Saturday, December 19

Orange & poppy seed cake


I've never made an orange and poppy seed cake before, though I've certainly eaten them. I ate one last week and it inspired me to make my own. This is an incredibly simple cake, so there's not a lot to go wrong. Making the batter takes around 10 minutes and then it's just a matter of popping the cake in the oven and wandering off to an hour. The cake then rises beautifully and does it's thing. Easy.

This cake definitely needs to be made in a deep sided tin because it rises so much, I can only imagine the awful mess you'd end up with if you used anything shorter than 10cm (4") in height. There's nothing worse than making delicious cake and then having to leave it sitting on the bench, teasing you, while you scrub out the oven. Yuck.

This cake is very simple, both in technique and flavour. That's not a bad thing but it does require the syrup to bring it do life. Without it it's just too plain. If I make this again, I'm going to try putting some honey into the syrup, mmm.

Orange & poppy seed cake with orange scyrup

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake

(adapted from Simple Essentials: Fruit)
serves 10

250g (8 oz) butter, softened
220g (1 cup) granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
300g (2 cups) self raising flour, sifted
125ml (1/2 cup) milk

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F), grease and line the bottom of a square 22cm (8 1/2") cake tin.

Combine the poppy seeds, orange rind, and flour in a bowl and set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Reduce speed to low, or mixing by hand, add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Once combined, add half the milk. Add the remaining flour and, once combined, the pour in the remaining milk. Milk lightly to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top Bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack or remove from tin and eat warm.

Orange Syrup

220g (1 cup) granulated sugar
250ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of two oranges

Place the sugar, orange juice, and zest in a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 7-8 minutes or until syrupy. To serve pour the syrup over the cake.

Thursday, December 10



We're not big Christmas people in my house, I think if it weren't for the decorations covering the shops we'd probably forget about it entirely. That said, there is one thing I go out of my way to embrace at Christmas time; that thing is gingerbread.

Gingerbread is without a doubt my favourite biscuit. There's something utterly filling about it. The spices tantalise the taste-buds and leave me completely content. The combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and whatever else you put in them is delicious.

Everyone seems to have the own preference for gingerbread. There seems to be no agreement about how they should be. Some like them soft; others like them crisp. Some like molasses; others can't stand it. Some use fresh ginger whilst others use ground ginger straight from the container.


The gingerbread I made today are more gingernuts to me, they're very crisp and sweet. No decorative shapes or royal icing. They have a hint of molasses but it doesn't dominate the other flavours. They're simple and delicious. That said, this recipe is quite versitile, for more bread-y gingerbread roll the dough thick.


(adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking)
makes about 36 biscuits

375g (3 cups) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
110g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
50g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 egg
50g (1.7 oz) molasses
175g (6 oz) golden syrup

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined, then add the molasses and golden syrup and continue to beat until throughly mixed.

Add the flour in 2 to 3 batches, combining each batch lightly before adding the next. Beat until the dough comes together. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if required.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Once chilled, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.

Remove one batch of dough from the refrigerator and, between 2 sheets of baking paper, roll out to 3mm (1/8") thickness. Using any cookie cutters you like, cut out shapes and transfer them to the prepared trays. Bake for 7-15 minutes depending on the size of your biscuits. The biscuits will be lightly brown when cooked and will not stick to the paper when lightly tapped. Roll out and cut the second batch while the first is still cooking.

Once cooked remove from oven and cool on trays for a few minutes. Once firm, transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.

Tuesday, December 1

Chocolate earl grey shortbread


I have never liked Earl Grey tea so I'm not sure what drove me to make these. I suppose they sounded nice in theory and I was curious as to how they would taste. I knew that I should have trusted my gut instinct and listened to the voice that said "you know, you don't like Earl Grey one little bit" but I didn't. Instead, I went out and bought Earl Grey tea explicitly for the purpose of making these biscuits. Maybe I thought these biscuits would convert me. Well, they didn't. I still can't stand Earl Grey tea.

However, these aren't all bad. The texture is amazing though not at all the like shortbread I normally make. These little biscuits crumble a bit when broken and also dissolve in the mouth. I know I would love these if it weren't for the Earl Grey tea in them, so if you like Earl Grey you'll probably adore these! I fully intend to make them again without the the tea.

