2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
100g dark chocolate, chopped (I used 70% dark chocolate)
1/2 cup thickened cream
8 strawberries, halved (you can use any type of fruit you like)
1 tbs. Queen vanilla bean dusting sugar (for dusting)
1. Combine flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs and milk and whisk until smooth.
2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and spray with oil spray. Cook about 1/4 cup of batter for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through (make sure you don’t over cook the pancakes as it will burn easily and you will have that bitter taste). Transfer to a plate.
3. To make the ganache, place chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until smooth.
4. Divide pancakes among serving plates and drizzle with chocolate. Top with strawberries or your favorite fruit. Dust with vanilla bean powder (you can use icing sugar if you like).
For a flavor packed starter or snack, try this bruschetta topped with chargrilled capsicum and zucchini. I love it drizzled with balsamic glaze or vino cotto which gives it a bit more mellow and fruity taste. I can drizzle vino cotto on just about anything!
1 large red capsicum, cut into large flat pieces, discard seeds and membrane
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced (use a mandolin)
100g Creamy Feta Cheese
4 thick slices of baguette bread or pane di casa
1 tbs. olive oil
3 tbs. store bought balsamic glaze or Vino Cotto
1. Preheat grill on high heat. Place capsicum, skin side up, onto the grill. Grill for 10 minutes or until skin is black. Place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand for 10 minutes. Peel, and discard skin. Cut into strips.
2. Meanwhile, grill the zucchinis for 2 minutes. Set aside.
3. Preheat grill on medium high heat. Grill both sides of bread slices until toasted. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with capsicum, zucchini, feta cheese and drizzle with balsamic glaze or vino cotto. Season.
1 2/3 cups plain flour
170g unsalted butter, chilled, chopped, plus extra
2 tbs black chia seeds
4 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
240g button mushrooms, chopped
230g soft goats cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Salad greens, to serve
Balsamic glaze, to serve
1. Place flour, 120g butter and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add chia seeds, 1 egg and 1tbs iced water and pulse until mixtures comes together in a smooth ball. Shape into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Melt remaining butter in a frypan with a dash of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook for a furhther 5 minutes or until onion is caramelised. Set aside to cool.
3. Heat 2tbs of olive oil in a clean frypan and add 20g of butter. Cook mushrooms until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Grease a 26cm loose-bottom tart pan. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured clean surface to 3mm thick, then use to line prepared pan. Chill for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
5. Prick pastry base with a fork, then line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights, then return to the oven for a further 6-10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees Celsius.
6. Place remaining eggs, egg yolk, cream and goats cheese in a clean food processor. Season with a pinch of salt and whiz until smooth. Spread onion and mushroom mixture over pastry base and top with the goats cheese and cream mixture. Return tart to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling is just set. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Serve with salad greens.
3 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbs caster sugar
1 drop of yellow food colouring gel
1 1/3 cups pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust
1 cup almond meal
1 tbs sprinkles, or any of your choice
500g soft icing mixture
120g butter, softened
1 tsp lemon rind
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbs milk
1 drop of yellow food colouring gel
1. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Sieve the almond meal and throw away the remaining bigger bits that refuse to pass through.
2. Using an electric beater, beat the egg whites to soft peaks and gradually add the caster sugar and food colouring gel (you can add a bit more food colouring for more intense colour). Beat until sugar dissolves. Gently fold in the icing sugar and almond meal a little at a time.
3. Spoon the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe 36 rounds onto the tray, spacing 2cm apart. Tap the tray on the bench 2-3 times to dispel any air bubbles. If you see any pointy peaks on top of the macarons, smooth them back with your finger. Sift over a little extra icing sugar to lightly cover the macarons and topped with a little bit of sprinkles on each macaron (you can use any type that you like). Let the macarons rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. While the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
4. Bake the macarons for 14-18 minutes (depending on your oven). Macarons are ready when they look dry and firm. Sometimes you just have to test them and it might take a few goes to figure out when they’re done. If the macarons are still very soft inside, you need to bake them for a few more minutes. Cool slightly on the tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Pipe the buttercream on the flat side, then sandwich together with the remaining macaron.
For the lemon buttercream:
1. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar until combined. Add the lemon juice, lemon rind, vanilla, milk and food colouring gel until well combined. If the mixture is a bit hard, add a tablespoon of milk or lemon juice to get the right consistency.
1kg pork rashers
1 cup pineapple, cut into cubes
1 small kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil.
2. Rub 2 tablespoons of sea salt into the pork. Place on the tray and roast for 30 minutes, then reduce to 180 degrees Celsius and roast for a further 1 hour or until crispy.
3. Ta make the salsa, place pineapple, lime leaf and chilli in a serving bowl. Drizzle with sweet chilli sauce. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with Jasmine rice.