Masterchef Marion’s recipe is perfect for entree or serve as a tasty lunch with crusty bread and a leafy salad. To make soufflés in advance, cover at the end of the first bake and refrigerate for up to 1 day. To finish them off, preheat oven to 180°C and complete recipe.


Serves 6

Preparation: 50 mins

Cooking: 50 mins

50g butter, melted, plus extra, softened, to grease
375ml (1 ½ cups) milk
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
5 eggs, separated
150g gruyère, finely grated
¼ cup finely chopped chives
125ml (½ cup) pouring cream
20g ( ¼ cup) finely grated parmesan

You’ll need 6 x 250ml (1-cup) ramekins.

Tomato Salad

500g cherry tomatoes, halved
80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 lemon, zested


Preheat oven to 180°C. Using a pastry brush, grease ramekins with softened butter, then line the base of each one with a round of baking paper.

Place milk in a small pan and bring almost to the boil over medium heat.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a separate pan over medium heat, then whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes or until thick. Remove pan from heat and gradually whisk in hot milk until smooth and combined. Return pan to medium heat and whisk for a further 2 minutes or until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, until combined. Add gruyère and stir until melted, then stir in chives and 1 tsp salt until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.

Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold one-third of the egg whites into cheese mixture to loosen, then gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

Divide among ramekins, then place in a deep roasting pan. Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 20 minutes or until tops are golden and a skewer inserted into soufflés comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes (soufflés will deflate).

Meanwhile, line an oven tray with baking paper. Carefully remove soufflés from pan. Using a butter knife, ease the soufflés away from the side of the ramekins, then carefully turn out onto the tray. Peel baking paper from base.

Combine cream and parmesan in a small bowl, then spoon over the top of each soufflé. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and puffed.

Meanwhile, to make tomato salad, combine tomatoes, oil, vinegar and lemon zest in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Divide soufflés among plates, then spoon over tomato salad to serve.


Republished due to several requests…I’ve made this easy Donna Hay  panna cotta recipe many times . Add some raspberries to the bottom of your glasses and sprinkle some muesli on top once set to make a Mother’s Day breakfast/brunch treat!


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
1 handful raspberries

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.

Incredibly easy these Masterchef cupcakes are light and fluffy. The orange flavour is subtle and delicate so even the children will like them!

Makes 12 cupcakes


1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened and chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
Silver balls and Smarties (optional), to decorate

for the cream cheese icing –

125g unsalted butter, softened and chopped
250g cream cheese, softened and chopped
1 orange, zested
2 cups icing sugar, sifted


Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper cases.

Using an electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, orange zest, eggs and milk on low speed until combined.

Increase speed to medium-high and beat for a further 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Divide batter among paper cases and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make cream cheese icing –

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, cheese and orange zest until pale and doubled in volume, then, while beating, gradually add sugar.

If icing is a little soft, refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm. Spread on icing; decorate with balls and Smarties.

A cross between a tart and a pie, another Susie Theodorou recipe. The lemon curd filling can be made the 2-3 days before and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

Serves 8


for the filling –

finely grated rind and juice of 4 lemons
9 medium eggs
350g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) double (thick) cream

for the pastry –

300g (2 3/4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
25g (2 tablspoons) vanilla sugar
2 small eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water

to finish –

1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons pine nuts
icing sugar to dust


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Start by making the filling. Put all the ingredients in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook for 1 hour, stirring frequently until thick. Remove the bowl from the pan and allow to cool. (Nb. you can strain the curd if a little lumpy or stringy)

For the pastry, sift the flour, and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter (or use a food processor) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar and vanilla sugar.  Mix the eggs with the water, then combine them with the dry ingredients until large clumps form. Bring the mixture together with your hand, to form a dough. Knead gently for 1-2 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Press to a thick disc, cover with cling film, and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use to line a lightly greased 23cm fluted, loose-based tart tin 3.5cm deep. Spoon in and spread the filling. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to cover the filling, pressing the edges to seal.

Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush over the pastry top. Sprinkle over the pine nuts. Bake for 40 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and leave to cool completely for the filling to set.

Veg Lasagne

April 10, 2011

Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is getting a workout at the moment and this lasagne is another winner. If you need some protein add crispy pancetta to the pea mixture. I used fresh ricotta instead of cottage cheese which worked beautifully. Serve with cherry tomatoes doused in balsamic vinegar or rocket salad.

NB the 30 minute version of this is cooked on the stove top and under the grill. If you’re not in a hurry you can cook in a conventional oven on 180 for approx 40-60 minutes.

Serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry!)


a bunch of spring onions
1/2 a 30g tin of anchovies in oil
6 cloves of garlic
700g asparagus
500g frozen peas
300g frozen broad beans
a large bunch of fresh mint
300ml single cream
1 lemon
300ml organic vegetable stock
2 x 250g tubs of cottage cheese
500g of fresh lasagne sheets
Parmesan cheese
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme

Half-fill and boil the kettle. Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Turn the grill on to full whack.

