Tag Archives: cookbook

passionfruit puddings

This passionfruit pudding is very easy to whip up, making it perfect for a lazy weeknight on the couch. The recipe comes from bills food by the lovely Bill Granger and it was perfect for the current weather. It’s just about to hit summer in Melbourne so I’m craving the taste of fresh tropical fruits, but the weather is still chilly enough to need a comforting pudding and I am never one to resist a warm dessert.

Recipe adapted from Bill Granger

Ingredients

  • 1 small spoon butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/3 C plain flour
  • 1/4 C passionfruit pulp, plus extra to serve
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease 4 ramekins.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in the flour, milk, passionfruit and egg yolks.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold the egg whites into the mixture and then pour into ramekins.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden.
  6. Serve with extra passionfruit for a really strong taste.
Advertisements

bompas & parr (pimms cup with a twist)

Jelly by Sam Bompas and Harry Parr is one of the most recent additions to my cookbook collection. It is a book filled with wondrous creations from Bompas & Parr, who decided to start working as “jellymongers” in 2007. Bompas & Parr’s creations range from fairly standard to sublime, however they are all impressive. Standard creations are jazzed up – fresh fruit jellies in the shape of architectural wonders – while the most magnificent include glow in the dark creations, layered wonders or a suspension of gold leaf.

These guys aren’t just limited to jelly though – they have other culinary skills perfectly suited to the sweet tooth. The gents have been inspired by Willy Wonka’s creations, creating chewing gum that changes flavour as you chew (blueberry pie anybody?) and scratch and sniff cards that are reminiscent of Wonka’s wallpaper. Although the recipes for these creations are not included in the gelatine based cookbook, there are so many photos and stories inside that you really get an idea of how creative and magical these guys are, making you think that jelly is simply the first food product of many that they have decided to master and reinvent.

I decided to try my first recipe from their book last weekend – it was a warm spring day so I decided to make the Pimms Cup jelly in lieu of an actual jug of Pimms. I have to admit that I have only ever made jelly from a packet of jelly crystals before so I was slightly terrified at the thought of making an alcohol based jelly with suspended pieces of fruit that I needed to unmould. However, I was so excited with my success that I have now decided to attempt many more beautiful creations from this book. I think I will try the alcohol based jellies first and work my way from Mai Tai to Bubblegum Vodka to Champagne and Summer Fruit. Delicious!

Recipe adapted from Jelly by Bompas & Parr, makes one litre of jelly for use in a jelly mould. If you choose to set your mix in glasses and do not wish to unmould them, you will only need 7 gelatine leaves.

Ingredients:

  •  300 mL Pimms
  • 350 mL ginger ale
  • 350 mL lemonade
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 punnet strawberries, sliced (you probably won’t need them all, leaving you something to snack on)
  • 10 gelatine leaves (gold strength)

Pour the Pimms Cup, dry ginger ale and lemonade into a jug, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and stir. Resist drinking it!!

Chop up the gelatine leaves and place in a heat proof bowl. Pour just enough of the Pimms mixture over the top so that the gelatine is covered. Allow to bloom for 10 minutes. Place the heat proof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water to allow the mix to heat up. Stir until the gelatine has melted into the mixture. Add the remaining Pimms Cup liquid, stir, and then strain the mixture back into the jug.

Put your jelly mould (or glasses) on a tray to make it easy to transfer to the fridge to set. Pour some of the Pimms jelly mixture into the mould and add some of the cucumber and strawberries. Place the partially filled mould into the fridge for about an hour to allow it to partially set. Keep the remaining liquid and fruit at room temperature.

Repeat the mould filling and layering procedure until all of the mixture is in the mould, in the fridge. Leave for approximately two hours to ensure firm (or at least, as firm as a bowl full of jelly can be).

To remove jelly from mould, place quickly in a bowl of very warm water. The jelly will loosen from the edges of the mould, allowing you to easily flip it onto a plate and serve! You may wish to pour a little extra Pimms Cup around the edge before serving if your guests really love the taste…

Non “Pimms Cup” images are from the Bompas & Parr website

weekend breakfast

 Here are some of the things I am enjoying this morning for the start of the weekend…

A warming bowl of porridge with honey and milk

Beautiful Australian wildflowers that my dad bought for my mum

A big stack of new cookbooks to work my way through

What are you enjoying this weekend?

bill granger’s potato and feta pancakes

On Friday afternoon I was on the train home trying to decide what to make for dinner. It had been warm and muggy all day but the sky was full of dark clouds threatening to burst any minute. I felt like something healthy but comforting for dinner – I was craving a fresh salad due to the heat but I knew that as soon as the storm hit a salad wouldn’t be enough.

