Friday, 25 May 2012

※ Mars Bar Slice Recipe


  • 4 cups rice bubbles
  • 300g mars bars (chopped)
  • 100g butter
  • 250g cooking chocolate (preferably dark, I used milk here)
  • 1/3 cup cream


1. Melt butter on stove. 

2. Add chopped mars bars to melted butter, keep on low heat and continue to stir until completely melted 

(mixture will come together to become a sticky caramelly texture when ready).

3. Stir through rice bubbles.

4. Line medium/large lamington pan (or casserole dish) with baking paper, then press mars bar bubble mix into pan (while mix is still warm)

5. Heat cream in saucepan until just beggining to boil/simmer.

6. Add chocolate (chopped) to cream and continue to stir over heat as it melts.

7. Remove from heat when all chocolate is melted and mix is smoothly combined.

8. Stand for 5-10minutes to allow to thicken then whisk ganache until smooth thick and rich 

(don't worry if it's still quite runny, it will set in the fridge).

9. Pour/spread evenly over marsbar slice.

10. Refrigerate for an hour or so (or until ganache has set).

Friday, 18 May 2012

※ Preserving Black Olives

A Simple Recipe for Oil Cured Olives

A friend yielded a small crop of black olives and asked me what I could do with them.

Below is the method I used (the flavour combination I used was: garlic, rosemary, chili & lemon. I also used a lemon infused olive oil for that extra lemony flavour)

A tried and tested, traditional Mediterranean recipe for curing ripe olives that uses just three basic ingredients, is quick to do and comes out perfectly every time.

  • Olive oil
  • Rock Salt
  • Black (ripe) olives
  • Optional Ingredients for Marinated Olives
  • Lemon
  • Dried Chillies
  • Fresh or dried Thyme
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay Leaves
  • Fresh or Dried Rosemary

To vary the flavours, experiment with various combinations in different jars. Chillies, garlic and lemon give the olives an unusual tang whereas garlic and thyme give a more traditional Mediterranean flavour.

How to Preserve Black Olives

Loosely pack the ripe black olives in clean jars with course salt (50% salt, 50% olives).
Shake the jars each day and turn them over. (The jars will need to be placed on trays when they are upside down as some water will leak out.)
Repeat for 7 to 10 days or until the salt is completely wet.
Rinse off the salt and leave the olives to drain for 1-2 hours.
Pack the olives in canning jars with lots of olive oil and any of the optional ingredients.
Store jars in a cool dark place.
After one to two months open one jar and taste to see if they are ready.

If not, leave a few weeks longer.

Oil-cured olives can keep for years and the flavour just keeps getting better and better although the olives do tend to get softer as they get older.

Friday, 11 May 2012

※ Beef Rendang Recipe (Rendang Daging) & Garlic Roti



  • 1 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped 
  • 20g/¾oz coriander seeds 
  • ½tsp cumin seeds 
  • ½tsp turmeric powder 
  • 50g block coconut cream 
  • 1½ large onions, sliced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 3 red chillies, seeds removed, chopped 
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 750g boneless beef shin, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes 
  • 400g canned coconut milk 
  • 250ml strong veal or beef stock, heated 


For the beef rending, pound the lemongrass to a pulp using a pestle and mortar. Tip the lemongrass into a small bowl.

Heat the frying pan over a medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin seeds and turmeric and dry fry until fragrant. Tip the spices into a spice grinder or the pestle and mortar. Grind the spices to a powder if using a grinder, or pound in a pestle and mortar until the spices are as smooth as possible. Set aside.

In a wide pan or cast-iron wok, heat the block of coconut cream until it melts, keeping the heat low so that it does not burn.

Add the onions, garlic, chillies, ginger and pounded lemongrass to the pan and cook gently until the onions have softened and the mixture is fragrant.

Add the reserved ground spices and the bay leaf and fry for a few minutes more.

Add the meat and increase the heat so that it browns on all sides. Stir until the meat is completely coated with the spices - this will take a few minutes.

Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil, then add the hot stock.

Turn the heat up to high and continue cooking for at least 1- 1½ hours, stirring occasionally until the sauce becomes thick and coats the meat well.


  • 200g Thai jasmine rice 
  • 200g Thai sticky rice 
  • 1 tsp salt 


For the sticky rice, tip the rice into a sieve and wash the two varieties of rice three times, draining each time.

Place the rice into a saucepan and cover with water to leave 1cm/½in water above the level of the rice. Add the salt and cover with a lid. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.

Boil the rice for five minutes, then, without removing the lid, turn the heat off and leave to steam for 20 minutes.


Most people are apprehensive to use garlic as a predominant flavour in their cooking.

This aromatic herb is not only good for reducing cholesterol but it actually aids in digestion.


  • 1/2 cup jowar (white millet) flour 
  • 1/2 cup bajra (black millet) flour 
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta) 
  • 1/2 cup fresh green garlic (hara lehsun), chopped 
  • salt to taste 

Other ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil for cooking 

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a dough adding warm water as required. This dough will not be very pliable and you will not be able to knead it very much.

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll out each portion into circles approx. 100 mm. to 125 mm. (4" to 5") in diameter.

Cook each roti on a tava (griddle) using a little oil till both sides are golden brown.

Serve hot. (I like to butter mine)

Monday, 7 May 2012

※ Cookbook Garage Sale Coming soon.......

Lots of wonderful vintage cookbooks and some modern ones too.
Having a massive clean out. 
Pick up a bargain! 

Friday, 4 May 2012

※ Home Made Dim Sims


  • 500g minced chicken
  • 500g minced pork
  • 1 shallot
  • ¼ savoy cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 finely chopped carrot
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 pack dim sim skins
  • Thai Basil to Taste (I generally add a lot of basil, mint & coriander, that is why I wrote to taste)
  • Vietnamese Mint to taste
  • Coriander to taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Combine all ingredients (except dim sim skin) in a large bowl and massage together.
Take a heaped tablespoon of mixture and wrap with the dim sim skin, sealing with a little water.
Either deep fry at 180 degrees for 5 minutes, or steam for 5 minutes serve with sweet chilli and soy sauce for dipping.

Pictured here I cooked them in some broth and served with noodles and my favourite vegetables.


Wrapping dim sims requires a bit of practice, there are many videos on YouTube demonstrating this. 
Find a technique that works for you, or develop your own!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

※ Easy Apple Cake

Made this apple cake on Sunday.

It's so easy and so good for this colder weather.

Preparation: about 20 minutes

Cooking: about 1 hour
Serves: 4


1 1⁄2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
150g butter, chopped and softened 1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
500g medium Granny Smith apples
peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges


1. Preheat oven to 170oC. Grease a deep 20cm cake pan and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

2. Sift flour, cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until combined. Add butter. Process until combined. Add sugar and eggs. Process until well combined.

3. Spoon half of the mixture into base of prepared pan (use wet fingers to spread mixture over pan base).

Arrange apples over mixture. Top with remaining mixture and smooth top.

Bake for 55 minutes –
1 hour until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.