Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rustic Sour Cream Slice with Passion Fruit Drizzle

I love thinking about sweets. What will I make? What will I add to this and what will I mix with that? What will I serve it on? Who will I invite over to enjoy said sweets? Which tablecloth will I use?????? I love every little thought it takes to create them......and this one was no exception. Passion fruit is a favourite of mine but it wasn't always that way. As a kid I didn't like passion fruit one bit. I can't really remember why but it took a lot of pavlova to get over it. Finally, now, I can say I love it. It's so refreshing and versatile and nothing says Summer more than fresh passion fruit drizzled over something delicious....


110g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 and a 1/2 cup self raising flour
2 fresh passion fruit or 1-2 tablespoons tinned passion fruit
1 cup icing sugar mixture

how to make your Rustic Sour Cream Slice with Passion fruit Drizzle

Pop the oven on to 180C. Line a slice tray with baking paper and set aside.
In a bowl add the softened butter and the sugar. beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat again until combined. Add the sour cream, zest and flour and mix well with a spoon. Then spoon into your slice tin. Level out. The mix is fairly wet but don't worry. Pop it in the oven and bake for 18 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

When it's ready take out of the oven and leave out to cool. Cut into slices and prepare icing just prior to eating. So you could make the slice earlier in the day (don't pop it in the fridge) just place a tea towel over it and keep in a coolish spot. Prior to serving, sift the icing sugar mixture into a bowl and add the passion fruit. Stir through. Cut into slices, place on your serving plate and drizzle a little of the 'drizzle' over each slice. Serve. The slice is best eaten on the day it is made. It will go hard if kept in the fridge so keep it out and enjoy it!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Australia Day Salad

Australia Day is less than a week away. Usually everyone gets out their blue, red and white - shirts, shorts, thongs, everything.........I thought I would focus on green and gold - the colours we Aussies normally wear to the Olympics. This salad would go beautifully with another Australian tradition - barbecued lamb......mmmmmmmmm. Have some friends over and celebrate!


2 small zucchini, sliced thinly
3 golden squash, sliced thinly
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cob of corn, kernels cut off
3/4 cup cous cous
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1and a 1/2 tablespoons honey
a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
about 8 baby mint leaves
salt and pepper

250g haloumi

how to make your australia day salad

This salad will make a good side at a bbq or will serve 4-5 people for dinner with some lamb.
Boil the kettle. pop the cous cous in a saucepan, throw over the water and put the lid on. set aside for 5 mins.

In a bowl, put together the lemon juice, honey and mint leaves. set aside.

Grab a large frying pan and pop in some olive oil over a medium-high heat. Now throw in the zucchini, squash, peas and corn. Keep stirring, you want it all to cook through without burning.

Add some oil or a tablespoon of butter to the cous cous and over a low flame, stir it through until well combined.
Add the dressing to the vegetables, turn down the heat. Give it a good stir. Take off heat. Add the cous cous and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. stir to combine.

Slice the haloumi thinly and throw on a hot bbq or hot oiled frying pan, about 1 minute a side. Place the haloumi over the top of the salad.

Serve with some lemon wedges.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

treasure chests

....or cupcakes with cinnamon apricots and sweet clotted cream....

Apricots this season have been incredible. I'm not usually such a fan but they have been consistently yum! so, so sweet! and here I am again popping them in a dessert. As you know I'm a HUGE fan of pretty cupcakes. I especially love butterfly cakes. They remind me of my childhood when I was allowed to pick my very own sweet treat for afternoon tea. Butterfly cakes were always top of my list! The last time I made them myself was for my husbands birthday in 2006. As co-incidence would have it, Caroline from Fox Drink Water and her family were about to pop over to help us celebrate. The salads were made, the bbq was ready and the butterfly cakes were about to be assembled and then my waters broke............4 hours later (and 16 days early) our first child was born. SO yes, I haven't made them since and then these little cakes kind of morphed into little chests of buried treasure. They are delicious though and if you are a big kid at heart, well, I'm sure they will even transport you back to your childhood, when you were allowed to pick your very own afternoon tea treat.


1) 1 ½ cups plain flour
2) 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3) 110g softened unsalted butter
4) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5) ¼ cup milk
6) 2 eggs
7) just under 2/3 cup caster sugar

1 cup water
½ cup caster sugar
6 whole apricots,sliced in half
1 cinnamon quill

250g Clotted cream

how to make your Treasure Chests or cupcakes with cinnamon apricots and sweet clotted cream

Pop the oven on to 180C. Line a 12 cup capacity muffin tin with cases.

This part is best done about an hour before serving. Wash your apricots. Make sure they are ready to eat; not too ripe and not too unripe. Cut them in half, discard seed and set aside. Grab a wide based saucepan and pop in the water, sugar and cinnamon quill. Put over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, making sure all the sugar is dissolved. Once simmering, add the apricots and simmer for 3 minutes. Take out the apricots with a slotted spoon and pop on a plate in one layer. Set aside. Pop in the fridge when cooled down a little until needed. Strain the syrup and set aside at room temp.

Pop the first 7 ingredients into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until mixture is smooth. Place large spoonfuls into cases and bake for 18 mins or until cakes are cooked through.

Place them on a cooling rack and assemble about 10 - 20 mins before serving.

Take out ingredients from the fridge. Grab your knife and at an angle cut the tops out of each cupcake. Using a teaspoon, scoop a little of the cupcake centre out and discard. Grab a bowl and add about 1/2 to 3/4 of the cream and add about 2 - 3 teaspoons of the syrup. Give it a really good mix together until it's well incorporated. Time to taste test! If you think it needs it add a little more syrup. Now, give each cupcake a good dollop inside (the buried treasure!), top with an apricot (cut side up) then replace the top of the cupcake over the apricot. Give them a good dusting with icing sugar. Serve.

*Instead of clotted cream you could use marscapone.
*Instead of adding the syrup to the clotted cream or marscapone you could simply use a half teaspoon of rosewater or even a sweet dessert wine.
*Instead of apricot you could use pear
*If you're not a fan you could omit apricots all together and just fill with the clotted cream


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year! - cabbage, fennel and celery salad with apple juice dressing

Hey there everybody!! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, New Year, time off from work and time with your loved ones...
Life has been super busy (as always!) We have had lovely catch ups with friends and family and have had some amazing food. (My fave? - you can see it here).....then our dishwasher died. There's nothing like overflowing grimy dishes to take the shine off cooking! Hubby tried fixing it but alas a 15 year old dishwasher is a bit like a never does what you want it too! So off we went and bought a newbie. It was installed today and it is sooo shiny and new and CLEAN! I felt bad about putting my dirty dinner plates in there. Almost embarrassed............But I'm sure I'll get over it by ooooooooo tomorrow!

Enough about me, How are you?


1 small baby fennel, finely sliced
Reserve the fronds from the fennel to use the greenery on top of the salad
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced on an angle
Reserve some of the leaves of the celery, finely chop about 1 tablespoon
about 100g of red cabbage, finely sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of apple juice (the best you can afford - you can enjoy it with the dish too!)
a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

how to make your cabbage, fennel and celery salad with apple juice dressing

Make sure your celery, cabbage and apple juice are cold. Doesn't matter so much with the fennel.

Have everything sliced and ready to go. Now it just depends how you are going to serve it - in a large bowl for everyone to help themselves or individually.
Mix the vegetables together along with some salt and pepper. Just before serving drizzle over the apple juice and some extra virgin olive oil. Lightly mix together. DONE!!