Happy Easter everyone! Not my usual Tuesday post but I’m sure you’ll all forgive me – right? I made this Fruity White Wine Sangria a while ago for the Adeline & Lumiere Christmas recipe book (take a quick look here or click on the link on the right to download).
I’ve been busy photographing all sorts of bits and bobs over the last few weeks. This week I shot some of my friend Sophie Curtain‘s beautiful products. Sophie is a textile designer and 1/6th of the textile design group Full Drop Co. They’ve just completed their one month residency at Harvest Textiles where they printed all sorts of unique fabrics amazing homewares. Soph printed three different beautiful fabrics (which are for sale by the meter over here) as well as creating a range of cork place mats and coasters with her Full Drop pals. These were big sellers, but if you’re super quick they may have a few spare in their shop – so hurry!
750ml chilled white wine 4 white peaches cut into eighths 1 orange cut into eighths 6 strawberries hulled and halved 5 mint leaves 1 cup peach schnapps 1 cup chilled ginger ale ice
1. In a large jug or bowl combine fruit and peach schnapps. Gently bruise the mint with the back of a wooden spoon to release its flavour. Add wine, mint, ginger ale and stir to combine. To serve, fill glasses with ice and top with sangria.
* Sangria can be made up to 24 hours before and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Last week was topped off with some (well deserved) Friday night fun at Moonlight Cinema. I quickly rushed home from work, Seb and I made a super-quick picnic basket, jam packed with all sorts of antipasto goodness and made our way to the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. We busted out the blankets, pillows (and warm clothes) and settled in for a slice of classic outdoor cinema – such a good night out. What an amazing setting, aaaand dogs are allowed, so our friends took their super cute dog Olive. If you can’t already tell, we’re getting a bit clucky for a dog. Olive loved it (especially sneaking a slice of prosciutto or chorizo when no one was looking).
The following day I had all sorts of errands to run, including having my bridesmaid dress altered for the wedding of the year(!), and a quick visit to the gym (to fit into the bridesmaids dress). We then went to visit our friends who had some sculpture work in a group show at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery. Charlie & Wona- both of your works were amazing. The latter part of Sunday was spent in a meat-coma after visiting our friend’s Argentinian BBQ. Hugo and Milly, all in all some seriously amazing food!
This week I thought I’d post the jam I made for the last Pickle Club meet (in early December). Sorry for the late post but there was so much going on in December already so it had to wait. Anyway, it was a very special edition of Pickle Club as it was being filmed for INTERNATIONAL TV! Whoo hoo. Pickle Club has gone viral. Yes we will be featured as part of the Megalopolis program for the French TV station Canal Plus, so keep an eye out if you’re living in France! It just happened to be one of the HOTTEST days of the year (I think it reached 40 degrees). Amy and I standing over a hot stove stirring our jams and pickles… it wasn’t pleasant. After cooking, the interviewer Alexandra Leroux borrowed a bike and rode with us to Edinburgh Gardens. All in all it was a great experience, and I now have a new found level of respect for any one involved in film!
Pictures above: Pickle Club’s loot, Tassie icon Judith Sweet’s traditional tomato relish Alexandra Leroux and Alexandra Leroux interviewing Pickle Club patrons
910g fresh nectarines pitted and roughly chopped 910g sugar 150ml water juice of one lemon + its skin
1. Place fruit in the pan with water and juice of the lemon. Let cook until fruit has softened then slowly add the sugar stirring continuously. Bring to the boil and continue until it starts to thicken.
2. If it’s not thickening after 30 minutes, add one half of the squeezed lemon skin into the pot. This will help thicken the jam. (Amy’s mum taught me this trick!)
3. When your jam is almost ready, you’ll need to sterilize the jars. To do this you’ll need to heat the oven to 180ºC. Wash all in hot soapy water and rinse well. Place all jars on a oven tray facing up and not touching each other and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes. After this time, take them out of the oven and let cool to the same temperature as the jam. Never add cold jam to hot jars or vice versa!
I’ve discovered there are quite a few people in this world who don’t like Christmas cake. I can’t believe it! Christmas cake would have to be one of my favourite treats out there (as long as I have a corner slice with marzipan and icing – that’s the best part). Like it of loath it, this is my version of the famous seasonal cake (with a little extra this and that, soaked in booze) and I love it!
Traditional Christmas Cake
Inspired by Delia Smith (I love her).