Chocolate earl grey shortbread

(adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking)
makes 18-25 biscuits

50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon good-quality Earl Grey tea leaves
115g (4 oz) butter, cold and cut into pieces
105g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
20g (3 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sanding sugar, optional
200g (7 oz) dark chocolate

place the sugar and tea leaves in the bowl of a food processor and grind for 1 minutes, or until the leaves are finely chopped. Add the butter, flour, cocoa powder, and salt and process for about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and process for a further 15-30 seconds or until the dough looks uniformly dark and forms large, shaggy clumps. Alternatively, combine with a pastry blender until the dough reaches the same consistency.

Turn the dough out on to the bench and knead gently several times to bring the mixture together.

Squeeze the dough into a log about 30cm (12") long and about 2.5cm (2") in diameter. Gently roll it back and forth until smooth. If the dough becomes sticky, place it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to firm up.

Sprinkle sanding sugar on to the bench, alongside the log and roll the dough in the sugar to coat evenly. Cut a piece of cling wrap about 10cm longer than the log and center the log at one of the long ends. Roll the log tightly and twist the ends of the wrap to secure. Insert the log into a cardboard paper towel roll to help the dough keep its shape. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F), fine a baking tray with paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge and side it out of the cardboard. Using a thin knife, slice it into 1cm (3/8") rounds. Place the biscuits 2.5cm apart on the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes,rotating the tray halfway through. Remove tray from oven and transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

Once cooled, melt chocolate and using a fork, flick the chocolate over the biscuits to decorate.

Thursday, November 19

White chocolate & macadamia biscuits


If there's one thing Australia has brought to the world it's the macadamia nut. The macadamia nut is without a doubt my favourite nut; it's buttery and tasty without being overwhelming. It also goes amazingly well with white chocolate. Actually, it goes amazingly well with pretty much anything.

As a child we had a macadamia tree on our property in upper northern New South Wales. The macadamia tree is one of the two things I miss about living up there; the other is the mulberry tree. As I child we would climb the macadmia tree and pick of the nuts. I distinctly remember a large portion of the nuts being rotten when we cracked them open but when we did find good ones it was completely worth it!


Unfortunately neither macadamias nor mulberries grow where I now live. Luckily macamdias can easily be purchased and I do so regularly. Mulberries are less easy to find and, when I do find them, too damaged looking to buy.

White chocolate & macadamia biscuits

(adapted from Simple Essentials: Chocolate by Donna Hay)
makes 22-30 biscuits

125g (4 oz) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
220g (1 cup) white sugar
1 egg
150g (1 cup) plain flour, sifted
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
140g (1 cup) macadamia nuts, chopped
200g (7 oz) white chocolate, chopped
50ml (1/4 cup) water, extra

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), grease and line two large cookie trays.

Place the butter, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat to combine. Add the flours, nuts, and chocolate and beat to combine. If the mixture is too sandy and does not form a dough, gradually add the water until the mixture is the right consistency to roll.

Roll 1 or 2 tablespoon sized balls, place balls on baking trays about 5cm (2") apart; flatten with the palm of your hand.

Bake biscuits for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. The biscuits will be soft when removed from the oven, cool on trays.

Sunday, November 8

Vegan cranberry & almond biscotti


I'm not very good at vegan baking, in fact every time I start to make something vegan dairy ends up sneaking in in some way or another. I'll accidentally use milk instead of soy milk, I'll choose chocolate with milk in it, I'll make a frosting with butter - you get the gist. I'm not a vegan so it's not really a worry to me.

I've been seeing a number of recipes for vegan biscotti in various books and on various websites recently. In my mind biscotti is something that has to contain eggs, so when I saw a recipe for vegan almond biscotti I decided to give it a shot. I even used soy milk, though I can't stand the taste myself. Once baked, you'd hardly know it was there.


Vegan cranberry & almond biscotti

(adapted from Veganomicon)
makes 30

80ml (1/3 cup) almond or soy milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
150g (3/4 cup) sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
245g (1 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
40g (1/2 cup) died cranberries
60g (1/2 cup) almonds, chopped

Preheat over to 180°C (350°F), lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl whisk together the milk and flax seeds for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, oil, and extracts and mix until smooth. Sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir to mix all the ingredients, and just as a firm dough starts to form knead in the cranberries and almonds. Knead the dought briefly.

On the baking sheet, form the dough into a rectangle about 30 cm (12") long and 10 cm (10") wide. Bake dough for 28 minutes or until lightly puffed.

Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes or until dough is firm.

Turn the own heat up to 190°C (375°F).

