Monday, November 30, 2009

Wholemeal Pizzas (no yeast)

Pizza ready to go into the oven
Delicious, crisp pizza fresh out of the oven
I've been looking for a wholemeal pizza base without yeast for ages but finally came across this one the day that I made those yummy rocky road cupcakes - double success! It was exactly what I was looking for.

It's perfect because it's healthier with the wholemeal flour but also because I made the dough in 5-10 minutes after work - no waiting for yeast to rise and it still resulted in a nice light, crunchy base without being soggy.
I didn't have any tomato paste on hand so I took half a tin of canned, chopped tomatoes, added a clove of minced garlic, chucked in a bit of dried oregano and seasoned with salt and pepper. I reduced the tomatoes down until it became a good consistency for the base of my pizza - not too runny.

My toppings were zucchini, mushrooms, onion, tomato, ham and tasty cheddar cheese. My first pizza was a bit bland so I took a tip from my local pizza shop and sprinkled my second pizza with the same toppings but added extra zing with a bit more dried oregano, minced garlic and a few chili flakes - it turned out as tasty as store-bought pizza! And pretty good washed down with a glass of beer too.

Wholemeal Pizzas Without Yeast
Adapted from Family Oven

2 cups self-raising wholemeal flour (note the original recipe called for plain wholemeal flour but turned out okay with self-raising flour)
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
50g butter
2/3 cup milk
Tomato paste or puree
Pizza toppings of your choice plus minced garlic, dried oregano and chili flakes if desired

1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Grease tray lightly.
2. Put flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and rub in butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add enough milk to form a soft dough. Knead lightly.
4. Place the dough on the baking tray and pat out into desired shape and thickness (I like mine thin), pinch up edges to make a rim. Spread tomato puree on base and add sliced toppings, finishing with the cheese.
5. Bake for 25-30 min until cooked and golden brown. Serve hot or cold in slices. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Rocky Road Cupcakes

Deceptively delicious!

I've been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging but I've still been cooking. There's been Jacques Pepin's chicken with mushrooms and white wine (no oil required!), Beef Wellington, eggplant and four (maybe three) cheese cannelloni made with crespelle. I've even made chimichurri one day then turned it into the most delicious, garlicky parsley-walnut pesto the next.

But, apart from always forgetting my camera when its required, I just haven't had time. And now I've found time for two blogs in a row - because these two recipes are keepers.

The first is Rocky Road cupcakes. I made these for my friend P's birthday and they really were quite fabulous. A recipe that was quick to make while turning out light and lovely with lots of chocolately icing topped off with marshmallows, Turkish delight and almonds. Not quite the original rocky road but there weren't any complaints!

The second is a homemade wholemeal pizza base recipe with no yeast - more about this in the next blog. First up, here's the recipe for Rocky Road cupcakes. Happy Birthday P!

Rocky Road Cupcakes
Adapted from Womans Day

125g butter, chopped, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk

150g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup of cream
A packet of mini marshmallows
A small bar of Fry's Turkish Delight
Roasted almonds

1. Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper patty cases.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder together. Lightly fold into creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Spoon mixture into cases until 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked when tested. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Topping: Combine chocolate and cream in a saucepan. Heat on low, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes until thickened slightly.
6. Spread icing over cooled cakes. Top with marshmallows. Sprinkle with chopped roasted almonds and Turkish delight.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Golden Sangria

One of the fun things my friend V and I used to do in Auckland was the Annual Ladies Garden Tea Party. Our first was a thank you to all our friends who would invite us to their place for lovely home cooked meals and we wanted to repay them for their hospitality. But it eventually became an annual event to get the girls together. The fun thing about it, apart from chatting with the gals, was that all the guests brought something along to eat and we got to try different things - in my world, it's the English version of yum cha and what could be better than that?!

I'm so excited that my friend and ex-workmate from Auckland, Rebecca, is throwing a Ladies Garden Tea Party here in Sydney and I all I need to do is attend (because it's hard finding a garden here!) I'm not quite sure what I'll be making for the food - maybe chicken thai balls or puff pastry pin wheels - I know from experience that sweets are super popular to make and people don't bring many savouries along but these are usually really well received to balance out the sugary goodness.

