Follow me on my wonderful adventures, sourcing the best produce, using the best ingredients to make the most marvelous of dishes with a pinch of fun and travel on the side. I am passionate about using my combination steam oven so you will find loads of recipes you can use in a combination steam oven.
Corn fritters with smashed avocado and tomato salsa
These Moorish corn fritters are quick and easy to whip up, bringing a café style meal into your own home.
The mixture should be relatively thick. If you would like to make the meal a little more substantial you can whip up a salad and serve the corn fritters on a bed of salad.
2 small potatoes
2 medium zucchinis
125grams corn kernels
1 small onion
½ c SR flour
2Tb olive oil
Salt and pepper
200grams baby roma tomatoes
1tsp lemon juice
1. Peel the potatoes and the carrot, grate both vegetables using the smallest side of the grater place into a sieve and allow the liquid to drain.
- Grate the zucchini and onion using the largest side of the grater place into the sieve, press down to remove the moisture. Into a bowl add the vegetables, corn kernels, flour, salt and pepper, mix well, add the eggs carrot and potato mix until well combined.
- Smashed avocado salsa: Run a knife around the avocado, split in half and remove the seed, scoop out the flesh mash with the back of spoon, slice tomatoes in half, add to a bowl, toss with lemon juice, 1Tb of olive oil sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat ½ Tb of olive oil in a non stick fry pan on a medium heat, allow to heat up for a few minutes, dollop 1/3c of the mixture into the fry pan, cook for 4minutes each side or until golden brown. Once half of the mixture has been used, add the remaining oil to the fry pan and continuing with remaining mixture.
Place corn fritters onto a plate, place a dollop of the salsa on top, serve and enjoy
Light and fluffy carrot cake
Traditionally carrot cakes are made with walnuts. This recipe uses finely ground macadamia nuts, I find macadamia nuts have a sweeter more delicate texture than walnuts do. The delicious sweet and nutty smell of this cake will waft through your kitchen, you may even find yourself staring at your oven door in anticipation of the cake being ready.
A trick I have learnt is to soak a thick tea towel in water and to tie it around the cake tin, be sure to make sure the end tuck in so no small pieces are sticking out. Why would I do that? I do that because it allows for an even penetration of heat, stopping the dreaded dome. I will try to photograph how it looks through the oven door during my next cake bake.
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup plain flour
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups grated carrot
½ cup sultanas or currants (which ever you prefer)
1 cup whole macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
½ lemon zested
2 TB cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup whole macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- Pre heat oven to 180c. Line a medium spring for tin with baking paper and spray with oil.
- Separate eggs, place yolks aside in a small cup. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, add egg yolks lightly beat until combined. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, carrot, currants and macadamia nuts, mix until well combined.
- Gently fold eggwhites into the cake mixture, do not over mix or the air you worked hard to incorporate will deflate.
- Pour mixture into cake tin. Bake for 35-40min or until skewer comes out clean.
- Prepare the frosting mixture whilst the cake is baking, to make the carrot cake variation, after step 1, add the cream cheese and lemon zest, beat until combined then add remaining ingredients. Set frosting aside until required. I find frosting easier to work with at room temperature.
- Allow cake to cool.
- Cover cake with a generous layer of icing. If need be one layer of icing can be placed onto the cake, then pop the cake into the fridge for 15minutes to harden the frosting and apply another layer. Using the back of a spoon, gently press coarsely chopped macadamias around the base of the cake and around the top edge of the cake, place remaining nuts into a peak in the middle.
Slow cooked pork shoulder with braised fennel
This delicious slow cooked pork recipe is slightly smokey with just a hit of sweetness. The onions and the fennel just about dissolve during the cooking process, if you do not like the taste of fennel your can omit it. This pork dish is really versatile can be served on slider buns, tortillas on a bed of mashed/roasted potato or polenta. I chose to serve the pork with roast potatoes with a sprinkle of rosemary and a capsicum.
