Seasonal baking with garden ingredients
Here at the Foundation, our staff are incredibly passionate about produce-driven recipes and flavours. Hayley McKee leads our communications at the Foundation, but she also creates remarkable cakes and desserts made with botanical flavours from vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and Australian native ingredients.
Her stunning cookbook ‘Sticky Fingers, Green Thumb’ was first published in 2018 and received rave reviews from Food 52, The Washington Post and Vogue. Her cookbook has just been republished in a second edition with a brand-new cover star — her Porcini Caramel Chestnut cake!
To celebrate, Hayley has shared a Golden Saffron Pumpkin Cake recipe with us that will encourage children to forage in the garden, looking for the ingredients. The cake begins with butter made with nasturtiums – adding to its sunset looks and grassy, garden vibe.
Expect more recipes like this in her cookbook, like Lemon Myrtle & Fennel Seed cake, Miso Eggplant Brownies and Cherry & Geranium Jam Drops.
Cherry & Geranium Jam Drops
Order a copy for yourself to enjoy almost 60 recipes of her favourite creations, plus countless tips on growing all the garden ingredients at home.
Molasses & Rocket Flower Gingerbread
Golden Saffron Pumpkin Cake
By Hayley McKee
150g butternut pumpkin (squash), cut into 1cm cubes
5g nasturtium, marigold or calendula petals
230g caster sugar
170g unsalted butter
4 tsp saffron threads
6 egg yolks
300g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bread soda
icing sugar, to serve
whipped cream, to serve
Add the pumpkin to a steamer set over a saucepan of lightly simmering water and cook until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, then mash 80g of the pumpkin in a bowl until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
In a bowl, rub the flower petals into the sugar using your fingertips. Don’t be delicate here; the more you rub, the more the petals will infuse their flavour into the sugar.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and petal mixture together with the butter and saffron threads for 6 minutes on high speed until creamy and voluminous. Continue to beat on low speed, adding the egg yolks one by one followed by the whole egg, then adding the mashed pumpkin, flour, baking powder and bread soda. Mix together until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then gently push 35g of the cooked pumpkin pieces into the batter so they’re evenly distributed. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with freshly whipped cream.
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