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Posts from the ‘Birthday cakes’ Category

Lemon Curd Honeycomb Cruffins


This weeks cruffin flavour at the shop and market is Lemon Curd Honeycomb.

For those readers who don’t know, Gourmet Gannet is the name of the small artisan bakery I own in a place called Kumeu, West Auckland. I opened the business almost three years ago, which was the start of my blogging silence. I have started to come back to blogging just recently.. very slowly! Here’s a picture of the front of the shop which we have recently gone through some rebranding.

Even though we seem to be in the midst of cruffin madness and sell out on Saturday’s before 10am, my thoughts are turning towards Christmas recipes. Yes I know some of you probably screamed at the mention of the word. But when you own a bakery you have to get organized early, the time races by and there is soooo much to make. We have actually finished baking all our Christmas cakes, they need plenty time to rest. Thanks to a lovely young lady who is working with us pre Christmas, we will have heaps of festive treats for you all who visit the shop and our market stall. For those further afield, I promise to blog some of our recipes.



Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons & my POP UP Patisserie

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They say every cloud has a silver lining and redundancy from my full time employment this month was just that. I decided it the opportune time to do what I have not been brave enough to do for some time and go into business for myself. I am opening a POP UP patisserie! Why POP UP you might ask? Well it is financially a lower risk and it also give me the opportunity to test the market in our neighbourhood. There was also an existing coffee and juice bar looking for some yummy food so we were the perfect match, two small businesses under the same roof complimenting each other. Our opening day will be 2nd July, 2013 … just over a week away! This is our address and opening hours:

9D Factor Road, Waimauku, Auckland (sharing premises with The Daily Squeeze) – Opening hours; Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm


Menu selection changes daily but here is an idea of what mouth watering treats are on offer.

Homemade pies; Beef Stroganoff, Moroccan Lamb, Thai Chicken
Homemade Soups; Piri Piri Chicken & Corn Smokey Ham & White Bean
Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Galette Roasted Tomato & Halloumi Galette
Rueben Sandwiches, BLAT
Savoury Tarts
Pain au Chocolat & au Raisin
Eccles Cakes, Scones, Shortbread
Portugese tarts, Palmiers
Vanilla Custard Doughnuts
Raspberry & White Choc Lamingtons
Blueberry Danish
Lemon Drizzle, Gingerbread Loafs

Also stocking artisan bread by Pukeko Bakery

…and lots more

And yes you will be able to buy some of these delicious homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons if you pop in!

For those who would like to try making their own here is the recipe below.

I’m also submitting this recipe to our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by my dear friend Sue over at Couscous & Consciousness.  If you pop across to her blog you will find a few more Kiwi bloggers and their sweet creations.



Sponge base here,  plus 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.

100ml whipped cream for filling & 4 Tbsps raspberry jam for filling

 200ml whipped cream for ganache

200g white chocolate for ganache

1 Tbsp raspberry jam for ganache

200g coconut thread


Sponge method here, plus add the raspberries after the flour and stir through only a few times so raspberries don’t break up.

Instead of using two round cake tins like in the victoria sandwich cake recipe, use two square. this will make the top and bottom piece of the Lamington.

Bake as per recipe, allow to cool before filling sponge cake.

Spread the jam over one sponge layer, then spread the cream over the jam. Place second sponge on top of jam & cream.

Before cutting the sponge into square I find it better to let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

Cut cake into approximately 8cm square pieces.

To make the ganache, place the cream & chocolate into a plastic bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 min. Stir and continue to microwave in 10 second blasts, stirring in-between until chocolate has melted.

Add the 1 Tbsp of jam to the ganache.

Now for the messy bit! Pour the coconut thread onto a tray.

Dip all 4 sides of each individual cake square into the ganache, using a spatular to scrape of too much excess ganache. Roll cake in coconut thread. Place on a tray the spread a bit of ganache ontop of square and sprinkle with coconut.


Sour Cherry & Walnut Brownie

DSC_0006What do I like about this brownie? Everything! The crisp sugary crust as you take the first bite, the gooey chocolate centre is so rich it clings to the roof of your mouth and you wonder if you can get through a whole piece. Then a tang of the sour cherry hits, balanced with the earthy walnut and you know you will managed another bite…maybe even another slice!