450g currants 175g sultanas 175g raisins 50g dried cranberries 50g mixed candied peel 3 tbsp Grand Marnier, plus extra for ‘feeding’ 225g unsalted butter 225g soft brown sugar 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 225g plain flour 1⁄2 tsp salt 1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp ground mixed spice 50g almonds, chopped 50g walnuts, chopped 1 level tbsp golden syrup grated zest 1 lemon grated zest 1 orange 20cm cake tin
1 packet of marzipan 1 packet of icing fondant
1. Start the day before and measure out currants, sultanas, raisins, cranberries and peel into a bowl and mix the Grand Marnier through the fruit thoroughly. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to soak overnight.
2. Next day, preheat oven to 120ºC (fan forced). Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Whilst continuing to beat, add eggs a tablespoon at a time until incorporated. This will prevent the mixture curdling.
3. Sift in flour, spices and salt into the butter mixture. Lift the sieve up high to add as much air as possible. Gently fold in flour into the mixture until it just comes together.
4. Fold in the soaked fruit, nuts, golden syrup and zests to the mixture. Ensure everything is well mixed and place into a well lined tin, pushing the mixture into the corners. The cake will be in the oven for at least 4 hours so it’ll need to be protected so it doesn’t burn. Place 2 layers of baking paper over the top with a few large holes to allow steam to pass through. Wrap two layers of grease proof paper around the cake tin and hold it in place with a piece of twine. This will protect the outer edge.
5. Place in the oven on the lowest shelf and leave it for 4 hours. Check the cake after this time. You’ll probably need to place it back in the oven for up to another 3/4 hour. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes in the tin before putting it on a wire rack. Once it’s cool, make small holes in the top of the cake with a skewer and ‘feed’ it at least a tablespoon of Grand Marnier or brandy over the whole cake.
6. To ice the cake, roll out marzipan big enough to cover the cake completely. Place it over the cake and press it down along all sides. Do the same for the fondant and flatten it all out around the edges. Decorate the cake with any excess fondant.
Good golly miss molly! Firstly apologies for not posting last week. In the end I decided I wouldn’t put myself through the stress of trying to knock something together whilst away for my birthday celebrations. Did I mention I had a big milestone birthday this year? My birthday is only 9 days after Seb’s (who is also born in the some year). A few months ago we decided that we should send off our 20s in style and indeed we did! We thought we’d celebrate it with one massive Halloween party in Tassie – and boy, it was some party! All our friends made such a HUGE effort with their costumes (some even flying down from Melbourne) awww, thank you guys. It was the best night of my life!
Well as they say, a picture paints a thousand words, so here are some photos from the night:
(Above) Day of the Dead, Superman & Robin (?), Zombie Bride, Queen of Hearts & Witchy poos, Seb & I dressed as Skeletor & Black Swan, zombie beach grave, witch & evil Tinman
(Above) Jack Sparrow, glowing rats, illuminated skeletons and our amazing birthday cake by Queen of Tarts!
This is too good and perfect for warm sunny days at the races.
Anyway, back to this weeks blog post. I thought I’d make something quite fitting for MELBOURNE CUP DAY!!! (Which is today). Yes it’s the race that stops the nation! I know absolutely nothing about horse racing but it all that dressing up does look like fun doesn’t it? Is anybody out there going? I have $5 placed on who ever is in lane 1 – can anybody tell me who it is? See? Hopeless! Anyway, champagne is synonymous with all the classic races so I thought I’d make a little champagne cocktail. This is a little spin on the bellini cocktail. The peaches are blended into a sorbet with a few other ingredients and scooped into the champagne at the last minute. Delicious! I used tinned peaches so this can be made all year round but I found it didn’t set completely for some reason. Still, I highly recommend this sorbet and is great to eat as is or with your favorite champagne (or prosecco).
Peach, Honey & Mint Sorbet Bellinis
1kg tin of peaches and the syrup 3 tbs honey 2 tbsp finely chopped mint juice of half a lemon
1. Place all ingredients into a food processor (remember to finely chop your mint before adding) and blitz until it’s smooth. Pour into a container and place in the freezer overnight or until frozen (about 4 hours).
2. Once frozen, cut the sorbet into cubes and place back into the food processor to give it another blitz. This will make the sorbet softer, easier to scoop and will make the ice crystals smaller. Place back into the same container and freeze for another hour or until firm.
3. Add a small scoop to your favourite Champagne or Prosecco and enjoy!
A few weeks ago I picked up the latest book from the Gourmet Farmer (Matthew Evans & friends) and instantly fell in love with it’s recipes. I must admit I haven’t seen many episodes of the TV show (my brother LOVES it) but I’ve always enjoyed those that I saw. What’s not to love? It shows Tassie from an amazing perspective, inspiring foodies to make the most of their surroundings.
