Words by Tess Astle Art by Emma Lucas
Nana’s Passionfruit Yoyos
Olivia comes from a long line of bakers. Her kitchen drawers are filled with handwritten, vanilla-stained recipe cards. Growing up, the kitchen was a sacred (and clean) space. While reminiscing, Olivia laughed, “as a kid, I didn’t end up doing much real baking. Nana would maybe let us do some mixing but it didn’t go any further than that. We were young and weren’t ready for the responsibility”. Her late Nana’s yoyos hold a special place in her heart, “she always, always had biscuits in the glass jar at her home and the yoyos were my favourite. She would use lemons or passionfruit from her own garden. That’s the family way, use what you’ve got and just add sugar”.
For the biscuits:
- ¾ cup butter
- ¾ cup plain flour
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- ¼ cup custard powder
- For the passionfruit icing:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp passionfruit pulp
- Preheat oven to 150°C
- Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer
- Add sifted flour and custard powder
- Roll them into small balls and place on a baking tray
- Flatten each ball with a fork
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown
- For the icing, mix butter, sugar and passionfruit together with a mixer
- Once the biscuits are cool, sandwich two biscuits together with icing
Our Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
Mini’s parents owned a restaurant. She remembers, “people would always say, ‘your mum must be a good cook’. But mum was no cook, it was dad”. When Mini was young, her dad and her would wander down to Victoria Street for lunch supplies and they would cook together. That love of food has continued into Mini’s own home. Making something all three of her kids enjoy wasn’t easy but Nigella Lawson’s chocolate pavlova was a slam dunk, “even Barry, our dog, loved it. He would spend ages licking the cream off his nose”. The pavlova has become a household dessert for over 15 years. It gets made for birthdays, dinner parties or just because.
For the chocolate meringue base:
- 6 large egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder (sieved)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 50g dark chocolate (finely chopped)
For the topping:
- 500ml double cream
- 500g raspberries
- 3 tbsp dark chocolate (coarsely grated)
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray
- Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny
- Sprinkle over the cocoa, vinegar and the chopped chocolate
- Gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in
- Mound on a baking sheet in a fat circle approx. 23cm in diameter, smoothing sides and top
- Place in oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C and cook for about 60 to 75 minutes. When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on the top
- Let the meringue cool completely
- When you’re ready to serve, invert onto a big, flat-bottomed plate
- Whisk the cream until thick and pile it on top, then scatter over the raspberries and dark chocolate
Mama Tilka’s Potica
Tilka Lenko was 10 years old when she first made potica. Now, years later, baking is instinctual, “you have to learn with experience. I never had a recipe and I don’t know the measurements, you just know, you just have to feel it.” Growing up in Slovenia, this walnut cake was treasured, “we had nothing else in the family, I was the 14th child but for every birthday each of us had a potica”. When talking to her granddaughter, Maddie, Mama Tilka is eager to pass down the tradition, “I have yeast already here and tomorrow I will go to get the walnuts. Whenever you are ready we will make some together”.
For the dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- For the filling:
- 3 cups walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 tbsp milk
- ¼ cup butter
- Preheat oven to 165°C
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour and yeast
- In a small saucepan, add milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Warm up the mixture on the stove to about 43°C. Butter should be almost melted. Remove from heat.
- Add the 2 egg yolks and pour milk mixture over flour.
- Put bowl onto a standing mixer and attach the dough hook. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat for another 5 minutes.
- Remove dough and shape into a ball. Lightly oil mixing bowl. Return dough to the bowl, cover with a plate and allow to rise for about 1 ½ hours or until double in size.
- For the filling, process walnuts and raisins in a food processor until fine and put in a large bowl. Add honey, egg whites, milk and melted butter. Mix well.
- Roll dough into a 45x50cm rectangle and spread filling evenly.
- Start rolling dough from 45cm edge into a jelly roll. Trim edges. Place seam down in a well-greased Bundt pan and join the ends.
- Cover and let rise again for 1 hour.
- Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
No birthday of Anett’s has been complete without a marmorkuchen. It’s the standard in her home of Germany. She first made the cake with her grandmother, then her mother nd now her children. The recipe, which can be found in her mother’s 1960 cookbook, hasn’t been needed for a long time. However, her first time baking alone didn’t go to plan, “I just loved the dough, so I locked everyone out of the kitchen and me and the cat ate half the batter. I felt so sick and the cat had an awfully swollen tummy.” She laughs, “after that, me and my brother were put on rations and only allowed one spoonful each”.
- 250g unsalted melted butter
- 375g sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 packet of Ruf vanilla sugar
- 1 packet of Ruf baking powder
- 500g flour (or Ardor Gluten free flour)
- 4 tbs cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Mix butter, sugar and milk together
- Add eggs, vanilla sugar, baking powder and flour. Mix well.
- Pour 3/4’s of the dough into greased baking dish.
- Add cocoa and a dash of milk to the remaining dough
- Mix well and pour on top of dough in the tin
- Bake for 50 minutes.
- Turn upside down on a cooling rack.
- When cooled, dust with icing sugar.