Monday, 25 February 2008

More practicing of the cupcakes...

Photos are terrible but the cupcakes were delicious... Little rosebuds...
Raspberries and strawberries...

Sugar flowers, sugars beads and coloured sugars...
I shall keep practicing until I think they are perfect!!!
Vida x

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The Ed and Jackie show, Out of the Frying Pan...

Listen all fellow foodie bloggers!!!

Our very own Ed ( and Jackie ( will be at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festivals "Out of the Frying Pan" so why don't you get some tickets and go along to see them... here are some links that should help you get there... Out of The Frying Pan event and link to this festival page here and the booking page here .
Ed says "the whole event should be fascinating to anybody interested in food and food media trends. In particular, there are two sessions which will probably interest bloggers. Matt tells me that “Future food. Future Food Media” talking about how chefs innovate online will be addressing social media and blogging and the cutting edge of the internet".

Sounds great to me!!!

I hope to see you there!!

Vida x

Cheesecake Recipe from October by request...

375g plain sweet biscuits
200g butter, melted
500g cream cheese, softened,
1 cup (220g) caster sugar (granulated) (3/4 cup for cheese mix and 1/4 for egg whites)
3 eggs separated
1 tablespoon cornflour, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups 480g) sour cream
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
Preheat oven to 150C/130C fan forced.

Process the biscuits until fine, add melted butter and press biscuit mixture evenly over the base and sides of a 26cm springform pan by hand. Refridgerate until needed.
For a smooth textured result, have the cream cheese, eggs and sour cream at close to room temperature. Beat the cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla, sour cream and juice, beat until just combined.
Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with electric beater until soft peaks form, gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until dissolved. With a large balloon whisk, fold the egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture.
Spread filling into the biscuit crust; bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until just set. Cool in oven with door ajar. (This helps to stop the cheesecake from cracking).

Serve at room temperature.

For photos see October posting.

Vida x


Dukkah is an Egyptian speciality and is a blend of roasted nuts and seeds. It is usually eaten with bread dipped in olive oil. I like to use it piled on a boiled egg half for something different on my antipasto plate. If you use the tiny guinea fowl eggs it's an even better talking point!
2/3 cup (110g) blanched almonds
2/3 cup (110g) hazelnuts
1/2 cup (75g) sesame seeds
1/4 cup (20g) coriander seeds
2 tbls cumin seeds
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp flaked sea salt
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced.
Spread almonds and hazelnuts on oven tray, roast for about 10 minutes. (This can also be done on a dry frypan).
Transfer hazelnuts to a clean tea towel and remove as much of the hazelnut skin as possible; cool.
Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a medium dry frypan over low heat, stirring until golden.
Process almonds and hazelnuts until chopped finely; add sesame seeds.
Combine coriander and cumin seeds in same medium dry frypan, cook over low heat, stirring until fragrant. Grind seeds using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
Add seeds to almond mixture with pepper and salt; mix well. Store in an airtight jar. (Suitable to freeze).
Dukkah is great spinkled over salads, vegetables, barbecued meat and seafood, also soups.
Vida x

Friday, 15 February 2008

Valentine's Day...

Chocolate Ripple Raspberry Tart

200g chocolate ripple biscuits
75g butter, melted
250g (1 cup) mascapone
zest of 1 lime, grated (or lemon)
2 tbsp lime juice (or lemon)
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
300g fresh (or frozen) raspberries

Place biscuits in a food processor and whiz to form small crumbs. Add butter and process briefly. Press biscuit mix into base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin and refrigerate to set for at least 20 minutes.
Beat mascapone with zest, juice, yolks and sugar. Add vanilla. Beat whites until almost stiff and fold through mascapone. Spoon mixture onto biscuit base, top with raspberries and refrigerate until set.
From The Age Epicure.

This was dinner, sesame soy chicken, rice with carrot and broccoli and Aji (Chilean salsa).

The rice was brown rice fried up with garlic, grated carrot and broccoli to which I add stock and used the absorbtion method (2 cups of stock to 1 cup rice less 1/2, so for 1 cup of rice it's 2 cups of stock less 1/2 cup so it's 1 1/2 cups of stock). I was not wrapt in this recipe but the chicken was great.

Chicken pieces were marinated in 2 tbsp of dark and 2 tbsp of light soy sauce until ready to cook. I then made a mix of plain flour, toasted sesame seeds and dried chilli flakes and pepper. I dipped the chicken into this mix and fried it on both sides for just thirty seconds. I then laid it out on an oven tray and put a few drops of sesame oil and as much as I fancied of Indonesian sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis). This went in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. This was really flavoursome and very moist.

V x

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Chocolate & Chocolate...

This is a SUPER simple chocolate cake and just as simple chocolate ganache. I made this in my newly acquired (bought in an op shop this week) cake tin that I simply ADORE for it's unique shape... actually I am not even sure that this is a "cake tin" so if anyone out there knows what it's true use is please let me know. It looks like the antique french chocolate moulds I have seen in Cacao...

Chocolate Cake

Place into a large saucepan the following:-

200gm butter
21/2 tbls cocoa
1 cup water
1 teas bicarb soda

Bring to boil - remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

Stir in -

2 cups self raising flour
2 large beaten eggs
1 teas vanilla extract

Beat until smooth using wooden spoon (I used a whisk). (Batter will be fairly thin)

Pour into a greased and floured baking pan 23cm (9") square or two 20cm (8") sandwich pans. (I just put it all into my one tin)

Bake in moderate oven 180C (350F) approximately 45-50 minutes in deep pan or 35-40 minutes in sandwish pans.

Chocolate Ganache for the icing.

1/2 cup thickened cream
150gm dark cooking chocolate (chopped)
1 teas unsalted butter

Bring cream to boil in saucepan, mix in chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. It is now read to use.

(I just break the chocolate up and add it to the cream and zap it in the microwave for 1 minute, I then stir it until the chocolate is full melted and add the butter. This is beautifully glossy thanks to the butter).

I served this cake with dark cherry compote (or dark cherry jam) and poured over a little cream.

V x

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

White Peaches Poached...

I started with pocka dots that I turned into hearts which in turn dissapated and just made their own patterns in the cream.
I love white peaches and I love them poached... these were done in Rose wine and sugar... I cooked them with their skins on as that is what gives them their "blush" and once they were ready I took them out of the poached liquid... to which I added more sugar and reduced right down to a syrupy goodness... this is what I used to make my spots and hearts... these were surrounded by plain old whipping cream...
The whole process takes less than 45 minutes to completion and is a lovely dessert that can be eaten hot or cold and certainly done in advance for a dinner or lunch...
I did score the peaches along their natural line which made for easier removal of the skin once their cooled a little...
It's nice to be back blogging... Vida x x x