Recent Recipes

Creamy Tuna Pasta

Comments (0) | Friday, October 31, 2008

Mid week cooking so nice and simple this week, I wish it could always be that simple!

Taken from my favorite source of the moment, the Taste website, I wanted something easy and quick so I didn't have to fluff around in the kitchen. Turned out well since I have been free-lancing the last two weeks and getting home a bit later than I'm used to.

Dinner was on the table within 30 minutes. Everyone enjoyed it.
I'm not a huge capers fan but I have to agree with mum and say that the capers really add a nice taste to the dish.

If you are not a tuna fan, I'm sure this dish would taste great with smoked chicken.

Creamy Tuna Pasta

350g fettuccine or spaghetti
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup (250ml) thin cream
2 tbs sundried tomato paste
425g can tuna in oil, drained
1 cup (150g) frozen peas
1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
100g semi-dried tomatoes
2 tsp capers, rinsed, drained

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and toss with half the oil.

2. Heat remaining oil in a large frypan over medium heat, add onion and cook 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cream and paste, add tuna and peas. Heat gently for 1-2 minutes. Stir in half the parsley with the tomatoes and capers, add pasta and season. Stir until just heated through. Serve sprinkled with remaining parsley.

Serves 4

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Rezimo is back in action!

Comments (0) | Thursday, October 30, 2008

To all my foodie friends or just if you are dropping by, I want to announce that www.Rezimo.com is back in action!

I've offered my services to help the friendly people out who run this fantastic site and we are slowly getting back up to date with the back log of posts.

We are not as picky as photograzing, we just have a mutual love of food!
So submit and let us drool over your pictures!

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Roasted Vegetable Cannelloni Bake

Comments (2) |

On the weekend, Iron Chefs David, Jason, Rob and myself got together for a bit of cooking before a night out at the movies. We wanted something pretty basic so we could just prepare it, chuck it in the oven and relax a little. I thought some kind of pasta bake or cannelloni would be the best option for that. We choose a recipe on Taste.com.au for roast vegetable cannelloni.

This looked a little more interesting that your standard spinach and ricotta cannelloni, and it seemed pretty basic to make. However, what may seem simple actually took us 2.5 hours to make! We were having a good old laugh when we saw that the recipe preparation time stated 20 mins and cooking time 30 mins! The main thing that stuffed us up was the char-grilling of the vegetables. We didn't have a BBQ or grill, so we had to oven roast them which took longer.

Iron Chef Rob did most of the work, and they were a great success. So deliciously tasty accompanied by Iron Chef David's lovely garden salad. Another successful cook off complete!

Roast Vegetable Cannelloni Bake
Taste Website

1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
150g chargrilled red capsicum, thinly sliced

80g chargrilled eggplant, drained and chopped
1/3 cup semi-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

100g ricotta cheese

12 instant cannelloni tubes

570g jar pasta sauce

3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Heat chargrill plate to medium-high. Lightly oil zucchini and cook on both sides until tender. Roughly chop.

3. Combine zucchini, capsicum, eggplant, tomatoes, and ricotta in medium bowl, mix well. Spoon mixture into cannelloni tubes. Place in a lightly oiled ovenproof dish. Pour over sauce to cover and top with cheese.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until cannelloni is tender and cheese is golden brown. Serve with leafy green salad, if desired.

Serves 4

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Mini Iced Doughnuts

Comments (5) | Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've been wanting to make doughnuts for quite some time. The only thing that really put me off was the deep frying in oil part. So when I found this recipe on Taste.com.au for these cute doughnuts I knew I had to make them!

The only problem was I didn't own a doughnut pan, and I found some at a shop, but there were going to cost me $7.95 per mould! So I trawled through ebay and found a pan that had 12 moulds, and 2 extra pans and a decorating kit for $0.99. The most expensive thing was the postage at $15! It worked the trick and I had mini doughnuts in no time.

So quick and easy to make, these are treats you can whip up easily in no time!

