Tag Archives: recipes
{recipe} chocolate whoopie pies & salted caramel

Messy and magnificent, caramel filled and chocolaty, there just has to be an excuse for a sweet treat. Did somebody say diet? These sinful bites appeared yesterday in Sunday Life magazine. I tell you, it was not such a struggle doing/eating these. They’re pillowy cakey numbers, not unlike the top of a cupcake, but sandwiched together with lightly salted caramel. I added whipped cream too for good measure, but I assure you they’re pretty heavenly without. These are also great filled with real raspberry jam. Honest. I cleaned up the spoon of caramel the best way I knew how, by putting it in my mouth. And since I was shooting alone on this occasion, there was nobody to see me have all of these on my own. As I cleared up the shoot, the caramel and whipped cream dripped down my hand, so what else was I to do but hurry up and eat them? You can make the mixture ahead with these, but bake them the day to plan to eat them, they’re best very fresh. As for the caramel, do it ahead as well, and let it firm up in the fridge overnight and up to for a week or two – just wait and see if it doesn’t disappear by single teaspoon steals day by day. {READ MORE}

{recipe} fresh ginger cake & vanilla roasted pears

As we’ve probably established, I’m all about having delicious things with my grandma. And so that inspired this column in Sunday Life magazine. I wanted something old-fashioned, spiked with sugar and spice, to go with tea, Grandma’s stories and precious time together. A cake made with spices and fresh ginger, served with roasted vanilla-infused pears. Use mild molasses with this one, the heavier one is cloyingly molassesey and overtakes everything. If you can’t find mild, go for golden syrup instead.  {READ MORE}

{drinking…} apero

If vintage is in, and who can deny it is, then vintage cocktails made from vintage-style fortified wine is what all the cool kids are drinking. The gorgeous bar crew at dynamite bar Eau de Vie in Darlinghurst met me and a bevy of drink writers and bar-tending guns at their beautiful long wooden bar yesterday to reveal how “apera” makes a great drink.

An apera, I learned, is Australia’s newly invented, and now official, word for an aperitif-style fortified wine. Sherry may well have been what grandmother used to drink, but apera is our reinvention of it and its stuffy cousins. Apera ranges from a dry to very sweet style, and is usually produced using a “solera” system, which involves drawing and storing proportions of aged, or vintage base wines from a pyramid of barrels. This is then used as a source of flavours and ingredients to create apera. After fermentation, apera is fortified with grape spirit, brandy or both. But, for our purposes, it’s just a really delicious way to make some drinks.

An “apera sour” {pic: top right and bottom left} is a spin on the old-fashioned sour, all bourbon whisky, lemon juice, egg white, sugar syrup, but with a rich sweet apera float to top it. I adored this drink, all sour and sharp and sweet. The neat and simple “crazy love” {pic: bottom right} is an elegant combination of dry apera, orange and vodka. A blow torch over the glass and a squeeze of the orange zest had the orange oils fire up in gorgeous bursts, giving a lovely burnt orange taste to the drink. While this was my favourite, the vote of most-delicious for the experts in the room went to the “apera cobbler”. One wine writer explained the notes of nut and the complexity of flavour made this a winner – we used “919 pale dry apera” for this one, Australia’s answer to Sherry – and here is the RECIPE for you.

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{recipe} roast chicken with proscuitto & crumbs

This is the roast to make when you don’t have a whole bird, or don’t fancy tackling the carving. You can change the portions depending on how many people are eating, but generally it’s one chicken breast per person. Serve this with steamed green beans, then drizzle the lot with gravy. {RECIPE after the jump} {READ MORE}

{recipe} beetroot ravioli with homemade pasta

Making your own pasta can be fraught with mess. Flour gets stuck in those little cracks between the bench and the wall, your jeans get caked {aprons in the wash} and there’s lots of wondering whether it’s worth it. But of course it is, especially when you omit the step of cutting the pasta into matchstick-thick spaghetti or ribbons of pappardelle. Get the pasta impossibly thin here, trust me on this. You want that beetroot to shine through the transparent pasta sheet and you don’t want the joined pasta around the edge to be thick when pressed together. The beetroot (beet) element in this Beetroot Ravioli recipe is easy {recipe after the jump}. I add quite a bit of nutmeg because it’s heaven. And when the whole dish is topped with a knob of butter instead of the olive oil, that’s just pretty fabulous really. These recipes appear in my new book After Toast: recipes for aspiring cooks, which just came out this month. {READ MORE}

{recipe} asian chicken nuggets

Fast food without the calories, protein snack without the preservatives, chicken nuggets without the drive-through. I was asked to do a few healthy recipes for the Government’s Swap it campaign, which follows the premise that it’s easy to be healthy and fit if you swap a few of your less than ideal foods and activities for a healthier version of them. So swap an hour in front of the television with an hour’s walk. Swap investing in a new Playstation with a new kayak. And swap oily nutritiously-void nuggets for these {recipe after the jump}. They’re super easy to make and freeze well, so they can be fast food too. I’d LOVE to hear what swaps you’re making – have you got any clever ideas to make one of your favourite things just a bit healthier? Please do share below! x {READ MORE}

{recipe for…} blueberry pavlova

If we don’t get dessert we can be fragile creatures. Sometimes we can wander to the dark side if there’s no pudding, erring on wicked-witch-of-the-west, mean and strutty, little blighter behaviour. Which is why a recipe like this is such a saviour {recipe after the jump}. So we can whip up some egg whites with sugar, pile on the blueberries and start apologising for our behaviour after the first creamy, billowing, crunchy mouthful. {READ MORE}

{recipe for…} lentil celery & nasturtium salad

Picked bouquets of nasturtiums, mint, parsley and lettuce just today from the garden and turned them into this bitey salad for (chilly) sunshine eating. Nasturtiums grow like crackers in Sydney right now, giant lilypad-like leaves and bright orange flowers, both a peppery fresh hit in a salad. I love them. If I go into a friend’s garden or on to my own balcony, I always return with floral-pepper breath that gives my leafy theft right away. So, I gathered a bunch of the newest tiny leaves and flowers I could find and made this for lunch. With thin stripes of celery, soft Puy lentils, and fried capers that turn all nutty when fried (who knew!), this was my healthy turn for the day. Add halved cherry tomatoes when they’re in season, or when you fancy. I added some marinated sheep’s fetta drenched in thyme-studded olive oil too, because I’m honestly never so virtuous as to give up something so good. {READ MORE}

{the perfect…} chinese pork belly

It was 8 degrees in Sydney last night. I had the duvet out and the Ugg boots on, and wrapped up in a pure wool blanket that grandma knitted (true), I proceeded to plan some perfect wintery night Sunday roast to make on Father’s Day tomorrow. And then I remembered this. This Chinese five spice and star anise infused pork belly is easy to carve, has the meltiest meat and proper crunchy crackling that makes everyone swoon. We ran this recipe in Sunday Life magazine back in July, but given these crazy temperatures I’m not shelving it as a winter-only recipe quite yet. {READ MORE}

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