Would you buy these brownies if you stumbled across them at a Farmers Market? Well you may get the opportunity soon as the Gourmet Gannet plans to be selling sweet and savoury pastries pies and other treats from Hobsonville Point Farmers Market, Auckland starting this Sunday 17th Feb, 9am – 1pm and then every Sunday after that date. Come along and visit me!  In the meantime I’ll let you have my recipe….


200g Dark chocolate (70% cacao), broken into pieces

50g butter

300g soft brown sugar

5 free range eggs

80g Plain Flour

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

100g sour cherries (dried)

100g walnuts


Pre-heat the oven to 200C and grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter & chocolate together in short burst in a microwave. Stir in between each burst.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar & eggs till they go pale.

Pour the melted but cooled chocolate & butter into the sugar mix and whisk briefly to combine.

Add the walnuts & cherries to the cake mixture and stir through.

Sift the flour & cocoa into the cake mixture and stir through till combined.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. The centre should still feel a little wobbly and when you insert a skewer it will come out sticky. The top will be crisp. it will set when cooled but have a gooey centre. Don’t be tempted to cook longer otherwise it will just be like a cake.

Allow to cool before cutting.

Brownie will keep in the fridge for at least a week if you can resist!

Fig & Brownie Truffle Birthday Slice

DSC_0063Do most food bloggers make their own birthday cake? I think they probably do. Here is mine, it’s a slice this year rather than a cake but I had something I wanted to try out and what better than to try it out on my birthday. You see, I had these amazing chocolates at Christmas which were figs stuffed with a chocolate truffle filling then the whole fig dipped in more chocolate. I couldn’t get enough of them and did think of making my own but shapely mini figs are not easy to find and it would be a bit fiddly to do. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t have something similar did it? My mind started wandering along how to convert all the ingredients into a cake. A layer of brownie as a stable base, next a layer of silky ganache combined with blended seed popping figs and finally a thin layer of ganache to give it a smooth finish.

It came out exactly how I envisioned it! So here it is, my Fig & Brownie Truffle Slice. It’s very rich but not too sweet because of the 70% cocoa chocolate. It’s a cake to share for sure and holds well in the fridge, you just need to let it come to room temperature before you eat it. Day four and we are still eating the slice, tasting as good as day one, so I would say it will keep for a week in the fridge in an airtight container.

Brownie Base – Ingredients

120g butter
100g 70% cocoa chocolate
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 free range eggs
180g castor sugar
150g plain flour


Preheat oven to 180C

Grease & line a 20cm square cake tin.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan then remove from the heat

Add the chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate has melted.

Add the the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.

Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar and  flour to a smooth batter.

Pour the cake batter into the lined tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Fig Truffle Centre Layer – Ingredients
150g 70% cocoa chocolate
100ml single or whipping cream
250g dried figs
Heat the cream in a small pan then remove from the heat.

Add the chocolate and stir till melted .

Put the figs (remove stalk if there is any) in a food processor and blitz till finely chopped.

Add the cream and chocolate to the figs in processor and blend together.

Spread the warm fig mixture over the warm brownie, there is no need to let cake cool at this stage.

Chocolate Ganache Top Layer – Ingredients
50g 70% cocoa chocolate
40ml single or whipping cream
Heat the cream in a small pan then remove from the heat.

Add the chocolate to the hot cream and stir till melted. Pour the Ganache over cooled fig layer of cake.

Place in the fridge to cool until you want to serve the cake.

A Pacific Wedding Cake

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This little cake is going on a flight today with friends who are attending their son’s wedding. A short flight thankfully to the Great Barrier Island which lies just off the East coast of Auckland (20 mins by plane maybe, I have only been by boat). It’s a beach wedding and the request was for something ‘untraditional’ to match the mood and venue.  Looking at the weather forecast for the next few days it will be Pacific sunny days too.

The cake has a chocolate fudge base and lemon yoghurt top, no recipe today sorry just a pic. As I started to place the flower motifs onto the cake I thought..OMG, it’s going to look awful, nothing like the picture they showed me but once all together I think it looks pretty good. It’s a gift from the parents of the groom and the wedding couple haven’t seen it yet, I hope they like it.

