Monday, February 9, 2015

Pasta Passion

Joined by seven of my lovely friends I had the incredible luck of being taken on a behind the scenes tour of Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Sydney thanks to a charity auction prize!

I have always been an incredible fan of Gennaro Contaido, and when I heard many years ago he teamed up with Jamie Oliver, I was very excited.

Jamie's Italian restaurant is all about giving access to top quality food, fresh pasta and the best of Italian produce to everyone, in an affordable restaurant.  And they have done just that!

Watching the pasta specialists make fresh pasta on a huge scale was incredible.

We got to get our hands dirty with flour making foccacia and unfurling pasta as it streamed out of the special Ferrari red machines!

The line chefs in the kitchen gave us a little demonstration of the way each plate is prepared before it lands on your table.  What an incredible team!  Each portion of fresh pasta is cooked individually with incredible dishes topping over 600 mains on an average day.
And nothing goes out without the steely eye of the head chefs and a taste of each dish.  Only the freshest and best produce is allowed out.  I love the attention to taste and detail.

We were spoiled to a tasting of the signature pasta dish, Prawn Linguine and my favorite the truffled butter tagliatelle (OH JOY!).
Prawn Linguine

We then were served a delightful antipasto plate, with the Mortadella shining along with the sicilian olives.  Followed by a slow braised fennel sausage ragu with red wine, parmesan and crunchy bread crumbs wrapped around freshly made parpadelle. Divine!  The ragu clung frantically to the curly parpadelle, so every mouthful was an equal joy of pasta and sauce.  We were then served two of each dessert options!!!  OH HEAVEN!  The Brownie was my favourite, dare I say - best brownie ever!  Just incredible.


We all rolled out a little fuller, but after many laughs, wonderful moments of pasta making and tasting, and a new appreciation for the wonderful ethos of Jamie's Italian, I have to say I have a new found respect for the chef which has done so much to transform the way the world thinks about food. Hurrah!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cheese Special: Camembert - Camembert Chicken

Our cheese special continues with the velvety delight of Camembert cheese!

Camembert Chicken 


  • 4 chicken breasts, boned
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 x 125g Camembert cheese
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • Plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten together with 1 teaspoon milk
  • Dry breadcrumbs
  • 60g flaked almonds
  • Oil for frying

On the underside of each piece of chicken cut a pocket lengthwise and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the cheese into quarters and place one piece in each pocket with some of the spring onions.

Roll each chicken breast lengthwise so the pocket is completely encased.

Coat each piece of chicken in flour, dip in egg mixture and then coat in breadcrumbs and almonds.  Refrigerate.

Heat oil and sauté chicken until cooked and golden.

Delicious with a lovely salad or a more robust mash potato!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cheese Special: Havarti - Danish Chicken Strudel

There can be no cheese special without Havarti, once known as Danish Tilsit, which is a creamy cheese full of aromatic flavour.  Roll it in pastry and chicken - and you have a divine meal of golden goodness!

Havarti - Danish Chicken Strudel


  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 185g Havarti cheese, shredded
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • Melted Butter
  • Sesame Seeds

In a bowl combine chicken, mushrooms, spring onions, half the cheese, pinch of salt and pepper and blend until mixed.

Layer the sheets of pastry, brushing each with melted butter,  Spread chicken filling over the pastry to within 2.5cm of the edges.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Roll up as for a swiss roll, seal edge with melted butter and trim the ends.  Brush with melted butter and place sealed side down in a buttered baking dish.

Make two or three slits on the top of the strudel, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in a moderate to hot oven  (about 180 degrees celcius) for 25-30mins or until golden brown.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cheese Special: Mozzarella - Anchovy Cheese Bread with Salmon Cannelloni

Oh cheese of all cheeses - the mighty Mozzarella!  Made for more than pizza topping this beautiful cheese with its mild flavor and elastic texture is a gift from the Southern Italians to you.  Use liberally!

Anchovy Cheese Bread with Salmon Cannelloni

Anchovy Cheesy Bread

  • 1 x 500g of rye bread
  • 1 packet Mozzarella cheese slices
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 8-10 canned anchovies, drained
  • 10 black olives, halved and stoned
  • Freshly ground pepper

Salmon Cannelloni

  • 6 cannelloni shells
  • 30g butter
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 cans x 220g pink salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 3 Mozzarella cheese slices

Anchovy Cheesy Bread
Cut bread in 1-1 1/2cm slices, not quite through to the base. Cut cheese slices into three, giving approximately 18 slices, and insert a slice into each cut in the bread.

