Dark Chocolate Banana Cake

September 11, 2014 at 12:59 am

banana and chocolate cake

  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 120 g softened butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 100 g dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 sml banana sliced for top of cake
  • 1 tblsp brown sugar for top of cake


1. Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs , Mix. Mash bananas, apple sauce and milk and add to the bowl with the vanilla extract.

2. Stir in flour, cocoa and chocolate leaving some chocolate to sprinkle on top.

3. Pre -heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

4. Line the base of a 20 cm springform pan with baking paper. Spray sides of pan with oil.

5. Pour batter into tin and lightly tap tin onto the bench to get rid of any air bubbles. Decorate with sliced banana and and sprinkle remaining chocolate. Sprinkle with 1 tblsp brown sugar and bake. Insert skewer into the oven after 40 mins. Bake a further 5 if needed.

If you are making the YIAH – Your Inspiration at Home Chocolate raspberry Truffle powder version then simply add 1/3 cup in the mix when adding the cocoa. Reduce the caster sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup. Instead of layering bananas on top simply sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons YIAH Choc Raspberry Truffle powder on top before baking.

All products pertaining to YIAH – Your Inspiration at home can be purchased from my online store by clicking here

Upside Down Pear and Almond cake served with Lemon Myrtle Cream

May 5, 2014 at 6:18 am

Upside Down Pear and Almond cake  served with Lemon Myrtle Cream

I was very honoured to receive Tilly (Matilda) The Travelling Swirly Pan. This pan has travelled around Australia to the homes of home cooks like myself. We each tell a little story in a journal and share recipes that we have made using the tin. The recipes will then  be collated and made into and E-book with profits going to charity.

tilly pan with upside down pear and almond cake

2014-04-20 piece upside down cake w lemon myrtle cream s;liced with lemon myrtle cream


  • 250g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tblsp brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/3 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar
  • sml  410g can sliced tin pears, drained
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (for pan/tin)
  • 50g butter (for pan/tin)


1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Spread the butter generously covering all the base and sides of swirly pan or 23 cm spring form pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar generously on base of springform pan or all over every little inch of the swirly pan where you put the butter so the cake doesn’t stick when you take it out.

3. Line the pears on creases of swirly pan or in a design starting from the middle of the springform pan with the pointiest part of the pear meeting in the middle going round.

4. In a mixer, beat caster sugar, YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar and brown sugar until thick and pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and fold in the flour and almond meal.

5. Pour batter over pears and bake for about 50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before turning out.

6. Serve with whipped cream and YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar. For every 300ml whipped cream combine 2 tablespoons YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar.


YIAH – Your Inspiration At Home Products are Award wining Gourmet products with NO added Gluten, NO preservatives, NO MSG and LOW in salt and can be purchased via my website by clicking here.

More details on the Travelling Swirly Pan can be found here

Tilly Swirly pan – Egg free, Dairy free, Chocolate cake with Natvia

May 5, 2014 at 1:21 am

Tilly Swirly pan - Egg free, dairy free, Chocolate cake

This cake is so  delicious. It is chocolately and dense and incredibly simple to make. It is hard to imagine that it is dairy and egg free.  I always make this cake during Holy Week of Greek Easter for Fasting. (Greek Orthodox fast for the lead up to Easter from all dairy, eggs and meat/poultry). Simple ingredients readily available in anyone’s pantry makes this cake a go to recipe anytime. I have used NATVIA (stevia) instead of caster sugar for obvious reasons. If you want to use caster sugar instead of Natvia* then substitute the 1 +1/2 cup Natvia* with 2 cups sugar. The original recipe comes from here.


  • 3 Cups plain flour
  • 1+ 1/2 cups NATVIA* (stevia)
  • 2 tsp bi-carb of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tblsp quality cocoa or cacao
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tblsp vinegar

Icing: (optional. You can leave plain or sprinkle with the YIAH dukkah or both dukkah and icing)

  • 1 cup icing sugar sifted mixed with water to make as runny as you like (add a little water at a time)
  • 2 tblsp  YIAH Black Forest Dukkah


1. Grease or lightly spray pan in all nooks and crannies if using a swirly pan. Dust lightly with flour as well so it doesn’t stick.

