Monday, November 16, 2020

Cheese Cake from Yoghurt Quark



1 liter organic full-cream milk
1 tbsp live yoghurt


Heat the milk in a small pot slowly until bubbles appear. Turn the stove off but allow the milk to stay hot for another hour or so. This can be automated with a timer on an electric stove to switch itself off after a given amount of time (e.g. 47 minutes on setting 4).
Cool to body temperature.
Mix in the yoghurt starter culture and whisk it.
Pour into a yoghurt maker and turn it on for about 10 hours.
Cooking the milk produces milk solids and keeping it hot promotes more solids for a thick yoghurt. The amount of time in the yoghurt maker may influence this too. When in doubt leave it longer. 



Pour 1 liter of refrigerated yoghurt into a large fine sieve over a large bowl. Cover it. Allow the liquid to drain off into the bowl in the fridge for 24 hours. From time to time pour off the clear liquid (whey) into a cup and continue draining.
Tip the quark from the sieve into a bowl, cover and keep cool.
Eat it fresh or use to make a cheese cake.

Cheese cake without pastry


2 portions of quark
4 eggs
8 tbsp agave nectar
sultanas soaked overnight in lime juice (or blueberries)
9-10 tbsp spelt flour 



Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Butter a baking dish.
Drain the quark and put it in a mixing bowl.
Separate eggs.
Add egg yolks and 4 tbsp agave nectar in the middle of the quark and mix well.
Lift the flour under.
Lift the sultanas under. 

Click to enlarge

Beat the egg whites in another bowl with 4 tbsp agave nectar. Lift under.
Put mixture into the baking dish and bake on the 2nd shelf for 50 minutes. Turn the oven down to 130° and bake for a further 25 minutes until lightly golden. Turn off the oven and cool in the oven without rapidly or suddenly cooling. The cake will rise when baking and sink again when cooling.
Let it settle down for a day in the fridge. Best on the 2nd and 3rd days. And the 4th if there is any left.
Serve with blueberries.

The above cheesecake variation was created by Ross. Quark made with lemon and topped with Davidson's plum jelly.

More cheesecakes: here, here and here

Monday, January 6, 2020

Davidsonia Jelly

15 - 20 Davidson's plums, Mullumbimby plums, (Davidsonia johnsonii)
1 tbsp water
150 ml agave syrup
30 g agar agar flakes

Cook the plums in the water until soft.
Squash them firmly with a potato masher.
Press them through a fine sieve to extract the juice and pulp.
Discard the skins.
Return the juice to the saucepan. Add the agar and stir. Let it soak for 10 minutes.
Heat the pan while stirring. The mixture will gradually become translucent. Stir until the agar is completely dissolved and there is no foam on top. Remove from heat.
Pour into a serving bowl to set and cool.
Keep in the fridge.
Serve the Davidson's jelly with yoghurt and lychees.

Seeds of Davidsonia

Davidson's Plums with Cashew Cream

Monday, December 30, 2019

Almond chocolate balls - Marzipankartoffel

300g organic almonds
1 tbsp honey (Prickly box honey, Bursaria spinosa)
2 tbsp organic cocoa powder

Blanch almonds.
In a saucepan or bowl, use a puree stick to make a smooth paste from the almonds and the honey. Kneed the paste to marzipan. Cool for some time in the fridge.
Put the cocoa in a bowl.
Roll into small balls and roll them in the cocoa.
Place them on a baking tray.
Put into a preheated oven and bake at 180°c for about 10 minutes on the second shelf from the bottom.

By keeping the amount of honey small, the marzipan is dry. If it is too moist the powdery cocoa becomes moist and the outcome is more like truffles. They should feel powdery to the touch. Refrigerate.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Macadamia truffles

Four black Macadamia truffles with a red Hicksbeachia pinnatifolia and a blue Atherton Oak Nut
300g organic macadamia nuts
1 tbsp honey (Prickly box honey, Bursaria spinosa)
2 tbsp organic cocoa powder

In a saucepan or bowl, use a puree stick to make a smooth paste from the macadamias and the honey. Kneed the paste to marzipan. Cool for some time in the fridge.
Make small balls and roll them in the cocoa powder.
On a baking tray, bake the truffles for 15 minutes at 180°C.

Use more honey for a moister result. Serve with a fork. Refrigerate!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Baked Marzipan Biscuits

These biscuits are pure nuts and honey. They can be very brittle.

