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Sophie Hansen

Sophie Hansen is a food writer, home cook and blogger (Local is Lovely) based in on a farm just out of Orange NSW where she lives with her husband Tim and children Alice (8) and Tom (6). The family farms deer and raises deer according to holistic practices and then sells their venison at markets and butcher shops around the country. 

Sophie studied print journalism at the University of Canberra then followed a career in feature writing for food and lifestyle magazines both in Australia and Italy. With over 15 years’ experience in journalism and food writing, her work focusses principally on primary industries and producers. She is passionate about the passionate about spreading positive messages from country Australia and inspiring people to eat seasonally and locally through recipes, words and photos. And she does this through her book and blog of the same name Local is Lovely. In addition, she also runs food photography and styling workshops and a series of events on her family’s own farm including farm kitchen lunches, farm tours and cooking demonstrations. She was named 2016 NSW/ACT RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year for her work inspiring farmers and producers to start using social media to tell their stories and build communities. Her down-time is generally baking - and sweet yeasted breads, simple fruit cakes and tarts are her favourite!




  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 24cm cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the sugar in the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment fitted. Add in the orange zest and work the zest into the sugar with your fingertips. This will release the oils in the zest and give a much more intense flavour at the end. Now add the butter and cream for a few minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. Now turn the speed down a little and add in the yogurt and vanilla and beat until well combined. 
  5. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. Fold these ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture and gently combine.
  6. Spoon half of the cake batter into your prepared tin, top with half of the rhubarb then repeat with the remaining batter and rhubarb, arranging the latter in a star pattern if you fancy. Sprinkle with the almonds and bake for 45 minutes or until the top feels firm and the sides of the cakes are just beginning to come away from the tin.
  7. Place the jam in a small saucepan with a little water, heat until runny then, as soon as you take the cake out of the oven, brush with this warm jam mixture.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack. This cake is best served just warm with a dollop of yogurt or cream.

The photograph and recipe was contributed to Food Thinkers by Sophie Hansen.