mother’s day

mums love cake

Spelt, Persimmon & Walnut Tea Cake

Mother’s Day and cake are inseparable in most households I’d imagine. No different out here on the hill. I love making cakes. Thing is, what sits on a plate when I say cake, and what comes out of the oven when my Mum says cake, are two really quite different creatures. If I tell you that the cake I made for Mum on Sunday happily shared the table with a teapot yet had no dairy, eggs, refined sugar, refined flour or icing, you can probably take a guess at what you’d have at my Mum’s place. Not much spelt to be found in my Mum’s pantry.

Here’s where my Mum totally wins points though. She has never, ever refused to try any of the offerings I’ve baked for her over the years, and I have to say, my teenage baking churned out some pretty gnarly takes on cake. Unconditional love.

This cake was far from the most ‘wholegrain’ I’ve made but it still arrived at the table a spelt based, nut filled, vegan get together, with persimmon puree. “Oooh you made cake!” my Mum said, ‘and I love the icing sugar, it always looks so pretty.”

“Oh that’s coconut flour,” I replied, trying not to sound like a particularly precocious version of myself.

“That’s an interesting idea. Yes, I s’pose you don’t use icing sugar either do you?”

My poor Mum. Thank God she loved the cake. She really, truly deserves good cake after living with a “Don’t you know how bad X is for you?” daughter all those years.

Cake and tea never fail to build that bridge though right? Before the tea cups had been filled we were talking about how kind it is to have donations of homegrown persimmon (thanks Katherine) and walnuts (thanks Ben) to inspire cake baking. When you sit down for afternoon tea with your Mum, kindness comes with cake, no matter what.  If you can refrain from talking about the dairy industry. Which we did. Phew.

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Spelt, Persimmon & Walnut Tea Cake

makes 1 25cm x 10cm loaf


370g organic spelt flour

180g organic panela sugar

pinch Himalayan salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups organic, just cracked walnuts

1/4 tsp organic ground cloves

1 tsp organic ground cinnamon


6 organic non-astringent persimmon

300g organic almond milk (or milk of your choice)

100g organic coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp ground flax seed, mixed with 6 tbsp water


Organic coconut flour, for dusting, optional


Pre heat the oven to 180C and prepare the loaf tin.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, keeping 1 cup of walnuts back to put on the top of the cake batter.

In a separate bowl, let the water and flaxseed soak until you have a thickish paste, about 3 – 5 minutes will do it. Measure all of the liquid ingredients in grams and add to the bowl.

To make the persimmon puree, simply remove the calyx from each fruit and then push them through a wire sieve with the back of a spoon. You should end up with about 3/4 cup of puree.

Add 1/2 cup of puree to the wet ingredients and stir through.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon until completely mixed through.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top. Add an extra dusting of cloves and cinnamon too if you like.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through when tested with a cake skewer.

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Dust with coconut flour (optional) and drizzle with the extra 1/4 cup of persimmon puree. To the table with tea!

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flowers for mum

Coconut Custard Tart

It’s not exactly like our family to get overly romantic about Mother’s Day but a little bit of sentiment sat at the table with us for afternoon tea today. My Mum always talks about how when she was a kid, her and her sisters would often be sent on ‘hunting and gathering’ missions for nasturtiums so my Nana could make them nasturtium sandwiches for lunch. I love it when she tells this story because the idea of wildcrafting edible flowers for lunch ticks lots of boxes on my favourite-things-to-do list. Plus, nasturtiums are delicious.


We’ve had a little nasturtium goodness going on across the Scullery trestle table at the Farmer’s Market of late, and while it’s so easy to throw a handful of sunshine colour and peppery fragrance into any salad, or across a carpaccio, or float in soup like a couple of lily pads, I really wanted to eat nasturtium sandwiches today. With my Mum.


And once I’d invited sentimentality to the table, custard tarts asked for a part to play too. Remember those? All eggy, milky goodness freckled with nutmeg. I used to love those. So actually maybe this was more my tastebuds’ memory than my Mum’s. Ooops. Anyway, my Mum doesn’t go in for anything milk based these days so I set out to reinvent the custard tart without milk. There we go, back to her.


After I took the milk out of the custard tart, I thought coconut would be a nice swap, and then I didn’t need eggs to set it, and actually it didn’t need to be baked, and then if I just used the gluten free flour mix we’ve been doing for the Farmer’s Market, and some of that yummy mesquite powder I have in the cupboard and that cute little baking pan I found in the 2nd hand shop this week… You know how it goes.


So here’s a take on my Mum’s childhood, mixed in a bit with mine – but without the milk. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums. That’s really what afternoon tea says.


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Coconut Custard Tart

makes one 20cm tart


1 1/4 cups organic GF whole flour mix

1/4 cup organic mesquite powder

1/2 cup organic coconut butter, melted

pinch sea salt flakes

3 1/2 tbsp organic coconut water (saved from the fresh coconut)


2 organic young coconuts (drinking coconuts)

1/4 cup organic macadamia nuts

1 1/2 tsp raw organic honey

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp organic vanilla bean paste

juice of 1 organic meyer lemon

2 tsp organic mesquite powder

freshly grated nutmeg 


Pre heat the oven to 180C.

Mix the GF flour, mesquite and salt together in a bowl and then stir in the melted coconut oil and coconut water. 

Press the dough into your prepared tart tin using your fingers. Make sure to push the dough up the sides of the tin too. Prick the base of the dough with a fork and then bake for 12-15 minutes. No need to weight or pre chill the dough.

When the tart base is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.


To make the coconut filling, blitz the macadamias in a food processor until fine. Scoop the soft flesh out of the coconuts and add to the food processor with all of the remaining ingredients, except for the nutmeg. Blitz until smooth.


Spoon the coconut mixture into the cooled tart base and dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. We had ours with extra honey to pour over the top. 


To make the nasturtium sandwiches, simply pile some fresh leaves and flowers between thinly sliced sourdough, season with salt flakes and freshly ground pepper and serve with copious amounts of tea.

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