June 14, 2011

Bake these scones for afternoon tea as a delightful treat…serve with raspberry jam, whipped cream and a steaming cup of tea!

Makes 12-15 scones (depending on thickness of dough when cut)


150ml-175ml milk
150ml cream
1 egg
3 cups self-raising flour
2 tbs caster sugar

Cream & jam, to serve

Preheat oven 200°C fan forced. Line large flat oven tray with baking paper.

Whisk 150ml milk, cream and egg together until well combined. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir gently to a soft dough, adding remaining milk if necessary. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough comes together.

Press dough out to 2cm-thick. Cut scones from dough and place onto tray lined with baking paper, flat-side up. Press dough together gently and repeat using the remaining dough. Brush the tops with milk.

Bake 12-15 minutes until golden and well risen. Serve hot with jam and cream.


Buzo’s lasagne in MC magazine…omit the prosciutto if you prefer vegetarian. I replaced the truffle paste with a sprinkle of truffle salt (from Gewurzhaus) over each layer of  mushroom filling – yum!

Serves 6


120g butter, plus extra, to grease
20g dried porcini mushrooms
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
500g field mushrooms, stalks discarded, thinly sliced
500g Swiss brown mushrooms, stalks discarded, thinly sliced
60g prosciutto, roughly chopped
50g truffle paste (or use truffle salt or omit altogether if you prefer a less rich version)
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
750ml (3 cups) milk
250ml (1 cup) pouring cream
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or a good sprinkle of the spice rack variety)
1 bay leaf
100g (2/3 cup) plain flour
360g fresh lasagne sheets
80g (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm x 30xm (2.6L) ovenproof dish with extra butter.

Place dried porcini mushrooms and 250 (1 cup) boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and soak for 20 minutes or until soft. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving porcini liquid. Rinse porcini mushrooms under cold running water to remove any grit, then finely chop and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 tbs oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Cook half the field and Swiss brown mushrooms, tossing occasionally, for 6 minutes or until golden, then add to porcini. Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tbs oil and mushrooms. Add prosciutto, truffle paste and parsley, seasono with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

To make white sauce, combine milk, cream, nutmeg, bay leaf and 125ml (1/2 cup) reserved porcini liquid in a saucepan, then bring lamost to the boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. In a second saucepan, melt 100g butter over medium heat, then stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until mixture is grainy.

Remove pan from heat, then gradually whisk in milk mixture until smooth and combined. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf, then season. Makes about 1L.

Stir half the white sauce into the mushroom mixture, then spread half the remaining white sauce over the base of the prepared dish. Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, cutting to fit if necessary. Spoon over half the mushroom mixture, then scatter with one-quarter of the Parmesan (and some truffle salt if using that option).

Add another layer of lasagne sheets, the remaining mushroom mixture and one-quarter of the Parmesan (and some truffle salt if using that option).

Top with a layer of lasagne sheets, the remaining white sauce and one-quarter of the Parmesan. cut remaining 20g butter into small cubes and scatter over the top.

Bake lasagne for 1 hour or until top is golden (cover dish with foil if over-browning). Cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Divide lasagne among plates, scatter over remaining Parmesan, drizzle with extra oil and season with pepper to serve.

Another Masterchef magazine recipe – a richer version of the classic self-saucing pud. I bake these in tea cups that are ovenproof…serve with lashings of thick cream!

Makes 6 – you will need 6 x 310ml (1 1/4 cup) ovenproof dishes.


40g unsalted butter, plus extra, softened, to grease
2 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1cm pieces
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
165g (3/4 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
30g (1/4 cup) ground almonds
45g (1/ cup) slivered almonds, roasted
180ml (3/4 cup) milk
100g dar chocolate (70% cocoa solids, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
Dutch cocoa and double cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease dishes with softened butter, then divide pears among dishes and set aside.

Sift flour, sugar and ground almonds into a bowl, then stir in slivered almonds.

Place milk, chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Cool for 2 minutes, then whisk in egg until just combined.  Pour over the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Spoon among dishes.

To make chocolate sauce, place butter, sugar cocoa and 300ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve. Pour sauce among dishes.

Bake puddings for 25 minutes or until puffed and tops are firm to the touch. Stand for 5 minutes.

Dust the pudding with Dutch cocoa and serve immediately with double cream or vanilla ice-cream.

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.

Upside-down pear cake

June 7, 2011

Brrrr!! This pudding will warm you up on a winter evening. You could use apples as well as or instead of pears. Serve with cream!


50g butter
250g brown sugar
3 pears, peeled and sliced into 1/8
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
200ml buttermilk (or milk)
75ml vegetable oil
1 tsp ground ginger
cream to serve

Preheat oven to 180.

Melt the butter in an OVENPROOF frying pan (approx 24-46cm).

Stir in 12g sugar and cook on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. Add the pears, saute for a few minutes and then set aside.

Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add the ginger.

