The Kiwi Cook

Illusions and delusions of a foodie from Down Under


Tangy Lemon Slice

August 31, 2014


There’s one thing we’re crazy for Down Under and that’s our slices – I’m not sure whether they originated here in the first place, or were introduced to New Zealand by our British colonial forebears. There are a few perennial favourites, and sticky (or tangy) lemon slice is one of them – a delicate, crisp shortbread base with a gooey lemon topping and a blanket of icing sugar on top. Yep, mouth watering! Typically it’s served with yoghurt, which perfectly counteracts the sweetness.

This wonderfully easy, fairly fool-proof recipe comes from New Zealand’s own Chelsea Sugar. It’s enormously popular and has been made successfully by thousands of New Zealanders. It’s whipped up in minutes, thanks to the trusty food processor and has to be tasted to be believed. I made it for a family gathering today and judging by how quickly it disappeared, it’ll be the first time of many. Enjoy.


Makes about 16 slices

Ingredients (Click here for Unit Converter)

  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
  • 2 Tbsp custard powder (if you don’t have custard powder, use cornflour/cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F).
  2. In a food processor mix the butter, flour and icing sugar until it forms a soft dough around the blade.
  3. Press into the base of a greased, lined 20x30cm (7x11inch) sponge roll tin (it’s helpful to have the baking paper hanging over the sides so that you can lift out the baked mixture easily).
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
  5. Mix caster sugar, lemon juice and rind, custard powder, baking powder and eggs in the food processor until well combined.
  6. Carefully pour over the warm pastry base and bake a further 25 minutes until set (the surface will feel dry to the touch and slightly springy).
  7. Cool, then cut into slices (because the filling is sticky, it’s a little difficult to slice – I suggest you dip the knife in hot water, wipe it and slice.. repeat as needed). Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve as is, or with yoghurt on the side.


Stir-fried Lamb with Moroccan Style Sweet Potato Mash

August 28, 2014


I love simple, tasty meals and this one certainly hits the mark. It combines sweet potato (or kumara, as we call it in New Zealand) with some wonderful Moroccan style spices and then pairs it with succulent, stir-fried pieces of lamb. Yum! The extra elements of pine nuts and yoghurt add great texture and taste and all combined together, it’s a satisfying and delicious dish put together very easily and quickly.

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Dragon Fruit, Banana & Pineapple Smoothie

August 25, 2014

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Well, you could have blown me over with a feather when I saw this extremely unusual looking object appear in my local supermarket. Intrigued, I had to ask an assistant what the heck it was. ‘A pitaya, commonly known as a dragon fruit’, she said. I couldn’t resist.. I bought one (at a hefty price) with absolutely no idea what to do with it.

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Warming Semolina Porridge

August 22, 2014

001lgI took a trip down memory lane this morning and made semolina porridge. Semolina, for those unfamiliar with it, is the hard grains left over from milling durum wheat flour. While it’s obviously not a good choice for gluten-sensitive individuals, it is in fact packed with vitamins and trace minerals, making it a highly nutritious food for many.

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Spiced Sugar Pastries with Banana & Butterscotch Sauce

August 18, 2014


I reckon you can’t go too far wrong when you combine crisp puff pastry, banana, sweetened cream and butterscotch sauce. It’s not rocket science and you know you’re going to end up with something scrumptious. A little stuck for dessert ideas the other day, I thought it might be nice to try something a little different from the usual line-up. Having just discovered the joy of making my own quick puff pastry, I figured it might be nice to make some little pastries out of it and see how it measured up.

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Chocolate Soufflé For Two

August 15, 2014


When the urge to fill my face with chocolate strikes, I have to satisfy it quickly. And I like to have a few select recipes on hand that I can turn to at a moment’s notice. Recipes that make one or two servings is perfect – I get to eat it all myself without too much guilt (well, perhaps just a smidge).

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Chunky Seafood Chowder

August 13, 2014


I know, I know.. I’ve been a bit over-active on the blog front in the last week. Must be the cold winter months driving me to create warming, comforting meals! And, on that note, a thick fish chowder called my name today. But I didn’t want to faff about too much – I wasn’t after gourmet; just something quick, yet nourishing. So I unearthed Simon & Alison Holst’s ‘100 Great Ways to Use Slow Cookers & Crockpots’ and their recipe for Chunky Seafood Chowder. A can of soup and a can of creamed corn gives the basic structure to the soup, into which the fish and veges are added. And it’s all done in one pot – even though this is written with a slow-cooker in mind, it can obviously be done in a large saucepan, or even in the oven.

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