Transfer the cooled dough to a chopping board and using a large, heavy knife slice the dough into 1 cm (1/3") pieces. Do not use a sawing motion when slicing the dough, simply push down on the knife in a single motion.

Place the slices back on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until at the desired level of crispness. Flip biscotti halfway through baking.

Cool on slices trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Saturday, October 31

Wholemeal rosemary butter rounds


Sometimes I think I have an addiction, I don't like to go for too long without cooking. So even if I'm completely out of time, working too much, and behind in my uni work I'll force myself to find the time to make something. I might not be able to find the time to finish my assignments but I can always find the time to bake.

These biscuits were made during the fews few hours I had off this morning, so they're very quick and easy. They're also somewhat odd tasting, it's not a bad taste just a strange one. In my mind rosemary belongs on crispy, golden potatoes. Rosemary in baked into biscuits isn't something I'm too familiar with. Nevertheless, it turns out that rosemary and oranges do in fact belong in biscuits together. The flavour almost fills up your mouth, it's nice but unexpected.

Homely biscuits are good when you're stressed, they relax in the way something fancy can't. They're unpretentious and you don't feel bad if you eat more than one of them. You can almost convince yourself that they're good for you.


Wholemeal rosemary butter rounds

(adapted from Australian Women's Weekly: Bake)
makes 28

125g (4.5oz) butter, softened
220g (7.7oz) brown sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
200g (7oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
100g (3.5oz) walnuts, chopped
50g (1.7oz) currants
2 tsp rosemary, fresh or dried
80ml (1/3 cup) orange juice
50g (1.7oz) desiccated coconut, unsweetened
60g (2.1oz) rolled oats

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), grease a line two large baking trays.

Beat butter, orange rind, and sugar using an electric mixer until creamy.

Stir in the flour and remaining ingredients. Mix by hand, or using an electric mixer on low, until combined. The mixture will resemble crumble topping when adequately combined, it does not need to form a dough.

Roll rounded tablespoons of mixture into balls, place around 5 cm apart on the oven trays, flatten gently with the palm of your hand.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden, cool on trays.

Friday, October 23

Chocolate, raspberry, & macaroon tarts


I actually made these quite a while ago but I figure there's no harm in adding them to the blog. I've been a bit sick over the last week so I haven't had a chance to cook, let alone photograph anything. I do remember these being delicious so I think they're worth sharing. There's no harm in sharing things for the past, right?

I'm a sucker for coconut and I'm always surprised when I meet people who don't like it as much as I do. I'm not sure what it is about coconut that I find so irresistible but if something has coconut in it, I'm there.

I'm also a sucker for chocolate and raspberries despite only having had fresh raspberries a few times in my life. I adore anything with frozen ones in it, so I can only imagine how good fresh ones are!

These tarts turned out quite different to the picture in the book, in the book they've sunken and collapsed in on themselves. They look good both ways, so if yours sink it's not a big deal.

Cramming the macaroon mixture into the cases was quite hard, I think the tart tins I own are shallower than the ones used in the book but I didn't realise this until after cramming all the mixture in. I'll never quite understand why books don't specify the height of tart tins, so if you're using 2cm (2/3") tart tins you'll probably end up with 7 tarts. You can cram the mixture into 6 tart tins but it's not really worth the effort. If you're using 2.5cm (1") tins you should be fine, though I haven't tried it.

Chocolate, raspberry, & macaroon tarts

(adapted from Simple Essentials: Chocolate by Donna Hay)
makes six 8cm (3 1/4") x 2.5cm (1") or seven 8cm (3 1/4") x 2cm (3/4") tarts

Macaroon base

3 egg whites
165g (5 3/4oz) sugar
255g (7 7/8oz) unsweetened, dessicated coconut

Preheat oven to 140°C (280°F).

Combine the egg whites, sugar, and coconut in a large bowl. Once thoroughly mixed divide evenly between the tart dishes. Press mixture firmly over the base and up the sides, using the back of a spoon if necessary.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until macaroon shells are firm and lightly golden.

Raspberry chocolate filling

125ml (4 fl oz) single cream
125g (4oz) dark chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons self raising flour
200g (7 oz) raspberries, fresh or frozen

Turn oven temperature up to 160°C (320°F)

Place the cream and chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat, using an electric mixer, until light and creamy. Fold in the flour and chocolate mixture.

Spoon the chocolate mixture into macaroon shells and top with raspberries. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is firm. Cool in tins.