Iced Doughnuts
Taste Website

1/2 cup (75g) plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar

1/4 cup (60ml) milk

1 egg, beaten

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

25g dark chocolate melts

100s and 1000s or shredded coconut, to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl and stir in sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, olive oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until smooth.

3. Fill a 12-hole mini-doughnut pan with mixture and bake for 8 minutes or until cooked (when a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean). Allow to cool slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

4. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Alternatively, melt it in a microwave on medium (50%) heat for 1 minute, stir, then cook in 30-second bursts, stirring after each. Dip half of each doughnut into the chocolate, then coat in 100s and 1000s or coconut.

5. Topping variations: Sift 1/2 cup icing sugar into a bowl with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice and stir to dissolve. Dip 1/2 the doughnut in icing, then in 100s and 1000s.

Makes 12

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Marshmallow & Jam Tart

Comments (2) | Monday, October 27, 2008

You'll have to excuse the photography yet again! Not my best work, however this tart was just delicious!

I thought this was going be to ridiculously sweet when I licked the spoon of the marshmallow topping. However it turned out to be just perfect! The base with the almond meal, compliments the marshmallow and jam topping, and proved to be just the perfect combination. Not to mention it looks spectacular!

Marshmallow & Jam Tart
Donna Hay

1 block ready-prepared shortcrust pastry (or you can make your own like I did)
60g butter, softened
65g caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon plain flour
200g pink marshmallows
60g butter
2 tablespoons milk
120g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup strawberry jam, warmed
1 cup shredded coconut

1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 20 x 42cm rectangle 3mm thick. Line a 12 x 35cm loose-bottomed rectangular fluted tart tine with the pastry and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to
160°C. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the egg, almond meal and flour and mix well to combine. Spoon the mixture into the tart shell and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool on a wire rack.

3. To make the topping, place the marshmallows, butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat and stir continuously until the mixture is smooth. Remover from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Top the tart with the mixture, spoon the jam down the centre and sprinkle over the coconut.

Serves 8

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Pink Lamington Mountains

Comments (0) | Sunday, October 26, 2008

You'll have to excuse the not so great photography for this one. I was in a rush taking photos and preparing for the breast cancer party. I had this recipe in my recipe folder for sometime and finally got to make them.

They were just delightful! So light and simple to make, they were a huge hit. One of my guests said "I'm in love with your lamingtons!!" which is always a good sign. Some people said they were delicious although they would have liked some jam and cream with them.

A better picture and the recipe can be found on Taste.com.au

Pink Lamington Mountains

Taste Website

85g packet raspberry jelly crystals
2 x 22cm-24cm round unfilled sponge cakes
1 cup (90g desciccated coconut)

1. Stir crystals with 1 cup (250ml) boiling water in a large heatfproof jug with a metal spoon to dissolve. Stir in 200ml cold water, pour mixture into a shallow dish and chill for 1 hour until jelly starts to set.

2. Meanwhile, cut each sponge cake into 8 wedges, then remove the brown crust.

3. Put coconut in a shallow dish. Dip each sponge wedge into the jelly mixture, then roll in the coconut to coat.

Makes 16

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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A BIG Thank You!

Comments (5) | Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So I held my first ever "Pink Afternoon Tea" to raise money for breast cancer on the weekend and I'm pleased to say it was a huge success and I managed to raise $760!

I wanted to thank everyone who came and donated, I am still managed how much we managed to raise.

As you can see I managed to make 6 different cakes! It was a very busy weekend since I worked Saturday morning then came home to bake all day. Then up early Sunday morning to frost some cupcakes and prepare for the party, have the party then went to the Stevie Wonder concert!

The cakes I made for this special occasion were:
- Apricot Cake
- Brownies with white chocolate and raspberries
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Ice-Cream Cone Cupcakes
- Marshmallow and Jam Tart
- Pink Lamingtons

I will be posting the marshmallow & jam tart, and pink lamington recipe later this week. The other recipes can be found by following the link.

Thank you again for your support!