Anyway, the new book is all about getting back to absolute basics and enjoying simple food in its most purest form. The book first starts with milk (how to make butter, yoghurt, cheeses), then meat (making prosciutto, sausage, salami) , fish (smoking, curing), vegetables (preserving) and condiments. I can’t wait to work my way through it – plus it’s going to be very helpful for the next Pickle Club meet!
Spring is in bloom! Just picked from the side of the road.
I’m quite ashamed to say that until not that long ago I didn’t even realise that butter was simply made from whipped cream. I just never thought about it before, so of course when I saw a recipe for cultured butter I was intrigued. Cultured butter has natural ‘live’ cultures (from yoghurt) and left to sit up to 24 hours for flavour to develop. It’s then processed exactly the same way as any other normal butter. I’d have to warn that this is quite a messy process trying to squeeze out all the buttermilk but I can’t begin to tell you how satisfying it is! I’m not sure if the ‘live’ cultures actually worked and made my butter more flavoursome but it was a great process anyway.
So… what goes well with pure delicious butter? Fruit toast with lashings of the stuff of course :) This recipe is based on an Irish style soda bread with sultanas, currants and spices. There’s no yeast so it doesn’t take as long to make (compared to your average loaf of bread). I made this on Sunday morning for breakfast and from beginning to end only took about an hour. Perfect for this Saturday’s brekky… yes!
Have a good week Lovelies :)
Homemade Cultured Butter
Recipe by Matthew Evans
1200ml full (pouring or whipping) cream 2.5 tbsp natural live yoghurt (Greek yoghurt) 1 tbsp salt
1. Pour the cream and yogurt into a sterilised jar and mix well. Leave it to sit at room temperature (around 20ºC) for 12-24 hours. The longer you leave it the stronger flavour. After 24 hours, refrigerate until cool.
2. Pour the cream into a food processor (with a whipping/mixing attachment) and whip it good :) The cream will become whipped and thick and will then separate from itself and turn into butter and buttermilk! Amazing! Drain off the buttermilk and reserve (for the fruit toast recipe and/or to make your next batch butter). In a large clean jar (I used the same jar as before) place 1 litre of chilled water and add the butter ‘grains’. Shake the jar for a few minutes to help wash out the remaining buttermilk.
3. To salt the butter, either add 1 tbsp sea salt to the chilled water before shaking or add in the next step whilst shaping the butter for a slightly crunchier texture.
4. Once you’ve shaken as much buttermilk out as you can, discard the water and place the butter on a clean chopping board. Use clean wet hands to knead the butter for about 5 minutes. This will remove even more buttermilk and will bring the butter grains completely together. (Add salt here if you didn’t add it to the jar previously). If you have butter pats use them to work the butter together. Divide the butter in half if you find it easier to work in smaller quantities. Shape and place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks (I placed half on mine in the freezer to use for a later date).
200g plain white flour 200g whole wheat flour 1 tsp salt 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 5 rounded teaspoons sugar 375 ml buttermilk 100g sultanas or raisins 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp mixed spice Butter for greasing the tin
1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Add all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
2. Add butter milk and mix to a soft consistency. Place the mixture into a greased tin and flatten the top and brush with a little milk.
3. Bake for 40-45 minute. If the top is getting too brown, cover with aluminum foil for the last 20 minute.
4. Remove from the oven, wrap in a clean tea towel and let cool before slicing and scoffing with the delicious cultured butter!
I had a delightful ‘date day’ with Seb on Saturday :) We had a lovely lunch on Lygon st (dodging the rain) then popped across to the IMAX to see Batman (which was, I have to say, awesome). I’m not really a superhero kinda gal, but I’ve always been a big fan of Batman. As a little kid I’d always race home from school to watch Batman (the cartoon) on TV, whilst devouring Promite on toast. Anyway, after the flicks we popped into a sweet little bar called Southpaw on Gertrude St. for our friends birthday shindig, where I discovered my new favourite cocktail – espresso martinis! >_< Uh-oh!
Now, onto this week’s post! This one came about because sometimes at work by mid morning I’m s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g! I try to hold out until lunchtime but if I do, I find I gobble my food down so quickly I end up with a tummy ache :( At the moment I’m trying to get fit by going running a few times a week and just generally trying to eat healthily (summer is just around the corner don’t you know!?!). I’ve recently discovered that a filling and nutritious snack can be rather tricky to find in the city. I now have a stash of fruit at my desk which has helped prevent the hunger pains but I’ve been craving something a little bit more satisfying to mix it up a bit. When I was a kid my mum would only ever pack my lunch box with healthy snacks. This would often include a muesli bar, so I decided to make my own. Let me tell you: these muesli bars aren’t hard at all to make and they’re jam packed full of wholesome oats, nuts & seeds and kept together with a little bit of honey and butter. No more tummy rumbles for me!