But I know what I want to bring as a drink - my flatmate M introduced us this lovely Golden Sangria for the Auckland Garden Tea Parties - it's light and fruity and with the honey, it adds that extra flavour. I also love the addition of mint. We used to start at 11am so you can imagine how we were at 3 in the afternoon having a few of these under the sun...

Bring on spring and summer!

Golden Sangria
Cuisine Magazine

750mls Riesling
100mls brandy
1 mango, peeled and finely sliced
3 golden kiwifruit, peeled and finely sliced
½ cup honey dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water, then cooled
500mls chilled sparkling mineral water
mint sprigs

Mix all the ingredients together in a jug, except the mineral water, and chill in the fridge. Just before serving, add the mineral water and mix well. Serve immediately. Enjoy the fruit in your fingers. Makes about 1.5 litres.

New York, New York! Where do I eat? Where do I drink?

Image courtesy of Cousin L© 2009

I've only been to New York once and I loved it. Everyone I know who's been there, loves it and those who haven't, can't wait to get there.

My cousin, L, has been lucky enough to live in New York for over ten years so when my workmate asked for recommendations on places to eat and drink, L sent through a list of her favourites. But now it seems everyone's going to New York this year and want the list - so the easiest thing to do is put it online. It's only one woman's view of the city, but it's gotta be good, right?

Happy eating, drinking and travelling - and drop a note in the comments section if you find your own NY favourites on your travels. (L - thanks heaps for the list and all the URLs - it's much appreciated!)


The Campbell Apartment - THIS is a New York must visit for a drink. More here.

These are mainly cocktail bars:

Pegu Club - cocktails in Soho, probably my favourite place to go for a cocktail.

Merc Bar - also in Soho.

PDT - cocktails and hot dogs! You may have a bit of trouble getting in on a Friday or Saturday night so go early on a week night and you should get in.

Death and Company - another fav cocktail bar of mine.

230-fifth - cheesy rooftop bar with amazing views of empire state upstairs - lots of tourists, but I happen to like it. It's near Shake Shack.

Empire Hotel - non cheesy rooftop bar - no views really but nice - near Central Park.

Hogs and Heifers - inspiration for Coyote Ugly, I admit I've never been here! Meatpacking district.

Revel - laid back place in non-laid back meatpacking district - nice garden bar.

Water Taxi Beach - these places are a bit cheesy but interesting to say that you drunk on a "beach" in NYC.

Employees Only - hip West Village bar.


Steak: You HAVE to HAVE steak while in NYC!

Craft - for those of you familiar with Tom Colicchio of Top Chef, go to Craft steak – don’t make a reservation and sit in the front bar which they call half steak. A steak and chips is $15 and while not a huge steak, pretty tasty and good value for NYC.

Sparks - if you want to spend more and have a real NYC steak house experience, my favourite is Sparks (you may read about Peter Luger in Brooklyn which is ok – I think Sparks is better). Sparks has some history – there was a Mafia killing there. Expect old school surroundings – very typical of NYC steak houses.

There are two places I recommend – they are both good – try and go to both to compare.

Shake Shack - try and go to the original in Madison Square park because it’s a cute park, and try and go week day lunch otherwise the lines are humongous - get there around 11:45am if you can.

Burger Joint - dive joint behind a curtain at the posh Le Parker Meridian Hotel.

Ess-a-Bagel is best in my book. But H&H have a few fans too.

Lombardi’s Pizza - I like this place because you can sit down and it’s been around for a while.

Grimaldi’s - if you want to go to Brooklyn, this pizza is great to get as take out and sit on the river and take in a view of Manhattan.

Other places:
Spotted Pig - English style Gastropub in the cute West Village.

Per Se - SUPER EXPENSIVE but my BEST dining experience in NYC so far. (Note it also made the top US restaurant in the world's top 50 restaurants).

Eleven Madison Park - my second favourite "expensive" restaurant after Per Se.

All the Momofuku restaurants - these places are good.

Ippudo - has good ramen.

Lots of good sushi places – too many to list but good bets are Matsugen and Blue Ribbon Sushi.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Super Easy Chocolate Brownies

Don't you love it when there are only two directions in a recipe and it still comes out tasting great?

