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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Quokka Logic and Baking Book by Karen McMillan

The many young fans of Karen McMillan's popular Elastic Island Adventures will be delighted to see the latest in this series: The Quokka Logic and Baking Book!


It may well surprise them to discover that Mrs Quokka, one of their favourite characters, is a great baker. She relished the opportunity to delve into two treasured handwritten recipe books, one from Karen’s beloved Mum and the other from her Nana, before baking up a storm of yummy cakes, loaves, muffins, biscuits, slices and desserts.


Each recipe is accompanied by a quirky quote from Mrs Quokka. As usual these are so illogical you can’t help but smile!


One of my personal favourites is ‘Life should be lived backward and standing on your head!’ As a Grandma, I think that’s an excellent mantra to live by!


Just a few pantry staples are needed to make many of these recipes. The clearly written, step-by-step instructions are easy for young bakers to follow. And they can be sure that they will be reliable and taste good as all have been tested in real life by Karen’s husband.


Before getting started, there is a page of handy hints that will help to ensure a successful outcome. This is followed by a double-page spread of yummy icing recipes in different flavours: chocolate, cream cheese, lemon, orange, raspberry and vanilla. Jason the Quokka, Mrs Quokka’s teenage son, is an accomplished kickboxer. He also loves baking, especially experimenting with different flavours, when he is not lazing around and listening to music. I bet he has tried them all!


For each recipe, Karen McMillan has created and photographed an enchanting still life. The recipe is prettily plated and is surrounded by an artful arrangement of objects, including tiny plastic creatures, sprigs of leaves and flowers, and loveable soft toys.


We have really enjoyed baking some of these recipes.

Crumbly Chocolate Slice: This is already a family favourite! The shortbread base is studded with chocolate chips. Over this a chocolaty topping was poured before baking. Delicious!


Cinnamon Biscuits: Spiced with cinnamon, crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, they were so nice to have for afternoon tea, and they would make great lunchbox fillers as well.


Peanut and Rolled Oat Brownies:

This edible cookie dough does not need baking. It took only about 5 minutes to make it in a saucepan before we shaped it into little round brownies. Then they needed just a little longer to set in the fridge. Easy-peasy!


Chocolate cake:

For this chocolate cake, melted butter was poured over the rest of the ingredients. After beating the mixture for three minutes, it magically increased in volume and the colour lightened. Then, all that needed to be done was to fold in the baking powder, pour the batter into the tin, bake it, let it cool and ice with chocolate icing. So good!


Yoghurt, lime and lemon cake

This turned out tangy and moist with a tender crumb. While the cake was still hot, a lime and lemon syrup was drizzled over. We all enjoyed it for a special dessert with vanilla ice cream.


Pineapple upside down cake

This retro recipe brought back nostalgic memories that opened up interesting conversations about baking in bygone times with my grandchildren. I first made it years ago! When you flipped it onto a plate, the pineapple circles with a cherry in the middle were revealed. It looked so fancy and deserves a comeback!


It’s been fun to bake these easily doable and yummy recipes from The Quokka Logic and Baking Book and have a laugh at Mrs Quokka’s illogical quotes.


And when we have tried every one, might there be another Quokka cookbook in the pipeline? That would be nice!


Reviewer: Lyn Potter

Duckling Publishing



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