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Sticky Chinese Pork Spare Ribs

Sticky Chinese Pork Spare Ribs

This recipe is another favourite from my mother’s repertoire of Chinese recipes.  Eating these sticky ribs and licking my fingers with my eyes closed I can picture her in the kitchen of our Frankston house.  My two brother’s, my twin sister and my father sitting […]

Chinese Fried Rice

Chinese Fried Rice

  My mother used to cook wonderful Chinese dishes when we were growing up.  She had attended lessons with Elizabeth Chong,  a prominent Chinese-born Melbourne based celebrity chef, author and television presenter, at her Chinese Cooking School.  If there is one memory I have of […]

Persimmon Cake

Persimmon Cake

This is often called ‘Persimmon Bread’.  It does resemble a ‘banana bread’ in that it’s baked in a loaf tin, and there isn’t any luscious, creamy frosting on top, but this recipe seems more like a cake.  It is very sweet, plus I also added a lovely brown sugar and walnut streusel on top.  This cake is perfect to bake and eat at this time of year. Apart from using the beautiful Persimmons that are in season, it also has spices that seem to be associated with Autumn. Cinnamon and nutmeg, paired with dates, walnuts and brown sugar.  This cake reminds me of carrot cake, and if you wanted to, you could easily substitute the streusel with a cream cheese frosting. 

This recipe makes two loaves or one 8″ square cake tin.  You could also make wonderful breakfast muffins. 

Persimmon Cake

  • 435g S.R. Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 500g sugar
  • 250ml melted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125ml Rum
  • 500ml Persimmon Puree (about 3 persimmons)
  • 115g walnuts, (or pecans) chopped roughly
  • 100g almonds, chopped
  • 150g sultanas
  • 175g dates, pitted and chopped

Streusel

  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 50ml melted butter
  • 100g chopped walnuts or pecan nuts
  1. Butter 2 loaf tins, or 8″ square cake tin.  Dust with flour, tap out excess and then line the bottoms with baking paper.  Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Wash the persimmon and peel them as best you can. (They don’t have to be skinless).  Ensure there are no pips, and then blend pulp in a food processor to make the puree.
  3. Sift  flour into the bow of an electric mixer.  Add salt, nutmeg and sugar.
  4. Add the nuts, sultanas and dates and stir, coating everything well with the flour.
  5. With the motor running, add the melted butter, eggs, Rum, and the persimmon puree.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.  Pour mixture into cake tins. 
  6. Make the streusel by mixing all ingredients and ensuring the melted butter is distributed throughout.  Sprinkle evenly over top of cake mixture.
  7. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 1 hour.  Check cake with a skewer, it will probably need another half hour.  Cover top of cake loosely with kitchen foil to avoid burning brown sugar and continue baking cake for another 30 min.  Remove from oven when an inserted skewer comes out clean. 

    You can turn this cake into a rich dessert by serving it with a generous dollop of mascarpone.  Eat it as breakfast with Greek yoghurt, or eat it simply as is for morning or afternoon tea!