2 kg pork shoulder
2 red onions
1 fennel bulb
6 cloves garlic
600ml good quality vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
1T olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground fennel
- Pre heat oven to 110C.
- Rub cumin, fennel, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper all over the pork shoulder.
- Place 1tb oil into a oven proof dish with a lid (e.g cast iron pot), turn cook top onto a medium heat place dish on top and allow to heat up, add pork to pot and seal each side until lightly golden, sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Heat vegetable stock with garlic in the fry pan, pour over pork.
- Chop fennel into 1cm thick pieces, cut onions into small wedges and scatter around pork shoulder.
- Put lid onto dish and place into oven, cook for 6hrs.
- Remove pork from oven, remove any excess liquid, using a fork and tongs pull the pork.
This pork can be served on slider buns, tortillas on a bed of mashed/roasted potato or polenta.
This dish is so quick and simple you will never get it from the take out store again. You can cut each piece of chicken into nugget sized pieces if you prefer. I serve this dish with a big bowl of steamed greens. You could easily serve this dish with a side of rice. The benefit of using cornflour is this dish is gluten free!
2 chicken breasts
1Tb Dry Sherry
2Tb soy sauce
½ tsp salt
Oil for frying
¼ cup cornstartch
½ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 cup chicken stock
3tb lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 lemon sliced
2tb vegetable oil
salt and pepper
Garnish: chopped shallots
- Slice chicken in half horizontally, so you will have 4 thin slices of chicken breast.
- In a large bowl combine the chicken, sherry, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix together, cover and refrigerate. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, 1/4 cup corn-starch and baking powder to form a batter.
- Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place vegetable oil in fry pan on a medium heat
- Dip chicken in the batter to coat.
- Place chicken into fry pan and fry until golden brown and turn over and repeat for the other side, do this for each piece of chicken breast.
- In a medium bowl combine the sugar, honey, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, lemon juice and 1 pinch salt, mix together until their are no lumps add stock and lemon slices. In the fry pan that you cooked the chicken pieces in place lemon sauce, on a medium heat bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.
- Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with shallots and serve.
These Middle Eastern inspired baked eggs are super easy to make, loaded with flavour. The best part is they taste as good as they smell!
I have chosen to make these in a combination steam oven, which keeps my eggs nice and moist while cooking.
If you are cooking these in a conventional oven, cook at 180c with a lid on/covered in foil until eggs reach the desired consistency.
These recipe is super flexible, you can modify the recipe to meet your taste buds desires!
1 tablespoon butter
2 cans crushed tomato
Salt and pepper
2 sprigs parsley
100grams fetta cheese
¼ tsp sumac
8 slices sourdough
1tsp nigella seeds
butter, for toast
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
40 grams butter
1tb olive oil
1.Preheat combination oven to, 180c quarter steam and heat.
2.Finely slice shallot and parsley, cut lemon into wedges and crumble fetta cheese.
3.Grease 4 250ml ramekins (the wider lower rimmed ramekins work fantastically with this dish) generously with butter.
4. In a small fry pan, add the shallot, garlic and 1tb oil add tomatoes, bring to a simmer on a medium heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sumac, divide evenly amongst the dishes.
5.Break 2 eggs into each dish, pin prick each yolk, top with crumbled fetta a sprinkle of parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper.
6.Place ramekins onto a tray and into combination oven for 11 minutes, egg whites should be cooked through, but depending on preference egg yolks can be served runny or hard. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with a pinch of nigella seeds.
7. Turn combination oven to fan bake 200 ºC, place bread onto tray and gently warm through, for approximately 2 minutes.
Serve with warm bread, a dollop of butter and lemon wedge
Baked eggs are delicious with a variety of flavours, try adding some chorizio or Spanish salami.
Tip: Eggs will not go rubbery in the steam oven.
