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Making treats for work morning tea at my office has a few challenges: one person is no nuts, one is vegan and my kitchen has no food processor or other appliances.

Challenge cooking is my favourite though, so no problem! This time ended up making my new favourite super food treat, it’s easy & quick, not much washing up & you may even have everything for it in your cupboard and fridge.

It’s vegan nut free baklava. Yes.

The secret ingredient is Kapai Puku, a seed blend that is my favourite for porridge or gorgeously chunky Bircher muesli. It’s also wonderfully nutrient packed, great for marathon training season refueling. I used the original blend, but any of them would work.

This is my first time making more than breakfast with it and I am hooked. It ain’t cheap but it is jam packed full if goodies. I got mine at David Jones Food Hall, but most health food stores would stock it & you can buy online.

I considered using vegan butter but really it’s just oil with additives, so I just used oil – still got a lovely crunch to the pastry.

So here goes:

1.5 cups Kapai Puku + 1 tbs sugar
Sunflower oil
Filo pastry (half a pack – sheets cut in half to fit tin)

Brush each sheet with oil & layer half the pack of filo into the baking dish. Top with Kapai Puku then layer on remaining pastry. Cut into diamonds, or squares if you’re me & find diamonds too complicated.

Bake at 160c for 20 mins, then sprinkle on 2TBS of cold water. Bake another 15 minutes at 200c.

While it’s baking make the syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Few strips lemon and/or orange peel
Drops of rose essence
Squeeze of lemon juice

Heat up on medium till sugar is dissolved & the whole thing is thickened a bit. Add a squeeze if lemon at the end.

When pastry is done baking pull it out & pour over the syrup. Cook and eat.



I adore frangipane and am wild for fruit pies and tarts – putting them together is a dangerous thing. This tart is incredibly simple and quite gorgeous looking, but takes a little while if you chill the pastry twice like you are supposed to. I should probably admit that it never gets two full chillings at my house, and still comes out just fine.

This recipe is a version of the one on Simmer Boston. Image


1 1/4 cup plain flour
125 grams butter cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Cold water as neccesary (2+ tablespoons)
Good pinch of salt

Plums and frangipane
Plums – about 10 depending on size, not too ripe so they hold their shape.
I used a mix of colours which was quite pretty.
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g roasted ground almonds/almond meal
1 tablespoon plain flour

Make the pastry (use your Kenwood/KitchenAid)
Put sugar, flour, butter and a good pinch of salt into your stand mixer with the paddle or K attachment and mix till nice and crumbly,
Whisk egg and water together in seperate bowl and add into stand mixer, mix on medium until a smooth dough. Wrap dough into ball in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or so or for as long as you can bear.

Make the frangipane filling.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl with your hand mixer (or use stand mixer again) until light and fluffy.
Add eggs a bit at a time till combined then turn off mixer
Use a wooden spoon to fold in the almond meal ground almonds and flour.

Prepare the plums
Cut plums in half to remove seeds, then slice into even segments – about 12 per plum is nice.

Grease your tart tin, I used a rather unattractive bright green silicon one which I sprayed lightly with oil spray because I am lazy and YOLO. It worked just fine – I might be coming around to these silicon thingamajigs.

Take dough out of fridge and place onto floured bench top and roll out so it would overlap edges of your tin. Transfer over with your rolling pin like the clever clogs you are. Patch up any holes with spare pastry. Oops! Then put back in fridge for half an hour or as long as you can bear.

Have a cup of tea, and nibble on extra or wonky plums.

Preheat oven to 200c, and assemble tart.

Pour frangipane into tart, stick plums into it in some semblance of a pattern.

Bake at 200c for about 30 minutes – until it is nicely burnished on top. Serve hot or warm or cold (I prefer it cold) with some double cream.


I never understood the attraction of ‘upside down cakes’ when I was younger, mainly because they often had tinned pineapple on them in our neck of the woods. Why anyone would do that is beyond me.

With this however the magical flip and reveal is a beautiful moment, set off nicely by the terror of burning yourself on scalding hot caramel.

The result is so exquisite that the ridiculously easy prep and short shopping list seem almost unfair. This is the perfect thing to do with that spare sheet of puff pastry hanging about in the freezer..


Isn’t that the prettiest thing you ever saw?


1/2 cup of caster sugar
40 grams butter cubed
3 corella pears (or beurre bosc) peeled, cored and quartered
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (yes I will learn to make this myself one day!)

You will also need a smallish oven proof pan – I used a 17cm enamel cast iron pan like this. If you use a bigger pan just up the ingredients a smidge, it’s not rocket science.


1. Take out sheet of puff pastry to defrost
2. Heat oven to 190c
3. Put sugar in base of pan and place onto medium heat, watch carefully – try not to panic that you are essentially frying sugar. It will start to melt, shake it around until its all melted and let it colour to a rich caramel (darker than a Werther’s original), then remove from heat
4. Add in cubed butter, put it back on the element if if needs help melting, swirl it around but don’t stir.
5. Add your pear quarters, round side down (this will be the top) putting in as many as you can, they will give a little as they cook
6. Take your pastry sheet which will be almost defrosted by now, cut a rough circle a bit bigger than the pan and put this on top, use a knife or spoon to tuck it in around the edges & slash it a few times to let steam out.
7. Bake for about half an hour – you want the top to be a nice dark brown.
Then remove and rest for a few minutes while you grab your icecream & plates.
8. Shake the tart gently in the pan to dislodge it. Put a plate on top and using oven mitts flip it over, et voilà!

The pastry should be nice and dark when you remove it, this will mean the pears are nice and tender.


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