Tuesday, October 6

Vanilla rice pudding with cinnamon apples


There are many things I've never made. For instance I've never made an omelette,a sponge cake, a baked cheese cake, or rice pudding. That's right, I've never made rice pudding. That isn't to say I've never eaten rice pudding because I certainly have; in fact I love rice pudding. It's just, until today, rice pudding has always been made for me or bought from the packet. I've been developing a major addiction to that packaged rice pudding you see everywhere here that's been branded to suit whatever location it's bought from. Most recently I ate "Bondi" rice pudding which I have a sneaking suspicion came from the same factory as the rice pudding I buy from the local fruit shop.

This nicely packaged, pseudo homemade rice pudding isn't the cheapest or even the nicest rice pudding in the world. So today was my day to face my addiction head on and make my own rice pudding. My homemade rice pudding isn't the cheapest either but it sure is delicious!


Vanilla rice pudding with cinnamon apples

(adapted from Decadence: Desserts by Philip Johnson)
serves 4-6

Rice pudding

60g (2 1/4 oz) butter
90g (3 1/4 oz) white sugar
125g (4 1/2 oz) short or medium grain rice
750ml (3 cups) milk
250ml (1 cup) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 160°C (315°F). Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, then add the sugar and rice. Stir for 5 minutes. Add the milk, cream, and vanilla and bring to the boil.

Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish and cover with foil. Sit the dish in a large roasting tray and pour in enough warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

Bake for 60-80 minutes or until rice is tender. During baking, stir rice every 20 minutes.

Once cooked remove from oven, the mixture will appear fairly wet and the fat may have risen to the top. The pudding will thicken up and take on a creamy colour as it cools. Stir occasionally as the pudding cools and refrigerate until required.

Cinnamon apples

25g (1 oz) butter
3 granny smith apples, peeled, and sliced into 16 wedges
1 tablespoon white sugar
30g (1 oz) sultanas
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the apple wedges and sauté on all sides until they soften slightly. Add the sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg and continue to cook until any liquid evaporates. Spread cooked apples on to a large plate and cool.

To serve place rice pudding into serving glasses or bowls and top with apples. Apples can be served either at room temperature or gently reheated and then spooned over rice.

Thursday, October 1

Chocolate ganache tarts


Sometimes I just love an excuse to bake and often I'll hunt for the tiniest excuse to do so. Luckily, just the other day I had a real, actual excuse with more depth than "the cream was on sale at the supermarket". Really, a real reason: picnic time! Spring is (kind of) in the air; there are flowers and grass (!). Unfortunately the weather isn't quite warm enough for fruit based dessert but it's always the right temperature for chocolate.

I tend to forget that most people don't like dark chocolate as much as I do, so these are incredibly rich. I also tend to forgot that at picnics everyone brings sweets and so I really should make something savory to counter it. I never remember and by the end of the day I'm overloaded with sugar and wanting nothing more than an apple.

Chocolate ganache tarts

(adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking)
makes six 10cm (4") tarts

1 quantity French Tart Dough divided into six 10cm (4") tart tins.


2 tablespoons strawberry jam
225g (8oz) bittersweet dark chocolate, finely chopped
225g (8oz) double cream
100g (3.5oz) chocolate of your choice, extra

Spread 1 teaspoon strawberry jam over the the base of the cooled tart crusts, set aside.

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour cream into a small saucepan and heat until it just beings to boil around the outside, remove from heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Sit for 30 seconds and then gently whisk to blend. If chocolate does not melt completely place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir gently until chocolate is fully melted. Spoon ganache into tart crusts and smooth using an offset spatula. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

Melt extra chocolate and using a fork flick over set ganache to create a pattern. Allow to set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Monday, September 21

Pear & almond tart


I started this last night after having a real hankering to poach pears, as well to retry the French tart dough recipe by David Lebovitz. I only managed to poach the pears last night, and worked on the tart crust before breakfast this morning. The tart crust works very well, but it's unfortunately not the prettiest thing in the world. Luckily, taste trumps looks any day.

I'm a big fan of pears, which is funny because in the past I would never eat them. Recently I've been wanting to bake pears into everything. There's something wonderful about baked pears that, for me, apples lack. So I headed out, bought some almond meal, and began my adventure. This tart isn't the prettiest in the world, I mostly put it down to my lack of experience so maybe someone else can do better? It's not really a worry though because it still tastes rather good!

Pear & almond tart

(Filling adapted from Simple Essentials: Fruit by Donna Hay)
makes six 10cm (4") tarts

1 quantity French Tart Dough divided into six 10cm (4") tart tins.

