Quick & easy whole orange cupcakes with lemony drizzle

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Written by Kylie Jurgensen | Images by Sacha Kenny
20 October 2014

Making good use of the plentiful supply of citrus fruits, Kylie Jurgensen shares a delicious recipe for tasty, not-to-sweet orange cupcakes - perfect anytime

New Zealand Navel oranges are abundant right now – more yellow than orange but sweet, seedless, juicy and every one nursing a tiny mini-me at its heart. 

Our bulging bowl of oranges has been calling me each time I passed by, or kissed a child with a sticky orange smile.

Daylight Saving ticked over, Spring sneaked in a few glorious days and I began to have premature imaginations of summer lawn parties, wide-brimmed sunhats, floral dresses and orange tea cakes drizzled with lemon glaze, garnished with lavender and piled up in baskets lined with delicately striped linen.

Of course in my neck of the woods summer isn’t like that at all. It’s lots of arms and legs, beach towels slung round necks, sunhats and togs, jandals and sunscreen, treks through the dunes to the beach, waterbottles, sandcastles, driftwood and lazy evenings watching the boats come in. But I could still see those orangey cupcakes, packed in Tupperware, munched with joy.

These orangey teacakes do not involve slow boiling of oranges, expensive cuploads of ground almonds, semolina and a decadent syrupy spicy finish.

Although I love my orange and almond syrup cakes, I wanted a recipe that could be whisked up in the food processor with store cupboard ingredients, cooked in minutes and packed in the picnic hamper soon after. I also wanted extras for later, so this recipe makes 24 medium cupcakes, flecked with orangey bits and finished with a lemony drizzle (or not, as you wish).



Quick and easy whole orange cupcakes with lemony drizzle

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Prepare two 12-hole muffin pans by greasing or lining with cupcake liners
  2. Add the following ingredients to a food processor, in order, pulsing between each new item to mix:

    1 cup sugar 
    250 grams butter, melted
    3 large eggs
    2 ½ cups flour
    1 ½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp baking soda
    vanilla extract or essence to taste
    approximately 500 grams Navel oranges (I used 3 whole oranges). Leave peel on but trim stem end and cut each orange into eighths before adding – pulse till small chunks but not pureed

  3. Divide mix between muffin pans – I use a spring-loaded icecream scoop to do this and you should get 24 scoops from this mix. 
  4. Bake until cupcakes are risen, fragrant, golden round the edges and the surface of the cupcake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger – approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and leave to cool in pans for about ten minutes. Then remove cupcakes from pans and leave to cool on a wire rack before glazing.
  6. The glaze is optional and could be flavoured with just about anything, depending on your preference. I made a basic lemony glaze by adding the juice and rind of a lemon to ¾ cup icing sugar. Instead of lemon juice you could try flavouring the glaze with rosewater, a dash of almond essence, orange juice, cranberry juice, even espresso coffee. Thin your glaze to pouring consistency with a little water or milk if required and drizzle it over cooled muffins. 



Red kidney bean, raspberry & chilli chocolate brownies

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Written by Kylie Jurgensen | Images by Kylie Jurgensen
20 September 2014

Guest writer Kylie Jurgensen: mother of five, writer, creative soul and foodie (amongst many other talents) shares a fab brownie with a red kidney bean twist



These deliciously dark, moist and fragrant brownies have the aroma of raspberries with a subtle nip of chilli. But that’s not all...with the secret addition of red kidney beans they will kick protein bars to the back of your pantry and have you fighting fit in no time at all - or not, but hey, they taste a-ma-zing and that’s what matters!

I have to confess I’ve been through a bit of an anti-brownie phase. A while back it gradually crept up on me that the decadent fudgy brownies I used to enjoy now seemed  disappointingly gloopy in the centre and unpleasantly sugary. For a while I kidded myself that the gloop was a delicious ‘molten centre’ but even that subterfuge eventually wore thin. I’m still not sure whether it was me who changed or an epidemic of cloyingly sweet, raw, sagging middle that afflicted brownies in homes, cafes and recipe files across the Southern Hemisphere and beyond, but with every disappointing brownie experience these pieces of chocolatey heaven began to drop further and further down my happy place-o-meter. 

The unthinkable prospect of a brownie-less future looked scarily likely until, in a happy coincidence, a recipe for black bean brownies crossed my path. I remembered these from vegan shared lunches - dark, rich, sweet and delicious with a smooth, substantial texture. Hope began to glimmer again. 

