Saturday, November 17, 2018

Spring Chicken Terrine - Red Tractor November

The Red Tractor calendar recipe for November is Spring Chicken Terrine.  I am not a huge fan of terrines, but they are OK.  Terrines are great for picnics or serving with crackers or bread as a starter at a dinner party.

This month's calendar quite is as follows:

When I was at University, jacarandas struck terror into the hearts of students, as legend had it that you were doomed if you had not started studying before the jacarandas bloomed.  It was also said that if a falling jacaranda flower hit you on the head, you would forget everything for your exam.  For this reason, this month's quote brings back that feeling of Swat Vac and exams - not the most pleasant feeling in the world.

This terrine is made with a mixture of pork mince, chicken mince, spinach and prosciutto. My terrine was a half recipe only.  I quite liked it, though would have loved some chilli to give it a bit of oomph.  Instead, I gave it oomph by serving it with mustard pickles and gherkins:  

If you would like to try this terrine for yourself, you will need:

500g pork mince
500g chicken mince 
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
2 tablespoons green peppercorns
2 eggs
1 packet frozen chopped spinach, thawed and with excess water squeezed out
Splash of balsamic vinegar
100ml chicken stock
salt and pepper
12 slices prosciutto

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Mix the minces together in a large bowl.

In a small frypan, saute the onion until soft, and add to the bowl of mince with the allspice, peppercorns, thyme eggs, spinach, balsamic vinegar and chicken stock.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix together well (your hands work best for this).

Grease a terrine dish and line with the prosciutto, reserving two slices for the top.  Put the mince mixture into the prepared terrine dish and pack down well.  Place the two reserved slices of prosciutto on top and press down well.

Place the terrine in a baking tray, filled halfway up the sides with hot water.  Put the baking tray in the oven and bake the terrine for one and half hours or until cooked through.

Remove the terrine from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Once cooled, cover the terrine with foil, and place a heavy object on top of it and put it in the fridge to chill overnight.

Serve with bread, crackers and your choice of condiments.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ginger St Clement's Pudding Cake

When I saw the recipe for Helen Goh's Ginger St Clement's Pudding Cake, I knew that I had to make it.  I didn't see the recipe until a month after it had been published, and it has been on the backburner for a couple of weeks.  However, I finally got around to making it last night.  And by a happy coincidence, I discovered that today, 15 November, is International Bundt Day!  So without exerting any extra effort, I can participate in this event.

This cake is called St Clements Cake after the Old English Nursery rhyme starting "Orange and lemons say the bells of St Clements".  This is because the cake contains both orange and lemon flavours, as well as ginger, and is topped with a lemon yoghurt cream.

In the cake itself, I subbed out the lemon zest for orange zest, meaning the only lemon is from the lemon cream.  I did this because I had zested the orange before chopping up the rest of the orange for the cake, and did not want to waste the zest or the flesh of a lemon when I could just use the orange zest in the cake and solve both problems at once.  I upped the ante on the orange flavour by rubbing the orange zest into the sugar before creaming it with the butter, a step that is not in the original recipe.

This cake is really good.  I could not taste the ginger that much, but the orange flavour shone through brightly.  The cake is not overly sweet, and while I definitely feel that the lemon yoghurt cream added to the enjoyment of the cake, this is a cake that stands well on its own.  And it's a bundt cake - perfect for International Bundt Day!

If I have tempted you to try this cake, you will need:

150ml milk
100g plain Greek style yoghurt
280g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
120g crystallised ginger (I didn't find any in syrup so just used the regular kind)
1 orange ~150g, peeled, cut into chunks and seeds removed
50g toasted flaked almonds
125g unsalted butter
200g sugar
zest of 1 lemon (I used the zest of the orange)
2 large eggs

Mix the milk and yoghurt together in a bowl and set aside.

Sift the flour and salt together and set aside.

Put the ginger and orange chunks into a food processor and blitz until chopped (but not pureed).  Add the almonds to the processor bowl and pulse until combined.

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius and grease and flour a 3 litre bundt pan.

Rub the zest into the sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer.  Add the butter to the bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy.Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the ginger and orange mixture to the bowl and beat on low to just combine.