I found this chocolate brownie recipe and "Nan's Brownies" has now become one of my go to recipes - not only is it easy to make but I'm likely to have all the ingredients on hand - especially as it uses cocoa instead of cooking chocolate. These are great straight from the oven or if they're cold, reheating for a few seconds in the microwave to make them fudgy in the middle again. And if you're feeling like pudding, I'm sure you could serve with cream or ice cream too ;)

Super Easy Chocolate Brownies

4 oz butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 cup self raising flour
1 TBSP vanilla essence
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

1. Melt the butter and add the rest of ingredients in the order listed.
2. Pour into a greased pan and bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 25-30 mins.

Quinoa Crusted Chicken Bites

Two of my biggest downfalls when it comes to food is 1) anything with pastry and 2) anything fried - chips, crisps, croquettes, spring rolls, schnitzels, fried chicken - the list goes on. It's not only the amount of fat in these foods that make them amazing, it's also the texture of having something crunch when you bite down on it.

So if you take a healthy ingredient such as quinoa, use it like breadcrumbs on some chicken pieces and then shallow fry it in oil, does that make it healthy or not? Hmm... well I found this recipe for quinoa crusted chicken fingers on a site called "Skinny Chef - Healthier Living, One Step at a Time" so decided it couldn't be that bad for you!
These come out incredibly crunchy which I love! Kinda like a healthier version of my favourite, fried chicken. I didn't flavour them up with garlic powder like the original recipe but might have to buy some just to try it, although I wish I could add the Colonel's 11 secret herbs and spices and I might never have to eat fried chicken again....
Qunioa Crusted Chicken Bites

2 pound chicken tenders or skinless boneless breasts, sliced into 3-inch long tenders
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 cups cooked red or white quinoa
1/2 cup whole wheat or seasoned breadcrumbs
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Spread out the quinoa on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil.
2. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the quinoa.
3. With your fingers tips, squeeze the quinoa and breadcrumbs together until the moisture of the quinoa is absorbed
4. Place the egg whites in a shallow bowl.
5. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika.
6. Place the egg whites in a shallow bowl.
Dip the chicken in the egg and then into the quinoa mixture. Place onto a plate.
7. Warm the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Cook each side 4-5 minutes, turning once, until the crust begins to brown, and the chicken is not longer translucent.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Oaty, Nutty, Fruity, Seedy Cookies (aka Trail Mix Cookies)

I’m going to blog about a recipe that I won’t give you. “Hmm, cryptic”, you think. You’ll find out why, shortly.

I’m on a pseudo health kick so try to have semi-healthy items such as oaty biscuits instead of molten chocolate puddings with a side of cream. Yes, sometimes you just can’t put aside the craving for sugar or carbs so I hoped that this recipe I found for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (on page 9) would act as breakfast (I kid you not!), snack and dessert. (And isn’t the Home Economics booklet cute? Just like from my school days. I’ll probably make some of the other recipes as they use wholemeal flour instead of white).

So I took the base recipe and made a bunch of changes to it, some by mistake, some intentional, some successful, some not. These are the changes I made to the original recipe (listed below) and the outcome:

Change Number 1: Swapped out raisins for a trail mix – this one had pepita seeds, sunflower kernels, cranberries, raisins, hazelnuts and almonds. I chopped up the nuts and also threw in a bit of coconut.
Success Factor: Excellent.

Change Number 2: Doubling the original recipe.
Success Factor: Excellent.

Change Number 3: Using self raising wholemeal flour instead of plain wholemeal flour.
Success Factor: Undetermined - it probably didn’t affect the taste, but probably the texture.

Change Number 4: Using canola spread instead of margarine.
Success Factor: Low. The mix came out much wetter than a normal biscuit mix and I had to refrigerate it after the initial mix cooked like a brandy snap with trail mix and oats in it. Canola spread, however, does have 65% less saturated fat in it than butter and is cholesterol free so Health Factor: Excellent. The initial biscuit was really crumbly but the refrigerated batch wasn’t too bad – still cakey and a bit crumbly but didn’t break apart. I probably could have added more wholemeal flour but banned myself from doing any more experimenting.