Spread butter on top of loaf and arrange anchovies and black olives in a decorative fashion on top of the loaf (see pic for example).  Sprinkle with black pepper.

Place on a buttered oven tray and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Salmon Cannelloni
Cook cannelloni shells in boiling salted water with a drop of oil, until tender.  Rinse under cold water,  to prevent sticking, drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and cook for a few minutes stirring constantly.  Add wine and milk gradually, continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens and boils for around 1 minute.  Set aside.

Combine spring onions, salmon, salt, pepper, dill and 1/2 cup of sauce and mix well.

Using a spoon or a piping bag press the mixture firmly into the cannelloni shells.  Place shells in a buttered heat proof dish, pour over remaining sauce and top with cheese slices.  Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly coloured.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cheese Special: Cream Cheese - Fruity Lemon Cheesecake

My - how could we have a cheese special without cream cheese?  How can we have a cream cheese recipe without a cheesecake!?

Fruity Lemon Cheesecake

Crumb Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups sweet biscuit crumbs
  • 125g butter melted
  • 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon gelatine dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup cream, lightly whipped
Crumb crust: Combine biscuit crumbs and melted butter.  Press on to the bottom and sides of a 22cm springform pan.  Chill while you are making the filling.

Filling: Beat softened cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind, milk and dissolved gelatin.  Mix well.  Fold in cream.  Pour into prepared crumb crust and chill.

Decorate with glazed fresh or canned fruit as desired, apricots, bananas and seedless grapes are a favorite of my toppings that go well wight he lemon flavour!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cheese Special - Feta: Mediterranean Salad

Nothing gladdens up a salad like Feta cheese.  Today we turn to a classic Mediterranean salad sprinkled with delicious Feta cheese!

Mediterranean Salad


  • 1/2 lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cos lettuce, washed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1/2 red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 white onion, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 1 cup black olives
  • Sprigs of fresh dill
  • 150g Feta cheese, cubed
  • Olive oil to taste

Combine lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, onion, olives and dill; toss until well mixed.  Add cheese cubes, place in serving bowl and chill.  Add olive oil to taste and lightly toss.  Serve chilled.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cheese Special - Swiss: Broccoli Roulade

And from our lovely dairy herds in Switzerland today we will be cooking with swiss cheese, in a delicious Broccoli Roulade.

Broccoli Roulade


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 packet (283g) frozen broccoli, cooked, drained and chopped
  • 90g swiss cheese
  • Swiss cheese sauce (see recipe below)

Lightly butter a 37 x 25 x 2cm swiss roll tin; line with greaseproof paper, butter paper, dust with flour.

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Blend in flour and salt, cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat, stir in milk.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick.  Boil for 1 minute.

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Beat yolks until creamy.  Slowly beat sauce mixture into yolks until blended.  Fold into beaten egg whites.  Pour into tin.  Bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes, or until golden and top springs back when touched.  Remove from tin and peel off paper.

Place broccoli and three-quarters of the cheese on top; pour over half the cheese sauce.  Roll up, swiss roll fashion.  Place roll on to a serving platter, pour over remaining sauce and garnish with cheese.  Cut roll into thick slices to serve.

Swiss cheese sauce:
Melt 1/3 cup butter in saucepan, add 1/2 cup plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pinch of pepper.  Stir constantly over a low heat.  Gradually add 3 cups of milk and continue cooking, stirring until sauce thickens.  Boil for 1 minute then stir in 90g of shredded Swiss cheese, stir until cheese has melted.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cheese Special - Colby: Apple Cheese Pie

Don't let a little ol' apple pie just languish uncheesed...add a little Colby to make something quite special!

Apple Cheese Pie


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 185 g butter
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • Cold Water

  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apple pulp
  • 125g Colby cheese, finely grated
  • Extra castor sugar

Pastry - Sift flours and salt, rub in butter with fingertips, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Gradually add lemon juice and sufficient water to mix to a firm dough.  Turn on to a floured board.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Roll out 3/4 of the pastry to line a lightly buttered, shallow pie dish.  Set aside.

