Tuesday, 29 March 2011

※ Raspberry & White Choc Muffins


  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Large egg
  • 90g. butter, melted (Lescure)
  • 1 punnet fresh raspberries
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chopped roughly **

** I used Kennedy and Wilson white chocolate. (White Couverture)


1. Pre-heat oven to 180deg.C. Grease a muffin tin well with butter or spray oil.

2. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar to mix evenly. In another bowl. mix the buttermilk, egg and butter, raspberries and chocolate bits.

3. Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour and mix as lightly and as quickly as possible. The mixture must not be overworked to ensure the muffins are light in texture and to avoid breaking up the raspberries. There should still be a few lumps in the mixture.

4. Spoon the mixture into a prepared tin, allowing the mixture to slide off the spoon. Do not shake the mixture off. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until light golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in tin for 3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins.

※ Banana French Toast II

Made it again on Sunday, this time served it with double cream. Original recipe Blogged here

Friday, 25 March 2011

※ Individual Sticky Date Puddings

Makes 6 puddings.

135g (3/4 cup) pitted dried dates
125ml (1/2 cup) water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
30g butter ***
1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla essence)
112g (3/4 cup) self-raising flour
80g (1/3 cup) caster sugar

Butterscotch Sauce
150g (3/4 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
250ml (1 cup) thickened cream (35 percent fat)
1 tablespoon (20ml) golden syrup
20g butter ***

*** Lescure French Butter Salted will give it a flavour above & beyond

Cut dates roughly & place in a saucepan with water & bring to the boil.

Add bicarbonate of soda and butter and remove from heat.

Stir date mixture until butter is melted and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Add egg and vanilla and stir until combined.

Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Add date mixture and stir until just combined.

Divide mixture evenly between ramekins.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

While puddings are baking, place the butterscotch sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to the simmer, simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Serve with whipped cream and or a good quality ice cream.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

※ Chocolate choc chip muffins

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil hazelnut (125ml)
  • 1 cup milk (240ml)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (none of that imitation rubbish)
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour (240g)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (85g)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (35g) ****
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (85g)
  • Extra chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (if desired)

**** To make these taste extra good, you cannot use the every day run of the mill cocoa from the supermarket. It's a lot more expensive than regular supermarket stuff BUT the flavour is a lot more intense and the colour of it is darker. Everything just turns out chocolatier...chocolatey-er...You need to use a very rich Dutch cocoa. I picked up some from the Essential Ingredient near the Prahran Market.

Preheat oven to 200 C and prepare muffin pan by greasing or fill with paper liners. A nonstick pan requires no greasing, although I like to just grease the bottoms. In large bowl mix well the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. In smaller bowl mix well the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Combine wet and dry mixtures and fold together gently until just mixed. Spoon into prepared pan and sprinkle choc chips of top of each.
Bake at 200C for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

※ Chicken Soup

  • Left over shredded chicken
  • Corn
  • Lemon thyme
  • Black garlic
  • Chicken stock
  • Bay leaf
  • Ginger fresh grated
  • Small onion (or 2 shallots)
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Small celery stalk
  • Maldon sea salt *

I fry off the onion & garlic in some butter & a dash of oil.
Add everything else and simmer for 30 minutes.

There is no substitute for Maldon Sea Salt and it is now one of the best recognised brands in the market. Its soft white flaky crystals are completely natural, without artificial additives, giving Maldon Sea Salt a distinctive texture and salty flavour, which means less, is required. Free from the bitter after-taste often associated with other salts, its characteristic clean fresh taste enhances the flavour of all natural and fine foods.

Monday, 21 March 2011

※ Falafel

These are a great vegetarian recipe that is easy to make & delicious.