I’d like to make these again one day, following the original recipe (though still using trail mix) just to see what they should turn out like, however, I still liked this healthy option. Good luck if you try this out!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From an English School’s Home Economics Programme

75g margarine
40g brown sugar
25g granulated sugar
2.5ml cinnamon (½ tsp)
75g oat flakes
½ egg
40g wholemeal flour
75g raisins
5ml vanilla essence (1 tsp)
15ml water (3 tsp)
1.25ml bicarbonate of soda (¼ tsp)

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Cream the margarine with the sugars.
3. Beat egg in small bowl and half with partner, add vanilla and water.
4. Sift flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda onto a plate.
5. Add egg and flour alternately to the creamed mixture.
6. Finally add raisins and oats.
7. Make walnut sized balls, and lightly flatten them with fork.
8. Bake for 15 minutes, the edges will be crisp and centre will be soft.
9. Gently lift onto cooling tray.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dutch Beef Croquettes

Lately I’ve been looking for and making recipes from my childhood in New Zealand. One of the things we used to get from our local bakery were delicious, crunchy croquettes filled with a mystery meat (I didn’t have a very sophisticated palate back then). We’d polish off a couple of those then move onto simple puff pastry cookies topped with a shiny glaze of sugar and cinnamon. When I moved to Sydney, I found a stall called Dutchies Delight in Darling Harbour which sold those delicious meat croquettes! They were exactly like the ones from NZ and it turns out the mystery meat was beef. Sadly, on a recent visit, I found the stall had shut down due to reconstruction of the area - my only option was to now find the recipe and make them for myself.

I had bookmarked this page for ages and by chance found this recipe just last week when researching the food of New Orleans – it was a sign it was time to make these treats! Both recipes use a roux that is refrigerated then shaped into croquettes which sounds a bit daunting but it’s relatively easy if you’ve made white sauce or choux pastry before. Impressively, these turned out very close to what I remember. The other ingredient that gives these the flavour from my childhood memory is nutmeg – they give a nice lemony taste to the beef, so if you want authentic Dutch croquettes, don’t miss that out.

Dutch Beef Croquettes
Adapted from Recipes Wiki and Nola Cuisine

200 g inexpensive cut of beef (or veal shoulder, I used the cheap option)
400 ml beef stock
Bay leaf (or a bouquet garni)
30 g butter
30 g flour
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
100 g breadcrumbs
Canola oil
French mustard

1. In a pan, put meat, bay leaf and beef stock and slowly to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour until meat is tender. (Note - make sure the stock simmers slowly – mine was on a fast simmer and I ended up not having enough stock and was very salty as well - I topped up with water, which helped both problems!)
2. Shred the beef using two forks.
3. Strain off 200 ml stock into a measuring jug.
4. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour.
5. Add the stock, while stirring, and continue stirring until the sauce is thick and smooth.
6. Leave the sauce to cook gently for about 2 minutes.
7. Stir in the meat and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
8. Pour the ragout onto a flat plate and refrigerate until firm – either 3 hours or overnight.
9. In a deep plate beat the eggs with one tablespoon of water.
10. Shape the ragout into croquettes and roll in the breadcrumbs.
11. Then roll in the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs again.
12. Repeat until well coated.
13. Shallow fry in med-hot oiled until golden brown and crisp.
14. Drain on paper towel.
15. Serve warm with a serving of mustard next to it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zucchini Slice

A lot of my “go to” recipes are meals made by friends which I really like. My friend T has made a yummy zucchini slice a couple of times which tastes really good and looks easy to make. While in negotiations to get T's recipe, I happened to be flipping through a booklet that I received from Sanitarium - it had a recipe that was very similar to T’s so decided to make it for dinner. This recipe was great – I liked that it had wholemeal flour in it and it turned out very light and tasty. Plus the most work involved dicing and sautéing the onions and grating the cheese and zucchinis – too easy!

I think I would make this once or twice a month as the ingredients are readily available and it’s perfect for both lunch and dinners, served with a simple green salad. The original recipe included carrot and corn which I’ll try next time. T also added bacon to her mix which you can dice and cook at the same time as the onion.