Making a delicious cake requires just a pinch of patience. Creaming butter and sugar ensures that the sugar is distributed evenly in the butter it also allows air to be dispersed in the butter creating a light and even to rise cake, creaming is likely to take between 5-8minutes. Adding lightly beaten egg eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and whipping for a minute on a low speed helps to incorporate air, creating a light and fluffy mixture.
125grams butter, at room temperature.
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup SR flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 quantity of butter cream
1 lemon zested and juice squeezed out
Time 60 minutes
Type of dish dessert
1. Heat a fan forced oven to 160C. Line a small cake tin with baking paper.
- Beat butter and sugar until the mixture turns an off white colour.
- Add the eggs, ½ the lemon rind and vanilla beat until well combined.
- Mix the coconut and flour in a small bowl, using a spatula fold the dry mixture alternatively with the milk.
- Spoon the mixture into the lined pan, use the spatula to smooth over the surface.
- Bake for 55-60minutes, the cake should be golden and a skewer should come out clean.
Create 1 quantity of butter cream, add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Sprinkle with yellow popping candy or any other sort of small/crushed candy
See the best ever butter cream frosting
Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with yellow popping candy or any other sort of small/crushed candy.
Or serve with a thick yoghurt
Give this one a try, a great topper on any cupcake or cake.
Pop bowls of lollies out and let kids creativity go wild, if you are sticking to a colour them tailor the lollies and frosting to suit !
Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Add icing sugar mixture, cream, vanilla and flavourings (if desired), beating constantly until combined.
Strawberry: add 1tsp strawberry essence and a few drops of pink food colouring.
Lemon: add half a lemons zest a drop of yellow colouring and 2tsp of the lemon juice.
Chocolate: add 4TB cocoa powder
What is Molecular Gastronomy?
Molecular gastronomy is the science of cooking. It focuses on the reactions of ingredients and chemicals when cooking. It’s a fantastic combination of chemistry and cooking classes.
What can you do with Molecular Gastronomy?
Molecular Gastronomy is used by famous chefs, think Heston Blumenthal and home cooks alike. Using tubes, syringes and precision measuring you can create:
- noodles from any liquid e.g. curry sauce chocolate ganache or fruit puree
- sand from food products with a fat content e.g. chorizo oil, peanut butter or Nutella
- encasing a liquid into a solid shell, e.g. cocktail spheres
- turning a liquid into a solid e.g. solid soup or smoothies
These are just a few of possibilities that you can create when mixing science and food with molecular gastronomy.
What could you do at home?
Spherification, or the process of encasing a liquid in a solid sphere is an example of molecular gastronomy. To do this you need a high calcium content in your liquid and a sodium alginate bath. Do not fear if your liquid does not have a naturally high calcium content as you add calcium lactate gluconate. The liquid becomes encased in a jelly-like outer. This works well for cocktails, giving you a fantastic pop in your mouth as it is consumed.
Custom flavoured noodles, imagine making chocolate noodles, fruit noodles or green curry noodles! All you need is some simply noodle powder, a syringe and some small plastic tubing. It works by placing the simply noodle powder in a liquid above 85c, filling the syringe with the liquid inserting it into the tubing and placing it into an ice water bath, rinse the syringe out fill it with water and flush the noodle out of the tube with water.
Flavoured soil; imagine serving the chocolate noodles with peanut butter and Nutella soil or prawns on a chilli chorizo soil. Mixing half Maltodextrin and half your choice of fat stir to incorporate, push the mix through a sieve to create a sand.
Are you interested in doing some molecular gastronomy at home or for your next dinner party, watch this space for more molecular gastronomy cooking and some recipes!
For molecular gastronomy products contact Brian via Under Ground Gourmet www.undergroundgourmet.com.au
JAFFA BUTTERMILK CUPCAKES
I find using Buttermilk keeps my muffins more moist and gives them a little extra tang. The buttermilk is a perfect, slightly acidic, addition to a citrus sweet.
375grams SR flour
165grams caster sugar
1 egg, whisked
1tsp vanilla essence
160grams butter, softened.