Add one third of the flour mixture to the bowl and mix in, then one third of the milk and yoghurt mixture.  Repeat twice more until all of the flour and all of the milk and yoghurt have been mixed in.

Scrape the batter into the prepared bundt tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To serve, make the lemon yoghurt cream by combining 150ml of Greek yoghurt with 150ml of lemon curd in a bowl and spreading over the cake (I served it on the side instead).

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

TWD - Chocolate Cream Puffs with Marscapone Filling

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe sprang from Dorie's idea for chocolate choux pastry and a little romance.  It is chocolate cream puffs with marscapone filling.

The choux buns are made with a little cocoa in the dough to make them chocolate flavoured.  The hardest part of choux buns for me is stopping them from deflating while they are cooling.  M top tip for avoiding this is to stick a thin skewer in the top of each bun immediately once it is out of the oven to release the steam inside (which can cause it to collapse).  For me, the recipe made 12 choux buns.

The filling is marscapone lightened up with whipped cream that has been kissed by rosewater and tinged pink.  (That is where the romance comes in.)  To make them pretty once assembled, icing sugar is dusted over the top of the buns.

I am a sucker for a choux bun, so I did like these.  However, I prefer a crème patisserie filling to the cream - that's just a personal preference.

To see what everyone else thought of what they baked this week (either these or a gateau basque), visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Lindsay's Cafe, Faulconbridge

Last week, we travelled to Sydney for a four day weekend.  It was marvellous to get away from it all for a while, and the weather was kind to us.

On the Monday, I ticked off a bucket list item by visiting the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum at Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains.  You can read more about it here.

On the way there, Tim and I stopped for morning tea in Springwood, comprising coffee and a delicious Portugese custard tart from The Bakers Wife Juicery and Salad Bar in Macquarie Street, across the road from the train station: 

They also do a cracking range of raw sweets.

After we had our coffee, we ventured on to the Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge by bus:

Inside the gallery, the Lindsays' kitchen remains for viewing, set up like it was back in the day when the family lived there:

The easiest option for getting lunch while at the Norman Lindsay Gallery is Lindsay's Café, which is attached to the etching studio.  You can eat your lunch indoors while being treated to lovely bush views:  

The food at Lindsay's Café is home style - not fancy, but it does the job quite nicely.  

Tim ordered the Duck Salad (seared duck, orange, walnuts, peas, quinoa, mixed leaves, orange garlic dressing) ($24):

He said it was just fine, not the best salad he's ever had, but good.

I ordered the Beef Burger (beef patty, gruyere, onion rings, BBQ sauce, tomato, mixed leaves) ($21): 

The beef patty was more rissole like than patty like, but again, this meal tasted fine, and the smoky BBQ sauce and onion rings were nice touches.

I saw that there was an Orange and Pistachio Cheesecake ($12) on the specials board, and I was so up for that:

Again, it was not the best cheesecake I have ever had and was not very sweet, but I did enjoy the crumbly pistachio base.

Ensure that you leave plenty of time for lunch as service is at a sedate pace, in keeping with the bush theme of the café.  However, the serving staff were friendly, and asked us how our meals were.

In keeping with the food theme, here is a larger than life model of Albert, The Magic Pudding, on the verandah of the gallery:

For the uninitiated, Albert is a self-regenerating pudding that never runs out, and he changes flavour from steak and kidney to apple pie.  This makes him the target of pudding thieves.  Unfortunately, he is a rather grumpy pudding, hence the filthy look he is giving me.

Lindsay's Café is a peaceful place to eat that enhanced our visit to the Norman Lindsay Gallery. 

12 Norman Lindsay Crescent
Faulconbridge NSW
Ph: (02) 4751 9611
Open 10-3 on weekdays and 9-4 on weekends

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Chocolate Yoghurt Bundt Cake

An age ago, I made a delicious Chocolate Yoghurt Bundt Cake from p188 of the 100th (and last) edition of Donna Hay Magazine (sold out online but I have seen copies of it in the shops still).  This handsome looking cake is super easy to make as well as delicious.  The chocolate flavour comes exclusively from cocoa, so it is also relatively inexpensive.