300g organic almonds
2 tbsp honey (Prickly box honey, Bursaria spinosa)
Some (macadamia) nuts for decoration
2 tbsp organic cocoa powder optional
1 egg yolk

Blanch almonds.
In a saucepan or bowl, use a puree stick to make a smooth paste from the almonds and the honey. Kneed the paste to marzipan. Cool for some time in the fridge.

Take a clean (pure linen) tea towel and role out the ball of marzipan. Use cookie cutters to get the desired shapes or make a roll and cut into pieces and decorate with nut pieces. Mix the egg yolk and paint biscuits. Put into a preheated oven and bake at 180°c for about 10 minutes on the second shelf from the bottom. They should be golden.

One traditional shape is little cones, called Bethmännchen ("a little Bethmann"). They have been around since 1393 on Christmas markets in Frankfurt. They usually contain powdered sugar, rosewater, flour and egg as well.

Click to enlarge
For our cones we made a ball, flattened it with an indentation in the middle, and added a fresh macadamia nut in the centre. Pinch the top to close around the nut.
When little bits are left over that cannot be rolled out at the end, cocoa was used to hand kneed them into shapes.
Refrigerate if done anywhere on The Mid North Coast at this time of the year.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Chocolate Nut Biscuits

Designed and baked by Ross in Bellingen

1 cup macadamia oil

2 eggs (reserve yolk of one to glaze)

0.33 to 0.5 cups of honey (to taste)

100-200g of chipped chocolate (90% cocoa)

5 cups flour (w/meal wheat or spelt - or replace with a % of nutmeal of choice to taste and may need to adjust total flour to get nice crumb consistency)

1 tsp ground cinnamon or more to taste

Here with chocolate chips
1 Mix oil, eggs and honey.

2 Add flour, cinnamon and chocolate chips and to make a biscuit crumb consistency

3 Press and smooth into papered baking tray

4 Cut to desired shape/s and size/s

5 Glaze with yolk, reserving a little

6 Garnish each biscuit with almond or nut of choice

7 Glaze nuts with remaining yolk

8 Bake in 160 C oven for 15-20 minutes

9 Remove and cool in tray for 10 minutes then recut shapes.

10 When firm remove biscuits and cool on rack
Bunya Tree Seasonal Celebrations
This living Bunya tree makes a beautiful recyclable x-mas tree. Providing food for the next 1000 years. All chocolate wrappers can be reused in the next season. No waste! Patented by Jan.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Atherton Oak Nuts

12 o'clock: Citrus australasica, 1, Cissus hypoglauca, 4, Davidson plum (Davidsonia spp.), 7, Athertonia diversifolia, 9, Linospadix monostachya, 11, Macadamia tetraphylla, centre: Athertonia nuts
The Athertonia diversifolia tree (Atherton Oak) is endemic to the North East Queensland rainforest. It is a tall tree with large lobed leaves and large blue edible fruits. Inside the most unusual blue fruit is a woody kernel that contains a nut. The nut has a brown skin like the almond. The white nut has a taste that is slightly reminiscent of macadamia nuts and coconut. It is delicious and unique.

Hicksbeachia pinnatifolia and Athertonia
Hicksbeachia pinnatifolia and Athertonia

"Caution should be exercised and any seeds with the flavour or odour of bitter almonds should be completely avoided." (link)

Athertonia fruit and nuts
Pick up the blue fruit as early as possible, as wildlife and fungi like to move in on them. Admire the multitudes of blues, violets and red of the fruit.

Athertonia nut shells and leaf

Peel the pith, which is white and fluffy underneath as close as possible to the kernel. Let them dry for a day. Once the pith remains have gone, crack the woody nut with a hammer.

The shell will usually split into two beautiful wooden halves with craft potential. Blanch the nut as for almonds. The white Athertonia nut is thin and flat. A light dry roast enhances the flavour even more.