1TB orange zest
1TB orange juice
250 grams dark chocolate melts
1/3 cup cream
- Heat combination steam oven to 200oC quarter steam and heat/ 25% humidity.
- Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, I used silicone bakeware.
- Measure the buttermilk, and stand aside (this will prevent the butter hardening up later).
- Cream together, butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest, add egg and orange juice and stir to combine, alternatively add flour and Buttermilk, mixture should appear slightly lumpy.
- Divide mixture evenly into 12 hole muffin tin and bake for 15minutes or until evenly browned.
- Whilst cooking prepare ganache, by heating cream and pouring over chocolate until chocolate has melted. If chocolate does not melt completely, oven a gentle heat or double boiler heat until melted.
- Once cupcakes are cool to touch, individually dip into ganache and sprinkle with orange zest.
Left over ganache keep well in the refrigerator, can be re-heated and tastes amazing on ice-cream !
The BeeSting cake
After sitting around with some of my colleagues discussing our favourite cakes, I decided I wanted to create my own version of the BeeSting cake.
This is possibly the most multi-faceted recipe I have tried to blog, this one you may need to print out and follow as it has several components. Each component takes a little bit of time to create, however, each component is rather simple, so do not be afraid to try this recipe.
The yeast gives this cake a wonderful and light texture and will fill your house with the most mouthwatering aroma.
I hope you enjoy this recipe make sure you share it with your families and your guests, allowing them the privileged to try and to savor each morsel of the BeeSting.
1 sachet instant yeast (8grams)
¾ cup full cream milk
¼ cup caster sugar
2 ¼ cup plain flour
2 large eggs
80 grams butter (softened)
Almond Crunch Topping
120 grams butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
¼ Cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
5Tb thickened cream
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup full cream milk
2Tb thickened cream
3 large egg yolks
¼ Cup caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
Making the cake mixture
Heat milk in the microwave for 30 seconds until warm; add the yeast and caster sugar, set aside until it is slightly foamy, approx. 5-10 minutes.
In a large bowl mix all of the remaining ingredients until well combined, 2-3 minutes, I did this with my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size, this may take an hour, using a spoon pierce the surface and allow the mixture to rise again whilst you prepare the tin and topping.
Grease a 9inch deep cake tin with butter.
Pre heat oven to 180C fan forced.
Making the almond crunch topping
Place the butter, sugars, thickened cream and honey into a medium sauce pan, allow to melt over a medium heat, allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes it should turn a pale brown, stir through the almonds, remove from the heat.
Baking the cake
Pour the cake mixture into the greased tin. Dollop teaspoons of the almond crunch topping across the top of the cake.
Wet a tea towel wrap it around the cake tin and tie a knot, if you tea towel isn’t long enough tie it in place with cooking string. Place cake on a lined tray as some of the almond crunch topping could ooze over *
Cook for 23-28minutes, until a skewer comes out with no cake mixture on it, it may have some caramel on it.
Remove from oven, allow to cool in tin for 10-15minutes or until almond crunch topping has hardened. Once hardened transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Making the custard filling:
Mix egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and pale. In a small bowl place the cornflour, whisk in 1-2Tb of the milk to make a paste, making sure there are no lumps. In a small sauce pan, place the egg mix and gradually add milk and cream add the cornflour, make sure the mixture is well combined. Place onto stove on a medium heat and stir constantly in a figure 8 motion until it thickens add honey, set aside to cool. **
Assembling the cake
Cut the cake in half horizontally, place the bottom half of the cake onto the plate you will serve it on. Place the custard filling into the centre, leave 1cm from the edge. Place the top on and enjoy ***
*wrapping a wet tea towel around the cake tin prevents the centre of the cake rising and will help you to achieve the nice flat top.
** I make the custard the night before so it is nice and cool
*** if you want to serve the pieces to without the custard oozing out, cut the top into wedges and rearrange on top, prevents the oozing.