Lime balls

Have I told you about my great new cooking book?

One of my Christmas presents was the My Petite Kitchen Cookbook.

I love Eleanor’s blog and have been very happy with how her gluten free recipes have turned out (here and here).

I was keen to try some of her other recipes in my “Christmas” book, and New Years Eve was the perfect opportunity for her lemon coconut balls. Not too sweet and refreshingly citrusy. Perfect for a hot summer evening down under. Plus super easy to make.

I repeated the recipe the other weekend with limes. Even better!

I love limes



  • 2 cups (180g) desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup (100g) almond meal
  • 80g butter
  • 1/3 cup (115g) honey
  • grated zest and juice of two limes (or one lemon)
  1. Set aside ½ cup of the coconut and put all the rest of the ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture starts to form a dough.
  3. Use your hands to form small balls.
  4. Roll the balls in the extra coconut (or use prettier, larger coconut flakes instead).
  5. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to set.

The truffles can be kept at room temperature, but are best kept in the fridge. Makes around 25 truffles.  Will keep for 3-4 days. In theory.


Sewing update:

I’m still auditioning patterns for my lovely landscape print

I weakened. Vogue 9021 has been purchased.

I haven’t yet pulled it out of the envelope to see if it fits on my fabric, but I do like this pattern a lot! Also, red booties as cover art. What’s not to love?

And, I have made a teensy bit of progress on my vision of a lovely winter coat in this delightful laminated tweed

“Progress” = pattern traced and IKEA upholstery fabric cutinto for a muslin of BurdaStyle 11/2014 #111

No actual sewing has yet been done…

Lime Coconut Cake

Limes are in season said the magazine, sure enough the greengrocer had them bagged up ready to go, shiny and green and cheaper than usual. The ones ‘on special ‘ were smaller than the ones I had been buying so I did a bit of research… seems the ones currently ‘in season’ were probably Mexican limes (there goes my cred for only using local ingredients) Mexican limes are small, with bright green skins and are harvested all year round (so always in season!)










All you bakers (yes I am looking at you) will recognize this as a classic butter cake made the ‘easy’ way by adding melted butter to the dry ingredients. I like this method, it is fast and relatively foolproof, though many bakers remain unconvinced that the results are as good as creaming the butter and sugar or the rubbing in method, but what the heck I say… the cake soon disappears so it can’t be all that bad!













I have used shredded coconut rather than desiccated because I think it gives a better finish to the cake, what do you think? Perhaps desiccated would make the cake look ‘finer’ like an afternoon tea cake rather than a desert style cake. The final result had a nice acid tang from the lime but to be honest was a bit dry ( I am a sucker for moist…almost gooey cakes). I would recommend pouring lime syrup over the cake especially if serving the cake as a desert. I have added a recipe for the syrup if you want to try it and you can spare the limes.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • Melted butter (optional), for greasing
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 155g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cups desiccated (or shaved) coconut
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) fresh lime juice (approx 3-4 limes)
  • 1 tbs finely grated lime rind


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line an 18cm square pan.
  2. Process flour, sugar, baking powder and 2/3 cup of coconut in a food processor for 20 seconds
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently until light and well combined.
  4. Spoon cake mixture into the cake pan and smooth surface with back of spoon. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Recipe from Australian good taste March 2011 pg29

To make lime syrup:

  • 4 limes
  • 165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 185mls (3/4 cup) water

Peel rind from 2 limes with a vegetable peeler. Remove white pith from rind with a small, sharp knife and then cut rind into very thin strips. Juice all 4 limes.

Combine lime rind, 80mls (1/3 cup) of lime juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, remove rind from syrup with a fork, set aside.

When cake is cooked, remove from oven and Stand in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Place rack over a large plate or tray to catch any drips and pour hot syrup slowly and evenly over cake. Cool

Carrot cake

Carrot cake is one of the world’s most popular cakes. It makes the top 5 on google trends, beaten only by cheesecake and chocolate cake. So let’s take a vote what would be your top 5 cake recipes? Mine are:

  1. Cheesecake (baked)
  2. Chocolate cake (flour-less)
  3. Carrot cake (must have cream cheese frosting)
  4. Sponge cake
  5. Angel food cake

…well that wasn’t as easy as I thought, I swapped the top 3 around for several minutes and I am still not sure I have got it right!

Seems everybody has a carrot cake recipe, not unusual I guess as most people I have come across like carrot cake, not like banana cake… that seems to polarize people into two groups; those that love banana cake, banana bread and all other ways “to use up bananas past their prime”, and those that don’t like overripe bananas whichever way they have been disguised.

Carrot cake is a moral dilemma… picture a demon one shoulder whispering in your ear “go on have another it’s got carrot in it so it is healthy…it’s kind of good for you….go on you know you want to”

…and an angel on the other, arms crossed sternly whispering…

“tut tut don’t give in… think about all the sugar, butter and flour…think about how much exercise you will need to do to keep your weight down…say no…walk away”…

The decision is difficult and you struggle with your angels and demons for some time, then the demon comes out with the killer blow…

“ooooh look at that cream cheese frosting…it’s got lime in it … limes are full of vitamin C and antioxidants… and the ‘tangy-ness’ (is that a word?) adds just that little extra flavor…oh go on have another piece”

Sigh,… the demon is right, this recipe made a heavenly cake , ( should that be devilish?) moist, not too crumbly but not dense either. A very good friend made this cake to take to work and it was so good she got several orders! I have played with the ingredients a little.. You can be far more generous with the carrot. Add walnuts, and or pineapple. I like to use brown sugar rather than white for a darker richer colour and deeper flavor.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200g carrots, finely grated (about 2 large carrots)
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 orange (about 2/3 of a cup)
  • 55g flaked coconut, toasted

Lime icing

  • 175g cream cheese
  • 100g (2/3 cup) icing sugar, sifted
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lime


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake pan.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Sift in flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. Stir in carrots, desiccated coconut, rind and enough juice to make a dropping consistency. Mix to combine and pour into cake pan.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  4. For icing, beat ingredients, spread over cake and garnish with coconut

Recipie from Delicious magazine. – April 2004, Page 66
Adapted from Recipe by Valli Little