2. If using normal baking pan 20 cm, then line with baking paper. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

3. Stir dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a jug and add to dry ingredients, mix well. Bake for about 40- 45 mins depending on your oven. Skewer should come out clean.

4. Sit in pan till cooled down completely then turn out.

5. Dust with icing sugar or YIAH* Black forest Dukkah or drizzle with icing.

6. Store in airtight container for 3 days. Is freezer friendly.

You can also make this recipe into cup cakes and reduce cooking time to 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

YIAH – Your Inspiration At Home Products are Award wining Gourmet products with NO added Gluten, NO preservatives, NO MSG and LOW in salt. For more click here.

Vitarium Triple Chocolate layer cake with Natvia

February 26, 2014 at 7:12 am

Vitarium Triple Chocolate layer cake

INGREDIENTS for cake part

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/3 cup Vitarium chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons Natvia
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 125 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt


1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line a 25cm springform pan with baking paper on the base and spray the sides with olive oil.

2. In a small saucepan melt butter and chocolate on low heat until silky. Remove from heat.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Put the mix in the prepared pan and smooth the surface. This is a thicker style batter but that is fine. Cook for 25 – 30 mins or until the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Wait until cake cools slightly then take it out and with a serrated knife smooth out the top layer so it is even then put back into the springfrom pan.

INGREDIENTS for cheesecake part:

  • 250 g packet Philladelphia Cream cheese at room temperature
  • 300ml thickened cream whipped to stiff peaks, set aside
  • 2 tablespoons Natvia
  • 2 tablespoon Vitarium Chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp gelatine dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water (dissolved and cooled)

4. In a mixer whip cream with Natvia and Vitarium chocolate and set aside.

5. Beat the cream cheese with vanilla. Add the cream and dissolved, cooled gelatine.

6. Beat on low for 2 minutes.

7. Spread the cheesecake layer on top of the slightly cooled cake in the spring form pan. Place in  fridge until the mousse component is ready.

INGREDIENTS for mousse

  • 200g 70% Cocoa dark Chocolate (or sugar free chocolate)
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tablespoon Vitarium Chocolate
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 250ml thickened cream

8. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth.  Add the egg yolks and beat in well with a wooden spoon. Set aside.

9. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks, add the Vitarium chocolate and whisk until stiff peaks. Set aside.

10. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Add the cream to the chocolate mixture.

11. Fold in the egg whites. Smooth the Chocolate mousse on top of the cheesecake layer. Place in the fridge overnight covered in cling wrap.

12. Serve with fresh fruit and/or whipped cream.



Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Almond Dukkah

December 7, 2013 at 7:50 am

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Almond Dukkah

I love a good refrigerated cheesecake. There is something about the texture that makes me stop and dream, forget about reality. The cool smooth, silky, velvety sensation caressing my mouth. Then the biscuit base is non-describable as I wish I could keep going back for more but I keep holding myself back. This is a winner for young and old. I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do!




1. Crumb biscuits in a food processor. Add butter and mix well. (you can half these ingredients if you want a thinner crust)

2. Press into a 20 cm spring-form pan lined with baking paper ( I only lined the bottom and lightly sprayed the sides, it is up to you how perfect you want it to look). Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. Sprinkle gelatine into the boiling water. Whisk well to dissolve (I used a fork) and allow to cool.

4. Use an Electric mixer to beat the cream to soft peaks, fold in vanilla extract and set aside.

5. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth for a couple of minutes.  Gradually add in gelatine, mix well. Mix in the YIAH Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Chocolate Powder and sifted cocoa.  Fold in the cream until all combined.

6. Lightly spray the sides of the pan again with oil. Place the mixture into the springform pan on top of the set crumbed biscuits. Smooth surface. Cover.

7. Refrigerate for a few hours or preferably overnight before slicing. Once set, add strawberries in the center of the cheesecake and sprinkle with the YIAH Chocolate almond Dukkah or  YIAH Black Forest Dukkah just before serving.

Enjoy. For Purchase of the YIAH Black Forest Dukkah and other Your Inspiration At Home Products please follow the link to my website by clicking here


Black Forest Dukkah Cheesecake

October 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

Blackforest dukkah cake


  • 415g can Black Cherries, stoneless in syrup, drained
  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 125 g melted butter, cooled
  • 3 tsp gelatine powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 500 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons YIAH Black Forest Dukkah, extra for sprinkling the top


1. Crumb biscuits in a food processor. Add butter and mix well.

2. Press into a 22 cm spring-form pan lined with baking paper ( I only lined the bottom and lightly sprayed the sides, it is up to you how perfect you want it to look). Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. Sprinkle gelatine into the boiling water. Whisk well to dissolve (I used a fork) and allow to cool.

