Cake and the Senses

Soft sweet rhubarb sandwiched between a crunchy nutty topping and a beautifully moist cake, served warm with thick unsweetened Greek yoghurt – the rhubarb crumble cake was my idea of the perfect dessert.

Successfully made twice before, yesterday fresh figs, feijoas and walnuts replaced rhubarb and almonds. The blush red flesh of the figs artfully arranged to provide a punch of colour on top of the pale creamy cake batter; the topping mix delicately placed rather than scattered so that the figs would burst through the crumble. 

A dusting of icing sugar covers the misshapen cake top

A dusting of icing sugar covers the misshapen cake top

Forty minutes in the oven and looking very photogenic, the cake tin was gently rotated to ensure even cooking.  Tested with a skewer and slightly undercooked the timer was set for another 10 minutes.

Taking the cake from the oven, total dismay to discover the batter had engulfed two thirds of the cake and the beautiful figs were hidden. The photo envisaged earlier disappeared but thankfully other senses kicked in. Cooling on the kitchen bench, the tempting wafts of fresh baking filled the house. Later, upon tasting that first mouthful all was forgiven – the fruit and nutty crumble reappeared as a delightful surprise in the centre.

A slice of Fig & Feijoa Crumble cake

A slice of Fig & Feijoa Crumble cake

Visually appetising food is crucial especially for selling recipe books but it’s the flavours, aromas and textures that ensures eating is an all round sensory experience. Remember the old wives’ (real estate agents) tale about brewing fresh coffee or baking a cake before having potential buyers through an open home, how often did you actually see the coffee or cake?  It’s the welcoming aroma that makes it feel like a home.  

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favourite recipe, you never know what mouth-watering dish you might create.

Enjoy your weekend.


ps just checked original recipe – photo is taken before cooking... I wonder why!

Zesty Lime & Thyme Salmon

The punch of lime zest and the heady flavour of thyme creates a surprisingly fragrant flavour for a whole fillet of salmon.  Perfect with crunchy skinned potatoes and lemony greens.

zesty lime thyme salmon
  • 6 medium sized baking potatoes, skins on
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Three sprigs fresh rosemary leaves (remove from stalks)
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper, to season
  • Whole fillet of salmon, boneless with skin on, approx 800g
  • 2 fresh limes (one for juice and zest; the other cut into slices)
  • Handful of whole thyme sprigs

Serves 6

Preheat oven at 200 deg C.

Pierce each potato with a fork several times. Combine rosemary leaves with a generous sprinkle of salt, freshly ground pepper and olive oil in a roasting dish.  Roll each potato around the dish to evenly coat with the seasoning.  Cook in pre-heated oven for approximately 60 minutes, until skins are crunchy and slightly wrinkly.

Line another oven tray with baking paper.  Place salmon skin side down on baking paper and drizzle with the juice and zest of one lime.  Place lime slices and thyme sprigs decoratively on top of the salmon.

After 40 minutes, check potatoes have softened by inserting a sharp knife into the largest potato - the knife should go into the potato with ease.

Place salmon in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.  Salmon should still be relatively bright pink (slightly under-cooked) as it will continue to cook for a few minutes once out of oven.  Serve whole on a large flat serving plate with potatoes and greens.

Serving suggestion: stir fry green vegetables (beans, asparagus, brocollini), in a little olive oil ie just enough oil so they don’t stick to pan. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice (one small lemon) and top with sliced toasted almonds just before serving.


ps you could cook the salmon and potatoes on a BBQ with a lid too; weather dependent that is!