Christmas Pudding Cake Pops

photo (1)I’ve had cake pops on my ‘to do list’ for a while and finally got the opportunity when visiting a friend down in New Plymouth the other week. She has two daughters who were keen to help make them and even more importantly eat them. It’s a fun activity to do with kids, fairly easy but a bit fiddly. For those younger than 8 years you will need to assist with the moulding of the cake balls and inserting the sticks into the cake pops gently so not to break the already moulded cake. The dipping and decorating is the easy bit and I would suggest letting them have ‘free reign’ on how they want them to look and not worry too much about the perfect looking pop for your blog!

The girls did an amazing job, we made a few Christmas pudding style pops and then the creativity started. Sprinkles, cachous and mini fondant shape Christmas tree, gingerbread men and stars where more popular as their creativity flowed.

You can use any cake as the base, bought or homemade even gluten free but I would suggest you use a heavier cake similar to Madeira. We used 70% chocolate but milk chocolate would work just as well if that is preferred. There are many images of cake pops on the internet so if you are looking for decorating ideas just Google ‘cake pops’.


Ingredients – Cake Pop

Makes approx 12

200g Madeira or Chocolate Cake

160g dark or milk chocolate (I used 70%)

50ml single cream

Ingredients – Decoration

250g dark or milk chocolate

50g white chocolate

Sprinkles, cachous or fondant flowers to decorate


Crumble the cake into fine crumbs.

Melt the cream and dark chocolate together in a microwave, using short 30 second bursts. Stir in between each heat and continue process till melted. Stir into the cake crumbs.

To form the cake balls, take enough cake mixture to a ping pong sized ball. Roll gently in your hands to create a smooth surface and place on a large plate. If it doesn’t come together in a ball you may need to add more melted chocolate.

Place cake balls in the fridge to set (approx 20 minutes).

Melt the dark chocolate from the ingredients list. Dip the end of a lolly stick into the melted chocolate and gently poke half way into the cake ball with a twisting movement.

Place them back on the plate and into the fridge to set again for a few minutes.

Dip the cake pops one at a time into the melted chocolate, letting any excess chocolate drip off.

Stand the cake pops in a mug or a piece of polystyrene making sure they don’t tough each other and allow to set. If you set them in the fridge the chocolate will go dull but depending on your weather or patience you may have no choice but to use the fridge to set the chocolate

Melt the white chocolate in a microwave with the same method as the dark chocolate.

Spoon a teaspoon of white chocolate onto the top of each cake pop, tipping the cake pop back and forth so the white chocolate runs down the sides.

Decorate with sprinkles, cachous or fondant holly or flowers.

If you ‘google’ cake pops on the internet you will find lots more ideas of how to decorate them.

Have fun!photo (2)photo (3)

Italian Sfinci with Orange Ricotta Cream

Last week I ran a pastry class, teaching the group how to make a choux pastry. The classes are all hands on so everyone gets to make their own pastries and more importantly take a batch home with them. From the choux pastry we made traditional Chocolate Eclairs and Profiteroles but the champion of the evening was certainly these irresistible Italian treats. Sfinci are the Italians answer to doughnuts and they certainly have a way of of making doughnuts rather look clumsy and unrefined. They are made from a choux style pastry, deep fried until they turn golden and puff up into these heavenly feather light balls of crispy dough. They are so light you will be able to fool yourself that they can’t possibly be unhealthy, share them with friends if you feel guilty about eating them all, then everyone including your waistline will be happy!

If you can resist not eating them all before they have a chance to cool down, they really are delectable filled with the ricotta and orange cream.

Some Sfinci are made from a yeast batter but I like this style.

I just know my NZ blogger friends will love them so I have dedicated this post to our monthly blogging event Sweet New Zealand which was created byAlessandra who is Italian, let’s see what she thinks of them! This months event is hosted by After Taste where you will find lots more Kiwi goodness in the next few days.

