Oldies but good­ies

Some good, old-fash­ioned bak­ing like our moth­ers and grand­moth­ers used to make is al­ways a wel­come sight, says NZ House & Gar­den Food Edi­tor Sally But­ters.

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - Weekend Kitchen -


This cake was once at ev­ery lit­tle girl’s birth­day party and a ladies’ tea was in­com­plete with­out one. There are many ver­sions, and it is of­ten made in slab form. This one was adapted from an old dry clean­ers’ recipe book. If you pre­fer, the ic­ing can be tinted pink and the co­conut on top left white.


120g but­ter, soft­ened 170g sugar 2 eggs ½ cup milk ½ tea­spoon pink food colour­ing 2 tea­spoons rasp­berry flavour­ing 1 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract 1 cup plain flour ½ cup des­ic­cated co­conut 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der


2 cups ic­ing sugar 1 ta­ble­spoon boil­ing wa­ter 1 ta­ble­spoon lime or le­mon juice 25g but­ter, melted

Pink co­conut

½ cup co­conut thread Few drops of pink food colour­ing

Heat oven to 180C. Grease an 18cm ring tin (or 20cm square tin for a slab cake) then dust with flour.


Th­ese lit­tle pas­try cakes, orig­i­nally from the vil­lage of Eccles in Manch­ester, Eng­land, are al­ways a favourite and are su­per easy to make with pre-rolled pas­try (Pane­ton flaky puff pas­try is an ex­cel­lent choice). You can make th­ese cakes a lit­tle smaller if you wish, ad­just the cook­ing time ac­cord­ingly.

500g ready-rolled but­ter puff pas­try 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten for brush­ing


30g but­ter, cubed and at room tem­per­a­ture ½ cup cur­rants ½ cup raisins ¼ cup chopped mixed peel 2 ta­ble­spoons raw sugar, plus ex­tra for sprin­kling ½ tea­spoon ground nut­meg 1 tea­spoon mixed spice

Heat oven to 200C. Lightly grease an oven tray. Cut pas­try into 10 x 10cm squares.

Place fill­ing in­gre­di­ents in a bowl and com­bine us­ing your fin­gers. Di­vide

Press the chilled cake mix­ture into the pre­pared tin, lev­el­ling it as much as pos­si­ble. Bake 20-25 min­utes or un­til firm and a light bis­cuit colour. Al­low to cool.

While the base is cool­ing, make the marsh­mal­low. Place gelatin in a small bowl, add 1½ ta­ble­spoons wa­ter, mix and leave to sit for 5 min­utes.

Dis­solve sugar in the wa­ter over a medium heat then add the swollen gelatin mix­ture, stir­ring to dis­solve. Re­move from heat and cool com­pletely.

Once cool, pour into a mix­ing bowl and beat at high speed un­til thick and glossy (about 10 min­utes). Add vanilla and beat for a fur­ther minute.

Pour marsh­mal­low over the cold bis­cuit base, spread­ing to level the sur­face, and scat­ter with freeze-dried rasp­ber­ries (or try toasted co­conut or chopped nuts). Chill for an hour be­fore slic­ing.

Shortcake will keep for a week stored and cov­ered in the fridge. Makes about 30 medium squares

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