Saturday, 30 April 2016

Queen of Puddings

Well it is almost Mother's Day here in Australia, it is getting colder and more wintery by the day. This is a fantastic dessert to make for Mum that will warm you up!  I have always wanted to try this recipe it looks so fun and yummy

Kid's will love this as will most adults.  How can you go wrong with custard, jam and meringue??


600 ml Milk
Grated zest of one Lemon
50 gm caster sugar
3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
75 gm fresh bread crumbs.  approx 2 slices of bread.


200 gm raspberry jam


3 egg whites (the ones you saved earlier)
175 gm caster sugar

Heat your milk and lemon zest to just before it begins to simmer.

Whisk your egg yolks until doubled in volume and lighter in colour.

Blitz your bread to crumbs and place in a layer in the base of your baking dish.  You could use vanilla cake crumbs here as well and this would be just as nice.

With the motor of your mixer on low, slowly pour the hot milk into your egg yolks, remember slowly so your eggs don't scramble.

Pour your egg mixture over the crumbs.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes for the crumbs to absorb the egg mix.

Place your rested custard mix in a roasting pan and pour water halfway up the sides and bake in a pre heated 170C oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.  At this stage drop your oven temperature to 150C.

In a microwave proof dish heat your jam slightly for 30 seconds to loosen and allow to be easily spread.  

While jam is heating whisk your egg whites and when foamy start adding the sugar to whisk into a meringue.  When your egg whites are stiff peaks and shiny they are ready

Spread jam on the custard base.

Place meringue in a piping bag and pipe over the pudding.  Bake for 25 minutes at 150C not in the roasting tray this time just straight in the oven.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minimum of 10 minutes preferably 15 minutes.  Serve.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sticky Date Bundt Cake with Toffee Sauce

How pretty is this Bundt Tin from Nordic Ware ?  As you have probably guessed I have a little addiction to pretty, pretty Bundt tins.  I have another one being posted to me as we speak!  Thank you in advance Mum for the Birthday present!  The new Crown Bundt tin which is not available in Australia yet, is on it's way to me..... 

Watch this space on the Crown Bundt tin.....


300gm Pitted Dates
1 1/2 teaspoons bi carb soda
1 1/2 cup boiling water
150gm butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup self raising flour
3 eggs

150gm butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream  

Roughly chop your dates.

In a bowl combine your dates, bi carb and boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes.

Pour the Date mixture into your food processor, add the butter and sugar.

Blitz until you have a smooth paste.

Add the eggs and flour and blitz until smooth.  Remember to scrape down the sides to ensure all is combined.  Pour into your greased and floured cake tin.  Bake at 180C for 40 to 50 minutes or until cake skewer comes out clean.  If serving straight away allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out.  This cake does keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.

Prepare the toffee sauce by placing butter, sugar and cream into a saucepan and heat over low flame until combined and sauce comes to a simmer.

The sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to a week and reheated when needed.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Chow Mien

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for tasty filling meals, with loads of vegetables, that don't break the bank.

I am going back to a lot of the meals from my childhood these days, they were tasty, filling and always hit the spot!  Think I should start the "Bring back the 70's" movement, what do you think?

This one is one of my favourites from my childhood.  I love the smell of the curry powder cooking, and yes, I know I'm strange, I LOVE CABBAGE!

400 gm mince beef
1/2 cabbage
1 large onion
2 sticks celery
1 large or 2 medium carrots, grated
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, grated
1 sachet Chicken noodle soup mix
1 teaspoon curry powder, more if desired
2 tablespoons cornflour 
1 cup water

Dice your onion and celery.

In a teaspoon of oil, saute your onion and celery for 5 minutes.

Add your mince and brown for 5 minutes.

Add the curry powder and stir through, allow to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to cook out the curry powder.

Stir in your chicken noodle soup mix.

Add your grated carrots and zucchini and stir through.

Cook for 5 minutes.

Chop your cabbage and add to the mince mix.  Stir through, add half a cup of water.  Turn the heat to low, place the lid on your pot and allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the cornflour to the last half cup of water and mix well.

Check the mix at 15 minutes, if it seems a little dry add more water, you don't want this to dry out, or the noodles to stick to the pan.

When the cabbage is cooked through add the cornflour mix to the pot, stir while the sauce thickens and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve with a nice piece of buttered bread to mop up the juices!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Monte Carlo Biscuits

Growing up in Australia everyone ate Arnott's Biscuits.  There are the Scotch fingers, the Mint Slice, the iconic Tim Tam and a host more.  I liked the Monte Carlo, two butter biscuits with coconut through them and sandwiched together with buttercream and raspberry jam ... twist, separate, eat buttercream, dunk biscuits in drink :)  Happy, Happy, Happy!

I found out a couple of years ago, after a visit to a Metford for lunch, one of our local towns, that Arnott's began in Metford.  So although these may look a bit rough and ready, these would have suited the Newcastle Steel workers to a T.  Can't eat a frou frou biscuit when your a Steel worker!

180 gm butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg
1 1/4 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup coconut

70 gm butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Mix together butter, sugars, syrup and honey until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg until fluffy.

Gently mix in the flours until just combined.

Spoon tablespoon size balls onto a baking sheet.  With a teaspoon dipped in cold water (this stops the mix sticking to it) spread the mix into an oval shape.

Gently rough up the top with a fork.  Bake at 170C for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool.

For the Buttercream.  Beat butter until light, slowly add icing sugar until all incorporated and light and fluffy.  When you think its great keep whisking for another 5 minutes, this gives you the most fantastically whipped buttercream.

Lay out your cold biscuits on half place the jam of your choice.

On the other half place a generous dollop of buttercream.  Sandwich together.  If you can leave for a couple of hours for the buttercream to start setting.  If not just have a napkin on hand for the drippy jam and buttercream :)

These keep for a week in an air tight container.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Slow Cooker Meatballs Romanov

In the immortal words of Ned Stark....

Winter is Coming!

Well it is here in the Southern Hemisphere.

Now as Daylight Savings has ended and the days are shorter and cooler, we are wanting to come home from work to comforting warming food that takes very little effort.

My slow cooker kind of never goes away, I use it all year round,  However the comfort of coming home on a cold, dark evening from work, to a warm house that smells fantastic and only having to cook either some potatoes or noodles is great!

If I remember rightly the original recipe for this came off the back of a Savoury Hot Pot packet when I was a kid.  I have adapted it since and this is the final outcome.  This is a very forgiving recipe and you can add all kinds of things such as grated carrot and or zucchini.

400 gm beef mince
1 egg
200 gm button mushrooms
1 onion, diced
1 cup beef stock
1 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup corn flour
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream

In your slow cooker bowl place your diced onion and mushrooms, if small enough leave whole if larger halve or quarter mushrooms.

In a mixing bowl place the mince, salt, pepper and egg.  thoroughly mix together and roll into meatballs.  Toss meatballs in cornflour and place in a single layer in your slow cooker bowl including any left over cornflour.

In a jug mix together the stock, water and tomato paste.  Pour into the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

30 minutes before serving, when you put on your potatoes etc., stir the sour cream through your meatballs.

Serve with pasta or mash and veggies.