If you would like to make this cake (and to be honest, why not?), you will need:

3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk (or just sour the equivalent amount of milk with a little lemon juice)  
1 cup natural Greek-style yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease a 3 litre capacity bundt tin.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, buttermilk, yoghurt, vanilla and sugar.  Fold the flour and cocoa through the mixture until it is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt tin and bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool.

To ice the cake, put 1 1/4 cups icing sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and 2 1/2 tablespoons boiling water together in a bowl and mix until smooth.  Pour the icing over the cooled cake and allow it to set before slicing and serving the cake.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Rhubarb and Butterscotch Layer Cake

Recently I saw a lovely sounding recipe for Rhubarb and Butterscotch Layer Cake on, from Birdwood’s Gallery and Cafe in Havelock North, New Zealand. With a superb sounding flavour combination like that, I could not resist making it.

The cake itself contains chopped rhubarb, and is filled with caramel cream cheese icing and rose- tinged rhubarb pieces.  There are supposed to be four layers, but I halved the recipe to make a two layer cake.

My cake is nowhere near as pretty as the original, but it sure tasted good.

 Tempted?  You will need (for a half recipe):

Rhubarb filling

110g rhubarb chopped into 1cm pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
a dash of rose syrup

Place all of the ingredients into an ovenproof dish and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Caramel Icing

150g sugar
1/4 cup water
 1/2 cup heavy cream
200g cream cheese

Combine the sugar and water and bring to the boil; turn down the heat a little allow the mixture to simmer until it turns a golden brown colour, then remove from the heat.  Immediately but carefully (as the mixture might spit) whisk in the cream.  Return the mixture to the heat and continue stirring until smooth, then take it off the heat and allow it to cool.

Place the cream cheese into a food processor and blitz until smooth, then add 1/2 cup of the caramel mixture and blitz until smooth.


115g softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
50g sugar
2 eggs
115g self raising flour
3/4 cup sliced rhubarb
25ml cream

Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.  Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place the butter, both sugars, eggs and flour in a food processor and blitz to combine. Add the rhubarb and cream and blitz for 10 seconds.  Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until cooked through.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally.  Top one half with half the cream cheese icing and all of the cooked rhubarb.  Place the other half of the cake on top of the filling, and cover the top of the cake with the remaining icing.

Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

TWD - Cranberry Five Spice Cookies

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, the recipe is Cranberry Five Spice Cookies. These came about because Dorie is obsessed with Chinese five spice powder and likes it in both savoury and sweet applications.

The cookies involve making a very sticky dough seasoned with Chinese five spice powder and mixing through chopped salted peanuts  and fresh or frozen cranberries. Cranberries other than in the form of craisins are like the Tasmanian tiger here - sightings are sometime reported, but they are rare (and expensive). For that reason, I subbed in frozen cherries. They did not have the tart zing of cranberries so maybe I should have used craisins.

I topped my cookies with finely chopped peanuts mixed with a little Chinese five spice powder.

The end result was fine, but didn’t really grab me.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Oozing Eyeball Marshmallow Slice - QBC

Get your spooky on because tonight is Halloween. Time for trick or treating and Halloween parties with crazy costumes.

I recently joined the Queen Baking Club on Facebook, and this fortnight’s recipe was Halloween inspired in keeping with the season. The recipe is for Oozing Eyeball Marshmallow Slice. It comprises a brownie base with peppermint flavoured green marshmallow, studded with flowing Cadbury peppermint chocolate, then topped with dark chocolate and “eyeballs”.

I used only one block of flowing peppermint chocolate rather than one and a half blocks, and made the eyeballs out of Kool Mints and edible markers rather than fondant. I really liked the end result, reminiscent of the traditional peppermint slice but with a twist.

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Meringue Roulade - Liliana Battle

For our recent team lunch, in addition to the Strawberry Tart, I made a meringue roulade, which is a very easy gluten-free dessert.  My research showed that the recipe for the meringue base is basically the same, whatever source you use.  However, I was very taken with the presentation of Liliana Battle's Fig and Almond Roulade in her new(ish) book The Sweet Life - Home Baking and Sweet Treats Italian Style. Sadly, figs were not readily available to me, so I used mixed berries (raspberries and blueberries) instead.

