The calendar of the South West’s Nyoongar people includes six annual seasons – Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang – which all reflect the changes in the natural world that come with the passing of time. Each is traditionally used as a guide to what to harvest and where to move across the land.
We’ve teamed up with our friends at Fremantle’s Lighthouse Baking to bring you six recipes that each fit with a Nyoongar season – helping you observe all six seasons with something delicious and truly timely. The penultimate recipe reflects the Bunuru season of February and March – the hottest part of the year, when lots of white flowering trees are in full bloom. Known at the time of adolescence, it’s a period of hot winds and a shortage of fresh water. Traditionally a sweet drink was concocted from the blossoms of flowering gums, and annually in late summer and autumn, families and friends would come together around freshwater sources along the coast. What better way to celebrate a coming together than with this delicious, seasonal lemon myrtle cake!
½ cup (125g) unsalted butter
1 cup (250g) caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups (185g) desiccated coconut
2 tsp ground lemon myrtle
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after adding each one.
Stir in coconut, flour and ground lemon myrtle gently until combined.
Put mixture into a greased and base lined 20 cm (8”) round cake tin and bake at 160º celsius for 1 hour or until cooked.
1 cup (250g) sugar
½ cup of water
1 tsp ground lemon myrtle
Juice of 1 lemon
Bring all ingredients to the boil stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Strain lemon myrtle from syrup and pour the syrup over cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Leave cake to cool in tin before turning out.