Torta di Cachi

    • 435g di Farina autolievitante
    • 1 1/2 cucchiaio di sale
    • 1 cucchiaino di noce moscata
    • 500g di zucchero
    • 250ml di burro fuso
    • 4 grandi uova
    • 125ml Rum
    • 500ml puree di cachi
    • 115g noci, (o pecan) tagliati grossolanamente
    • 100g di mandorle tritate
    • 150g uva sultanina
    • 175g di datteri, denocciolati e tagliati
    • STREUSEL
    • 300g di zucchero di canna morbido
    • 2 cucchiai di farina
    • 1 cucchiaio di cannella
    • 50ml di burro fuso
    • 100g di noci tritate o noci di pecan
  1. Imburrare ed infarinare due stampi rettangolare, o un stampo per torte quadrata 20cm.  Foderare i fondi con carta da forno.  Preriscaldate il forno a 180 ºC.
  2. Setacciate la farina nella ciotola della planetaria e aggiungere il sale, noce moscata e zucchero.
  3. Aggiungere i noci, uvetta e datteri e mescolare, coprendo tutto bene con la farina. Lavate i cachi, ritagliate il picciolo ed eliminate la buccia.  Frullare la polpa.
  4. Con il motore in funzione, aggiungere il burro fuso, uova, rum, e la purea di cachi.  Mescolare fino a quando tutti gli ingredienti sono combinati.  Versate il composto nelle tortiere.
  5. Fate il streusel mescolando tutti gli ingredienti, assicurando che il burro fuso è distribuito bene.  Mettetela uniformemente sopra la parte superiore della torta
  6. Mettere in forno preriscaldato e cuocere per 1 ora.  Controllare la torta con uno spiedo, probabilmente avrà bisogno di un’altra mezz’ora.  Copra la parte superiore della torta con la carta alluminio di cucina per evitare che lo zucchero si brucia e continuare con la cottura della torta per altri 30 minuti.  Rimuova dal forno quando uno spiedo inserito esce pulito.

È possibile trasformare questa torta in un dessert ricco servendolo con mascarpone, o mangiarla per la colazione con yogurt greco! 

Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

The delicious combination of seasoned grilled chicken with bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato is hard to resist. You can get creative with your mayonnaise to give your Club Sandwich a signature flavour and take your sandwich to the next level.  I’ve added Balsamic vinegar and […]

Cherry Chocolate Bars

Cherry Chocolate Bars

When you live overseas, you often have moments of nostalgia which invariably include craving a food or flavours from home.  Although I’m not one to eat chocolate bars on a regular basis, if I could arrange a steady shipment from Australia it would be for […]

Dark Chocolate Tarts

Dark Chocolate Tarts

If you love rich dark chocolate and love the idea of a chocolate filling topped with dark chocolate ganache sitting inside a chocolate pastry shell, then you will fall in love with these tarts.  You could use this recipe to fill a round 24cm tart tin, or do as I did and fill 8 smaller tart tins, (with removable base) measuring  8cm (base) 10cm (top diameter).  Honestly this recipe is so rich, that half of one of these tarts was more than enough to satisfy any chocolate craving, so maybe go smaller… or cut thin slices from a large one. 
Pastry
  • 250g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa
  • 125g sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Filling
  • 200g dark chocolate (70%) chopped
  • 3/4 Cup (185ml) cream
  • 1/2 Cup (125ml) milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g peanuts, chopped roughly

Ganache

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons cream

Decoration

  • orange zest
  • pistachio nuts chopped finely
  • purple sprinkle is edible sugar flower dust (optional)
  1. Beat flour and butter in mixer until it resembles fine breadcrumbs & add cocoa.
  2. Add egg and milk. Process until dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  3. Roll out pastry dough and line each tart tin with pastry. Trim excess, and place in freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cover pastry bases with a square of baking paper & fill with ceramic pastry weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights.  Bake for a further 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Reduce oven to 160°C.
  5. Place chocolate, cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.  Whisk in eggs until well combined.
  6. Divide roughly chopped peanuts between each pastry shell, covering the base.  Pour chocolate filling into pastry case, (covering peanuts) and bake for 20 – 30min. (until filling is set).
  7. Make the ganache.  Combine chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the chocolate melts, then remove from heat. Cool ganache to room temperature, then spread over each tart.
  8. Decorate by sprinkling pistachio and orange zest on top.