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Eating Out: Asakusa

Comments (1) | Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday night the boyfriend and I were craving Japanese food and we both avoided sushi and lunchtime since we knew we were going on the hunt for a Japanese dinner. I didn’t feel like going to the usual places we eat at, so I got out the Cheap Eats guide for inspiration.

Trying to find somewhere near my place we decided on Asakusa. It was rated best in it’s class and the review convinced us we should try it out.

We were seated quickly (since we had phoned up earlier and made a booking), and were shuffled through the front of the restaurant to a smaller room where there were a few other diners. We were promptly given menus and began trawling through the menu to find out what we should dine on.

I immediately suggested Gyoza since I’m obsessed with them:

Gyoza – Japanese style fried dumplings

They were so fresh, we practically inhaled them and were immediately wanting more. I could eat Gyoza all night every night if I had my way!

Next up came the sushi & sashimi:

Asakusa Sushi & Sashimi Set (small)

As the pieces were not evenly portioned we had to split the pieces somewhat evenly. It was pretty good; I enjoyed the sushi & sashimi set better at Maiko in Armadale to be honest.

This was immediately followed by the beef sashimi:

Gyu Tataki - Tender fillet of beef sashimi served with ponzu sauce

So, so, so delicious! It had an almost prosciutto like flavour to it with the smokiness, and it didn’t feel like you were eating raw meat at all. This was probably our second favorite dish after the gyoza.

Finally we finished with something hot, ramen:

Ramen (Miso)

The chef himself brought this out. He was lovely, warning us the bowl was hot and not to touch it. The noodles and broth were very tasty in the miso soup. A nice staple meal to be had in winter.

We left feeling full but not bloated, which we always love when we eat Japanese. We don’t feel the need to go for a long walk after dinner to start the digestion process.

The staff were very friendly, service was a little slow but understandable due to the amount of diners in. Not really somewhere that I would say I must go back to but I would without any hesitation.

Asakusa Japanese Restaurant
127 Waverley Road
East Malvern VIC 3145
Ph: 9569 2051

Open Tuesday- Sunday 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Asakusa Japanese on Urbanspoon

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Italian Meatballs with Pasta & Tomato Sauce

Comments (2) | Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's mid-week cooking time again folks!
This week I was tossing up between meatballs and cannelloni. It was a tough decision, but this recipe sold me. Who would have thought to put salami in meatballs? It's genius!

I altered the recipe a bit and added double the quantity of tomatoes as I love lots of sauce with my pasta. I also slow cooked the balls throughout the day so they could absorb the sauce. The key to this recipe is to season the tomato sauce to your taste. I added basil, sugar, salt, pepper and some beef seasoning. This all adds a bit more depth to the flavour.

The meatballs themselves were amazing! The salami really made them stand out to your traditional boring old meat balls. The house was filled with the delicious scent of a home cooked meal, mum even requested she get a big serving! Everyone loved it, and I will definitely be keeping this recipe.

Italian Meatballs with Pasta & Tomato Sauce
Taste Website

1/4 cup (60ml) Colavita olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) dry white wine, chicken or beef stock

400g can Italian chopped tomatoes
400g dried short pasta

Flaked parmesan, to serve


500g minced beef

25g sliced salami, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed

50g parmesan, finely grated

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup (35g) dried breadcrumbs

1. For meatballs, place all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Form tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls.

2. Heat oil in a large frying pan or saucepan over high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Add wine or stock and simmer until reduced by 1/2. Return meatballs to pan with tomatoes and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return to pan. Add meatballs and sauce and toss to combine, then serve scattered with flaked parmesan.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Hummingbird Cake

Comments (7) | Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've been wanting to make this cake for some time now, but the only thing that put me off making it was that it has bananas in it, and my mum doesn't eat bananas. But I couldn't take it anymore and I made it today! (sorry mum, you won't be taste testing this one).

The thing that caught my eye about the recipe was that it not only had bananas but also crushed pineapple and cinnamon. It sounded like a delicious combination.
Although I think I should have included the syrup in the can of pineapple instead of draining it. I think there would have been a nicer pineapple flavour throughout the cake if this was the case. However, the end result was fantastic. The cream cheese frosting really compliments the fruitiness of the banana and pineapple.

