gardening · recipes


Golden Wattle

Nothing speaks of mid-Winter in Melbourne quite like the golden wattle. With a choice of bare deciduous or lush green rain-fed under-growth, our early winter neighbourhood landscape generally lacks imagination. Suddenly as the season gets into its stride, strollers, joggers, cyclists and commuters are met with glorious bursts of vivid yellow, and the collective relief can be heard in communal expression, ‘the wattle is out!’

The distance travelled is relatively small for my first glimpse of the golden beauty. Not far short of my mail-box, a neighbour has a majestic specimen lighting up our grove. Throughout the year it blends chameleon-like in an ash-green shade amongst other leafy companions putting on their summer display. As the season pulls out its crispest of days, the summer pretties are leafless and forgotten – but now the wattle takes centre stage.

And fortunate we are, as short drive through our district reveals an incredible variety. The early flowerers are now fading, the golden is in her prime and others are poised to burst. A spectrum of gold has painted our neighbourhood, it surely is Winter.

Wattle, though magnificent an outdoor display, does not fare well indoors. It’s pungent aroma tickles the allergies and the tiny florets sprinkle the surfaces. So for us, indoor winter gold must come in this form:

Lemon Deliciious Pudding

Lemon Delicious pudding. All things golden: butter, egg yolks, lemon and crust. Gold.

100g softened butter
grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
2/3 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sifted SR Flour
1 1/4 cups milk
icing sugar to dust

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a casserole dish.
  2. Cream the butter with the lemon rind and sugar.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks.
  4. Stir in the flour alternately with the milk.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture with the lemon juice, lightly and gently.
  6. Pour into casserole dish and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  7. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot with cream or ice-cream.

Hot lemon delicious pudding

Postscript: So as the neighbourly tree lit up our street, this lemony pudding did its part shining in the kitchen.



Chocolate self-saucing pudding

As Winter bares its ugly teeth there is little other recourse than to seek refuge in a huge helping of chocolate self-saucing pudding. Rising from a deep pool of steaming rich sauce, this robust pudding is so densely fortified with chocolate, cocoa and goodwill, it can ward off any biting chill in a single serve.

 To beat wolves from our door, we unleash this devilish dark pudding. As the rain beats against glass and wind buffets the external, all members of the clan dig in (and often two or three times). So, if ever there is a time to unearth the cherished pudding manuals, is doesn’t get any better than this.

And to flood your heavily shrouded home with the smell of baked chocolate, well after darkness has descended, is the very essence of how treasured olfactory memories begin.

If you have similar villainous elements that need to be kept at bay, this pudding is a magnificent way to armour your troops.

50g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% cocoa), chopped
50g butter, chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2/3 cup milk
1 cup SR flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten

fudge sauce
1 1/2 cups water
50g butter chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

icing sugar to dust the top

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a 6 cup capacity oven proof dish.
  2. Combine chocolate, butter, sifted cocoa and milk in a saucepan and stir over low heat until chocolate has melted.
  3. Sift flour into a large bowl and stir in the sugars. Add the chocolate mixture and egg – mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  5. To make the sauce, combine the water, butter, sugar and sifted cocoa in a saucepan and stir over low heat until combined.
  6. Pour the sauce over the back of a spoon across the surface of the pudding mix.
  7. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until firm.
  8. Serve dusted with icing sugar and cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.

dusted chocolate pudding

Postscript: and perhaps had the Starks (of Game of Thrones notoriety) been aware of the properties of the humble chocolate pudding,  the threat that ”Winter is Coming” may have been nullified.