Filling - Cream together butter and sugar.  Gradually beat in eggs one at a time.  Fold in plain flour, cinnamon, salt and apple pulp, blend well.  Stir in grated cheese and pour the mixture into a pie shell.

Roll out remaining pastry to form top on pie, moisten edges to seal, brush lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes then reduce heat to moderate for a further 15 minutes.  Cool.  

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cheese Special - Edam: Dutch Cheese Twist

Cheese doesn't just belong on a platter or toasted sandwiches!  It can be used in all manner of ways to enhance delicious dishes.  In this, our first recipe in our cheese special, you can make this twisty-bread loaf sing!

Dutch Cheese Twist


  • 1 x 7g sachet dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 45g butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Edam cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  • 6 slices ham, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Extra shredded Edam cheese

In a mixing bowl combine yeast and 1 cup of the flour.  Heat milk and the 45g butter, until butter begins to melt.  Add salt and blend with yeast together with 1/2 cup of the cheese and the first egg.  Beat for 3 minutes and stir in as much flour as possible.

Knead in remaining flour to make a firm dough, which is smooth and elastic.  Cover and place in a warm position and leave to rise until doubled in bulk.

Saute garlic in melted butter, and chives and tarragon.  Allow to cool.

Punch dough down; knead lightly and rest for 5 minutes.  Roll out dough to a 50 x 25cm rectangle; brush with herbed butter, sprinkle with remaining cheese and ham. Roll up dough swiss roll-style and seal edges.

Using a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise, making two 50cm portions.  Place rolls side by side, with cut surfaces up.  Moisten one end of each portion, press together to seal and twist the two pieces together by lifting one portion of dough over the other.  Shape into ring, seal ends; place on a buttered oven tray.  Allow to rise until doubled.

Bake in a moderate oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven, brush with lightly beaten egg, sprinkle with extra shredded cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sandwich Fillings

Sandwiches don't have to be sad and bland, you can fill them with scrumptious made spreads that you can make and keep in jars - ready for those moments when you want nothing more than two slices of delicious bread and a divine filling of decliciousness!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Filling


  • 2 packs of cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup sweet-pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup chopped pimento-stuffed olives

Combine cheese, peanut butter and milk and mix until creamy.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Cheese, Pimiento, Olive Filling


  • 2 cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 1 jar pimiento, chopped

Let cheese stand at room temperature about 15 minutes, then add mayonnaise and beat until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese and Raisin Filling


  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce
  • 3/4 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot

Beat cream cheese with lemon rind and chili sauce.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Spicy Ham Filling


  • 1/2 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can deviled ham
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1/4 cup minced celery

Mix all ingredients.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Ham and Cheese Filling


  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
  • 1 cup finely chopped tasty cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet pickle
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chocolate Dates

I do love the taste of dates in many desserts, but this recipe puts them at centre stage!

Chocolate Dates


  • 125g pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds
  • 30g softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange-flavoured liqueur
  • Finely grated peel of two mandarins or limes
  • 60g of dark chocolate
  • To Finish: Pecan or walnut halves or pitted dessert dates or extra dark chocolate melted

Combine chopped dates, nuts, butter, liqueur and peel. Heat the 60g chocolate, until soft and mix well into date mixture.

Cover and chill until firm enough to shape.  With your fingers, shape teaspoonfuls of the mixture into small ovals.

To finish the sweets press each oval of date mixture between two pecan or walnut halves.

Melt extra chocolate in microwave or over hot water, allow to cool and thicken.  Place briefly over heat again until it is fluid enough for dipping.  Using a fork or two skewers, dip ovals into chocolate.  (You can also partially dip the other two versions for a pretty affect).  Let stand until set in foil or greaseproof paper.

Store all sweets between sheets of greaseproof paper in an airtight container, and keep in a cool place.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Camembert Gougere Puffs

Oh cheesy, herby bread!  Can there be anything more divine!

Camembert Gougere Puffs


  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g camembert, cut into tiny cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

In saucepan, combine water, butter, salt, mixed herbs and pepper.  Heat until boiling.  Add all flour at once.  Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball. Cool for 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Drop by scant tablespoon size rounds on lightly greased tray.  Bake at 200 degrees celsius  until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.

