Birthday party


Canberra Weeklyis turning 10, so we’re throwing a birthday party this week! Ourfood writer Libby Kimber shares some fun and easy birthday party eats for your next event.

Raw chocolate tart with berry sauce

Image and recipe from Supercharge Your Life by Lee Holmes, Murdoch Books, RRP $35. Photography by Luisa Brimble.

Serves: 6


  • 155g (1 cup) raw cashews
  • 65g (1 cup) shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp stevia powder
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
  • 25g coconut butter, melted


  • 6 very ripe avocados, peeled
  • 250ml (1 cup) almond or coconut milk
  • 180g (1/2 cup) rice malt syrup or your sweetener of choice
  • 80g (3/4 cup) raw cacao powder
  • 70g (1/2 cup) chia seeds
  • 3 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract

Berry sauce

  • 325g (2½ cups) mixed fresh or frozen berries
  • 2 Tbsp coconut nectar or rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • Edible flowers and fresh berries, and mint leaves (optional), to serve

Grease an 18cm loose-based flan (tart) tin.

To make the base, process the cashews and coconut in a blender until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients, adding a little filtered water if necessary – the mixture should be stiff and hold together while not being too crumbly. Using your hands, mould into a dough and press into the prepared tin. Freeze for 20 minutes to set.

Blend all the filling ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor for 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy. Pour over the base and smooth the top using a spatula. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours, until set.

To make the berry sauce, whiz all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Top the cake with the berry sauce, and serve decorated with edible flowers, fresh berries and mint leaves, if using.

Sweet potato wedges with dips

Recipe and image courtesy of Australian Sweet Potatoes |

Serves: 4-6

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 40 mins

  • 3 small sweet potatoes (about 600g), scrubbed and cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Beetroot dip, semi-dried tomato dip and tzatziki, to serve

Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.

Arrange wedges on trays, leaving a space between each one. Drizzle with olive oil and bake about 30-35 minutes, turning once. Season to taste and serve with dips.

Seafood lemongrass skewers

Image and recipe from Weekend BBQ by Ross Dobson, photography by Nicky Ryan, Murdoch Books, RRP $19.99.

Serves: 6

  • 5 large red chillies, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind purée
  • 2 makrut (kaffir lime) leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped lemongrass, white part only
  • 2 Tbsp rice bran oil
  • 3 Tbsp coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 400g raw prawn (shrimp) meat
  • 400g white fish fillet
  • 6 lemongrass stalks, cut in 15cm lengths, to make 12 skewers
  • coriander sprigs, to serve

Put the chilli, garlic, spring onion, turmeric, ground coriander, shrimp paste, tamarind purée, lime leaves, lemongrass, rice bran oil, coconut cream and brown sugar in a food processor. Process until finely chopped and scrape the mixture into a bowl.

Put the prawn meat and fish in the food processor and process to a mince. Scrape into the bowl with the spice mix and stir well to combine.

Using wet hands, take a generous 3 tablespoons of the mixture and form into a log around a length of lemongrass. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Preheat the barbecue hotplate to high. Cook the skewers for 5 minutes. Carefully turn over and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with the coriander sprigs.

For more: