Monthly Archives: April 2013

Lime and poppy seed syrup cake (and a new cookbook)


Last weekend I splashed out and bought the new Australian Women’s weekly cookbook.

AWW The Baking Collection

It is one of the best collections of baking and cakes that I have ever seen. I said earlier that I may never have to buy another cake book again – it completes me 😉

This weekend we had High Tea at a friends house, and I bought along a Lime and Poppyseed syrup cake from the book. It was delicious. I am so pleased the recipe was available online so I can share it with you. It does make a big cake. I made this bundt cake and another small bundt cake. I also added a tablespoon on cointreau before the eggs just for an extra citrus twist

Aww Lime cake

This cake gets better with age, day two it was moist and delicious.

¼ cup (40g) poppy seeds
½ cup (125ml) milk
250g butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated lime rind
1¼ cups (275g) caster sugar
4 eggs
2¼ cups (335g) self-raising flour
¾ cup (110g) plain flour
1 cup (240g) sour cream

Lime syrup½ cup (125ml) lime juice
1 cup (250ml) water
1 cup (220g) caster sugar

Preheat oven to moderate (180°C/160°C fan-forced). Grease base and sides of deep 23cm-square cake pan.

Combine poppy seeds and milk in small jug; soak 10 minutes.

Beat butter, rind and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions; transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in sifted flours, cream and poppy seed mixture, in two batches.

Spread mixture into pan; bake about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine ingredients for lime syrup in small saucepan. Stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Simmer, uncovered, without stirring, 5 minutes.

Stand cake 5 minutes, turn onto wire rack over tray. Pour hot lime syrup over hot cake.


Teriyaki chicken soft rolls with wasabi coleslaw


I tried a roll like this at the Glenfield Night Markets and decided it would be a healthy(ish) yummy dish that I could make at home.
It isn’t really traditional teriyaki however you could use a teriyaki stir fry sauce to marinate your chicken instead of the ingredients I have listed below.


Serves 6
For the chicken
600 gms boneless chicken thigh or breast
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBS white vinegar
2 TBS peanut oil
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

For the coleslaw
1/4 head of cabbage (red or green)
3 carrots
2 radishes
2 spring onions
1/2 cup of good mayo or aioli
2 tsp wasabi paste (or to taste)
1/2 cup of natural unsweetened yogurt

6 soft white buns
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Slice the chicken thinly and combine with the marinate ingredients in an oven proof dish. Marinate for as long as possible (a few hours) although I just chucked it straight in the oven. Bake for around 30 mins or until the chicken is cooked.

Finely slice the cabbage, and chop the carrots and radishes into match sticks. Thinly slice the spring onions and toss together into a bowl. Mix together the mayo, wasabi and yogurt and stir through the coleslaw.


Slice open a bun, spread a little extra mayo, fill with coleslaw and chicken and sprinkle with coriander and panko crumbs

You could use sliders or small buns if serving these at a party or for lunch.


Vanilla and Honey Pannacotta



I was surprised by the simplicity of this recipe. I love pannacotta and often order it at restaurants but had never attempted it myself.

I am pleased I gave it a go as I found it very easy and it will now be a staple dessert for dinner parties. This recipe is personally one of the best I have had, the pannacotta was wobbly and soft and had a lovely smooth texture. Use your imagination when it comes to serving options, three ideas I have had are fresh feijoas or figs, blueberry compote, or simple pour a very strong espresso over the top before serving

You could reduce the gelatin leaves by one and serve the pannacotta in their moulds if you wish (they would look cute in vintage teacups) but as I wanted to turn them out using jelly moulds I made sure they were slightly stronger.

3 sheets of gelatin
300 mls of double cream
200 mls of milk
1/4 cup of runny honey
1 vanilla pod

Place the gelatin in a bowl of cold water to soak for 5 minutes. Place the cream, milk and honey into a saucepan, slice the vanilla pod in half and scrap out the seeds into the cream mixture, and add the pod in too.
Heat the mixture until almost boiling stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and add the drained gelatin (squeeze the water out with your hands when transferring to the saucepan) Stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Strain the mixture through a sieve (add a cloth to the sieve if you want to remove the vanilla seeds, I didn’t as I quite liked the black flecks) Place the bowl into the sink with ice-cold water to cool the mixture, stir occasionally until cool.

Pour the mixture into moulds or teacups and place in the fridge for at least two hours

To remove from the moulds, dunk in hot water for 10 seconds then carefully tip out on to the plate.


Homemade baked beans with garlic pitabread


This recipe has been adapted from What Katie Ate, I didn’t have all the ingredients so I have changed it a little.
It is a great addition to any cooked breakfast or with the some crusty garlic bread it makes a hearty supper.