4. Use an Electric mixer to beat the cream to soft peaks, set aside.

5. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth for a couple of minutes. Gradually add in gelatine, mix well. Mix in the YIAH Black Forest Dukkah. Fold in the cream.

6. Place half the mixture into the spring form pan on top of the set crumbed biscuits.

7. Place half the cherries (or 3/4 if you like less on top) over the mix.

8. Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture on top, and smooth over with a palette knife or the back of a spoon.

9. Refrigerate for a few hours or preferably overnight before slicing. Once set, add as much sprinkling of YIAH Black Forest Dukkah as you wish on the top and arrange the remaining cherries on top.


For Purchase of the YIAH Black Forest Dukkah and other Your Inspiration At Home Products click here for more info.

Bertolli Oil Review and Recipes

August 11, 2013 at 7:24 am
I had the pleasure of being asked to review these gorgeous products. To be honest my initial reaction was “why do I need 3 different oils for my cooking, really – this must be a ploy for consumers to spend extra money at the checkout”. After a little experimentation I can now safely say I eat my words and totally understand the concept more than ever. Do I start with the authentic taste of The Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Yes because it reminds me of my childhood holiday in Greece of the oil used to dip my bread in for the cucumber and fetta salad – it is SERIOUSLY good! Or shall I say how much I love the smoke point and taste that the Classico brings to my roasts, grills and lasagne? Or finally that I have since purchased personally 2 x 1 litre bottles of my favourite of all: LIGHT IN TASTE. I use it in everything, well almost. I especially have found a place in my heart for it in my baking.

It is a great alternative to butter and gives a a light result.


Bertolli Nuts Almond Cake with Natvia

I initially made this cake in mind for a layered dessert. Dipped cake in coffee layers of whipped cream and almonds. Since making it I realized it was more than that…a light flavoursome treat with coffee or tea. Smothered in something moist like whipped cream, melted chocolate or sugar syrup it is enhanced to another level.


  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup Natvia (or sugar of your choice – honey would work well too)
  • 4 eggs separated.
  • 1/2 cup Bertolli Light in Taste Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Almond spread (I used Macro Natural Almond spread)
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda
  • 1/4 cup  almond flakes
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon honey


1.Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Use a 20 cm spring form pan lined with baking paper ( I used a silicone pan sprayed with a little oil)

2. Beat egg yolks, sugar until creamy. Add almond butter, oil, bicarb, hot water and almond spread. Beat briefly until mixed. Add flours, beat for a further 30 seconds on low.

3.In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites in 2 batches into the other prepared ingredients until just combined. Pour into pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden and still slightly springy in the middle. Wait 10 minutes then transfer onto a wired rack to cool. Turn over onto plate when ready for presentation.

4. On a tray lined with baking paper add almonds and honey and toast “grill” until golden brown. Smother over cake.
If you are intending on keeping this cake for a few days I recommend you make a sugar syrup of half a cup sugar to half a cup water. Bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes.

5. When the cake is removed from the oven pierce the cake with a skewer in many positions and immediately pour the sugar syrup over it to soak in. Then add the honey almonds on top!


Bertolli Nuts Almond Dessert

A couple of days after baking the cake I cut it into pieces and briefly dipped them into cooled coffee, layer by layer. The cake layer first drizzled with melted chocolate (don’t let it touch the glass or the chocolate will go hard) then a generous layer of whipped cream with Chocolate Raspberry Chocolate Powder, a layer of flaked almonds, another layer of coffee infused cake, melted chocolate and whipped cream topped with flaked almonds again and drizzled chocolate. One cake so many ways. This recipe is really very versatile as the use of Bertolli Light tasting Olive Oil does not over power the other flavours.


Tuscan style Schnitzel with Bertolli

Organic chicken breast dipped in egg then a coating of fresh bread crumbs mixed with YIAH Tuscan Capsicum Style Pesto Herbs – a match made in heaven the Bertolli Classico olive Oil. I like this oil for shallow frying as it didnt ‘blacken’ my food as some other oils do once you start cooking the second batch. the temperature of the oil was steady so the colour of  my schnitzels were consistent.


