Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Apple and Cinnamon Cake

A slice of this easy light-textured apple and spice cake adds enjoyment to morning coffee or afternoon tea-time. Recipe serves 10-12.


2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ounces (185 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Filling and Decoration:
1/3 cup (approx) caster sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Pinch of ground cinnamon
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Icing sugar, to sift


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degree C). Grease a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
2. For the filling, put 1 cup water in a non-reactive pan. Add the sugar, lemon rind, cinnamon and apples. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Drain and cool.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl or onto a square of greaseproof paper.
4. Put the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Gently stir in the flour mixture and lemon rind until evenly combined, using a large metal spoon.
5. Spoon half the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle the apples over. Spoon remaining cake mixture over the apples. Level the surface.
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a warm skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sift with icing sugar.

Tip: Quarter apples after peeling to make coring and slicing easier. For an attractive design for cutting and serving, score the turned-out cake while still warm. Use a sharp knife to make 10 or 12 equal portions, then use a 2 inch (5 cm) smooth pastry cutter to score the center.

Rice Salad Primavera

You can be as creative as you like with this versatile and easy to make recipe - substitute snow peas, corn, yellow zucchini or green beans for any of the vegetables, or use a combination of wild and brown rice. Recipe serves 6.


2 cups chicken stock or water
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups broccoli florets
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick
8 ounces (250 g) firm-textured tofu, cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes
1 medium-sized green pepper (capsicum), chopped
3 spring onions, including tops, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional garnish)
For the Dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill


1. In a saucepan, bring the stock to the boil. Add the rice, cover and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes or until the rice is tender. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the broccoli and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 minute more or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain the vegetables, rinse under cold running water and pat dry.
3. To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, rind, mustard and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the oils in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is blended and slightly thickened. Stir in the dill, rice, vegetables, tofu, green pepper and spring onions and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the walnuts, if desired.