For the beans
Olive oil
1 red onion diced
3 cloves of garlic
2 chopped chorizo sausages, or 6 sausages to make it more of a hearty dinner
1 tablespoon of dried thyme leaves
1 tin of tomatoes
1 cup of tomato pasata (or tomato pasta sauce)
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
1 TBSP BBQ sauce
1 TBSP grainy mustard
2 tins of red kidney beans
1/2 bag of baby spinach (about 3 cups)

For the Pita

4 Pita bread (white or wholemeal)
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
100 gms butter

Brown the sausages in a large heavy based saucepan until they are firm enough to slice. Remove from the pan (don’t panic if they are not cooked through)
Add a lug of olive oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic. Once they are cooked, add the remaining ingredients (except the spinach) and stir to combine, slice the sausages and add them to the pan. Simmer over a low heat until the sausages are cooked through, Add the spinach, stir through until wilted. Season to taste.

For the Pita Bread
Turn the grill on in your oven. Cut the pita bread into wedges. Melt the butter and garlic together in the microwave. Spread over the pita bread and grill until crisp (keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn)

Serve the beans in a bowl with pita chips around the side.


Caramel Popcorn


I have been craving popcorn lately, butter-salted or caramel I don’t mind which. I decided to give my own a go. The first one I tried didn’t quite work out, the caramel was delicious but it was more like a sauce. I might have to add it to my “For the love of Caramel” post as it would be great on ice-cream or sticky date pudding.

The second recipe was perfect, sticky, salty, sweet, crunchy and just amazing!

Here goes..

1/2 cup of popping corn
250 gms of brown sugar
125 gms butter
1/2 glucose syrup (this stuff is great for truffles, and candies. It is mega sticky so wipe the jar clean if you spill any, otherwise you will never get the jar open again)
1/2 tin of condensed milk (I didn’t mean to, I promise. I take no responsibility if you eat the rest of the tin)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make the popcorn according to the instructions on the pack, I usually heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot (with a lid) and then add the popcorn, shake the pot on the heat for around 3 mins or until the popping stops. Pour into a large bowl

Put the brown sugar, butter and glucose in a med size pot and heat to until boiling.


Add the condensed milk and reduce to a medium heat. Stir consistently until the caramel reaches soft ball stage. Remove from heat and stir through the vanilla,

Pour over the popcorn and stir with a wooden spoon. Leave to cool and set for around 15 minutes


Slow cooker beef sliders



The recipe here is mainly for the slow cooker beef, as you can use it as a filling for taco’s, sliders, or wraps.



For the beef
2 TBS of olive oil
1 kg of beef (I used a large piece of rump, you could you chuck steak)
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1/3 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 cup beef stock
2 TBS tomato paste
2 TBS of jalapeno peppers (chopped)
1 large brown onion (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)

For the sliders
1 packet of Sliders (I use the Al Brown ones)
Half a small iceberg lettuce
1 bunch of coriander (just the leaves)
3 small tomatoes (chopped)
2 spring onions (sliced)
Half cup of Mayo
BBQ sauce
Extra jalapeno (if you are brave!)

For the beef
Mix the chilli powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a bowl and rub over the beef. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and brown the beef on each side.
Remove the beef from the pan and add to the slow cooker. Add the diced onion and garlic to the top of the beef. Leave the pan on the heat and add 1 cup of beef stock to the pan to deglaze (scrap the bottom of the pan to get the tasty burnt bits) Add the tomato paste and chopped jalapeno combine with the pan sauce. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 3-5 until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Pour the pan juices + the remaining 1/2 cup of stock over the beef and onions. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours
Shred the beef with two folks. Mix the coriander, tomatoes and spring onions together in a small bowl. Sprinkle a little smoked paprika over the mayo.
Make up each slider by spreading a little mayo on the bottom bun, add lettuce, tomato mix, beef, and a dollop of BBQ sauce (and an extra japapeno if you want extra heat)





Vietnamese ground chicken


This recipe is similar to Larb, but I can’t claim it is authentic as it is just my version of the tasty Vietnamese dish.

This is lovely and healthy and can be changed depending on what you have available



Juice of 2 limes
2 TBS fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
4 tsp peanut oil
1 lemongrass stalk, pale part only, finely chopped
6 kaffir lime leaves shredded (I roll them and chop them with scissors)
1 bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
1 red shallot, thinly sliced
2 clove garlic, crushed
500g lean chicken mince
2 TBS of sesame oil
1 green pepper finely diced
1 cup of mixed mushrooms
1 cup of bean sprouts
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 an iceberg lettuce, leaves separated and trimmed into cups



Add lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, peanut oil, lemongrass, lime leaves, chilli, shallot and garlic to a heavy based ban and fry gently for a few minutes to release the fragrance. Add the chicken mince, sesame oil, and pepper and stir until cooked,


Add the mushrooms and bean sprouts and stir until cooked.
Take the pan off the heat, add a couple of spoonfuls of the mince mixture into a lettuce cup and top with mint and coriander (Or if you don’t want it quite as messy, just pop it all in a bowl)


Chocolate chip popcorn cookies with caramel and salt


This recipe has been adapted from Joy the Baker, Her photo’s are amazing. Go and check out her site! It’s one of my favs.



250 gms of butter softened
1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
2 eggs
2 teaspoon of vanilla
4 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups of chopped dark chocolate
2 cups of butter-salted popcorn (microwave stuff is fine)
1 tin of caramel condensed milk
Rock salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup in your mixer until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time and then add vanilla. Sift in flour and baking powder and pour in your milk. Mix again until combined. Add the chocolate and popcorn and mix again until combined.

Roll out golf ball sized cookies and flatten slightly on a lined baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flip the trays around halfway through if you have a hot spot in your oven

Once cookies have cooled slightly, beat the caramel condensed milk until smooth, dollop a spoonful on each cookie and sprinkle a couple of grains of salt. Top with a few pieces of popcorn (if you haven’t eaten the surplus already)


Autumn vege soup


This soup is great for clearing out the cupboards and fridge, so please don’t feel like you have to stick to the recipe exactly. If you have any veges that need using (some pumpkin, potato or cabbage etc) just throw it in too. You may want to use a reduced salt stock or half stock half water if you don’t want it too salty.



1 brown onion diced
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
4 rashers of bacon or 2 small chorizo sausages chopped (leave these out to make it totally meat free)
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (or a chopped red chilli if you have a fresh one)
1 tablespoon of dried mixed herbs
2 carrots chopped into 2cm cubes
2 stalks of celery chopped as above
1 cup of green beans chopped (fresh or frozen would be fine)
1 cup of soup mix (this has lentils, pearl barley and some other bits in it, if you can’t find any just add lentils or barley or a mix of both)
1 tin of tomatoes
Chicken stock (vege stock for vego’s)- this depends on how runny you want it. Remember that the soup mix will absorb water but if you want it more like a casserole add less water, if you want it a little less hearty add more water. I think I used about two litres
A big grind of black pepper


Brown the onion, garlic, bacon and cumin seeds in a large pot or dutch oven (I have a heavy red cast iron dutch oven)
Once the onions are cooked and the bacon is a little crispy add the veges and turn the heat down. Toss the veges through the onion mix to coat. Add the soup mix, tomatoes, chicken stock and black pepper and simmer until the barley in the soup mix is soft and chewy.

Serve with crusty bread

Lamb Fattoush Salad


One of my favourite takeaways called Fatima’s makes a delicious Lamb Fattoush Salad so when Farro (A local gourmet supermarket) had lamb on special I thought I would try to replicate it. This recipe is super healthy and you can even get the men to cook the lamb on the BBQ.
Serves 4-6



For the lamb
800gms – 1kg of lamb, I used a piece of butterflied lamb but you could use lamb steaks
A small bunch of thyme and a few stalks of rosemary
Olive oil
Black pepper
2 cloves of garlic

For the salad
A bag of baby spinach
1 small cucumber
4 vine tomatoes
2 spring onions
1 cup of bulgur wheat
1 cup of parsley chopped
1 cup of mint chopped
2 lemons

For the dressing
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses

Marinate the lamb in the herbs, garlic, pepper, olive oil and black pepper for an hour or as long as you have available.

Cook the bulgur wheat as per instructions on the packet, you want it cooked but not mushy (so it still has a little bite)

Put the spinach in a large salad bowl. Slice the cucumber in half and use a teaspoon to take out the seeds. Thinly slice (I use a mandolin) and add to the spinach. Roughly chop the tomatoes, thinly slice the spring onion and add them to the salad with the mint and parsley

Cook the lamb on the BBQ or a large griddle pan, slice the two lemons in half and grill at the same time (on the same grill plate/bbq, cut side down) We prefer our lamb medium rare (slice a small section to test it), remove from heat once it is cooked to your preference. Always rest your meat for around 10 minutes to let the juices settle.

Thinly slice the lamb and serve on a bed of the salad with a drizzle of dressing and a squeeze of the grilled lemon over top