Breakfast Biscuits with Bertolli Light with Natvia



  • 2 cups Muesli
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp bi-carb soda
  • 1/2 cup Bertolli Light Olive Oil
  • !/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Natvia (or sugar of your choice)
  • 2 Tblsp hot water


1.Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius

2.Line 2 trays with baking paper

3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add all the wet ingredients and mix well ( I use my hands) . Stand 10 minutes in the fridge. Roll into 1 tablespoon (heaped) balls then flatten with your hand. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

I have really enjoyed reviewing these products. I was always skeptical about purchasing 3 different products for what 1 used to do the job adequately. It is not until you start experimenting that you realize that using the right kind of all in your food is a flavour enhancer. A definite positive in my book!

For any products pertaining to YIAH (Your Inspiration At Home) you can click here to find baking goodies.

Natvia Chocolate Flourless Cake

July 21, 2013 at 9:32 am



  • 2 tblsp VITARIUM Chocolate flavour
  • 150ml melted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 150g Almond Meal
  • 3/4 Natvia (natural sugar substitute)
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking soda


1. Grease 9 inch spring form pan and line base with baking paper. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Beat Natvia and eggs until pale in colour. Stir in butter, vanilla, almond meal , water,  Vitarium Chocolate, sifted cocoa, and baking soda. Beat at lowest speed until batter is all mixed in properly.

3. Pour batter into pre-lined tin. Bake for 45 mins until sides are set and top looks slightly moist.

4. Cool for 15 minutes in tin then place on wire cooling rack.

5. Decorate with dusted cocoa or melt some sugar free chocolate and drizzle on top.

Note: Cake best served on the day as it is light and airy, but can be stored in storage container for 2 days if you wish. Enjoy!

Sugar free Natvia Mini Mock Cheesecake and Koulourakia

November 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

Natvia Cheesecake Cupcakes


  • 50 g melted butter
  • 5 large Koulourakia(approx.) crumbed* (see recipe below this)
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 220 g tub Kraft Extra Light Philadelphia Cream Cheese (less than 5% fat)
  • 50 g melted sugarless chocolate (you can use 70% dark chocolate if you wish)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Natvia
  • 1 tablespoon VITARIUM chocolate
  • 2 gelatine leaves


1. Combine the melted butter with the crumbed Koulourakia. Press into cup cake/muffin patties. Refigerate for 10 minutes.

2. Prepare the gelatine as per instructions, allow to cool.

3. Whip cream and NATVIA sugar until thick and creamy. Add vanilla, Vitarium chocolate and cream cheese. Beat for 2 minutes. Add gelatine and beat for another 2 minutes.

4. Melt the chocolate, cool slightly and fold into the mixture, roughly.

5. Place the mixture into the pre-prepared bases and refrigerate again. Before serving pop into the freezer for 10 minutes.

Note: Unlike other cheesecakes that are firm these are a little softer hence the freezing. Enjoy this little satisfying and light delight!


Recipe for Koulourakia:


  • 3 eggs separated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp MAHLEPI (found in Deli. Substitute will all spice if you wish)
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used NATVIA, the natural sugar substitute)
  • 150ml Light cream
  • 5 cups self raising flour
  • 1 egg lightly whisked to brush on top 1/4 cup oil for greasing the hands


1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Beat sugar and butter until starting to change colour, pale looking.

3. Whisk egg yolks in a seperate bowl until starting to change colour and egg whites in a seperate bowl until soft peaks are formed.

4. In a large bowl add the beaten sugar and butter with egg yolks, vanilla extract and cream. Stir. Add MAHLEPI spice, and sifted flour to the bowl. Stir.

5. Add the egg whites half first, folding into mixture then add other half, folding again. The mixture will be really soft.

6. Wipe your hand with oil and grap 1 tblsp of mixture.

7. Roll mixture into a log 1 cm thick roughly. Find the middle then let each side hang vertically. Fold one side over the other until you have a plait. The thinner the platt the crispier the biscuits. The bigger and thicker the softer. Personally I prefer them crispier.

8. Brush with beaten egg and place in oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Cook in batches, 2 trays in the oven at a time for even heat distribution.