OLIEBOLLEN – Dutch Doughnuts

I’ve been watching contestants on recent cooking shows struggling to successfully make doughnuts and thinking that it was a new dessert, that is until I found this old recipe in Mum’s collection.  It made me look up the meaning of Oliebollen and Wikipedia describes them as  “a traditional Dutch and Belgian food. They are called oliebollen in the Netherlands, while in Belgium they are also called smoutebollen and croustillons in French. In English they are more commonly known as Dutch Doughnuts or Dutchies.”  Whatever the name they taste great, just hope you have more success with them than some of the contestants.

TRIFLE – Strawberry, Port, Peach, Pineapple, Passion Mango, Hot Swiss, Raspberry

This cutting from the Herald Sun Checkout cooking page says ‘any old trifle is dead easy, but a “great” trifle has mystique’.  A trifle overdone perhaps, but a good trifle is a great summer dessert.  These versions seem to have come from the inaugural ‘Great Trifle’ competition – unsurprisingly not a competition that’s around anymore.  Equally I’m not quite sure of how these recipes would work today, but there’s some interesting combinations in them!!!!!



This time of year when you have to take a ‘plate’ to all sorts of Christmas functions White Christmas is another quick and easy copha recipe that can work quite well.  It was something that Mum made every Christmas, put on a plate with a bit of tinsel or some sprigs of holly it looks really festive.  It might be a bit old fashioned now, but it still tastes great.  These are a couple of versions I found in Mum’s collection.

White Xmas


Fruitcakes are essentially easy to make once the fruit is prepared. You can tell this is an old recipe as it has an ingredient not heard of today – Parisienne Essence. Parisienne essence has nothing to do with Paris or even French cooking it was a flavouring used to darken dishes and was used in gravies, fruitcakes and puddings. Leaving it out of this recipe won’t affect the finished cake as there are plenty of other ingredients to give it a good flavour.

Rich Boiled Fruit Cake - Bernice


  • 500g sultanas
  • 375g raisins
  • 125g mixed peel
  • 125g cherries
  • 60g dates
  • 60g apricots or prunes

Or use 1.25kg of mixed fruits of your choice

  • 2 level tablespoons golden syrup
  • 3 tablespoons rum or sherry
  • ¾ cup water
  • 250g butter
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 315g plain flour
  • 60g self raising flour
  • ¼ level teaspoon salt
  • 2 level teaspoons mixed spice
  • ¼ level teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ level teaspoon nutmeg
  • 60g whole blanched almonds

Place all the fruit, golden syrup, rum or sherry and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil stirring occasionally and simmer for two minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover and allow to stand overnight. Cream butter and brown sugar well together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients, then sift half over the fruit mixture. Mix lightly and then blend into the creamed mixture. Add remainder of flour and blend well. Turn into a 22cm cake tin which has been lined with brown paper and with baking paper (the original recipe says 2 layers of brown and 2 of white, while that might be a bit much you shouldn’t skimp on the paper as the cake cooks slowly and the paper stops it drying out). Top with blanched almonds. Bake at 140°C for 3½ hours or till done.


Mum’s sisters all worked in dressmaking before they married, but Mum, just to be different, worked in a bookbinding business. Doreen was one of her friends there so I think this recipe originates from the 1940s. It’s obviously before packet mixed fruit, which is a much easier alternative now. The addition of dates and apricots would add a bit of extra flavour though.

Nougat Slice cropped


  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 heaped cup Self Raising Flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 155g castor sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup mixed fruit (½ cup mixed fruit, some dates & dried apricots & cherries) cut finely
  • Walnuts or almonds
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Almond essence

Melt the butter and put aside to cool. Sift flour, salt and sugar together and put in a basin, add coconut, mixed fruit & nuts. Add beaten egg to melted butter and then mix into dry ingredients with some almond essence. Press into slice tin and bake 20 mins at 190°C. Ice when cold (you could use vanilla or chocolate icing and sprinkle with coconut, if desired).


This more of a fruit slice than a traditional fruit cake. The fresh fruit makes it quite moist and it’s nice sliced and buttered.

Mena's Boiled Fruit Cake cropped


  • ½ carton margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 packet mixed fruit
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 apples
  • Cherries & nuts (walnuts, pecans)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon

Put the margarine, water, sugar and mixed fruit into a saucepan and boil. Set aside to cool. Squeeze 2 oranges, save juice, finely dice peel and add to saucepan. Mash 2 bananas, grate 2 apples, add to saucepan with cherries and nuts. When cool add orange juice and 2 eggs, then sifted flour & spices. Bake 160°C for ¾ hour in 3 small loaf tins.