I followed the recipe but found I ended up with way too much cream cheese frosting, almost double than I actually used.

Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Taste Website

Olive oil, to grease
20g (1/3 cup) flaked coconut
265g (1 & 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 x 440g can crushed pineapple in natural syrup
3 small ripe bananas, peeled, mashed
185ml (3/4 cup) extra light olive oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked

cream cheese frosting:
1 x 250g pkt cream cheese, at room temperature
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
450g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture
3 tsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with olive oil to grease. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper. Spread the flaked coconut over a baking tray. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until toasted.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, desiccated coconut, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the pineapple, banana, extra light olive oil and egg and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in oven, covering the cake with foil if it browns too quickly, for 1 hour 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Add milk and beat to combine.

4. Place the cake on a plate. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top and side of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted flaked coconut and serve.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Eating Out: Shanghai Gourmet

Comments (2) | Monday, October 13, 2008

It's been a while since I ate out.
The benefits of being in between jobs is you have some time to catch up with people during the week. Today my boyfriend, his parents and myself headed to Springvale, to a restaurant we have been trying to take his parents to for some time.

Whilst the place might look a little, as we say "dodgy", the food and service is always reliable and hard to beat. We have tried ordering the same things at different places, but are always drawn back here.

First up we started with "Dan Dan Noodles":

We often refer to it as spicy bolognese. Fresh egg noodles with bean sprouts and very spicy sauce that covers the mince. It also has a slight sweetness to it which helps to deal with the spiciness.
Before eating, you give it a good stir so all the noodles are covered in the sauce and then you can dig in. Even though I love and can handle spicy foods, my nose was running whilst eating this one!

Next up we got some "Pork & Prawn Wonton Soup":

To be honest, the wontons mum and I make taste better, but this was a bit of a different flavour, and was still good. We all agreed this was our least favorite dish, but we all still enjoyed it.

Next up was the big specialty, "Pork Fried Dumplings":

To tell you how good they are, we only ordered one plate to begin with, and then ordered another plate half way through. We could have ordered a third plate but we didn't want to make ourselves sick.
There is something about the way they make them here that makes every other place that tries to make them taste mediocre. The dumplings are fried to a perfect crsip with a filling that is just delicious. You then dip them in the special vinegar and you forget that they are covered in oil and not very healthy. Once you try the dumplings here you will only then understand why I travel out of my way to eat these.

We often buy the packs of frozen dumplings to take home and cook ourselves, and at only $6 for 15 pieces, you can't go wrong.
Lunch for the 4 of us only came up to $31, including chinese tea. That's not even $10 a head, and we were all full!

Shanghai Gourmet
Shop 25 & 51
268-274 Springvale Road
Springvale VIC 3171
Ph: 9546 0862

Closed Tuesdays.

*UPDATE 16/4/09 : This restaurant is no longer open.

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Chocolate Cupcake Ice-Creams

Comments (7) | Sunday, October 12, 2008

For quite some time now I've wanted to try and make these ice-cream cupcakes. I had the idea to make them for my breast cancer fund raiser afternoon tea next week, but I wanted to give them a test run to make sure they actually worked.

I thought the cones would burn if you baked the cupcakes in them, but after looking at lots of other bloggers' efforts, and their cones were not burnt, I thought it would be ok. I saw some bloggers wrapping their cones in aluminum foil to prevent burning, and some bloggers baking cupcakes separately and shape them into cone.

So with nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon my friend Iron Chef Alana came over to assist.
We had a bit of fun and had no trouble licking the beaters either!
Iron Chef Katie had kindly sent me a link from Donna Hay's website for these cute cupcakes as she knew I was going to experiment with them (thanks Katie!). Then I realised I actually owned the magazine they came from too!

We ended up baking in the cones and it was a great success! The cake was light and fluffy and the icing was so delicious, it took me back to my childhood when cupcakes were consumed quite frequently at school when other kids had their birthdays.