Homemade Muesli Bars
Recipe inspired by Dixie Elliott
1 cup rolled oats 1 cup desiccated coconut 1/2 cup LSA (linseed, sunflower & almond meal) 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 1 cup sultanas 100g butter 1/2 cup honey 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Line a sandwich tin (16x28cm) tray with baking paper. Place oats, coconut, LSA, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in a frying pan. Heat and stir over medium heat until golden – roughly 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool. Stir in sultanas.
2. Cook butter, honey and sugar in the same frypan (saves the washing up), on medium heat. Stir continously for 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and let the it simmer for 7 minutes without stirring. You can test if the sugar has been cooked long enough if you drop a little in ice cold water, a soft ball should form. Once cooked enough, add to dry the ingredients. Stir until combined.
3. Spoon mixture into pan and push down with a metal spoon. Place it in a moderate oven for 5-10 minutes or until the top is slightly cripsy. Allow to cool, cut into squares and store in an airtight container. Use within 7 days.
Just a little quickie this week. It’s been such a hectic week I haven’t had time to scratch myself! The parentals were up from Hobart this weekend so I’ve been busy playing host over the last couple of days. On Saturday we went for a very quick day trip up to Daylesford. Unfortunately the weather was pretty wet and cold so we escaped to the warm of Wombat Hill House and ate some delicious pizzas (they even have gluten free). If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the super tasty blood orange spider which was sen-saaaaaa-tional! It sounded too amazing to pass up even if it was freezing outside. I might have to recreate it in summer when the weather is a little more appropriate!
Anyway, I’ll keep it short and sweet this week… remember a few weeks ago I went to a very special lady’s 70th birthday? Remember how I said I made a little something to take with me? Yeah? Well here it is! Banana bundts with chocolate drizzle. Super tasty.
Banana Bundts with Chocolate Drizzle
Based on a recipe by Kerrie Sun
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour 1/4 cup plain flour 2 tsp ground cinnamon 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup skim milk 2 eggs, lightly whisked 50g butter, melted, cooled 2 overripe medium bananas, mashed 200g dark chocolate finely chopped tbs butter
1/2 cup double cream
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and spray mini bundt tin with spray oil.
2. Sift the combined flours and cinnamon into a large bowl along with the brown sugar. In a separate bowl mix the milk, eggs, melted butter and banana until well combined. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin 3/4 full and try to smooth the surface as much as possible.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
4. Place finely chopped chocolate into a bowl. In a saucepan heat cream and butter on medium/high heat until simmering. Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate and stir continuously until completely melted. Drizzle over the bundts.
It’s Pickle Club time again but this time with a twist! If you’re not sure what P.C is, you can read a bit more about it here. This time round Madame Brussels is collaborating with the Pickles Lovers Association of Melbourne (aka Pickle Club). Madame Brussels presents “Get Pickled on Pickles!” with special guest bartender Shane Byrne from Gin Palace. Shane will be mixing up a whole range of delicious cocktails with our pickled/preserved goodies.
I decided to make a fruit syrup to go with my designated cocktail – the mojito. As delicious as the original is, I made a tasty orange & pineapple concentrate to muddle with this minty classic. I made quite a lot so I’m happy to have some left over. Once you’ve tasted homemade cordial/syrup/concentrate – what ever you like to call it – you wont ever want to go back to store-bought! This would be amazing on a hot sunny day served with soda water, crushed ice (and perhaps a splash of something a little harder). It’s moments like these (along with watching the summer Olympics) that’s making me pine for the warmer weather. Soon! Soon!
If you’re in Melbourne and interested in going to “Get Pickled on Pickles“, it’s THIS SUNDAY (19th August)! Madame Brussels are also encouraging anyone attending to bring their own pickles, so come on down! It starts at 7:00pm and tickets are $25. For more information check out their website.
Orange & Pineapple Syrup
juice & rind of 3 oranges (approx 300mls of juice) 420g can pineapple 1.5 litres water 1.5kg sugar 2 tsp citric acid
1. In a large stock pot, place sugar, water, orange juice and let cook until the sugar dissolves. Remove the peel from the oranges; thin enough that you don’t get any of the white pith and place in the pot.
2. In a food processor, blitz the whole can of pineapple and juice. Add to the boiling pot. Add the citric acid and let the whole mixture cook for 10 minutes.