Zucchini Slice
Adapted from Sanitarium’s Mini Vegetable Frittatas

2 tsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large zucchinis, grated
1 spring onion, chopped
½ cup tasty cheese, grated and TBSP of grated parmesan
½ cup wholemeal self raising flour
½ tsp salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup oil (I used canola oil)
Seed mix of pepitas, sunflower kernels, pinenuts and sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

1. Heat oil in a frypan and sauté onion until soft. Place in a large bowl.
2. Add zucchini, spring onion, cheese, flour and salt to the bowl.
3. Combine eggs and oil and stir into vegetable mixture.
4. Spoon mixture into lightly greased baking pan. Sprinkle with seeds and bake in a moderate oven, 180ºC, for 40 mins or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Peach Crisp Crumble

Crumbles or crisps are one of my favourite desserts - maybe it's because they're so healthy? Hmmm... Anyway, I've never really known the difference between a crumble and a crisp as I've always thought of crisps as an American thing. A good explanation of the difference can be found here. Crisps seem to include rolled oats, whereas crumbles are just butter rubbed into sugar and flour. I'm defintely a crisp girl then.

I'm always on the lookout for a good crisp recipe and I finally found one at There are a couple of things that make this crisp really tasty - the first is in the ingredients, the second I did by mistake.

The recipe calls for brown sugar instead of white sugar and it adds a depth of flavour when the sugar caramelises. The second thing is to use softened butter instead of chilled butter. Living in a warm climate such as Sydney, I forgot to chill the butter and left it sitting on the counter so that it softened up. I decided to rub the butter into the ingredients anyway - the outcome was large clusters of muesli and buttery flour instead of fine breadcrumbs - which turn into clusters of crunchy goodness when cooked - yum!! I don't think I'll ever chill my butter again when it comes to crisps.

A few other adaptations that I made to the original recipe was that I used peaches as I had them on hand; I used muesli that had dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dates) and coconut in with rolled oats. And while this is a peach crisp, I have made this same recipe with apples and strawberries - I would never have thought that warmed strawberries could taste so good!

Peach Crisp
Adapted from

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
100g softened butter
3/4 cup fruit muesli
2-3 ripe peaches, cut into pieces
Vanilla ice-cream or cream, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the flour, sugar and muesli in a bowl.
2. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is rubbed evenly through the ingredients.
3. Place the chopped peaches into a 6-cup capacity ovenproof dish. Scatter the muesli mixture evenly over the peaches.
4. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Spoon the peach crisp into serving bowls. Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vegetable Cheese Souffle

To find a recipe that I know I want to make, but don’t have the recipe for, I can go through a number of different steps to finally arrive at the one I settle on.

Take for example, my process to find a soufflé recipe that I want to make. I’ve been thinking about making soufflé for a couple of months. I made one about 15 years ago when I was a young whipper snapper and just loved baking. We had all these Woman’s Weekly cookbooks and it was usually the picture that sold me. Now, with the internet, finding a recipe can go something like this:
  • Think that it would be interesting to make soufflé again.
  • Forget about it for several months and make easier stuff instead.
  • Watch Top Chef and see a soufflé is one of the challenges and think it’s time to investigate making a soufflé again.
  • Think that it would be nice to have vegetables in my soufflé. Oh and definitely cheese.
  • Get onto Google and search for recipes first, then almost immediately go to Google images (it’s all about how the food looks...) and look for an image that looks like the recipe worked out then go that page.
  • If it looks too hard (I think I’ll pass on making the 20 cheese soufflé) or I don't have the ingredients easily on hand - or that I would at least use again - pass on it. If it looks like I have to convert too many of the measurements, I’ll consider the rest of the recipe before deciding if it’s worth the time.
  • Smultaneously, I’ll jump on any combination of Tastespotting, Foodgawker or and search for Souffle. Repeat process until I’ve tracked down a recipe, then I’ll bookmark it and then return to it once I’m ready to go shopping.

I finally found this Vegetable Cheese Souffle recipe through Google after quite a research session but it was just right as it had mushrooms, brocolli and capsicums which I thought would be a nice combination. And just as important, it looked really simple to make. Interestingly enough, the end step is that you add icing sugar to the souffle! I decided I'd omit this step but if anyone decides to try it, let me know how it tastes!