(check out my facebook cooking group / catering here)

Ingredients (serves 4)

* 1 brown onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 2 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes * 1/ 2 teaspoon dehydrated garlic * 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
* 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
* 1/3 cup plain flour
* 1 eggwhite
* 1/2 tsp chilli flakes * 1 tablespoon olive oil
* tabouli, yoghurt and lavash bread, to serve


1. Place onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, chickpeas, parsley, flour, egg white, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until almost smooth. Using floured hands, shape mixture into four 2cm-thick patties. Place on a plate. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook patties for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until cooked through.

3. Serve with tabouli, salad, yoghurt and bread.

Recipe adapted from Taste

Thursday, 17 March 2011

※ Scrambled Eggs

Served with bacon (yes I am aware that is not vegetarian, but the main dish is) I love slow roasted or semi dried tomato for a garnish. Served with plenty of freshly cracked pepper and coarse salt.


For 1

2 eggs,
1 tbls cream
Salt, pepper
Butter for cooking
Herbs to taste.

* I vary what herbs I make it with sometimes: chives, parsley (Italian)


Beat the eggs and fold in the cream & herbs. Melt the butter in a small frying pan till it sizzles and add the egg mixture cooking at a high heat for the first few seconds while the egg whites firm. Then turn the heat down low and cook gently and very slowly, folding the egg mixture over until it is starts to set but is still very slippery. Take off the heat and allow setting in the pan and serving while still glistening. If you leave it too long in the pan it will continue to cook so have your plates ready.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

※ Garlic & Chive Bread

I baked my first loaf of bread ever two weeks ago. I was expecting it to turn out like a brick, it was surprisingly delicious. Thick crust and soft of the inside. I was so pleased with the first loaf I made another the following day. (The picture above is the first loaf )

* 1-1/3 cups very warm water
* 1 rounded tbsp. sugar
* 2 teaspoons salt (I used Fleur de sel )
* 2 tbsp. butter (vary as needed; see below)
* 4 rounded cups flour (nearly 5 level cups)
* 1 tsp. active dry yeast

3 cloves of garlic to the basic recipe.
1/4 cup of chives and a few sprigs of parsley roughly chopped.

Stage One: Mixing and Kneading: There are two general methods for making these ingredients into good bread - the "machine-mixed" method and the "mixed by hand" method. There is no real art to mixing - it's brute-force work best left to a machine. So, if you have a heavy-duty stand mixer (like a KitchenAid), a bread machine, or a food processor, I recommend the first method. Even if you have nothing more complex than a large bowl and a wooden spoon, though, you can make bread (it's just a little more tiring that way!)

* Machine-Mixed Method: The best machine for bread mixing is a bread machine. They make lousy bread, but they're great for mixing because they mix, knead, and provide a warm place for the bread to rise, all in one. Simply assemble the ingredients in the machine's bucket, in the order listed, and use your machine's Dough cycle. When it's done, skip ahead to Stage Three, below. Mixing dough in a food processor or with a standing mixer is a lot like mixing it by hand - so read the instructions for that, but let the machine do all the work!

* Mixed by Hand Method: In a mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar salt in the water, and sprinkle yeast on top. Stir to dissolve, and allow to stand for 10 minutes before stirring again (set the butter out to soften during this time). Add the butter, then about 2/3 of the flour to the mixing bowl, a half-cup at a time, and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Use the tail-end of a wooden spoon, or a sturdy case knife (the dull table-knives that a lot of folks call butter knives). Turn the dough onto a floured bread board or counter top and flour your hands (if you're using a machine for mixing, just leave it in the machine). With your fingers, gradually work in remaining flour while kneading the dough into a smooth mass (about fifteen minutes - or about half that with a machine). If at any point your hands start to get sticky, put flour on them!

