German Mandarin and Yoghurt Torte

Yoghurt Mandarin Torte

Yoghurt Mandarin Torte

When Craig and I were recently in Germany we came across a cake/torte who knows what, that was AMAZING. Craig is not a desert person but we just kept going out to find more of this cake. It had a mostly biscuit, sometimes pastry, sometimes a bit of sponge base, a thick and creamy yoghurt filling and a layer of mandarin oranges with mandarin flavoured jelly. That’s pretty much the best way to describe it! We were determined to try and make it when we got home.


Now that we are home I tried to find a recipe which turned out to be a lot more difficult than I expected! I googled the name of it which returned nothing, I googled mandarin yoghurt cake/torte/cheesecake/slice etc…. in 17 different languages etc… The only thing I found was something that looked remotely similar and it was written in German. All I can say is google translate saved our valentines day! I hope I translated everything correctly, but even if I didn’t this desert turned out really well! It’s not very sweet which Craig and I liked, and the mandarins are sweet enough anyway. Its pretty much the ultimate summer desert in my mind. I can’t wait to make it again for family dinner/work bake sale, anything really! Plus I found out that the yoghurt I used is REALLY cheap at Costco. So friends and family you can expect this for a while I think!



160g wholemeal biscuits
80g butter melted
200g whipping cream
400g creamy yoghurt ( I used fat free Jalna)
100g sugar
7 1/2 sheets of gelatin
2 small cans or 1 large can of mandarin oranges in syrup


1. Grease a 22cm spring-form pan

2. Crush the biscuits (in a zip lock bag or use a food processor)  and combine with the melted butter. Press it in to the base of the spring-form pan and refrigerate it while you are making the yoghurt mixture.

3. Whip the cream and drain the mandarins. Prepare the gelatin according to the package instructions. I soaked the sheets for about 5 minutes in cold water and then squeezed the excess water out of them before placing in a small saucepan.

4. With a hand mixer combine the yoghurt and sugar in a large bowl ensuring the sugar dissolves into the yoghurt.

5. Heat the gelatin on low in a small saucepan until completely dissolved. Add about a tablespoon of the yoghurt mixture to the dissolved gelatin and mix it through evenly.

6. Add the gelatin to the yoghurt and sugar mixture and combine with a hand mixer until smooth.

7. Whisk in the cream and place on top of the biscuit in the spring-form pan. If you want you can place about a half inch of the yoghurt mixture in the pan and then place a few of the mandarin pieces in followed by the remaining mixture. If you want your mandarins on top only then don’t worry about this.

8. Place the drained mandarins on top of the yoghurt mixture and then refrigerate for at least four hours.


Next time I make this I want to try it with the jelly mixture on top like the one we had in Munich. I just figure you would want to have the yoghurt set first and then do the jelly on top and let that set for at least 4 hours. I’ll use the juice from the mandarins in the jelly too.

The original in Munich

The original in Munich

Some photos from our trip!


Ice creams in Koblenz. German ice cream is seriously amazing.

Our first taste of German take out in Frankfurt.

Craig’s baguette In Liege was probably one of the highlights of his trip!

The highest peak in the Black Forrest. It was a little chilly!

Finally the sun came out in Pisa. I was really surprised by how much it is actually leaning!

At the Eagles Nest – Kehlsteinhaus

Red Velvet Cupcakes w Cream Cheese Frosting

I made these cupcakes for a family bbq on the weekend and they were awesome! Not the easiest cupcakes you will ever make, but the little bit of extra effort is well worth it. And the cream cheese frosting is delicious. I now understand all the hype about red velvet cupcakes! I got this recipe from which has a lot of other awesome recipes! I also made dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting (see the photo below) and they were also delicious!! Check them out at

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 20 minutes

For the Cupcakes:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.

2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

5. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

7. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Try the dark chocolate with peanut butter frosting!




Carrot and Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My Mum, Kim and sisters Camilla, Kimberley and Shanna came over for dinner on Tuesday night and we made this carrot and walnut cake. Craig is not a big desert eater and earlier that night as I was thinking about what to make for desert I had asked him if he wanted me to make carrot cake. He said only if it had walnuts in it. So, we made a carrot and walnut cake, and Craig pretty much ate all that was left for dinner the night after!

I had heaps of carrots and luckily Shan was able to stop by Aldi and pick up some cream cheese (which I pretty much never have) which turns out to be quite a bit cheaper than the other supermarkets (along with icing sugar, eggs, and brown sugar which I had run out of, hahaha)!

This is a good recipe I think. Its nice and soft, moist and the prefect sweetness with the cream cheese frosting. Also I think you feel a little better eating it because it has carrot in it……

Carrot and Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

(Prep and cooking time 60mins, serves 8)


2 cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 cups grated carrot (approx two large carrots)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs, lightly beaten

Cream Cheese Frosting

125g cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Walnuts to decorate


Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 21cm round cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.

