Macadamia nuts are native to Australia but are also cultivated commercially in Hawaii. They are very difficult to crack out of their shells, but are well worth the effort. They have a creamy flavour and crunchy texture, which goes well with semi dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries and blueberries. Although low in carbohydrate, they are quite high in fat. They work well in biscuits such as White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies and can also be added to Brownies and Blondies instead of walnuts.

Why not try them mixed with coconut in a sponge cake and try using them in the sticky top of a Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake. They can be used instead of pecans in a tart case with brown sugar, syrup, vanilla extract, eggs and a little flour to make something akin to Pecan Pie and as they match so well with chocolate put some in the base of a chocolate tart . They can also be lightly roasted, ground coarsely and added to meringues before they are baked. Add carefully with some of the sugar as the amount of fat in the nuts can make the meringue collapse or very chewy. Once cooked, sandwich with chocolate-flavoured cream.

Fiona Burrell, co-author of Leiths Baking Bible, from Leiths School of Food and Wine