I think this is such a pretty dessert, and so light and airy to eat.  The only disadvantage with it is that you need to eat it as soon as possible after filling it, because the meringue starts to weep.  That means it is not the best dessert to prepare in advance, but I threw caution to the wind, as I had a half day's work ahead of me before our lunch and I needed to travel to get to the lunch.

The meringue is filled with a lovely mix of whipped cream, toasted flaked almonds and fruit (in my case, berries, in Liliana's case, chopped fresh figs). Liliana also flavours the cream with honey rather than icing sugar, which gives that sweet honey taste to the dessert. Swoon!

If you would like to dig in to a meringue roulade yourself, you will need:

4 egg whites
165g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pure icing sugar to stop the meringue from sticking (Liliana said to use more sugar)


400ml thickened cream
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g toasted flaked almonds
8 fresh figs (6 chopped for the filling, the other 2 cut into wedges to decorate the top), or berries

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease and line (with baking paper) a 30cm x 33cm baking tray.

Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until foamy, then gradually beat in the sugar.  Beat in the vanilla extract, and continue to beat until the meringue is thick and glossy, the sugar is fully dissolved, and stiff peaks form.

Spread the meringue evenly over the prepared baking tray, and bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Remove the meringue from the oven and allow it to cool on the tray.

For the filling, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold through the honey and vanilla.

To assemble, lay a piece of baking paper on the table that is bigger than the meringue. Sprinkle the baking paper generously with icing sugar (or caster sugar, if you prefer Liliana's method).  Turn the meringue out onto the sugared baking paper and very carefully remove the baking paper that lined the tray in which the meringue was baked.  Take it slowly as it has a nasty tendency to want to stick and tear.

Spread three quarters of the whipped cream over the meringue, spreading nearly right up to the edges, then scatter over the 6 chopped figs or berries, and flaked almonds (reserving some berries and almonds for the top of the roulade).

Starting at the long edge of the meringue closest to you, roll up the meringue tightly, using the baking paper to help you roll it up (without getting it caught in the roll).  Once the meringue has been rolled into a log, carefully place it in a serving tray.

Decorate the top of the roulade with dollops of the remaining whipped cream, the fig wedges or berries, and some flaked almonds.  Drizzle with extra honey if desired. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Matilda 159 Domain, South Yarra

For Tim's birthday this year, we went to dinner at Matilda 159 Domain in South Yarra.  This restaurant is named after the owner's daughter, and the "159 Domain" refers to its street address.  Matilda 159 Domain specialises in grilled meats and seasonal produce, and is picturesquely situated across the road from the Botanical Gardens.

Here is a look at the sleek interior of the restaurant:

Diners can also be seated near the open kitchen and watch the chefs at work:

The menu at Matilda is divided into starters, entrees, sides, mains and desserts.

Instead of ordering an entrée each, we decided to share a few of the smaller starter dishes.  First up was the chicken rillettes served with burnt bran and spelt bread and aged butter ($7): 

When all the elements are put together, you end up with the most satisfying, best tasting chicken sandwich you can imagine.  I could have eaten two of these as a meal and be quite happy. 

Next up, we chose one of the daily specials - we each were served a New Zealand Storm Clam with kombu vinaigrette ($8 each): 

The clam was fine, but the absence of strong flavours meant that it did not grab me as much as the bread with rillettes.

Our next choice was the ox tongue with horseradish and sauce gribiche ($10):

This one was also a winner.  I didn't know what to expect with ox tongue, but it tasted like a soft and lightly spiced sausage.  

Next came our mains.  My choice of main was actually one of the daily special entrees,  a whole Western Australian marron with Yuzu nori butter and salmon roe ($40):

This dish was delicate and flavourful, and the entrée size was perfect for me.

Tim chose the 21 day dry aged Cape Grim Porterhouse steak with macadamia pomesco ($48):

The chef serves this steak cooked medium.  Tim gave me a piece to try and it was good.

For a side dish, we chose the butter lettuce with green tomatoes ($12):

This was a tasty side, which gave us some greenery with our meal, and the butter sauce was smooth and silky.

For dessert, neither of us could go past Matilda's most popular dessert, the Pink Lady Apple Tarte Tatin with Smoked Vanilla Bean Icecream ($22):

We each ordered a glass of Pommeau de Normandie ($14) to drink with dessert.  This blush-hued beverage is comprised of pressed apple cider and Calvados, and was the perfect accompaniment to our apple dessert.