Puffs are best served hot with a lovely slashing of butter.  They can be stored overnight at room temperature in an airtight container, or wrapped and frozen for up to a week.  Reheat briefly in a moderately hot oven before serving.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pineapple Walnut Quick Bread (Tea cake)

Tea cakes ready and waiting for those lovely afternoon tea brakes, or Sunday get togethers with friends or family are one of my favorite things!  Enjoy this citrus delight of Pineapple Walnut Quick Bread!

Pineapple Walnut Quick Bread (Tea cake)


  • 225g can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups self raising flower
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely

Drain pineapple in a sieve, pressing out all the excess liquid.  Sift flour into a bowl, add nutmeg, carrot, pineapple and sugar.

Make a well in centre of ingredients, mix in butter, egg and sufficient milk to make a soft dropping consistency.  Fold through the walnuts.

Spoon mixture into well greased 20cm ringed cake pan.  Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 25-30 minutes.  Cool slightly, turn out onto a wire rack.

For a bit of extra flavor, when cold, spoon over a lemon glace icing (icing sugar mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice and butter until you have an icing consistency).  Decorate with extra walnuts and this strips of lemon rind.

Cocinar, comer, y ser feliz!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Garlic Mushrooms

The dilemma of what to serve as a little starter, that won't overwhelm another dish.  I love this little button sized morsel of delight, which can be served as is, or with yummy toasted french bread!

Garlic Mushrooms


  • 60g of butter
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 gloves of garlic, crushed
  • 24 button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Add onions, sauté until tender.  Add garlic and cook for a minute.

Stir in mushrooms.  Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add cream and bring to the boil.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Transfer to a serving dish.  Sprinkle with parsley. 

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Stuffed Mushrooms

All hail the humble mushroom.  Often relegated to a chopped vegetable, it can have it's place as a main meal if done right!  I love this delicious stuffed mushroom, you can vary ingredients to make it vegetarian friendly swap the bacon with some finely chopped aubergine/eggplant.

Stuffed Mushrooms


  • 8 to 12 large flat mushrooms
  • 30g of butter
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 125g lean ham or bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded tasty cheese

Remove stalks from mushrooms.  Chop stalks finely. Set aside.

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Saute shallots and ham for a few minutes. Add parsley, cream, worcestershire sauce and mushroom stalks.  Cook for 2 minutes.

Divide mixture evenly between each mushroom.  Top with a little cheese.  Cook under a hot griller until cheese has melted and golden brown.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chocolate Fudge

In my recent jaunts around the Northern English country side I was reunited with one of my favorite lolly shops in the high street of Haworth.  They make the most incredible fudge, which I must treat myself to daily!  Inspired by that moment of deliciousness I thought I'd unearth my mum's lovely chocolate fudge recipe!

Chocolate Fudge


2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
60g butter
155g of dark chocolate, melted
Splash vanilla essence

Butter 20cm square cake tin or glass dish and then set aside.

In a 2.5 litre (10 cup), heavy based saucepan, mix together the sugar, milk, cream and butter until combined.

Stir mixture constantly over moderate heat until a teaspoon dropped into icy water can be shaped into a soft ball with your fingers.

Remove from the heat.  Stir in chocolate and add vanilla.  Cool to lukewarm if you prefer a smooth creamy fudge.  For a more grainy texture, start beating while the fudge mixture is still hot.

Beat steadily with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss.  Pour at once into a tin ( you can press some chopped pecans or walnuts to the surface of the fudge, if you like). Cut the fudge into squares with a sharp knife before it firms completely.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cuernitos - Argentine Bread Rolls

You have your favorite plate of pasta, delicious soup or a dish full of yummy sauce to mop up - then these dinner rolls are the perfect addition!  In Argentina they are called cuernitos.  They are so scrumptious!

Cuernitos - Argentine Bread Rolls


  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • Oil
  • Melted butter

Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt in a  saucepan just until butter melts; remove from heat and cool slightly.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl of electric mixer.  When milk mixture is lukewarm, beat into yeast.  Add 2 cups flour and beat at slow, then medium speed 2 minutes.  

Beat in eggs; when well blended, stop mixer and scrape down bowl.  Slowly add 1 cup of flour, beating at low speed 2 minutes.  Remove beaters, stir in 3/4 cup flour and beat with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth and elastic.

Oil a large bowl and place the dough in.; brush top with oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Set in a warm place. Let dough rise until it doubles.

Punch down the dough when ready and beat out any air bubbles by kneading.  Divide into 4 equal pieces.