It's not really a quick recipe that you could whip up after work as it had a few steps to complete. Also my souffle probably didn't rise as much as it could have as the top started browning too quickly so I took them out before they burnt which left them a tad too soft inside. It was nice and tasty but not something I'd make every week, just when I have a craving for vegetable cheese souffle again :)

Vegetable Cheese Souffle
From Qwerty Kitchen

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
225 grams grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 egg yolks
6-8 sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons diced red bell peppers
1/2 cup diced broccoli or asparagus tips
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 egg whites
Icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 230C

2. To Make Roux: Melt butter, then blend in flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat. Add cheese, and stir until melted.
3. Beat egg yolks in a separate bowl until thick and lemon colored. Slowly add to cheese mixture, stirring constantly. Reserve, cover and keep warm.
4. Saute mushrooms, red peppers, and broccoli or asparagus tips in olive oil, and reserve.
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
5. In a mixing bowl, add 2 cups roux to vegetables and fold in egg whites.
6. Pour into an ungreased souffle dish.
7. Bake in a hot water bath for 15-20 minutes or until top is slightly brown.
8. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Baking Baklava

Baklava is one of those desserts that seem like they'll take a long time to make for little reward - how wrong you would be!

I recently made baklava and it was so easy that I would encourage you to give it a go. In a nutshell (pun intended ;)) all you do is chop some nuts, butter up some phyllo pastry (layer upon layer upon layer) then pour over a syrup that only takes a few minutes to create. The crispy, flaky pastry, the crunchy nuts and sweet, runny syrup were so tasty that I couldn't stop reaching for the little diamond-shaped treats - very dangerous!

I used this recipe here, who found the recipe here, but used mixed nuts and left out the orange and lemon peel as I didn't have them on hand. I also halved the recipe below to avoid total sugar overload. All in all, it was a great little treat that I'll make again when the occasion calls for it.


4 cups mixed nuts (chopped)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup butter (melted)
1 pound phyllo pastry (thawed)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
3/4 cup honey


1. Mix the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
2. Brush the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with butter.
3. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 8 sheets in the pan.
4. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan.
5. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 2 sheets on top of the nut mixture.
6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan.
7. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 2 sheets on top of the nut mixture.
8. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan.
9. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 8 sheets on top of the nut mixture.
10. Slice the baklava with a sharp knife.
11. Bake in a preheated 180C oven until golden brown on top, about 25-35 minutes.
12. Bring the water, sugar and cinnamon to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
13. Add the honey and simmer for 2 minutes.
14. Remove the cinnamon from the syrup.
15. Pour the syrup over the baklava when it comes out of the oven.
16. Let the baklava cool for a few hours.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mmmolten Chocolate Pudding

This is a super easy molten chocolate pudding from Bill Grainger's Series 2 DVD. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but it was everything you want in a chocolate pudding - super chocolatey but not too sweet - it only has 4 tablespoons of sugar in it.

I didn't quite achieve the molten inside as I cooked it too long but I actually prefer it cooked through. I served this with whipped cream which cut through the richness and made for a perfect dessert that was really easy to make.

Bill Grainger’s Molten Chocolate Puddings

1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius.
2. Melt 125gm dark chocolate and 125gm butter in a bowl over hot water.
3. Beat 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks in bowl with 4 TBSP caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
4. Pour hot chocolate into eggs and whisk until combined.
5. Sift in 2 tsp flour and fold through.
6. Grease 4 ramekins and dust with cocoa. Fill to ¾ full.
7. Bake 10 minutes, centre should be gooey. Bake longer if you want a firmer centre.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's all about food...

Welcome to the One Millionth Food Blog!! I'm a food blog addict so I know there are a fair few out there, but I thought why not join the masses and get my own blog going.

I'll be posting recipes I've recently tried (the ones that turned out, that is) and perhaps the occasional review of restaurants I go to. My photography will be simple point and shoot to begin with, nothing too fancy, but hopefully will learns some tips and tricks along the way.