Trim and finely slice the spring onions. Pour the oil from the tin of anchoves into the frying pan with half the tin of anchovies, add the spring onions, crush in 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic and toss well.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and finely slice the stems, leaving the tips whole. Set the tips aside and add the stems to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a splash of boiled water. Keep stirring so nothing catches.

Add the peas and broad beans to the pan of asparagus and stir occasionally. Pick and roughly chop the mint leaves and add to the pan with the cream. Finely grate in the zest of 1/2 a lemon.

Roughly mash and squash everything in the pan, tasting and tweaking if necessary. Cover with stock and bring back to the boil. Add 1 tub of cottage cheese to the vegetable mixture. The consistency should be quite creamy and loose.

Put a large deep sturdy roasting tray (approx. 30 x 35cm) on a medium heat. Spoon in about a quarter of the veggie mixture to cover the bottom of the tray. Top with a layer of fresh lasagne sheets and a really good grating of Parmesan. Quickly repeat the layers til the vegetables run out, finishing with lasagne.

Mix a splash of water into the second tub of cottage cheese and spread it all over the top layer of lasagne. Toss the asparagus tips in the empty frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Tip on to the lasagne. Push everything down with the back of a spoon to help compact it, and finish with the thyme leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a generous grating of Parmesan.

Turn the heat up under the tray until bubbling, then place under the grill on the middle shelf for 8 minutes or until golden and gorgeous.

From one of my favourite books, A Year in My Kitchen,  Petersham Nurseries’ Skye Gyngell’s recipe is the perfect salad for a lazy lunch where you can prepare the elements the day before, or morning of in my case! Don’t be put off by the different components, it’s worth the effort! Everything can be done ready before guests arrive and then assembled at the last minute. Cook the beef 10 minutes longer if you prefer medium rare.

Serves 4


800g piece fillet of beef
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
600g little new potatoes
300g fine green beans, topped but not tailed
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp EV olive oil
handful of mixed salad leaves
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan

Slow roasted tomatoes
6 roma or plum tomatoes
10g/2 tsp caster sugar
10g/2 tsp sea salt
10g/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Roasted red onions
5 medium red onions, peeled
100g caster sugar
seal salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g balsamic vinegar
50ml extra virgin olive oil

Basil oil
2-3 bunches of basil
1 garlic clove, peeled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml extra virgin olive oil

Horseradish cream
200ml creme fraiche
3 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
1 tbs Dijon mustard

for the tomatoes –
Turn your oven to the lowest possible setting – probably 100C. Halve the tomatoes lengthways and lay them, cut side up, in a single layer on a large baking tray. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt and pepper, then sprinkle all over the cut surface of the tomatoes. Roast, undisturbed, for 3-4 hours until they shrivel up. Remove and set aside.

for the red onions –
Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the onions into pinwheels about 3mm thick, and spread out on a baking tray. Sprinkle with the sugar and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour over the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mix together lightly with your hands. Roast for 30 minutes or so, turning them and basting halfway through cooking. The onions will be deep purple when ready.

for the basil oil – 
Pull the basil leaves from their stalks and put them into a food processor with the garlic and a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Process until the basil is finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly trickle in the extra virgin olive oil and continue to blend until you have a beautiful moss green puree. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Pour into a jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This basil oil will keep in a fridge for up to a week.

for the horseradish cream – 
Put the creme fraiche in a bowl and add the grated horseradish and  mustard. Stir to combine and season with salt.

for the salad –
Preheat the oven to 200C. Trim the meat of any sinew and fat, then season generously all over with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-based ovenproof frying pan over a high heat, then add 1 tbsp olive oil. When smoking, add the beef and sear to colour on all sides. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 12 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and seat aside to rest for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Bring another pan of  salted water to the boil and add the green beans and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and reresh in cold water, then pat dry with a clean cloth. Drain the potatoes as soon as they are cooked and cut in half lengthways.

Pu the warm potatoes in a bowl, season with a little salt and pepper and dress with the lemon zest, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Allow to cool, then add the salad leaves and green beans. Toss lightly and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Slice the beef into 5mm thick slices. Layer the beef slices and salad on serving plates, piling it high and adding 2 or 3 roasted tomato halves, some roasted red onions and a spoonful of horseradish cream to each plate. Finally, drizzle the basil oil over the top and serve!

A quick tasty pasta. I prefer the goats cheese marinated in oil and herbs such as Meredith Dairy. You could also use Persian fetta. Add bacon for those who need some meat!

Serves 2


olive oil
1 small Spanish onion, chopped finely
6 artichoke hearts in oil, chopped roughly (but not so as mashed up!)
1 cup frozen peas
150g marinated goats cheese
250g fresh tagliatelle


Boil water for the pasta in a large pan.

In a fry pan, saute the red onion until transparent.

When the pasta is almost cooked, add the artichoke hearts and peas to the fry pan. Cook gently for a minute or two. Turn off the heat.

Drain the cooked pasta and add to the vegetables mixing together well.

Stir through the goats cheese, drizzle with a little of the marinating oil and serve.