Chocolate Cupcake Ice-Creams
From the Donna Hay website

125g butter, softened
½ cup (125ml) milk
¾ cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
100g dark chocolate, melted
2 eggs
16 store-bought ice-cream cones*
1¼ cups (190g) plain (all-purpose) flour
80g dark chocolate, extra, chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
16 glacé cherries
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

chocolate butter cream icing:
250g butter, softened
2 cups (320g) icing (confectioner's) sugar mixture, sifted
½ cup (50g) cocoa powder, sifted
2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and beat until combined.

2. Fold through the milk and stir in the chocolate. Place the ice-cream cones on a baking tray and place a piece of the extra chocolate in the base of each cone. Spoon the cupcake mixture into the cones and bake for 20–25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool.

3. To make the chocolate butter cream icing, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar mixture, cocoa powder and milk and beat for a further 6 minutes or until light and creamy.

4. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes using a star-shaped nozzle and top with the glacé cherries to serve.

Makes 16.

* Choose ice-cream cones with a flat base so they can stand up.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Glazed Salmon with Brown Rice

Comments (0) | Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mid-week cooking is back, and it's healthy for those of you looking for quick, healthy dinner options.
I also gave my Donna Hay recipe collection a brief rest and got out a recipe from another famous Aussie chef, Bill Granger.

To be honest, I found this dish to taste a little "fishy". However the marinade was very nice with the rice and bok choy. I think this dish would go excellent with chicken if you are not into seafood. I will be trying this with chicken next time so I don't get the "fishy" taste.

Glazed Salmon with Brown Rice
Bill Granger

2 tablespoons julienned fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
700g salmon fillet
200g bok choy (pak choy)
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce

to serve:
steamed brown rice

1. Stir together the ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce in a large bowl. Cut the salmon fillet into large chunks, add to the bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to up to 1 hour.

2. Preheat the grill (broiler). Arrange the salmon chunks in a single layer on a large baking tray and cook under the hot grill for 7 minutes (the fish should still be pink in the centre).

3. Meanwhile, halve the bok choy and steam or blanch for 1 minute, or until tender but still bright green and crisp. Spoon the brown rice into serving bowls, top with slamon and pan juices and serve with bok choy. Mix together the mirin and soy sauce and drizzle over the bok choy.

Serves 4.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Apple & Cinnamon Tea Cake

Comments (7) | Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I decided to bake my co-workers a cake as they always enjoy my cakes and I always enjoy the compliments that follow.

I had some sad looking apples in the fruit bowl and realised I hadn't posted one of my favorite apple cake recipes, so here it is for you all. Not only does it look professional every time you make it, it's always so moist and lovely. Perfect with a cup of tea, if you have one handy at the time!

Apple & Cinnamon Tea Cake
Donna Hay

185g (6.5oz) butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup caster sugar

3 eggs

1.5 cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk

4 small green apples, peeled, halved and cored
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup apricot jam, warmed

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Place the butter, cinnamon and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy.

2. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture, add the milk and stir until combined. Line the base of a 22cm (8.5 inch) springform tin with non-stick baking paper and spoon in the mixture.

3. To make the topping, cut a row of deep slits in each apple half and arrange over the top of the cake mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples.

4. Bake for 50 minutes. Brush the cake with warm apricot jam and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Serves 8-10.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Comments (8) | Tuesday, October 7, 2008

After our first attempt at cupcakes, Iron Chef Katie and I decided we must try the red velvet cupcake recipe.... that was waaaay back in May. A few months later, we finally made a date to get back in the kitchen and give it a whirl!

Luckily Donna Hay's latest magazine had a recipe for red velvet, so we didn't have to go looking too far for a recipe.

They weren't too hard to make, with a bit of team effort, we managed to make a containable mess, with a bit of finger-licking goodness towards the end when photographing the finished product with the icing.

The finished product was delicious! The cocoa powder gives it a nice subtle chocolaty taste, whilst the cream cheese frosting offsets the chocolate tang. The mixture was lovely and fluffy, and we could have eaten all 12 at once... well maybe not, but one can dream.

