Why is there a bicycle pump in our bedroom and Louise Cake

Living with small children means that you may find particular accoutrements of childhood in your bedroom.

Definition of a grown up bedroom : The place where the so called ‘magic happens’. (Yeah right.) A serene escape from the world, lush with soft furnishings in soothing contemporary prints. Flickering soy candles abound and the room is resplendent with enough Europeans pillows to well, make a European happy. (Not a husband as they will defiantly and often state ‘I hate all these cushions, they have no effin point anyway.’)

In our boudouir today I found:

A bicycle pump, a small soccer whistle, a paint with water book, a pretend plastic childrens winner medal, one grotty little boys sock and a teeny tiny plastic toilet.

The magic that happens in our bedroom is ‘how the hell did this crap get here and why?’

The other magic that happens in our household is how quickly tasty treats can be gobbled up by said small children. Especially Kid 1 who eats as if he is part of a family of ten and is afraid of missing out on his fair share.

This slice is one of those goodies, an old school New Zealand classic comprising of a thin layer of biscuity cake (or is that a cakety biscuit?), a sandwich layer of tart jam, topped off with another thin layer of coconut meringue. I have no idea who Louise was but man, that chick had it going on in the ideas department.

My memory could be playing tricks but a hazy recollection of this slice oozing with homemade apricot jam in the middle, is knocking around the old brainbox. The original recipe has been slightly cheergermed by using wholemeal spelt flour, raw sugar and knocking back the sugar quantity a tad.

Unfortunately, the cupboard was bare of home made jam, hence, store purchased jam was used. Some of Mums homemade stuff would have been like, totally ace. (Mum??)


70g butter, room temperature
55g sugar (panela, raw caster sugar, rapadura)
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
150g wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp raspberry or tart red jam
2 egg whites
80g sugar (I used organic panela, an unrefined sweetener made from evaporated sugar cane juice)
55g desiccated coconut
Extra coconut for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 170 and line a shallow 30 x 21 cm or 12 x 8 inch tin with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light then beat in the egg yolks and mix thoroughly.
Add the lemon juice, then sift in the flour and baking powder and mix to a firm dough.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared tin and spread over the jam. You don’t need a thick layer.
Beat the egg whites until stiff then gently fold in the caster sugar and the coconut using a metal spoon. Spread carefully over the jam, trying to keep an even thickness. Sprinkle with a little more coconut.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the coconut is just turning a golden brown. (As I used raw sugar, it does get a bit browner.)
Remove from the oven and cut into squares whilst still warm.
Store in an airtight container, makes 12 squares.

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘Ladies: a Plate.’ By Alexa Johnston

33 thoughts on “Why is there a bicycle pump in our bedroom and Louise Cake

  1. Love this post on the detritus of life with children — brought back fond memories of various plastic toys. And have got to try the slice recipe, they look yummy!

    • Thanks, it’s those ‘Lego between the toe moments’ at 3am that are excruciatingly painful yet you know that those days fly by too fast. The slice is a good one, coconut meringue is a bit of a winner!

  2. I love this slice and had completely forgotten about its existence! Thanks so much for the reminder. And I had a conversation with my toddler today about why a fully set up train track on the bed was a solution to anything at all. Apparently the trains jump higher from our bed – which is good to know.

  3. Must be psychic! I just made something like this last night. Similar “crumble” type base with raspberry jam (need to go through last year’s stock before the new crop comes in). However, the topping was just another layer of crumble. Must try Louise’s coconut meringue – perhaps the next batch! Do you read minds?

    • Woah Madame KW, now this is getting spooky! I have been a little ‘preminitiony’ lately…(well, hard to prove but a few events have been dreamed about the night before….it’s either that or I have gone nuts.) A more likely scenario. The coconut meringue is the bomb! The original recipe used caster sugar so it is lighter in colour. Am well jealous of your homemade jam. πŸ™‚

  4. I love it that the pastry has a woman’s name. I have seen variations on this recipe, especially with a filling of fig preserves. The apricot sounds fantastic! BTW your list of detritus made me laugh. I am kid free so missing out on the fun, except for the occasional grotty feather toy left by one of the cats πŸ˜‰

    • Fig jam in the middle? Hello mumma!! It’s a great name, the cookbook author mentions that there is even a version with drained pineapple instead of the jam. Let’s swap, I will send you a small plastic toilet or two, you can post me a grotty feather! πŸ™‚

  5. I want a Louise for my kitchen. Or at least I’d like to know a Louise and invite her periodically show up in my kitchen.
    And I think perhaps one can be grateful that at least the bicycle pump did not show up in your Louise cake.

  6. I know it as jam coconut slice, too. Makes my mouth water looking at the lovely pics. And husbands are right, I can see no purpose in all those bed decorations either. πŸ˜€

  7. Hmm! Will have to try this one as my crew have just finished 5 yogurts and 2 ice lollies they found in fridge / freezer. Hopefully it will distract them whilst the magic washing basket and iron do their work πŸ™‚


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