Raspberry Trifle

November 22, 2010

An easy pudding recipe adapted from a Nigel Slater blackberry trifle; I don’t include alcohol but you could add some if you preferred.

Serves 6


for the raspberry layer

475-500g raspberries  (use frozen if you can’t find fresh)
4 tbs water
2 tbs caster sugar

for the sponge and cream layer

350g sponge finger biscuits (Savoiardi)
a large egg
2 tbs caster sugar
250g mascarpone
a couple of drops of vanilla extract
250ml whipping or double cream

Put the raspberries in a stainless steel pan with the water and caster sugar over a low to moderate heat and leave them to simmer for 7 -10 minutes until they are soft. Once there is plenty of  juice remove from the heat.

Place the biscuits into the bottom of a large serving bowl, breaking as necessary to fit. Spoon the hot raspberries and their juice over the sponge and leave to cool. During this time the sponge will soak up much of the juice.

Put the egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and mix it well, then stir in the mascarpone and vanilla.

Whip the cream, then, when it is thick enough to lie in soft folds (rather than stand in stiff peaks) fold it lightly into the mascarpone mixture.

In a separate bowl beat the egg white until it is almost stiff, then fold it into the mixture.

Spoon the mascarpone cream over the cool raspberries and sponge fingers. You can smooth it flat or not. Refrigerate for a good hour or so before serving, so that the whole thing has time to come together.


Chickepea and carrot salad

November 3, 2010

Recommended by my sister, Melissa, this is a yummy salad that’s great on it’s own for lunch or as an accompaniment (taken from Fertile Body Heart & Soul). I have adapted slightly adding fennel seeds instead of ground coriander, and cider vinegar instead of white wine vinegar.

Serves 2 for lunch.


2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 400g can chickpeas, washed and drained
2 carrots, grated
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey

Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat.

Add crushed garlic, ground cumin, fennel seeds and paprika. Cook for 1 minute and then pour spiced mixture over chickpeas (rinsed and drained of course).

Toss chickpea mixture with grated carrots, white wine vinegar and honey.

Salsa verde

November 2, 2010

I make this (or a variation of depending on herbs I have at home) to serve with eye fillet steak or fish done on the barbeque. You could also stir it through pasta for a quick sauce – add a squeeze of lemon and grate some parmesan on top.

Makes approx 1 cup


2 large handfuls flat leaf parsley,
1 large handful coriander
1 tablespoon capers
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 piece bread (can be stale), torn into small pieces
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a small food processor and blitz (or you could use a handheld blender). Start with a good drizzle of olive oil and add more to get the desired consistency: you want the salsa to hold together enough to put into a bowl and serve, and not be too oily. Season to taste.

A quick and easy Donna Hay recipe – serve with berries to offset the sweetness of the panna cotta.


1 teaspoon gelatine powder
2 tablespoons water
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
1 cup (250ml) single cream
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 tablespoon honey

Place the gelatine and water in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine is absorbed.

Place the buttermilk, cream, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the gelatine and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the gelatine is dissolved. [NB Don’t overheat as the mix will curdle]

Strain and allow to cool completely.

Place 1 teaspoon of honey in the bases of 4 x 1/2 cup-capacity (125ml) glasses. Pour over the cream mixture and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

Four bean wraps

November 2, 2010

My ‘take’ on the burrito – a healthy, vegetarian version that the children love as much as us. The options are endless – add chili, sour cream, exclude the coriander, up to you!

Serves 4


Olive oil
1 red onion, chopped finely
1 zucchini, grated
1 400g tin tomatoes
1 400g can 4 bean mix, rinsed
1 avocado, mashed
1 large handful coriander
1 cup grated cheese (mild)
4 large tortilla (or 8 small)

Heat the oven to 180. Saute the onion in a splash of olive oil in a fry pan until soft and add the grated zucchini. Cook for a few minutes until just tender.

Wrap the tortilla in foil and warm in the oven.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Stir through the drained bean mix.

Spread the avocado down the middle of the warmed tortillas. Spoon some of the bean mix on top and then sprinkle with coriander and grated cheese. Wrap up into a parcel and serve.