At the end of the meal, we were given these delicious chocolates filled with white chocolate ganache:

Service at Matildas was efficient and friendly, and the atmosphere was relaxed.  I would definitely dine here again, given the chance.

Matilda 159 Domain
159 Domain Rd
South Yarra VIC 3141
Ph: (03) 9089 6668

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Helen Goh's Raspberry Bitters Cake

It was Tim's birthday recently, and I wanted to make him a special cake all of his own.  White chocolate and raspberry are Tim's favourite flavours, so I wanted to make a cake for him featuring either or both of these flavours.

Serendipitously, on the day that I was considering cake recipes, Helen Goh published a recipe for Raspberry Bitters Cake in the Good Weekend magazine in the newspaper.  Perfect!  Cake selection made.

And what a handsome cake it is with its raspberry-glazed top.  Helen was more enthused about the base cake, a spiced genoise-style cake.  However, I had a "fight" with the cake.  Version 1 sank in the middle, so that when I attempted to cut it into two layers, I ended up with  a single thin layer and a crumbly mess.  Given that this was meant to be a special occasion cake, I couldn't leave it there, so I went and bought more butter and stepped up to the plate for version number 2.  This time, I didn't risk cutting the layers, and instead made two sandwich cakes - no cutting required.  And ironically, they did not sink.

So that I could taste the cake, I made my own baby cake in  dariole mould:

This cake is delicious!  The lightly spiced sponge cake layers harbour raspberries macerated in Angostura bitters, and are sandwiched together with whipped marscapone cream.  A ruby red glaze made of icing sugar, raspberries and more Angostura bitters flows over the top of the cake, and a few more raspberries are used to decorate the top of the cake.

If you are keen on trying this cake for yourself,  you will need:


250g unsalted butter, cubed
peel of an orange

1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 star anise
6 cloves
3 eggs
225g sugar
140g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt 


200g fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons Angostura Bitters
350ml whipping cream
100g marscapone
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons icing sugar 

100g raspberries
160g icing sugar
1 tablespoon Angostura Bitters
1 tablespoon glucose syrup

Put the raspberries and Bitters from the filling into a small bowl and soak for an hour or overnight.

When you are ready to make the cake, preheat your oven to 190C.  Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin. Put the butter, orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla, star anise and cloves in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse until just lukewarm, then strain the butter through a sieve and discard the spices.

Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk until smooth and pale.  Sift over the flour, baking powder and salt, and fold into the eggs with a rubber spatula until almost incorporated.  Finally, slowly fold in the butter. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.  Sieve the glaze to remove the seeds and store in the fridge until needed.

To make the filling, whisk the cream, marscapone, vanilla and icing sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Chill in the fridge until required.

Once the cake is completely cool, turn it out of the tin and slice it in half to create two layers.  Put the bottom half of the cake onto on a cake board, and cover it with the raspberries soaked in Angostura bitters. Spread the cream filling over the raspberries, then top with the second cake layer. 

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, then decorate with extra raspberries.

Slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

TWD - Le Cheesecake Round Trip

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, the recipe is for cheesecake.  This cheesecake is an American-style cheesecake that Dorie has  Parisianised, and it has been a hit in both of her homes of Paris and New York - hence the "round trip".  This cheesecake has a crushed cookies and almond meal crust, with more cookie crumbs in the filling.

This cheesecake was meant to be made with 907g cream cheese.  I balked at this, both from a cost perspective ($16 worth of cream cheese!!) and the sheer size perspective, so I halved the filling.  The crust was meant  to be made with Speculoos, but that is a little too exotic for the basic supermarket where I do most of my grocery shopping.  Instead, I used Marie biscuits, but added ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the crushed biscuits to give them a Speculoos-like flavour.  I also did not have almond essence, so I flavoured the filling with Queen passionfruit baking paste.

This cheesecake was delicious - in fact, I am yet to meet a cheesecake that I do not like.  Halving the filling gave me just the right amount of cheesecake, from my perspective. Dorie suggested serving this cheesecake with caramel sauce, but I thought it was perfect without.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.