Sprinkle remaining flour on a surface and roll each piece in a circle 1/8 inch thick.  Brush with melted butter, then cut each circle in 8 wedges.  Roll each one up from wide to narrow end to form a crescent.  Arrange crescents on lightly oiled baking sheets, allowing room for rolls to triple in size.  Brush with more melted butter, cover with butter and set in warm place to rise for an hour.

Bake in preheated oven 200 degrees celsius for about 10-12 minutes or until pale gold.  Remove to racks.  When cool, bag airtight and refrigerate or freeze.  Just before dinner, remove as many rolls as you'll need; arrange on baking sheets or foil and reheat for 15 minutes until hot.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Night at Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck

As you all know I have been very excited about a trip I had to the UK to visit one of my favourite cooks restaurants The Fat Duck.

You can see a full wrap up on my YouTube channel at:

However here are a few more glimpses into the beauty and theatre of the food.  I wish you could taste and smell through a screen, so you could have the incredible experience I did... I don't think I could eat anywhere in my lifetime that could rival the innovative and beautiful cuisine which I was privileged to enjoy, and the unrivaled service which was a true reflection of class and elegance.  Superb. Truly superb.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Behind these doors lies a place of dreams...
The Fat Duck Wine was a book of earthly delights!

The Food
Toast Sandwich - Sandwich with a toast filling!
Salmon Poached in a Licorice Jell (asparagus, vanilla mayonnaise and golden trout roe)
Botrytis Cinerea
Mock Turtle Soup


Roast Foie Gras, Barberry, Confit Kombu and Crab Biscuit

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Moonbeams (Marshmallows)

This is a lovely version of traditional marshmallows with a little coconut twist!

Moonbeams (Marshmallows)


  • 2 tablespoons plain gelatine
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • Shredded coconut

Soften gelatine in water in a heavy saucepan for 15 minutes.  Stir over low heat until completely dissolved.

Add sugar and heat until boiling.  Boil without stirring for 8 minutes.  Pour into large bowl and col slightly.

Add the vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until the mixture is very thick, glossy and white.

Pour into buttered 20cm square tin.  Let stand until firm.  Cut into squares and coat with coconut.  Store in an air tight container in a cool place.

Cocinar, comer, y ser feliz!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Marzipan Allsorts

Oh my!  These ribbons of chocolate and pink marzipan will be a wonderful addition to any festivity, or simply for a delicious tea time treat.

Marzipan Allsorts


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/4 cup water
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 375g ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • Sifted icing sugar
  • 60g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Few drops of almond essence
  • 1 extra egg white, lightly beaten
  • red food colouring 

In a heavy saucepan, combine regular sugar, water and cream of tartar.  Cook, without stirring, over moderate heat until a teaspoonful dropped into icy water can be shaped into a soft ball with your fingers.

Remove the mixture from the heat.  Add all almonds at once, and stir into smooth paste.  Stir in the 2 beaten egg whites.

Return to heat.  Cook and stir until mixture is thick, 3 or 4 minutes more.  Turn out on to a marble slab or cool surface dusted with some icing sugar,  Let cool until warm enough to handle.

Divide into half.  Mix chocolate and the vanilla into one portion; the almond essence and food color to taste into the remaining portion, blending well.

Roll out each portion to make a rectangle about 5mm thick on sugar dusted surface.  Brush the surface of one colour lightly with extra beaten egg white.  Lay the remaining rectangle over top and press gently.  cut the layered stack in half with a sharp knife.

Brush top of one stack with egg white.  Lift the other stack with a wide spatula and place over the top, making sure colors alternate.  Trim and smooth all edges evenly.  Let stand briefly until firm.

Cut stack with a sharp knife into long strips.  Cut strips crosswise into short pieces.  Store between sheets of greaseproof paper in airtight container.

Cocinar, comer y ser felz!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Vanilla Fudge

Oh yes!  Fudge is such a wonderful treat, a few pieces after a meal or a square or two on the run can certainly lift the day from average to superb!

Vanilla Fudge


  • 410g of condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 60g butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Butter a 20cm square cake tin and then set aside.

In a 2.5 litre, heavy based saucepan, combine the condensed milk with the sugar, fresh milk and butter.

Stir mixture constantly over moderate heat until a teaspoonful dropped into icy water can be shaped into a soft ball with your fingers.

Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Cool to lukewarm, if you prefer a smooth creamy fudge.  For a more grainy texture start beating while mixture is still hot.

