Slowing Down: the Path That Brought Me Back to Golden Syrup Dumplings

The dreaded gastro visited our house last week. Fortunately only one of us got sick. There is nothing quite like being under house arrest with a highly contagious child to slow things down. My little girl felt pretty rotten for a good few days, so between the endless loads of washing and endless cuddles on the couch, on the bed, and back on the couch, and in the kitchen… you get the picture, there were lots of cuddles,  I got the chance to catch up on some blog reading. A happy upside to a pretty crappy few days.

Fellow blogger, Danni, from Eat My Street posted a lovely old recipe for a ‘Good Cream Cake’ that she found written on a slip of paper. I loved the idea of someone from another generation, perhaps passed on now, or maybe enjoying their old age somewhere lovely eating their good cream cake with a delicious frequency that old age deserves.

I was curious about the recipe as “Good Cream Cake” doesn’t give a lot away. I decided to look it up in my Mum’s go-to cook book – the PWMU Cookery Book. PWMU stands for Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union. My Mum wasn’t Presbyterian but someone in the know gave her this gem – it was either a ‘glory box’ gift, engagement or part of a wedding gift – I can’t recall which one.

It was the go-to cook book for everything when I was growing up. The original version fell apart when I was a young adult, but was replaced again. After Mum died, I ended up with it. It is loaded with recipes from my childhood and beyond, as it was first published in 1904.

I looked up this Good Cream Cake but found no such description, although I did find a recipe for a ‘Plain Cake’ which had the same ingredients, but slightly different quantities and method. There was no mention of good or cream, sadly. I think both words add some excitement to what is essentially a ‘plain cake’.

However, as I browsed the pages of Mum’s book, something I hadn’t done since I was a child, I became very nostalgic. Recipes for pikelets, Lemon Delicious, Date Loaf, Tea Cake, lemon cheese cake (a regular birthday dessert growing up, which only yesterday I made for my husband’s birthday), and one of my favourites… Golden Syrup Dumplings.

Sunday Special Treat. 

I had completely forgotten about their actual existence. As soon as I lay my eyes on this recipe I knew that sometime over the weekend my family would be enjoying these little bombs of sugar and love – carb coma, here we come! In fact, I was so excited by these that Golden Syrup was my topic for The 100 Day Project the evening that I made them.

I don’t think there is a person in the world that deserves to miss out on the most simplest of pleasures, that is the Golden Syrup Dumpling. So here is the recipe for you to enjoy. It is so easy and quick, and perfect for a Sunday evening treat.

A word of warning: they are not pretty, any effort to pretty them up will be wasted. Golden Syrup Dumplings are a sensory taste experience, they deliver 10-fold on this front, to make up for their lack of aesthetic qualities.

Image courtesy of – ours were devoured way too quickly to snap a photo!

The Dumplings

1 cup of self-raising flour (150g)

2 tablespoons butter (40g)


The Sauce

1.5 cups of water (375ml)

1 tablespoon of golden syrup

1/2 cup of sugar (125g)

juice of one lemon

Rub butter in flour. Mix to a stiff dough with a little milk. Form into balls (slightly larger than tea spoon size). Bring water, syrup, sugar and lemon juice to the boil. Drop the dumplings into the boiling syrup and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with cream or ice-cream. 

So, while illness is not fun, it can sometimes bring moments of lovely serendipity. It can make you slow down, look around (enjoy the multitudes of cuddles), and rediscover something lovely. 

I’d love to hear about your favourite recipes from your childhood.

Was there something lovely that your Mum used to make you?

Share in the comments below. xx

Summer is HERE! (A tentative declaration) ☀️

At the beginning of a new season I get so wrapped up in the possibilities of said new season, and do often declare that this said new season is most definitely my favourite season of all. So Summer is my current favourite. (Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever declared Winter my favourite, but for my northern hemisphere readers, I did write an article for Essential Kids about the things I love about winter, you can read that here, if you’re shivering your way through pre-Christmas celebrations).

I love the seasons and while I complain about the cold weather, I don’t think I could live in a climate that doesn’t have all four seasons. So, I say this very tentatively, because well… Melbourne. Four seasons in one day, and all that. But I think I can say it now: [Read more…]

Time to nude up people…


There are a few cliches around food: ‘you are what you eat’ ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ ‘eat too much of the wrong food and you’ll get fat and sick ’ – ok, I made that last one up, but it has as much truth as the others.


Our modern lifestyles have resulted in a diet vastly different from our grandparents, we eat things that can be consumed, but can not necessarily be called food. Hot dog anyone?


Our physical and mental health would be vastly improved if we all made a pact to ‘get nude’. That’s right, ‘get nude with our food’. Ditch the supermarket for the green grocer or farmers market, go to the butcher instead of the deli, bring a box of veggies home instead of supermarket bags full of square things in packets. Nude up your food, bring it home in its birthday suit – your body with thank you for it.


Everyone knows that rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune diseases are higher than they’ve ever been. So are rates of clinical depression and anxiety disorders. No one knows why (apparently). I’m no expert, and I only have my own experience to go by, but I do think what we are consuming goes a long way to explain it.


Obviously there are things at play that are out of our control, such as genetic predisposition and environmental aspects. But it astounds me that modern medicine does not include a protocol of eating real food as a way of managing certain conditions.


Alas, you do not need a doctor to tell you to eat real food to improve your health and quality of life. You are in control of this, what goes in your mouth is entirely your choice.


But know this, there are plenty of foods that will improve your health if you are facing illness. It’s complicated, there’s no doubt about that, as there is no prescription for it – what works for one person may not work for another. It’s a case of trial and error.


Given that winter is just around the corner, for those of us in the southern hemisphere, below is a list of really simple remedies for winter ailments, without setting foot in a pharmacy. And if you’ve been chowing down on too much ‘fawn’ food, you’ll be more compromised because your body will have been working really damned hard to process it. So wrap your laughing gear around some of the treats below.


Thyme tea: a brew of thyme leaves will help loosen congestion and ease symptoms of bronchitis. Steep a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves (or a teaspoon of dried) in a cup of boiling water. Drink as a tea.


Cinnamon & honey tea: this tasty little powder stabilises blood sugar, and is a great antiviral and antibiotic. Mix one tablespoon with one teaspoon of honey and boiling water, drink as a tea that will help relieve cough and congestion and lower fever.


Lemon Balm tea: this little maestro will help you fight that cold sore that’s brewing on your lip. Steep two to three teaspoons of  fresh leaves in one cup of boiling water, for 10 – 15 minutes. Dab on to your lip daily with a cotton ball.


Ginger & Lemon tea: Steep a knob of ginger in hot water and squeeze in the juice from half a lemon. Ginger will help with high fever and headache and is very effective against sinus symptoms and congestion. The vitamin C in the lemon will help speed up your recovery.


These little remedies are just the tip of the ice-berg, there’s a whole world of whole foods out there, all designed by nature specifically to nourish your body and make you feel great. This is the first in a series of posts on the therapeutic value of food, so if there is something that you’re interested in, comment below and I’ll be sure to include a post on it. What foods work for you and make you feel great?