Sift flour, spice and cinnamon into a bowl. Add sugar, carrot, chopped walnuts, oil and eggs. Stir to combine. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean (cover loosely with foil if over-browning). Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and lemon rind until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth.

Spread frosting over cake. Decorate with walnuts. Serve.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread


I got the idea for this from Kat Brown on Pinterest of course! There is something about being exhausted during a week of night shifts that makes me want to bake. Probably because i’m always baking comfort food. I went to the IGA down the street today and got some old bananas from the boys to make some banana bread. It was DIVINE. The cinnamon makes a beautiful difference to the original.

I did alter the original recipe slightly to suit my pan and my tastes. I prefer my banana bread not too sweet.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

(Prep time 10mins, cooking time 40mins)




For the bread

3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up

1/3 cup melted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

dash of salt

1 1/2 cups flour


For the swirl

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 180. Butter a loaf pan. Mine was 12 x 22cm, but you could use any sort. Just keep a close eye on it in the oven, and adjust the time as needed
  2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!
  3. In a small dish, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Add half of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remember, if you’re using a different-sized loaf pan, be careful and keep a close eye on it.
I ate mine still warm, and walked down the street to share it with the boys from the IGA. According to them I’m an ‘absolute legend’!
Notice the steam coming off the bread in the photo!
However, I think It will still be delicious cold!

Hugh’s Tarty Lemon Tart


Every time I hear the word tart I think of Hugh Laurie’s Prince George in Black Adder and it makes me giggle. Tart is definitely one of my favourite words and deserts! Craig and I both love lemons, we had lemon tart for desert the night Craig proposed and it was the one thing we requested for the menu at our wedding! This is an easy version of a classic desert!

Lemon Tart

(prep time 15mins, cooking time 30mins, serves 8)



Sweet shortcrust pastry

1 1/2 (225g) cups plain flour

125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tbs iced water


3/4 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup cream

3 eggs, lightly beaten



Place the four, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

While the motor is running, add the egg yolks and water. Process until the dough just comes together.

Turn onto a floured surface and gently bring together to form a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Roll the dough out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper until it is about 3mm thick.

Line a loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry. Trim edges and prick the base with a fork.

Line the case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking weights. I didn’t have any so I just used rice.

Bake like this for 15minutes, remove the weights and baking paper and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is light golden.

Reduce the oven to 140 degrees C.

To make the lemon filling, place the sugar and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Add the egg and cream and stir for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into the tart shell . Bake for 20 minutes or until just set.

Allow to cool and refrigerate until completely set. I made a raspberry coulis to go with it which was quite delicious!

Kumiko enjoying some tart

Orange & Poppyseed Cake


I worked at a bakery when I was in high school and they made some delicious orange and poppyseed cakes. I brought them home when ever I had the chance. When I saw the recipe for this one in a Donna Hay book I instantly thought to try it. I’ve been house sitting at a friends and she has an AMAZING kitchen, so i’ve been baking all week! Hope you enjoy this one. We certainly did and the nurses at work tomorrow will get to enjoy the leftovers!

(Sorry for the bad picture – it was taken with my phone!)


Orange and Poppyseed Cake

(Prep time 15mins, cooking time 60mins, serves 8-10)


1/3 cup poppy seeds

3/4 cup milk

200g butter, softened

1 tablespoons orange rind, finely grated

3/4 cup caster sugar

3 eggs

2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice


1 cup sugar

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup shredded orange rind



Preheat the oven to 160C. Place the poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and add the orange juice and poppy seed and milk mixture. Stir to combine and spoon into a 20cm round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until cooked; test with a skewer.

While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place the sugar, orange juice and orange rind in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 5-6 minutes or until syrupy.

Pour half of the hot syrup over the hot cake. To serve, cut the warm or cold cake into wedges and pour over the remaining syrup.

Sultana & Cinnamon Mini Muffins

So………… I bought another cook book. But! It was only $5! It is an Australian Woman’s Weekly book called Super Diet. Foods based around certain diets. For example, the muffins made today were from the gluten-free section. My sister-in-law Holly is gluten intolerant so I am always looking for new dishes to make that are gluten free. Having said that, I didn’t use gluten free flour (Holly is in Adelaide and I’m certain all the muffins will be eaten by then) as the recipe suggests. This would be a good recipe for those allergic to dairy as it requires only milk which I substituted with soy milk. I have started using a soy milk called So Natural. It is in one word – divine. It has a delicious nutty flavour that makes everything taste better and also is nice to drink by itself – so i’m officially hooked.

Also, I’ve decided to make a taste vs ease meter. (not sure if it’ll stick). This recipe is a definite 10. The muffins were super tasty and probably the easiest I have made (other than a packet mix!) The recipe says that the total prep and cooking time is 30mins, but I made up the mixture in 5minutes and cooking time was 15 minutes. So I think the most unpracticed of bakers could do it in max 25mins!