We found some cheap chocolate hearts at the local sweet shop, and we were just expecting them to be average milk chocolate, but we got a nice surprise when we bit into them, to find they were filled full of strawberry goo.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Donna Hay

125g butter, softened
1/3 cup (165g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1.25 cups (185g) plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk
2 teaspoons red food colouring

cream cheese frosting:
250g cream cheese
50g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar mixture

1. Preheat the over to 160°C (320°F). Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 10-12 minutes or until light and creamy.

2. Gradually add the eggs and beat well.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa, buttermilk and food colouring and beat until just combined. Spoon into 12 x 1/2 cup capacity (125ml) muffin tins lined with cupcake papers.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool on wire racks.

5. To make the cream cheese frosting, place the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6-8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat for a further 6-8 mintues or until light and fluffy. Spread onto the cupcakes with a palette knife.

Makes 12.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Wonton Soup

Comments (5) |

This is the perfect winter's meal, hot and full of flavour. I always look forward to dinner when I know this is on the menu.

I wasn't going to post last night's dinner, but when my friend Katie asked if I had already posted the recipe, I remembered I hadn't, and I know she would probably give it a go once I had.

Wonton Soup
Serves 4

400g pork mince
6 prawns, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped
oyster sauce ( 3 tablespoons, or enough to taste)
dash of sesame oil
wonton wrappers

large pot of water, add approx 1 heaped tablespoon of chicken powder stock (enough to taste)

optional veg:
broccoli or pak choy

Once you have made the wontons, you can place them in the boiling soup along with the vegetable (depending on how long your vegetables take to cook).

Once everything is cooked, serve hot with chilli (optional).

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Beef Stroganoff

Comments (0) | Monday, October 6, 2008

So my mother insisted I learn how to cook beef stroganoff. Considering every time she makes it, it's delicious, I thought I better learn how to cook it too!

It was actually quite simple and easy to make. Most importantly the flavour was so rich and creamy, it was the perfect meal for a cold winters night.
I prefer to serve on pasta, but you can also serve with rice.

Beef Stroganoff
Serves 4

375g (12oz) lean, boneless steak, such as rump
45g (1.5oz) butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup cream
2-3 teaspoons mild French mustard
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup sour cream
Chopped parsley to garnish
Hot cooked pasta for serving (optional)

1. Trim and cut steak diagonally into about 1cm thick strips. Heat butter and oil in heavy frying pan until butter is melted.

2. Add steak strips, about half at a time, and saute over moderately high heat until browned. As it cooks, transfer to a plate. Add onion and saute until golden.

3. Return steak to pan; stir in cream, mustard, tomato paste and seasonings. Cover; gently simmer until steak is tender, 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Heat through, stirring (do not boil). Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve over hot cooked pasta, if desired.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Chai Kuey

Comments (1) | Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ok, back to blogging! Now that I have a little bit of time on my hands.

Last weekend I had my family come over to make "Chai Kuey". They are dumplings, steamed and best eaten straight after making them. However since they are quite time consuming to make, we only ever make these when we have a few hands on board.

Firstly my mum prepared the two different types of fillings:

The top filling consists of pork mince, prawns, turnip and I'm sure there are some sauces and spices she adds. I wasn't home when she was cooking it so I can't tell you her secrets :P Most people like this filling better as it is a little bit sweet.
The other filling is dried shrimp and chives.

Before making the pastry it's good to have all your tools handy before your hands get all floury.

Once the dough for the dumpling skin has been made you need to roll it to the correct thickness and cut out circles to put your filling in.

This is how the dumplings are made:

As you can see, it can be quite time consuming, so many hands help the process along:

Once you have a nice big plate of dumplings ready, you need to put them in a steamer to cook. Below you can see uncooked and cooked dumplings:

Finally, once you have slaved away you can enjoy your dumplings. I prefer mine with sweet chilli sauce, but a nice spicy chilli sauce does the trick as well.


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