Tamarillo pudding


I am so happy it is tamarilo season once more.  I love tamarillos.  Not just for their cheek-sucking tartness, but also because I think they are one of the most beautiful fruits, with their plump, ruby skins and yellow flesh.

Tamarillos, which were once known as the very cute name ‘tree tomatoes’ in New Zealand, are considered by some to be the lost fruit of the incas.  How exotic!  These gorgeous little fruits spring from the Andes, and are now found in countries including India, USA, China, Malaysia and of course New Zealand.

And it’s not only me who loves them…one half of our recent two-cat addition to the family spent the best part of the afternoon pestering the tamarillos too.


My inspiration for this recipe comes from the New York Times plum torte.  I was introduced to this delight by my good friend Sondra who, as it happens, also introduced me to our new cats the same night.  I love the story behind this plum torte. It was published every Autumn for seven years until the editors decided that was plenty long enough.  However, this was met with outrage and a slew of angry letters, and so now it is published every year, just in time for Autumn.

So, with many thanks to the New York Times and its plum torte-loving readers, here is my take on their classic, with my beloved tamarillos.


  • 10-12 ripe tamarillosIMG_3099
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup four
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 eggs

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Halve the tamarillos and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.  Add the vanilla essence, sugar and cinnamon.  Combine and set aside.


In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs, and beat well.

Spoon the batter into a springform cake tin, between 20 – 25cm diameter.  Place the tamarillos over the top of the batter and drizzle with the remaining liquid.

Bake until the torte is cooked through and springs back to the touch, approximately one hour.

This is quite lovely served warm with some yoghurt, or even better, cream.



Bliss Balls


So, bliss balls are a thing right now.  Anyone who reads my blog will know that I take great joy in the retro tried-and-true; the less sexy the better (although I’m sure we all agree that Delia looks a total fox on the cover of this 1982 How To Cook).  I’m not always so adventurous when it comes to the hottest trend.

But, thing or not, bliss balls are scrumptious.  I believe their popularity comes from the fact that they get their lovely moreish-ness from things like dates and cocoa powder, so they provide a delicious little morsel without sending your blood sugar skew-whiff.   Personally I just like them because the dates and cocoa make them all dense and fudge without being sickly.  And a little delicious morsel?  Count me in.

My tried and true Bliss Ball recipe is not my own, but comes to me courtesy of two of my lovely sisters.  So please find their excellent recipe below – I promise it’s quick, and the results are superb with your post-lunch cup of tea.


1/2 C dates (I’m assured that raisins and sultanas also work well)
1/4 C almond meal
2T cocoa (be generous!)
1t vanilla essence
1T peanut butter
1T oil (I use olive)
1/4 C dessicated coconut

Boil the kettle. Soak the dates in boiling water for ten minutes. Drain the water, reserving 2T of water.

Place the dates and all the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.


Test the mixture with your fingers.  It should clump nicely without being too sticky – add some of the date water if it’s too dry, or more almond meal if it’s too sloppy.

Wet your fingers and roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls.  You can roll them in a little coconut at this stage if you fancy, although I prefer them without.  Refrigerate for half an hour to set, and keep them in the fridge.