65ml water
65ml whole milk
55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp caster sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
100g plain flour
3 free-range medium eggs, beaten
500 ml vegetable oil
250g ricotta
20g orange candied peel
1Tbsp icing sugar
Extra castor sugar to roll the Sfinci in

Put the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat.
Take off the heat, immediately tip in the flour and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until completely smooth.
Return to a medium heat and cook for about 2 minute until the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, the flour needs to be cooked a little.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool, gradually whisk in the beaten eggs until you have a smooth dropping consistency.
Place the vegetable oil into a pan and heat to approx 180C. If you haven’t got a thermometer just test small blobs of the dough, if they start to fry immediately and slowly go golden the temperature is correct. If they brown rapidly then it is too hot.
Spoon rough tablespoons of dough into hot oil in batches and turn occasionally until golden and cooked through (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit).
Use a slotted spoon to remove the Sfinci from the pan once cooked and place on a tray with the extra castor sugar and roll them in the sugar to coat.
Once cooled, cut them open and fill them with ricotta cream.
To make the ricotta cream, mix together the ricotta, one tablespoon of icing sugar and orange candied peel.


Apple & Ginger Brioche Scrolls


The combination of ginger and apple has been banging around my head for a few weeks and finally this weekend I managed to satisfy my imagination and tummy at the same time making these brioche style rolls. I have used quite a bit of ginger in this recipe as I like to the hot bite of ginger but if you prefer it a bit milder then used less.

I can be quite impatient waiting for bread dough to rise, a bit like the watch pot never boils but as I had finished rolling these up and putting them in the muffin tins my surfing buddy called. It was like Malibu surf out at Muriwai, for those not familiar with Muriwai that means a drop in waves from a regular 5-7 foot to a mini 2 foot, perfect for a lazy Sunday surf after a busy week at the office and a wedding catered for on Saturday. So no pot watching…well dough watching today, the dough had risen perfectly by the time I came out of the surf, in the oven and ready to eat after a shower, maybe even two after all that exercise. Then enough time to fit a siesta in before getting dinner on.

Ingredients-makes 8
3 cups high grade flour
2 tsp dried yeast grains
1/2 cup warm milk
50g butter, soft
2 small eggs
3 tbsp castor sugar
1 apple, cored and grated
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp ginger powder
2tbsp sugar & 2tbsp water for the sugar glaze

Preheat oven at 180C and cut 8 squares of baking paper to fit 8 muffin tins.
Place the flour and castor sugar in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
Put the yeast into the well and pour the warm milk over the yeast and leave to dissolve for a 2 minutes. It will start to bubble.
Stir the milk into the flour, it will be quite dry at this stage.
Add the butter and eggs and bring the ingredients together to form a bread like dough. If it is too sticky (depends on egg size) add more flour so you can knead the dough without it sticking to your hands.
Knead for 5-8 minutes, the longer you knead the better.
Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a plastic bag to stop dough from drying out. Rest for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, place the grated apple into a bowl with the brown sugar and ginger and mix together.
Roll the dough out to 12 inch x 8 inch with the longer side closest to you.
Spread the apple and ginger mix over the dough.
Roll the dough up, away from you, into a sausage shape so that once rolled it still measure 12 inch.
Slice the dough into 8 rings and place each one in the middle of a square of baking paper. Put each one into a muffin tin/cup and allow dough to prove and double in size.
Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
Put the sugar and water for the glaze in a pan and bring to the boil for 1 minute.
Brush brioche rolls with sugar glaze and its best to eat them warm.

Diesel is a little exhausted after all the baking and surfing too!


Frangipane Tart with Fresh Berries & Figs

We, meaning the girls and I, have become Farmers Market junkies of late but what a nice addiction to have don’t you think? Not something we could have boasted six months ago since there were no markets in our area. In the past few months two have popped up, Kumeu Country Market which is not strictly a farmers market since it sells more than just produce and the Hobsonville Point Farmers Market which is every Sunday morning.

We like to head out early to Hobsonville to get the pick of anything new on offer and enjoy breakfast while there shopping, starting with a great coffee and a lots of sampling of produce its the perfect way to kick start the day. The bag was full on the homeward journey this Sunday, full of Razor Back prosciutto, Freedom Farm streaky bacon, olive oil and lime syrup and spices bought by the 100gram, I consume a lot so it’s the perfect way for me to buy. Beautiful fragrant local grapes, mini courgettes, micro greens, chillies and blackberries, blueberries and figs to decorate this tart with.

