Category Archives: Raspberry

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Is the muffin just an ugly cupcake? Well according to T-Shirt makers in 2008, yes they are. Of course the muffin did gain a rather unsavoury reputation just by association with the rather popular “muffin top” saying when referring to a rather inflated midriff.

American muffins, not to be mistaken for their much older English yeasted bread like counterparts, date back to the 19th century. Muffins were in fact quick breads baked in tins with the aid of a chemical leavener. Before the introduction of baking powder pearlash, a refined potash, was used as the raising agent. The pearlash reacted with the acidity of ingredients such as buttermilk to produce carbon dioxide bubbles in the mixture causing the baking product to rise. Potash comes from ashes and lye so I guess it is no wonder that while the pearlash did indeed make a great rising agent it also left a bitter aftertaste in baking.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins


Slightly adapted from Jo Seagar Bakes.

Makes 12 muffins


  • 300gms plain flour
  • 160gm caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 100gm melted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 130gm white chocolate bits.


Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray muffin pans with oil and line with baking paper.

Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine the melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla essence.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Add chocolate chips and frozen raspberries, mix until combined. Note: to obtain a nice light muffin be careful not to overwork the ingredients.

Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin pans and bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool enough so that muffins are still warm, dust with icing sugar and serve.

Best served warm.

RAspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake


Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake

I always fancied living in another era, it probably comes from secretly reading too many bodice ripping romance novels or, not so secretly, reading Jane Austin or maybe even watching too many episodes of “Downton Abbey”. I can quite imagine myself as Elizabeth Bennett the first time she clapped eyes on Mr Darcy or as Lady Mary swanning around the vast corridors of her stately home in all her satin finery. I think I could become quite a master at casting a gimlet eye at the hapless servants as they scurry about with their dusters and coal buckets while I swanned off to afternoon tea.  However, knowing my luck if I lived in that time I would be the one more likely to be carrying the coal bucket or serving the overlarge tray brimming with ‘cakey’ goodness while at the same time cowering under the acid tongue of the Dowager Duchess … so much for my delusions of grandeur.

I recently discovered that “high tea”, as we call it in Australia, was not originally the delightful gathering of ladies sharing gossip over a leisurely cup of tea with some dainty cucumber sandwiches and tiny bite size cakes. It was, in fact, a custom from Victorian times where the working class of Britain would come home after a day of back breaking work to partake in more substantial fare more akin to an evening meal. The term ‘High’ comes from the height of the table where tea is served, high being a dining table and low being a coffee table.

Anna the Duchess of Bedford is credited for the popularity of the afternoon tea. It was common practice at that time (1800s) to have a late evening meal so by the time 4 o’clock rolled around hunger pangs were starting to set in. Anna would counter this by having tea and biscuits served in her rooms to keep her going until dinner time – clearly she is a woman after my own heart. Anna began sending out invitations to her friends to join her for afternoon tea and it soon became such a popular way to socialise that other middle and upper class households also began adopting the practice of an at home afternoon tea.

Nowadays high teas, or afternoon teas, are more likely to be held in hotels than in your own home, but if you fancy recreating your own version of Downton Abbey and  inviting some friends over to revive a tradition this raspberry and vanilla cake would be perfect for your own “at home” afternoon tea. Now I just have to wonder what Mr LG would look like in a butler’s uniform…hmmm.

Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake


Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 76.


  • 120gm unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 220gm caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225gm plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125ml milk
  • 100gm frozen raspberries
  • vanilla sugar.


Preheat oven to 160°C. Spray a 26cm loose based tart pan with oil. Line the base with baking paper.

Mix flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter, vanilla extract and caster sugar together until light and smooth.

Add eggs one at a time mixing well between additions.

Remove bowl from mixer. Add flour and then milk in two separate additions mixing with a spatula until fully combined,

Scrape batter into the tart pan and smooth the top with a knife or palette knife.

Press frozen raspberries into the top of the batter.

Sprinkle with vanilla sugar

Place pan on a lipped baking tray in case batter leaks from the tart pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in pan before turning out.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake

Raspberry Swirl and White Chocolate Ice Cream

Raspberry Swirl and White Chocolate Ice Cream

Last week it was lemon stealing wallabies, this week it is dog riding possums. What the??? So here goes: “Once upon a time in a land down under”…. no seriously this is a true story!! Well it all happened at the magic hour of midnight. Mr LG had let the dog out for a last bit of doggie business, it was the middle of winter and so he was wearing his coat which funnily enough resembles a horse blanket (the dog that is not Mr LG :)).

When the dog hadn’t returned after 15 minutes Mr LG went outside to find out where he was. No one was more surprised than me to hear Mr LG call out that there was a possum on the dog’s back. Of course Mr LG hasn’t always let the truth get in the way of a good story so I thought he was pulling my leg. A few seconds later Mr LG dashes in the back door and grabs the torch because, yes, there was indeed a possum hitching a ride on the dog’s back looking not unlike a little miniature jockey.

Mr LG has become quite adept at wrangling wildlife since we moved to Australia so our wee visitor was more than happy to move on after having a torch shone in his eyes. So what did the dog think of all this carry on… not much apparently he didn’t seem overly fazed by his unexpected jockey and in fact was quite happy to follow him off into the woods. This of course meant Mr LG then had to go down the back into the spooky dark to wrangle the dog who chooses to forget his name whenever it suits.

Dogs, possums and cold winter nights aside I ask the age old blogger question – is it ever too cold to eat ice cream? Of course the answer is a resounding NOOOOOOO. And so I present to you this absolutely decadent raspberry swirl and white chocolate ice cream.


Raspberry Swirl and White Chocolate Ice Cream



  • 1 quantity of this vanilla ice cream
  • 250gm frozen raspberries
  • 62.5gms sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 120gm white chocolate, chopped coarsely.


Make vanilla ice cream as per instructions here up until it is ready to churn. Refrigerate.

Make raspberry puree by placing raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to avoid the berries catching. Once the raspberries have released their juice simmer for 5 minutes. Put the berries through a sieve over a bowl to remove the seeds. Set aside for later use.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat. Remove from heat. Place chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl over the hot water until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Start churning the ice cream mix in ice cream machine as per manufacturers’ instructions. When the ice cream is half churned place the melted chocolate in a zip lock plastic bag, cut a small corner off the end of the bag. Hold the bag over the ice cream machine and allow the melted chocolate to drizzle into the ice cream. The chocolate will harden on impact with the cold ice cream and leave chocolate shards through out the ice cream.

Once the ice cream has finished churning scoop into a plastic container. Pour small amounts of the raspberry puree over the top of ice cream. Use a knife and mix to create a swirl pattern. Place ice cream in the freezer to harden.


Raspberry Swirl and White Chocolate Ice Cream