When a lone can of kidney beans emerged from the back of my pantry on baking day, I wondered whether these protein-packed marvels could be sacrificed to a two-fold mission: to revive the brownie love and to produce an energy-rich lunchbox filler that would bake up in bulk, freeze well, and delight the senses of my picky offspring. 

The verdict: a resounding ‘yes’. This recipe is quick and easy to whip up in the food processor and makes a big stainless steel roasting pan full. Halve it if you have fewer mouths to feed, or you can freeze the brownies in a single uncut slab, well-wrapped in foil and cling film. This recipe is extremely forgiving and lends itself well to experimentation. You can ring the changes by leaving out the cayenne pepper and/or raspberries, adding fresh or frozen blackberries, or stirring in a handful of chopped walnuts or oats for a different texture. You can also substitute apple sauce for the oil and egg whites for the whole eggs if you’re so inclined. 

Red kidney bean, raspberry & chilli chocolate brownies

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  • In a food processor, mix together:

    2 cups cooked, drained, rinsed and pureed kidney beans (approximately 1-2 cans) 
    2 cups sugar
    1 ½ cups flour
    1 cup cocoa
    1 ½ tsp salt
    1 cup canola oil
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    6 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
  • When beans are pureed and everything is well mixed, pour into a greased and lined baking dish (I used a stainless steel roasting pan, approximately 32cm x 22cm)
  • Sprinkle over the top:
    1-2 cups frozen raspberries
    ½-1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Bake in the centre of oven for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool in the pan and cut into small squares. 




Thai Fish Cakes with Lime Hollandaise

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Written by Nicola Galloway | Images by Nicola Galloway
20 August 2014

Nicola offers up a tasty treat, perfect as a light lunch or served for dinner with a salad, that will have your mouth watering and dreaming of lazy warm days


These light fish cakes are bound with egg white and cooked quinoa, and mildly spiced with Thai flavours. They are perfect as a light lunch or serve them for dinner with a salad. The lime hollandaise complements the flavours and completes the four essential elements - sweet, sour, salty, spicy - of Asian fare. I served these with a simple salad of shaved fennel, thin orange slices and a drizzle of local olive oil. Simple and delicious.

2 egg whites
large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Thai curry paste (red, green or yellow)
1-2 spring onions, roughly chopped
400g white fish, roughly chopped (I used red cod as it is a cheap mild flavoured fish)
1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
ghee for cooking

In a food processor combine the egg whites, coriander, fish sauce, curry paste and spring onions and blitz into a paste. Add the fish and quinoa and pulse half a dozen times to combine. Don't over blend the mixture or the fish will go mushy. Shape into small cakes (about the size of a small mandarin). Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat. Cook the cakes for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with lime hollandaise.

Lime Hollandaise
2 egg yolks
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
Juice of 1 lime
100g butter, melted

In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and lime juice. Slowly pour in the melted butter whisking constantly to emulsify. The sauce will thicken a little as you add the butter. If you like your hollandaise thicker you can heat over a saucepan of gently simmering water, whisking constantly until thickened. Make sure the water is not touching the bowl or it will cook the egg and you will have a lumpy sauce. And WHISK constantly. I often skip this step and just go for the runnier but still as delicious version.



Tomato & Vegetable Soup

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Written by Nicola Galloway | Images by Nicola Galloway
20 July 2014

For all those tomato soup lovers out there, this one's for you: a delicious, simple yet nutritious little soup to warm the heart as the chilly weather rolls in



On first appearance this soup looks like your standard canned tomato soup and tastes pretty similar, but it is much more. Besides tomatoes and onions typically found in tomato soup, it contains five other vegetables; carrots, squash, celeriac, garlic and garnished with parsley. It is a vege-boosted soup that still tastes like it is just tomato soup. Genius.


Prep time: 15 minutes    Cook time:  30 minutes    Serves: 6

1 tablespoon butter or ghee
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 cup chopped squash or pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped celeriac OR 1 celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
800ml can chopped tomatoes (or 2 x 400ml cans)
500ml chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 teaspoon sugar (or other sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 -1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
splash of cream
finely chopped parsley + buttered toast to serve.

Melt the butter or ghee in a large saucepan. Add the onions and saute without colouring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, squash, celeriac, garlic and tomato paste and saute briefly. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock and bring to a gentle boil. Add the sugar and spices and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Remove from the heat and use a stick blender to puree until smooth. Return to the heat, add cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and finish with a splash of cream, about 2 tablespoons, stirring to combine. Serve with toast and finely chopped parsley.



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