I remembered seeing a recipe for potato and feta pancakes in Bill Granger’s cookbook bills sydney food and I knew that it would hit the spot. My mind was quickly made up to make them and serve it with a big salad of mixed lettuce, tomato and cucumber – fresh, quick and easy.

My love for Bill Granger is obvious. I love that his recipes are simple and stress free but the end product manages to punch above its weight in terms of flavour. They are quite healthy too which is always a plus when you know you will find yourself indulging in culinary treats all weekend!

Potato and Feta Pancakes adapted from the cookbook bills sydney food

This recipe is in the breakfast section of the cookbook and makes about 10 pancakes. I’m sure it would be delicious at breakfast time but paired with a big fresh salad it makes a great dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1/4 C feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 C plain flour
  • lemon wedges

Peel and grate the potato and onion. Stir in some salt and leave in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes (this step is important – you don’t want soggy pancakes!).

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Squeeze remaining moisture from the potato and onion mix and combine with the eggs, mint, feta and flour. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add a few spoonfuls of mixture to the pan per pancake and flatten slightly. Cook until golden brown on both sides, this will only take a couple of minutes. Eat!

bill granger’s baked porridge

That’s right, more Bill Granger loving. Perhaps bordering on an obsession but it’s difficult when the guy creates such amazing sounding food (including homemade english muffins and pasta, spinach and sausage bake).

The recipe for baked porridge caught my because I have never tried it before – I love stove top porridge but had never even thought of baking it in the oven. Bill says he was “inspired by the old-fashioned aristocratic tradition of baking porridge in the Aga overnight” and that this is the urban version without “the country house, the Aga or the butler”. The fact that this recipe is both simple and needs a while in the oven means it is perfectly designed to stumble out of bed, quickly prepare and put in the oven while bleary eyed, and creep back into bed while it bakes.

The baked porridge has a completely different texture and taste to stove top porridge and is definitely worth a repeat make!

bill granger

Recipe adapted from Bill Granger, serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C rolled oats
  • 1/3 C hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 C sultanas
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 300 mL milk
  • 100 mL yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 130C (fan forced).

Mix all the ingredients together in a baking dish.

Place in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Enjoy. I’m pretty sure it can’t get any easier than that – no mixing bowls or special method of adding the ingredients whatsoever.

baked conchiglie with sausage and spinach

 Bill Granger’s new cookbook Bill’s Basics really is fantastic. Seriously, if you havent got yourself a copy of it, try winning it here. I made the english muffins a little while ago, but I’ve been drooling over the baked pasta dish since the crew at A Cookbook A Month cooked it a month ago, and after making it myself, I can tell you that it really is a drool worthy recipe!

I changed the recipe around a little based on what I had at hand – I substituted baby spinach for cavolo nero and conchiglie for orecchiette – but everything still worked perfectly and I doubt it altered the taste dramatically. This was really delicious and simple with every bite tasting slightly different – no chance of being bored, instead you will be upset when it is finished!

pasta sausage spinach bill granger

Recipe adapted from Bill Granger

Ingredients:

  • 400g conchiglie pasta
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 6 good quality sausages, meat removed from casing (I found really yummy beef and onion sausages)
  • 200g ricotta
  • small handful grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 160C (fan-forced).

Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente, drain, and tip into a baking dish. Mix the spinach leaves in to wilt them slightly.

Place a frying pan over medium heat and heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion with a pinch of sea salt.  After 2-3 minutes, add the chilli flakes, fennel seeds and sausage, and cook while stirring until the sausage has browned (about 5 minutes).

Add the sausage mixture to the pasta and spinach and stir together. Spread the ricotta and parmesan over the top and bake for 10-15 minutes (don’t take it out until the cheese has melted).

destressing with coffee and cookbooks

Sorry for the complete lack of posts over the last week! I’ve been very busy with deadlines and late nights at work and I haven’t had a single chance to blog all week! I have made some really nice food though – recipes and photos coming soon –  but here are two of the things that have kept me sane when I managed to get a chance to have some time for myself…

penguin orange mug

I’ve been drinking lots of french pressed coffee made with delicious coffee beans from Market Lane at the Prahran Market. I’ve been trying the Bella Vista beans which are sourced from Costa Rica and have a really nice sweet nutty taste. Normally I would choose tea over coffee but this stuff is really good!

Reading huge stacks of cookbooks and planning and cooking meals for my loved ones. I find chopping big piles of vegetables and stirring bowls of ingredients so incredibly soothing. The above stack of books is what I flicked through last weekend before making a big table of food with my mum. My contributions? Minced lamb spiced with garam marsala and topped with a zingy carrot salad a la Jamie Oliver and a cucumber and poppy seed salad a la Ottolenghi. Delicious, crunchy and fresh meals – perfect for spring!