Bush Tucker of the Wet Tropics, The Ma:Mu Rainforest Aboriginal people’s  traditional lands are around Innisfail, Palmerston and Millaa Millaa areas.  The area’s volcanic soils and high rainfall have produced some of the most diverse tropical rainforest in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. (PDF)

"But we now know, thanks to Bill GammageBruce Pascoe and other writers, that Aborigines deliberately shaped their environment through firestick farming and various kinds of cultivation." Jeff Sparrow, What I’m Reading

Click to enlarge
All depicted fruits were grown on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Thanks to Jan for passing on the knowledge about the endemic flora.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Celery Salad with Brazil Nuts

4 celery sticks
5 Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa)
1 garlic clove
Oil, lemon

Clean vegetables. String celery sticks and chop them finely. Mash garlic and add oil and lemon to the dressing. Slice the Brazil nuts very thinly. Add celery, nuts and mix with the dressing. Let it rest covered for more than 30 min.

The Brazil nut grows in Amazonian forests. They do not grow in mono-culture plantations. "Brazil nut trees produce fruit almost exclusively in pristine forests"  (source) Local people collect these nuts in the rainy season.
Just as the southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) distributes Australian rainforest fruit and nuts,  the agouti is active in the seed dispersal in the Amazon of the Brazil nut.

"The production of Brazil nuts more than halved between 1970 and 1980, apparently because of deforestation. .. Trees remaining in the vast cattle ranches of Pará and Acre are neglected and dying." (source)

One can of course take any local nut, like macadamias...

Salad goes with
Chickpea Capsicum Casserole

Chickpea Capsicum Casserole


Main Dish
4 cups of cooked chickpeas
5 capsicums, green
2 leeks
2 onions
2 tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Vegetable stock, hot
Herbs: lemon thyme, sage

4 Tsp. Macadamia paste
4 Tsp. Tahini
3 garlic cloves, mashed
2 Tsp. Olive oil

Wash and chop the vegetables. Fry the onions and the capsicums until they are 'golden'. Add the leek and the tomatoes. Cook for a while, then add some hot stock, the cooked chickpeas, garlic and chopped herbs. Cover and let it simmer for approx. 30 min. There should be very little liquid left.

Preheat the oven. Mix the topping. Place chickpea mixture into a casserole. Distribute the topping evenly and heat for 1 hr. at 180 °C

Serve with
Celery Salad with Brazil nuts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Finger lime macadamia confectionary


300g organic raw macadamia nuts
1 Tahitian lime
2 tbsp light clear honey
4 finger limes (Microcitrus australasica)
all organic


Medium grate 300g macadamia nuts into a bowl.
Add the juice of the Tahitian lime. Mix.
Cut a finger limes in half lengthwise. Press the caviar-like fruit flesh out into a bowl. Remove any seeds. Add half to the mixture Add 2 tbsp clear honey. Mix well.
Press and compact the mixture with a spoon. Knead it. Press down and leave it in a cool place for 2 hours.
Cut into small portions and roll them into small balls between the palms of your hands.
Place the balls a few at a time on the remaining finger lime caviar and move the bowl so the balls become covered in finger lime. If necessary, use more finger limes.
Store in glass jars in the fridge.

Click for close up of vegan 'caviar'.


This recipe will make a small number of high quality pieces of confectionary.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Bunya burgers


4 small to medium champignon mushrooms chopped small
75g medium grated macadamias
10 bunya "nuts" of the Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii)
1 Tbsp tahini
2 slices white bread
3 Tbsp wholemeal flour (spelt flour)
lemon thyme
4 tbsp cold-pressed organic olive oil


Remove the hard shell from the bunyas using a short sharp pointed knife. Carefully stab each bunya nut and the press down the knife blade to cut along one side. Remove the soft nut.
Steam the bunyas for 1 hour. Medium grate them.
Soak the bread in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and press out the water.
Mix the bread, bunyas, chopped mushrooms, herbs and the ground nuts in a large bowl. Add the tahini.

Click to enlarge the pink fresh colour
Stir well until a sticky mixture forms. Mix well. Knead.
Press the mixture down with a spoon so it is compressed.
Spread the flour on a large dinner plate.
Half fill a dessert bowl with water. Dip a tablespoon in the water and wet your clean hand with water.
Scoop out small amounts of the mixture with the tablespoon to make a spoon-shaped little burger. The water prevents the mixture sticking to the hand and spoon. It also moistens the outside of the burger.
Squeeze the burger onto the spoon, then push it off onto the floured plate. Repeat until all the burgers are made.