Poached pears

750ml (3 cups) water
330g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
1 tablespoon rose water
3 Packham pears, peeled, halved, and cored.

Place water and sugar in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved simmer for 5 minutes. Start peeling your pears now, if you haven't already done so.

Add pears and simmer for 10 minutes, or until tender. Gently stir in the rose water and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove pears and cool on paper towel.

Almond filling

35g butter, room temperature
60g caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
75g almond meal
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon water

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla essence until thoroughly combined. Fold in almond meal, flour, and water.


Preheat oven to 180°C (350°f)

Spoon almond mixture into pre baked tart crusts, slice pears thinly and lay them over the almond mixture, you should have enough pears to cover all six tarts. If you have any extra, slice the remaining pieces even smaller and use them to fill any gaps. The almond mixture should be fairly well covered. Bake tarts for 15-20 minutes or until almond mixture is a faint golden colour. Serve at room temperature with cinnamon and whipped cream.

Thursday, September 17

Lemon blueberry muffins


Today I really wanted to make something but blueberry muffins were not that something.  Instead I had a hankering for apple muffins with some kind of nuts.  I found a recipe for apple pecan muffins and began, I got all my ingredients out and began to make applesauce.  Midway through I realised I didn't have any pecans, "oh well," I thought, "I'll just use walnuts".  I hunted for about half an hour mumbling about how I knew there were walnuts somewhere and eventually gave up accepting that there were no walnuts.

The trouble is, I still wanted to cook.  I could easily have made apple cake, or apple pie, or apple crumble but I didn't want any of those.  So, I scrapped my apple plans and went with lemon blueberry muffins.  Not quite what I wanted but still pretty good!

Lemon blueberry muffins

(adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking)
makes 12 standard muffins and 6 texas muffins

2 cups (250g) plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 cups (220g) frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F), lightly grease or line muffin tins with papers.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and, and lemon zest. Set aside 2 tablespoons of dry ingredients in a small bowl, you will use this later.

Combine Sugar, milk, oil, lemon extract, and vinegar in a large bowl.

Combine the 2 tablespoons of dry ingredients with the blueberries. Coat lightly.

Add the remaining dry ingredients to the wet, stir until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries, stir approximately 3 times. Anymore and your blueberries will start to thaw and the juices will spread into the mixture.

Using a 1/3 cup fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffin tops are lightly brown and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Wednesday, September 16

Strawberry jam

So, I've decided to start a blog. Why, I'm not sure. Maybe to counter my urge to photograph everything I make, maybe to legitimise it. Either way, welcome and I hope you enjoy your stay.

I'm going to start my blog with strawberry jam, which I hope it a good place to start.


I made jam for the first time, it was a fun experience. The winter strawberries are plentiful at the moment and incredibly cheap and, though I've never been a fan of strawberry jam, I am definitely a fan of strawberries.

So, I thought to myself "maybe home made strawberry jam tastes better than the stuff from the shop" and sett about finding out. Sure enough - it does! I'm not about halfway through a stick of French bread covered in strawberry jam and I'm feeling pretty content. Home made strawberry jam, it turns out, tastes like strawberries! It also turns out Jam is very, very easy to make.

Admittedly I didn't make a large amount as I have no need for more than 2 jars of jam so maybe it's more effort to make it in large batches. The two jars of Jam I made took 500g of strawberries and less than an hour - this includes finding jars, drinking tea, sterilising the jars, drinking more tea, hulling the strawberries and everything else. I completed my jam this morning before getting dressed and having breakfast, I felt quite accomplished by the time I was done. I bet you can guess what I had for breakfast.

Strawberry jam

(adapted from Simple Essentials: Fruit by Donna Hay)
makes approximately 2-3 cups.

500g Strawberries
500g white sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

Place a small saucer in the freezer, you'll use this later.

Wash, hull, and halve strawberries.

Place sugar, strawberries, and lemon juice in large wide-based sauce pan, such as a stock pot. Dissolve the sugar over a medium heat, and then bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the temperature reaches 104°C on a candy thermometer. Be sure to skim off the foam with a metal spoon while the jam is simmering.

At around 15-20 minutes place a small spoonful of jam on the cold saucer and run your finger through it. A line should remain, if it doesn't cook jam for a further 5 minutes and test again. Once cooked carefully pour jam into hot, sterilised jars. Store in the refrigerator.