Stage Two: The First Rising: If you're using a bread machine, this step is handled automatically by the Dough cycle, so you can skip ahead to Stage Three. Otherwise: Place dough in a bowl greased with 1/2 tsp. butter (turning once to butter the top). The best way to grease a bowl is to put the butter in a paper towel, and use the paper towel to rub the butter on all sides of the bowl. This gives a nice even coverage and doesn't get your hand greasy at all! Cover the bowl with a towel, and place it in a warm place. A sunny spot in your kitchen will do on a summer day, but I prefer a slightly warmed oven. Warm your oven by turning it to the very lowest setting. It should be noticeably warm, but cool enough so you can press your hand against the inside of the oven door without burning yourself. Turn the oven completely off before putting the bread in to rise. Keep the oven closed during the rising-time to keep in the warmth.

Allow about 45 minutes rising time (this can vary a bit with the climate, the yeast used, and other factors - allow for a 20 minute "fudge factor" in either direction); the dough should grow to twice its normal size. When a finger inserted into the top of the dough leaves a tunnel that doesn't begin to "heal," the dough has finished rising.

Stage Three: The Loaf: Punch the risen dough down completely (pretend it's somebody you're mad at) and give it a quick kneading on the bread-board or countertop. If it's too sticky at this point, add a dusting of flour. Shape dough into a fat cigar-shape about 12-13 inches long. Re-warm the oven if need be for the second rising.

The loaf should be placed on a flat cooking surface - a series of baking tiles, or a pizza stone, or a cookie sheet. Dust the surface with a light dusting of cornmeal, then gently place the loaf on it. If you like, slash the top of the dough once down the middle of the top, or in several short, diagonal slashes across it. This will help keep the loaf from splitting along the side.

Stage Four: The Second Rise: This one's real easy. Cover the loaf lightly with paper towels and stash it in the warm place again. Let is rise for another 45 minutes, until the loaf is doubled in size and ready to bake.

Stage Five: Baking The Bread: Place the loaf in the oven (if it isn't already there, rising) and turn the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not preheat the oven! Bake the bread for 30-45 minutes, until it turns a deep golden brown. Baking time varies because all ovens are different. Check your bread first at 30 minutes, and again every five minutes until it looks done. The finished loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom with the flat of a wooden spoon.

Remove the bread from the oven and brush the top and sides lightly with olive oil or melted butter. Cool on a rack for one hour; the bread is then ready to serve or store (if you don't have a rack, any improvised surface that allows a little air to circulate under the bread will do)

Original source for recipe by By S. John Ross he also has a sourdough recipe I want to try here

Monday, 14 March 2011

※ Corn Fritters

  • 3 ears fresh Corn kernels removed from cobs
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Cornmeal
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 green onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  1. Whisk corn and eggs in a large bowl.
  2. Add flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Stir in green onion and cheddar.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium heat then add batter by the spoonful and flatten to form a pancake.
  5. Cook until golden, flip and cook other side.
  6. Serve with *Maple Butter.
Sometimes I add fresh spring onions or Italian parsley all depends on what you feel like.
Excellent made smaller served as a Canapé.

Maple Butter
* ¼ cup Butter softened
* ¼ cup Maple syrup

1. Whisk together until smooth.

Recipe by Michael Smith from Chef At Home

Friday, 11 March 2011

※ Hashbrowns

The trick to hash brown potatoes is the same as for french fries. The potatoes must be dry when they hit the pan, other side the surface starch absorbs the water, not sealing the surface, allowing the interior to absorb the grease. Dry the grated potatoes very well using a kitchen towel. Then, don't even try to move the potatoes until the bottom is well browned, to avoid sticking. Russet, or high starch, potatoes make the best hash browns.


  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. grated onion


Peel potatoes and grate into a large bowl. Dry potatoes thoroughly by squeezing in a kitchen towel. You should have about 1-1/2 cups grated potatoes, loosely packed into measuring cups. Toss with garlic salt and pepper.
Place half the butter and half the olive oil in a heavy large skillet and heat until sizzling. Add the onion and cook for a few seconds over high heat. When fragrant, add all of the potatoes and pack down with a spatula.