3. Let the whole mixture cool, strain off all pulp/zest and fill sterilized glass bottles.
4. Serve diluted, one part syrup to two parts water or soda water. Deeelish.
Augh what a weekend! My sister popped up from Hobart on Friday so we went for a very quick bite to eat at Mamasita (delish) followed by a trip to the footy (Cats vs Hawks). Now we’re not massive fans of football (and we don’t particularly support either of these teams) but this was one of the best games I have EVER seen! We decided to go for the Cats which is my niece’s team (which she chose because she likes pussy cats – cute!). On the final siren the cats ended up kicking the winning goal… nail biting stuff! There’s nothing like the atmosphere of the footy at the MCG, a real Melbourne night out!
Sunday was a very busy day baking, photographing and celebrating as we had Seb’s Aunty’s 70th birthday that afternoon (HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER - I know you’re reading this). She’s Adeline & Lumiere’s biggest fan! So to help celebrate I made a few little goodies. I started off with a batch of Madeleines, these are now my fail-proof, fall-back recipe (check out my recipe for these here). I also made a little something else… but you might have to wait until next week to see what that is!
For this weeks post I decided to make a batch of wonderfully spicy, winter-warming mulled wine. My friend Jenna has been talking about mulled wine for the past few weeks which inspired me to make some for myself! And with the end of winter just around the corner (THANK GOODNESS!) I thought I’d better get a wriggle on. I’ve read quite a few recipes for mulled wine, all of which vary quite significantly. My recipe has taken (in my opinion) the best ingredients and techniques from a range of recipes and tweaked them again for good measure. I’ve said this before; I’m no wine connoisseur and I’m DEFINITELY not a mulled wine connoisseur either but I think this tastes delicious. Of course it goes without saying, if it doesn’t have enough ‘zing’ for your liking, add a few more spices to taste.
Happy hiccup drinking.
Best Ever Mulled Wine
750ml red wine 150g castor sugar 1/2 cup orange juice peel of one lemon peel of one orange 1 star anise 1 cinnamon stick 5 cloves 1 tsp fresh nutmeg pinch of ginger
1. Place all ingredient except the wine into a large saucepan and place on medium heat. Add just a small glug of red wine to the pan to ensure the sugar is covered and let it cook for 4-5 minutes until it becomes thick and sticky. This should let all the spices infuse well.
2. Once the mixture has become sticky enough, add the rest of the wine and turn down the heat. You don’t want the wine to boil otherwise all the alcohol will evaporate!!! Let cook for 5 minutes and serve hot with slices with fresh orange.
A bit of a short (and sweeeeet) post this week. It feels like forever since I’ve baked a treat, so I’m very happy to be baking a lovely little sweetie for this weeks post. Nothing makes me happier than baking and sharing it with people (and I think my work mates quite like it too). I decided to cook something delicious from one of my favourite baking books, The Hummingbird Cookbook. The Hummingbird Bakery is a beautiful little shop that specialises in delicious cupcakes, slices and cakes. I think they now have three or four stores dotted around London, although we would always pop into the Notting Hill store after a visit to the Portobello market. On Saturdays the line to the bakery would be out the door and up the street… but it was ALWAYS worth the wait.
Everything I’ve cooked from the Hummingbird book has always turned out amazingly well, and these lil’ babies came out of the oven just as expected. The sweetness of the coconut icing is complimented by the fresh bursts of chunky pineapple pieces that sink to the bottom. I made these in little mini sizes so they weren’t as naughty, but I ended out eating twice as much – I think that may have defeated the purpose ; (
Coconut & pineapple mini cupcakes
Hummingbird Bakery cookbook
120g plain flour 140g caster sugar 1 1/2 tsp baking powder pinch of salt 40g butter at room temperature 120ml coconut milk 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg 3-4 tinned pineapple rings chopped into small pieces desiccated coconut to decorate 24 mini cupcake paper cases (or 12 regular)
250g icing sugar sifted
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
25ml coconut milk
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a mixer on slow speed until everything is mixed to a sandy consistency.
3. Mix the coconut milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl then mix into the flour mixture on slow speed until mixed well. Add the egg and beat well until combined. Scrape down the mixture off the sides to ensure everything is mixed in well.
4. Divide the chopped pineapple into the paper cases and spoon the cupcake mixture on top. Fill each case two-thirds full and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly before removing from the pan and let them cool completely on a cooling tray.
5. For the coconut icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together on a slow speed. Slowly add the coconut milk and once it’s fully incorporated turn the mixer up on high. Let it beat for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy.
Spoon the icing on top once the cupcakes have cooled and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.