Beat steadily with wooden spoon until mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss.  Pour at once into prepared tin and allow to stand until firm.  Cut into squares.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hibiscus Cake - Gateau of Peaches and Pancakes

I love rescuing pancakes from drowning in maple syrup to becoming a fully fledged dessert masterpiece!  Enjoy some pancakes with delicious peaches in this Hibiscus cake.

Hibiscus Cake - Gateau of Peaches and Pancakes



  • 125g (1 cup) plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 x 60g egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300ml (1 1/4 cup) milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • unsalted butter


  • 1 x 825g can of sliced peaches
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 60g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • icing sugar for decoration

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in centre, add egg, egg yolk and a little milk and stir liquids into flour with a wooden spoon.  Gradually mix in half milk and beat batter until smooth.  Stir in melted butter and cream and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Make pancakes in usual way, stacking them with strips of greaseproof paper in between to prevent from sticking.

Drain peaches and reserve syrup.  Sprinkle brandy and cinnamon over peaches.

To finish gateau: Place a pancake in the centre of a heatproof serving plate.  Arrange a layer of sliced peaches on top and sprinkle with brandy Place a second pancake on top, spread jam over and sprinkle with almonds.

Cover with another pancake and repeat alternate layers of filling and pancakes finishing with pancake.  Decorate top with sliced peaches and sprinkle with ground almonds and sifted icing sugar.

Place gateau in a slow oven at 150 degrees celsius for 15 minutes and serve warm with reserved syrup.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cherry Linzer Slices

I love a delicious tea time treats, and none more than delicious jam filled golden pastry in yummy slices!

Cherry Linzer Slices


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 155g soft table margarine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup black cherry jam

In large bowl, stir together flour, almonds, caster sugar, cinnamon and lemon peel.  Add margarine and egg; beat with wooden spoon until dough forms a ball.

On lightly floured surface, lightly knead dough until smooth.  Wrap and chill until quite form, at least 2 hours.

Divide in half.  Press 1 portion with fingertips into base of greased, paper lined biscuit tin (let the paper hang over the tin so you can use as handles).  Spread jam evenly over the dough.

On floured surface, roll out remaining dough and cut into thin strips.  Arrange in lattice fashion, fairly close together, over jam.  Press edges to seal.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Bake at 180 degrees celsius until pastry is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool completely in tin on wire rack.  Lift from tin using paper handles, cut into slices.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pecan Squares

I do love pecan nuts, especially when they are available in delicious squares surrounded by golden pastry.

Pecan Squares

  • 60g butter, softened
  • 90g cream cheese, softened
  • 250g plain flour
  • water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup golden syrup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 125g chopped pecan nuts
  • whipped cream
  • pecan halves to garnish

In a small bowl beat together the 60g butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Mix in the flour until well combined, moistening with water if necessary to make the pastry cling together.  Shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour.

In a bowl stir together the egg, egg yolk, golden syrup, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla.  Beat until mixture is smooth.

On a lightly floured surface roll two thirds of the pastry into a 30x20cm rectangle.  Place in the bottom and 2.5cm (1in) up the sides of a 25x15x5cm baking dish.  Trim to fit. Crimp edges as for a piecrust.  Pour the filling mixture over pastry.  Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top.  On lightly floured surface roll remaining pastry into a 25x15cm rectangle.  With fluted pastry wheel cut into 1cm wide strips.  Lay the strips in a diagonal lattice pattern over the filling.  Trim strips evenly at edge of crust.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 25-30minutes or until fitting is set.  Cool. 

To serve, garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and pecan half, if desired.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Almond and Sesame Praline

Almond and Sesame Praline

There are lovely easy to make desserts which take little time and make scrumptious bites!  I love the taste of the delicious pralines infused with the taste of sesame seeds to have in jar ready for quick fix bites!

Almond and Sesame Praline


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 125grams unblanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

Place sugar, almonds and sesame seed in large, heavy-based frying pan or saucepan.

Cook over low heat, gently stirring occasionally until sugar is melted and mixture is golden brown (don't let the sugar burn!).

Immediately pour out onto lightly oiled baking tray; quickly tilt tray to spread mixture thinly and evenly.  Stand until set.

Break praline into bite size pieces with a wooden spoon.  Store in an air tight cool, dry place.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
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