Reduce heat to medium and cook for 7 minutes. Then flip the hash browns onto a plate; add remaining butter and olive oil to pan. Slide the hash brown cake back into the pan, uncooked side down, and cook for about 5-6 minutes longer, until the bottom is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately. 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


Thursday, 10 March 2011

※ Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
* 2 cups buttermilk
* 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter (allowed to cool down)
* 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Please note that you'll also need additional unsalted butter to grease your skillet.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt (I do this through a sieve, not with a sifter).

After melted butter has cooled down, beat the eggs with the buttermilk in a separate bowl then whisk in the melted butter.

Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine just until you have a lumpy batter; do NOT over mix.
Over medium-high heat, heat some butter in a large skillet (you could use a griddle too, of course).
For each pancake, use a generous 1/4 cup of batter; after spooning batter into skillet, sprinkle top of each pancake with blueberries and press them in slightly.
Cook each pancake for approximately 2 minutes per side; the length of time will depend on how hot you have the heat, how well your skillet retains the heat, etc.
Keep pancakes warm in a low oven as you make them, then serve; best when served with real maple syrup.

Original recipe from

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

※ Risotto

(check out my facebook cooking group / catering here)

  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 med red onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 shallot
  • 250 gsm peas
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 80 g parmesan cheese
  • parsley, chopped
  • chicken stock or for vegetarian use vege stock of choice
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • coarse sea salt
  • 4 cloves of black garlic.
  • Served with sprigs of fresh Thyme
(for vegetarian version substitute stock) 

How to make a basic risotto

※ Spaghetti & Meatballs

Recipe by: Chef: Gary Mehigan, photo by me.

  • 1 small carrot, finely grated
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 100 ml water
  • 400 g minced veal
  • 400 g minced pork
  • 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • table salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 x 400 g tins chopped tomato
  • 100 ml Chicken Stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 320 g spaghetti
  • grated pecorino, to serve


Serves 4

1. Cook the carrot, butter and water in a covered saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the carrot is soft (cooking under a tight-fitting lid help the carrot to cook quickly). Puree in a small food processor, then set aside to cool.

2. Mix the minced veal and pork, breadcrumbs, carrot puree and parsely (if using) in a large bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a little pepper and mould into 2cm meatballs; you should have 24 meatballs. Set aside.

3. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 165°C.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof non-stick saucepan or enamelled cast-iron casserole. Brown the meatballs over high heat until golden on all sides, then remove and set aside. Fry the onion and garlic for 1 minute or until translucent and soft, then add the tomato paste, tomato and stock. Return the meatballs to the pan then add the thyme, bay leaves and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, then cover. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.

5. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti follwing packet instructions in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Serve the meatballs with the spaghetti and planty of grated pecorino.

The spagetti I absolutley love is Martelli Spaghetti, once you have had it it is really hard to have any other brand. At around $15 a pack which should feed around 6 it is well worth it.


The Martelli family has produced their artisan pasta since 1926 in the medieval town of Lair, near Pisa, in Tuscany. With simple techniques passed down from one generation to the next this pasta is made utilizing first grade durum wheat flour grown on the family property. The wheat flour is kneaded with cold water, cut with bronze dies and let air dry for 50 hours. This long drying process gives the pasta a rough texture perfect for catching pasta sauces.

Spaghetti: If pasta had a King, it would be spaghetti. This spaghetti is made in the traditional way, and arguably regarded as one of the best available on the market today. (source)

※ Banana French Toast


* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup full fat milk
* 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 4 slices from a small white loaf or 2 slices from a large white loaf, each large slice cut in half
* 1-ounce butter, plus a drop flavourless oil, for frying
* 1/4 cup sugar


Beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla in a wide shallow bowl.

Soak the bread halves in the eggy mixture for 5 minutes a side.

Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan/skillet, fry the egg-soaked bread until golden and scorched in parts on both sides.