 

Rabbit Roulade with Lardo di Colonnata

Rabbit Roulade with Lardo di Colonnata

Per la ricetta in Italiano, clicca qui per il sito e video ricetta del Antica Larderia Malfada.   This month This Tuscan Life featured a story about a special ‘lard’ known as Lardo di Colonnata.  It’s a wonderful and informative article which features a traditional Tuscan […]

Meatloaf with BBQ Sauce

Meatloaf with BBQ Sauce

  Meatloaf is one of those recipes that can evoke good or bad memories from our childhood.  I remember before discovering this recipe, my mother made another version of meatloaf (obviously no BBQ sauce), and I never loved it.  Actually I hated it.  I think […]

Pavlova

Pavlova

While I’ve posted the recipe for my Mini Pavlovas and also for a Pavlova Roulade on my blog, I have definitely been amiss in not posting a good Pavlova recipe.  My mother made the best Pavlova ever, and sadly I’m not 100% sure of her exact recipe.  What makes a perfect Pavlova?  As far as I’m concerned, a perfect Pavlova is one where the meringue is of a good height.  There must be an outer crunchy meringue crust and the inside must be soft, light and fluffy.  While you can put whatever fruit you like on top of your Pavlova, it was traditional in our house to have strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, raspberries and passionfruit is obligatory.  I made a Pavlova yesterday and couldn’t find passionfruit (horror of horrors)!  It is still delicious without (depending on what fruit you decorate the Pavlova with), although just before serving it yesterday, I drizzled a little warmed peach jam on top! 

While Australia and New Zealand both argue as to who this dessert belongs to, and although I’d like to claim it as ours, it is well documented that the Pavlova indeed originates from New Zealand and was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.  The ‘Pavlova’ is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920’s.

Pavlova

  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 315g caster sugar
  • 2teaspoons cornflour
  • 1teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300ml fresh cream
  • 4 kiwi, peeled and thinly sliced
  • strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • peach slices
  • 2 – 3 passionfruit
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.   Line a baking tray with some non-stick baking paper. Draw a 20cm circle on the paper, place on the tray, circle side down.
  2. Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form.  Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition.  Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk on high for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract to meringue and whisk until just combined.
  4. Use a spatula to spread the meringue over the circle, smoothing the surface and sides. Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes – the pavlova should be dry to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave to cool completely, with the oven door slightly ajar.
  5. Whip cream until thick.  Spoon onto pavlova and decorate with fresh fruit of your choice.

PAVLOVA

  • 6 Albumi
  • pizzico di sale
  • 315g di zucchero semolato extrafine
  • 2 cucchiaio di maizena
  • 1 cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia
  • 1 cucchiaino di aceto
  • 300ml panna da montare
  • frutta fresca di stagione: kiwi, mirtilli, lamponi, fragole, frutta della passione….

  1. Scaldare il forno a 170˚C.  Foderare una teglia di carta da forno e tracciarci un cerchio di 20cm servendosi di un piatto.
  2. Sbattere gli albumi con la frusta elettrica e montate a neve gli albumi aggiungendo il sale. Aumentare la velocità e continuare a sbattere, aggiungendo lo zucchero alle albume un cucchiaio alla volta, finché gli ingredienti non saranno tutti amalgamati.
  3. Il composto deve essere denso e lucido. Assicurarsi che lo zucchero sia completamente sciolto e continuare a lavorare fino a che il tutto si presenta completamente liscio e senza granuli.
  4. Aggiungere l’estratto di vaniglia al composto ed infine incorporarvi delicatamente la maizena e l’aceto.
  5. Versare il composto di meringa nel cerchio tracciato in precedenza e, servendosi di un cucchiaio, spargerlo sino ai bordi rialzandone il perimetro per facilitare l’assemblamento finale.
  6. Infornate la meringa abbassando il termostato del forno a 120°C,  e lasciatela cuocere per circa 1 ora e mezza in forno statico.
  7. Spegnere il forno e far raffreddare completamente la meringa nel forno con lo sportello leggermente accostato.
  8. Montare la panna e ponetela sulla superficie della meringa.
  9. Decorate con la frutta tagliata, i mirtilli e i lamponi ecc, ed infine cospargete con la polpa di tre frutti della passione.

 

 

Cherry Brandy Chicken

Cherry Brandy Chicken

This is a vintage recipe from my mother’s repertoire and one that I grew up with.  It will impress at any dinner party, and is much easier to put together than what it appears.  It’s also a quick recipe that you can easily make after a busy day […]