Araucaria Bidwillii
Turn the burgers so there is flour on both sides. Add more flour if necessary. Let the floured burgers stand on the plate for some time turning occasionally so they are well covered with flour.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan at a low to medium temperature.
Fry the burgers in it until golden. Add more olive oil if necessary.
Serve hot immediately or cold on a sandwich.

see also
Bunya Nut and Macadamia Burgers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Macadamia Tahitian lime sponge


7 large eggs
200g macadamias, medium grated
50g spelt flour
3 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp agave nectar

80g macadamias, finely grated
1 tbsp honey
1 Tahitian lime
1 tbsp agave nectar

Kaffir lime


For the sponge
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Add flour and baking powder to the coarsely grated macadamia and mix.
Separate the eggs.
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Add 2 tbsp agave nectar. Continue beating until very stiff.
Beat the egg yolks in a bowl until creamy. This takes a few minutes with a hand beater. Add 2 tbsp agave nectar. Continue beating until very creamy.
Gently lift the egg white mix under the egg yolk mix resulting in a light creamy foamy mixture. Lift the nut mixture gently under the egg mixture a little at a time.
Butter a 28cm baking form. Cover the bottom lightly with a sprinkle of flour.
Pour the mixture into the form and smooth the top.
Bake for about 25 minutes until golden on the second shelf from the bottom. Test using a knife or skewer which should come out clean. Turn the oven down to 150°C if necessary.

With cooling lychees

For the filling 
Medium grate the macadamias. Add 1 tbsp honey. Mix well.
Set aside  a little less than half of this macadamia-marzipan for decoration.
Add the juice of 1/2 lime to the rest. Mix into a spreadable paste.
Remove the cool cake from its form. Cut into 2 flat disks using a linen thread. Place the bottom sponge on a cake plate.
Mix the remaining lime juice with agave nectar. Dribble it evenly onto the bottom sponge.
Spread the paste evenly on top. Then place the top sponge on the filling.

Roll out the remaining marzipan and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes appropriate to the occasion, (e.g. hearts). Arrange them on the top of the finished cake.

Serve in thin slices. Store wrapped in a linen cloth in a cold place or under glass.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Macadamia confectionary

300g organic raw macadamia nuts
1 meyer’s lemon
2 tbsp light clear honey.
all organic

medium grate 300g macadamia nuts into a bowl.
Add finely grated rind of a Meyer lemon and the juice of half a lemon. Mix.
Add 2 tbsp clear honey (Mallee honey). Mix well.
Press and compact the mixture with a spoon. Knead it. Press down and leave it in a cool place for 2 hours.
Cut into small portions and serve.
Store wrapped in greaseproof paper.

Marzipan, varieties and origin
Marcipane or "The bread of Marcus" originated from Persia. It is based on almonds and made its way via the 13th century crusades to Europe. Since 1809 Königsberg marzipan is known for its flamed confectionary surface, which results in a golden-brown finish. It contains almonds, rose water and jam.

Frankfurt Bethmännchen cookies are made from marzipan with almond, powdered sugar, rosewater, flour and egg. Since 1393 they have been sold at the Frankfurt's Christmas market. After one and a half centuries of manufacturing, its form and recipe has never been changed.

In the land of macadamia it is obvious to adjust these old cultural traditions to a contemporary and geographic setting.

Lovis Corinth, Königsberger (Kaliningrad) Marzipantorte, (marzipan cake), 1924

See also
Finger lime macadamia confectionary

Saturday, April 29, 2017


8 large juicy organic tomatoes
5 large organic garlic cloves
3 tbsp cold pressed olive oil

2 medium organic onions
2 firm organic aubergines

2 small organic zucchinis, sliced.
3 tbsp cold pressed olive oil

Make a tomato sauce. You may prefer to do this the day before and use some of it for a spaghetti sauce.
Pour boiling water over tomatoes and peel them.
Press garlic and fry slowly in a pan.
After a few minutes add sliced tomatoes and cover with a lid.
Continue to cook on a low heat for about 5 hours until the liquid has mostly evaporated and a sugo (sauce in Italian) remains. Stir occasionally. Remove lid for some periods to reduce the liquid.

Garlic, easy to peel

Chop onions and fry slowly in olive oil, stirring occasionally until lightly golden.
Rinse the aubergines and press out the brown liquid.
Cut aubergines into cubes.
Add aubergines to the onions.
Fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add zucchini slices.
Fry for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the tomato sauce, stir in and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes
Add the chopped basil.

Heritage Tomatoes

Serve hot with penne pasta. Cheese top the left overs on the next day and bake in the oven.