In a measuring jug mix the eggs, then add the remaining brown sugar, buttermilk, and oil. Mix well.

Whisk in the dry ingredients until it forms a smooth batter.

Pour the batter over the pears.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cake feels firm in the centre.

Cool for five minutes before turning onto a serving plate. (Make sure you don’t pick up the frypan without a cloth holding the handle!)





A winner from Allegra McEvedy – this dish is so tasty and could easily be made without the chicken using vegetable stock for those who prefer. If you don’t have time (or the forethought!) to soak the borlotti beans and marinade the chicken overnight, it still works beautifully using a can of beans and cooking the chicken straight away. Serve with rice or couscous to soak up the delicious sauce.

Serves 4


2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1½ tbsp clear honey
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
¾ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into large dice
120g dried borlotti beans (or 1 x 400g tin, drained, added at the same point in the recipe)
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 medium leek, thickly sliced and washed well
500ml chicken stock
1 heaped tbsp chopped sage
250g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 4cm dice
salt and pepper

Put the vinegar, mustard, honey, chilli, garlic, fennel seed, oregano, bay leaves and olive oil into a dish and roll the chicken around in it Put into the fridge to marinade overnight.(or prepare ready to cook immediately) At the same time, soak the borlotti beans overnight in plenty of cold water.

Next day, drain the borlotti, cover with fresh water and simmer until cooked – about 1½ hours. (or get your can of beans open and ready!)

When the beans are pretty much cooked, fry the chicken with the marinade in a dry, medium hot, heavy-bottomed saucepan – you don’t need any oil as it’s already in the marinade.

Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; be careful about it catching on the bottom of the pan – caramelising good, burning bad.

Preheat the oven to 210C.

Add the tomatoes, leek, cooked drained beans, stock and sage to the chicken, stir well and simmer for about half an hour.

Roll the pumpkin cubes in a little olive oil and some seasoning, lay them out on a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, shuffling them once – you want them to have a bit of colour.

Once the pumpkin is done turn the chicken off and stir the pumpkin into it. Add a generous splosh of great olive oil to finish – it’s even better the next day.

A Maggie Beer Masterchef masterclass, this is a rich dessert that takes time to prepare but is worth the effort. I use a loose base tart pan which makes it easy to serve. Serve with double cream.

Serves 12


Pot Roasted Quinces

750g Quinces, peeled, cored and cut into large wedges
Squeeze of lemon juice
300ml water
200ml verjuice
165g castor sugar

Chocolate and almond cream

120g unsalted butter, softened
150g fine castor sugar
200g ground almond meal
2 free range eggs
1 free range egg yolk
80ml vino cotto
50g dark chocolate cocoa

Sour Cream Pastry

200g Chilled unsalted butter
250g Plain flour
125ml Sour Cream

Pre-heat fan forced oven to 170c.

Once you have peeled and cored the quince place in pot of water with a squeeze of lemon and set aside, to help stop oxidising.

To pot roast the quinces, place the quinces, water, verjuice and sugar into a medium sized pot, place this over a high heat, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place into the oven.

Cook for 1 hour, then give the quinces a very light toss making sure not to break up the wedges. Place back into the oven.

Check the quinces every 15 to 20 minutes to make sure that the liquid has not all evaporated, if it starts to and looking like that they will catch on the bottom and an extra 100mls of verjuice. They will take between 2 and 2 ½ hours to cook.

Once the quinces are cooked they should be a beautiful ruby red colour and a small amount of syrup left in the base of the pot. They should not be dry or the caught on the base of the pot. Remove the quinces from the pot and place onto a plate or tray and set aside to cool.

Increase the temperature oven to 200c

for the filling –

To make the almond cream, place the butter and castor sugar in to a food mixer, beat until light and creamy (approx 6 minutes).

Add the eggs and yolk (1 at a time) then cocoa, vino cotto and mix for further 1 minute.

Add the almond meal, mix until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

for the pastry –

To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Add ¾ the sour cream, pulse a couple of times then add the remaining sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

Tip the pastry out onto the bench, bring it together and form it in to a rectangle (approx 2cm thick) with your hands. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to rest.

Roll out the sour cream pastry to 3mm thick.

Grease a flan tin (23cm x 2.5cm) and line with the pastry, cut off the excess pastry around the edge but allow the pastry to come above the fin tin by 5mm, this is due to the pastry shrinking during blind baking. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to chill.

Remove from the tart shell from the fridge, spike the bottom with a fork, line the top with bake well paper and place blind baking beans on the top.

Blind bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and bake well paper, cook for a further 5 minutes then remove.

Reduce the oven temperature to 175c

Place one third of the chocolate and almond cream mix on the base of the tart shell. Top with cooked quince wedges and dot the remaining amount of chocolate almond cream on top of the quinces.

Return the tart to the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1hr, this time will depend on the oven, but need to make sure that the almond cream is cooked in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.