemeal (whole-wheat), for extra character and flavour. The crackers will keep well in an airtight container, so make a double batch and you’ll always have some on hand.


MAKES: 8 crackers




1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water, plus 3 teaspoons extra

1 tablespoon sea salt




small frying pan

large mixing bowl

wooden spoon

rolling pin or large bottle

2 baking trays, lined with baking paper


wire cooling rack


Prepare your oven: Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).


Dry-fry your spices: In a small frying pan, gently toast the spices over low heat until they are fragrant; this should take about 30 seconds. There
is no need to use any oil. This step is important as it brings out the beautiful flavours of the spices.


Mix your ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the flour, oil and 60 ml
(2 fl oz/¼ cup) water, using a wooden spoon, until just combined. The mixture should be a little sticky and shaggy; you may need to add a little extra water, say about 3 teaspoons, depending on the flour and humidity.


Knead the dough: Tip the dough
out onto a floured work bench, then
knead for about a minute, or until the dough comes together; it should have the texture of a soft playdough. The best thing about this dough is that you can’t overwork it. Mixing it only a little will give you a flaky cracker; work it a lot and the crackers will be more uniform in texture.


Roll out: Shape the dough into a log about 30 cm (12 inches long) and cut into eight pieces. Using your rolling pin, roll each piece into an oblong shape that looks like a crocodile’s snout. They should be as thin as a piece of paper. If they are too thick, they will be doughy, not crispy. They will also stretch a little more when you transfer them to the baking tray.


Add the toppings: Sprinkle each piece of dough evenly with the salt and the toasted spices. Gently roll the rolling pin over the top to make sure the spices are incorporated, and don’t fall off when they are cooked.


Bake: Transfer to baking trays lined with baking paper. Brush with a little olive oil, then prick all over with a fork, to stop air bubbles forming. Bake for 6–8 minutes, or until they are golden.


Cool and store: Leave to cool on a wire rack. When cooled, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the pantry. The crackers are best consumed within 2 weeks.




  • Sprinkle with cheese before baking – perfect for little people’s lunchboxes.
  • For a richer cracker, add a handful of grated cheddar cheese to the dough mixture, and use melted butter instead of olive oil.” (pps.132-135)


Post Script: BakeClass – Anneka Manning

Start a family tradition today!

BakeClass Cover_Jacket

Anneka Manning
Murdoch Books
Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781743365717

An essential baking book that progressively builds the home cook’s skills and confidence through technique-based lessons and delicious recipes.

Take a personalised master class with baking expert Anneka Manning.

Whether you’re a beginner or already baking with confidence, Anneka will guide you through a unique step-by-step lesson sequence to help you master the 10 fundamental mixing methods that provide the foundation for all baking recipes.

This must-have reference features over 90 sweet and savoury fail-safe recipes that will build your know-how and confidence in a progressive and practical way, and help you become the baker you want to be.
My View:
Why do I bake? I enjoy the process, I enjoy creating something from a list of ingredients. I like to share the creations with people I love, I want control of the ingredients that go into the food I eat – no artificial colours, artificial flavours, preservatives, Trans fats or gums or fillers in the food I prepare. I decide how much sugar and salt I include. I decide the type of flour I use.

Cooking and in particular baking brings people together. I love it. I share the results of my baking often. Sometimes I give it all away. It I gives me such a wonderful feeling. If you feel the same – then this book is for you! Step by step, method by method there is something here for all to make and share and give away. These recipes are so easy – I have already made the Zucchini and Pistachio Loaf – even my zucchini hating husband enjoyed this, the Chocolate and Walnut Fudge Cookies are divine (my daughters tell me this!) the Date and Orange Loaf is perfect for a picnic (again ask my daughters) and the Pecan and Cinnamon Oat Biscuits are perfect to share around the office.

There are so many evocative memories in this recipe book- whose grandma made them macaroons? Or sponge cakes or Berry and Coconut Slice? Or meringues? You too can take on these cooking traditions with the aid of this book or create your own traditions. The recipes are so easy – and instructions are by methods, personally I prefer the measure and mix or food processor methods but I am happy to make any of the recipes here – the instructions and so clear.

Start a family tradition today!

Post Script: The Best Of Gretta Anna with Martin Teplitzky – Gretta Anna and Martin Teplitzky

Guaranteed to make you hungry just looking through this book.

The Best of Gretta Anna

The Best of Gretta Anna with Martin Teplitzky


Penguin Random House

Penguin Books

ISBN: 9781921383656



The much loved Gretta Anna Teplitzky is to Australian cuisine what Julia Child was to American cuisine, introducing the home cooks of Australia to her own unique style of fabulous French-style cooking, with her practical, non-nonsense recipes that work every time.


Here, for the first time, is an updated selection of recipes from her two bestselling books, curated by her son Martin, a talented chef in his own right.


What’s more, you’ll find sixty original, never before published Gretta Anna recipes, plus a selection from Martin.


My View:

It is a bleak and rainy day here in Western Australia and so I though what better to do on this lazy afternoon than flick through a new recipe book and see what catches my attention – I was already considering making something sweet with bananas or a casseroled beef type main meal (a strange combination I admit but we expecting a delivery of Leeuwin Grass Fed Beef tomorrow and I have some ripe bananas on hand and I am already planning what I might make with these ingredients).


Picking up this book was the wrong thing to do- I am now sitting in my office – my stomach is gurgling begging me to start cooking. The trouble is there are so many great looking recipes I don’t know where to start. French style cooking has never looked yummier (the photos are amazing) and so many of the recipes are calling to be made. And they don’t look difficult (is it a myth that French style cooking is intricate and tricky to master?) As the description of the back cover states – these are practical, no nonsense recipes that work every time.


Already I have decided to make Anna’s Carrot Cake, the Banana Cake (it is recommended to make a double batch and freeze one as all who try will love this), the Macaroons (a family favourite), the Almond Chocolate and Ginger Cake, and the mix in the food processor; Rol’s Apple Pecan Cinnamon Cake (too easy).


For vegetables I want to try the unusual combination of Sweet Potatoes in Lemon and Ginger or Broccoli with Garlic and Chillies or Beans & Broccoli with Chillies and Almonds (the garden has plenty of beans and sweet potatoes at the moment).


For the main meal …so many choices leap out at me; the Moussaka looks great (and we have eggplant still growing in the garden), or perhaps The Basic Casserole – can be made with chicken/lamb or beef. Or there is the Pot Roast Chicken or the Perfect Roast Chicken and the Chicken Capitan – it looks delicious too (a Spanish style recipe) or there is the Osso Buco Special.


Or perhaps the German Potato Soup would be a good place to start – something nourishing and warming for this wintry day?


Too many choices!





Eggplant Parmesan

The garden is providing an abundance of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, beans, pumpkins, zucchinis and cucumbers.

This week I will make tomato kasundi and eggplant kasundi to use up some of the excess (  tastes yum too).

Today I made Chef Pasquale’s Eggplant Parmesan. It was easy and taste so good! (but only uses one eggplant) 🙂


Eggplant a-la-natural


Eggplant freshly picked.


The finished product- Eggplant Parmesan .

**See the video for the recipe or leave a comment requesting and I will post the list of ingredients and method.