Put the sugar onto a plate and then dredge the cooked bread until coated like a sugared doughnut

The Bananas:
Heat pan add 50gms brown sugar, 2tbsp Butter.
Let the Sugar dissolve, add 2 whole Bananas sliced, simmer for a few minutes on a low heat. 

Add a dash of vanilla extract & maple syrup.
Cook to desired level.

Friday, 4 March 2011


Recipe blogged here

I made it for a friend the other day & loved the photo so thought I would share.

Served with sprigs of fresh Thyme & Fleur de sel

※ Roasted Spuds, Pumpkin Fleur de sel

Roasted in garlic oil.

Fleur de sel is a type of sea salt obtained by hand harvesting the "young" crystals that form on the surface of salt evaporation ponds. The harvesting of fleur de sel always takes place in the summer months when the sun is strongest. Most fleurs de sel claim to have higher mineral contents than table salts and often smell deliciously like the ocean.

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Peel potatoes & pumpkin and cut into 5cm chunks. Place into a large saucepan. Cover with cold water.
  2. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes or until partially cooked (potatoes should be only just tender when pierced with a skewer).
  3. Drain well. Return to saucepan over low heat until any remaining water evaporates. Shake saucepan vigorously to rough up surface (this will make them crunchy when roasted). Alternatively, scrape surfaces of potatoes with a fork to create a rough texture.
  4. Pour oil into a large roasting pan. Place roasting pan into oven for 5 minutes or until oil is hot. Working quickly, add potatoes to hot oil. Use tongs to turn potatoes to coat in oil, then return roasting pan to oven.
  5. Roast for 40 minutes. Turn and roast for a further 30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Season with salt. Serve immediately.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

※ Scalloped Potatoes


* 1 Kg potatoes
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 clove minced garlic
* 1 cups milk, 1 cup cream or sour cream
* 1/2 tsp white pepper
* Grated cheese

Preparation and Cooking

1. Peel the potatoes and put them in a bowl of water.
2. Add the milk, salt, pepper and garlic to a large pan.
3. Slice the potatoes very thinly, directly into the milk.***
4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
5. Bring the potatoes to a slow boil over medium heat while stirring to avoid burning. Use a heavy bottomed pan to help avoid burning.
6. After a few minutes of slow boiling, transfer to an oven proof dish, add the grated cheese on top and put into the oven.
7. Cook at 200 Celsius for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

*** Without rinsing, as the starch from the potato is an important part of the recipe

Sometimes I also add a teaspoon of hot English mustard or Dijon to the milk mix before baking.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

※ Béarnaise Sauce

Bernaise sauce is a sauce like Hollandaise sauce, and is an emulsion of clarified butter and egg yolk with the distinct flavoring of tarragon, shallots, and chervil. Called Sauce Béarnaise in French for the region in which it originated, the name is accurately spelled Bearnaise; however, it is frequently spelled Bernaise, leading to the mistaken assumption that it was named for the city of Bern in Switzerland. Bernaise sauce is best served with meat, poultry, or vegetables. Though several variations of recipes for Bernaise sauce exist, it is a difficult sauce to perfect because it requires special attention to avoid separation and curdling. When prepared properly, it is a smooth, creamy sauce.

Yields 1 Cup
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine
  • 2 Tbls Tarragon Vinegar
  • 1 Tbls Shallots, Chopped Fine
  • 2 White Peppercorns
  • 2 Sprigs Tarragon, Chopped
  • 1 Sprig Chervil, Chopped
  • 1 Sprig Parsley, Minced
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 3/4 Cup Butter, Melted
Crush the peppercorns. Combine with the wine, vinegar, shallots, tarragon, chervil and parsley in the top of a double-boiler. Cook over direct heat until reduced by half. Strain the mixture and allow to cool. Beating briskly, over -NOT IN- hot water, add, alternating between them, the egg yolks and the butter. Beat steadily so that all ingredients are combined. Season to taste. The sauce should have the consistency of Hollandaise sauce.