Sultana & Cinnamon Mini Muffins

(prep and cooking time 25mins, makes 30)



3/4 cup self raising flour (or gluten free baking flour)

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 sultanas

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg


Cinnamon sugar:

2 tsp caster sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon



Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).

Line 2 12 hole (1 tbs/20ml) mini muffin pans with paper cases.

Combine flour, sugar, oats and sultanas in a medium bowl.

Whisk milk, oil and egg in a small bowl.

Stir into dry ingredients (do not overmix; mixture should be lumpy).

Divide mixture into paper cases.

Bake for 15minutes (until a skewer poked in the center comes out clean) and when done, remove from oven and turn onto a wire rack.

Combine caster sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over hot muffins.


Its that easy!


If you care, here is the nutritional count per muffin:

2.9g total fat (0.5g saturated); 286KJ (64 cal); 8.6g carbohydrate; 1.1g protein; 0.3g fibre.




Iced VoVos


One of my favourite biscuits is the Iced VoVo (below). They have a biscuit base, two lines of marshmallow and a line of jam with a light layer of coconut on top. While watching Masterchef a couple of years ago I learnt that these biscuits are Australian, and not sold elsewhere, which means that sadly the rest of the world does not get to enjoy this delicious biscuit. Until now! So this is pretty much a giant Iced VoVo, a delicious vanilla crumbly biscuit base, a layer of jam, topped with toasted marshmallow and coconut. Seriously tasty, and pretty easy to make. Enjoy!

Iced VoVo

(prep and cooking time 45minutes – makes 9 squares in an 8-inch square pan)



125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pressing dough into pan

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon raspberry or strawberry jam

1/4 cup shredded coconut

15 marshmallows, cut in half



Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 180C.  Line an 8-inch square pan with baking paper (leaving some overhanging paper flaps on two ends).  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in vanilla bean scrapings (or vanilla extract) and egg yolk.  Beat until well incorporated.  Stop the mixer and add flour.  Beat on low speed until completely incorporated, (you may need to pat it together with your hands).

Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with flour.  With clean fingers, press the dough into the bottom of the pan.  Use a bit more flour as necessary so that the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers.  Try to make the crust as even as possible.

Bake crust for 20-24 minutes until golden brown around the edges, but still slightly soft in the center.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Run a thin butter knife around edges of the pan.  Use the two parchment paper flaps to carefully remove the crust from the pan.  Run a butter knife between the crust and the paper and carefully slide the crust from the paper and onto a unlined baking sheet.

Top crust with a thin layer of raspberry or strawberry jam.  Arrange marshmallows on top of jam.  Return to the 180C oven for about 4 minutes.  This will warm and soften the marshmallows.  Remove from the oven and turn the grill onto high.  Use the back of a spoon to gently press and smash the top of each marshmallow.

Once all the marshmallows are smashed, place in the grill.  Keep a very very very very close eye on the marshmallows.  They’ll toast in seconds.  They’ll burn in seconds.

Remove toasted marshmallow cookie from the oven.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Cookies can be served slightly warm or at room temperature.  Cookies can be left, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.

Feijoa and Lemon Muffins

About a week and a half ago Craig brought home some feijoas that a lady at work had given him. I remember having feijoas a couple of times with my grandpa a good eight or nine years ago but otherwise they are not a fruit that we regularly eat.

They weren’t ripe yet and so we put them in the fruit bowl and forgot about them until tonight. After snacking on a couple of them we decided to try to incorporate them into a desert. There were actually very few recipes online but we came across a couple that we had the ingredients for. The recipe i’m blogging today was actually for feijoa and lime muffins (a popular feijoa recipe ), except, I had lime juice but not actual limes. However I did have a lemon. So we decided to substitute the limes for a lemon and it was still delicious, Craig absolutely loved them. If you come across any feijoas in your travels try out the recipe, the tartness of the lemon fits very nicely with the sweetness of the feijoa, and as usual muffins are super fast to make.

Feijoa and Lemon Muffins

(makes 10, preparation time 10minutes, cooking time 25minutes)


A large juicy lemon

60g butter (melted)

2 large eggs

200g plain flour

2½ tsps baking powder

100g sugar

1 cup peeled and diced feijoas (about 6-8)


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place paper cup liners in a muffin pan.

Finely grate the zest lemon squeeze the juice .

Tip this into a large bowl with the melted butter and eggs.

Whisk really well together until light and fluffy.

Sieve the flour with the baking powder and fold gently into the mixture with the sugar.

Finally fold in the feijoas to the batter and fill the muffin cups three quarters full.

Sprinkle the tops with a little extra sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until turning golden and the muffins are firm to the touch when patted.