There are many reasons why I love to buy at a farmers market, everything is under one roof, it is all locally grown farmed products and the people selling the produce are so passionate about what they are selling. There’s always a buzz, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, it makes shopping a pleasure not a chore.

If you would like to find out where your local Farmers Market is (in NZ only I’m afraid) or vote for your favourite Framers Market hop over to:

Ingredients – pastry

  • 110g Butter
  • 180g flour
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp iced water

Method – pastry

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Grease and flour a 24cm loose bottom tart tin or 6-8 small ones.
  3. Place the flour, butter and icing sugar in a bowl.
  4. Work the ingredients together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, if it gets too soft put it in the fridge to chill further then continue working it together. If you have hot hands put your bowl on top of an ice pack to keep it cool while mixing.
  5. Add the egg and water and bring dough together.
  6. Rest dough in fridge for 30 minutes before rolling out.
  7. Roll out pastry to fit bottom & sides of tin.
  8. Allow to rest in the fridge until tart filling is prepared.

Ingredients – tart filling

  • 150g butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • Berries to top tart with

Method – tart filling

  1. Make the frangipane filling by creaming the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Fold in the ground almonds.
  4. Spread one tablespoon of apricot jam over the pastry base then cover with frangipane batter.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes for the large tart or 20 for the smaller individual tarts, or until the frangipane is golden and risen slightly and is like sponge to touch.
  6. Allow to cool before arranging the fruit on top.
  7. Heat the rest of the apricot jam in a pan and strain through a sieve.
  8. With a pastry brush, brush the top of tart with some jam and arrange fruit on top of the jam glaze, this will hold the fruit.
  9. Brush all the arranged fruit with the apricot glaze. This not only makes it look nice and shiny it also stops the fruit from drying out.
  10. Store in fridge and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Lemon Chia Seed Cake with Blackberry Drizzle

Delish Cupcakes in Forest Hill, has organised a bake sale to raise funds for the Canterbury Earthquake relief, Saturday 5th March, 10am to 3pm. I am baking and contributing a larger version of this lemon chai seed cake with blackberry drizzle so if you would like to sample a slice you can do on Saturday at their store! If you live in the Auckland region and would like to donate your own cake you can get the details of how to from the Delish Cupcake website. And if you aren’t a baker but love cakes you can still do your bit by popping down and purchasing what is on offer!

I can do a collection on my way from Muriwai to The Shore via West Harbour or Whenuapai if you would like to offer some baking but aren’t able to get to the shop. Just leave me a comment or email me at
Delish Cupcakes
Shop 4, 14-16 Raines Ave
Forest Hill
North Shore
(just of Tristram off ramp)

Recipe for Chai Seed & lemon Cake with Blackberry Drizzle Ingredients

  • Zest of 2 & juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups castor sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 & 1/4 cups self raising flour
  • 200g sour cream (lite if you prefer)
  • 50g chai seeds (or you can use poppy seeds)
  • 200g blackberries
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Below is the option to make either a large cake or cupcakes out of the mixture.
  2. Pre heat oven 160C
  3. Grease and flour a 24cm cake tin or prepare 18 cupcake cases in muffin tins.
  4. Cream together the butter & sugar.
  5. Add the juice and the lemon zest.
  6. Beat in eggs one at a time, until combined.
  7. Stir in half the sifted flours then half the sour cream. Then stir in the remaining flour and cream.
  8. Spoon mixture into the cake tin or cupcake cases to 2/3 full.
  9. Bake large cake for 1 hour until golden, then test with skewer to see if it comes out clean, if not bake a little longer and test again until it does come out clean. Shouldn’t be more than 1.25 hours altogether. For the cupcakes, bake until puffed and golden, approx 25 minutes.
  10. Stand 5 minutes before turning onto cake rack to cool.
  11. Put the blackberries and icing sugar in a blender and whiz together. You can strain the mix or use with the seeds. Pour over cool cake and serve.
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