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Showing posts from August, 2013

Cinnamon Scrolls Mark II

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Welllll.. After the cinnamon-scone-scrolls last time I thought I'd do them properly. We all know scrolls are light and fluffy and almost like a soft puff pastry, so that's what I sought to achieve!

I did a bit of research online and looked at a few recipes on taste.com, so here is a bit of a mash up of a couple of different recipes. As you can see there's a bit more work involved but the outcome is definitely worth it!

You will need...
For the dough
3 1/2 cups plain flour
pinch salt
1 1/3 cups milk, warmed
3 tsp dried yeast
2 tbs caster sugar
2 eggs
200gr unsalted chilled butter, chopped finely
flour, extra for dusting

For the Filling
100gr butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs golden syrup
(add a handful of chopped walnuts and some sultanas if you wish)

For the Icing
1 cup sifted icing sugar
2 Tbs milk
Vanilla essence

Method...
1. Add the yeast to the warm milk with the sugar and mix well to combine, leave to sit for 1 minute. Break the e…

Daintree Dough

It's still there! Nice and aerated and yeasty looking, with lots of new life. After this weekend's reduction I'll probably put the mother dough in the fridge to store now and feed it once a week.

I'm really happy with how its turned out and to see my dedication is paying off! Looking forward to baking my own dough every weekend, and so glad I tried something different and looking towards the next trial- maybe cheese to go with the bread? Mmmm....

Sauce Romesco, Salsa Verde and Mango Salsa

A nicely made condiment can make even the most boring dish amazing...  I'll give you 3 easy recipes for 3 different meals!

Romesco Sauce

This is a Catalan sauce that is made of roast capsicums, almonds, bread and olive oil. It goes well with anything off the barbecue, but works best with seafood!

You will need...
1 jar of roasted capsicums**
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
1 slice bread (vienna or sourdough work well)
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Method...
1. Soak the bread in the vinegar and olive oil.
2. In a mortar and pestle, bash the almonds and garlic to a fine paste, add the bread, salt, pepper and paprika and crush all together.
2. Chop up the capsicum finely and add to the almond paste and continue to smash all the ingredients together until they form a nice paste- it doesn't have to be super smooth, just to your liking.
3. Serve over grilled fish, prawns or squid with chopped basil to garnish.

**or, you can get…

Spring is in the air...

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I've got my fingers and toes crossed hoping that Winter is now well and truly over. This means one of my favourite seasons for food is upon us- Spring!

I've got big plans this spring to eat healthier and try to use more seasonal fruit and veggies. Which means, less baking and heavy foods, more barbecuing and salads! And of course, more adventures to local produce markets and lovely local cafes for lunch in the sun :-)
I'm not going to give much away but I will let you know that I'm planning to do some cured Salmon, stuffed zucchini flowers, artichoke dip, nice light pastas and a few spring-inspired desserts (not to mention Cupcake Week!) this season, so if you're keen to see new recipes then sign up to receive email updates, or stay tuned to my social media pages!

Also, if you've got any recipes you'd like to see me try out, send me an email to elise.colella@gmail.com, or if you've tried any of my recipes and want to chat about it, don't be shy to …

Sourdough Week 3!

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I'm in my third week of Sourdough already- can you believe it? We've decided it's about time we give it a name, after all, we've grown close- feeding it, watering it, giving it TLC, so we've named it 'Daintree Dough'.



It's looking extra loved this week, we can't decide weather it's because of the crazy winds we've been having, or just the extra time that's lapsed but when I did my reduction yesterday and again decided to use the 'waste' to make a dough, it rose beautifully.



I may have done a couple of things differently- like leaving the dough a bit wetter, adding about 4 grains of sugar (I was petrified if I added too much I'd be ruining my beautiful dough), leaving the dough to prove next to the heater for 2 hours, then on the kitchen bench overnight before punching it back and leaving it again to prove all day (so 24 hours of proving all up). And baking it according to Hugh's instructions, in a hot oven, with a pan of …

Baked Cherry Amaretti Cheesecake

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Now I know it's not cherry season yet in Australia, we get the best cherries around Christmas time. I have some of the best memories buying cherries by the box and sitting there and devouring half the box in no time flat! But I think jar or tinned morello cherries work pretty well, they're nice and syrupy!

Amaretti pair beautifully with cherries, lovely Italian macaroons add a gorgeous almond flavour. They're quite similar to french macaroons, in the sense that they're made from a base of egg whites and almond meal, but when you purchase these bikkies they usually have quite a strong marzipan flavour. YUM!! You can grab a packet of these from the international section of your local grocers, or if you're game you can make some, just make sure you add a few drops of almond essence to your mix!

I am definitely more inclined to baked cheesecake rather then cold-set. I know baking requires more time and energy, but I think the end result proves that the hard work is def…

Pulled Pork

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This is my first time making pulled pork! I found a cast-iron French oven at Aldi the other week for cheap as chips (opposed to Le Chasseur cast iron ovens that go for around the $200 mark) and thought pulled pork would be a great first meal to try out in it.

So I popped into my local butcher, they were so helpful and boned me out a pork shoulder then and there. I ended up getting just over 2kgs worth, skinned, boned and trussed for around $20. I even got some Himalayan pink salt with peppercorns in a grinder for less then $3- I've bought this at a Sydney providore for around the $12 mark in the past so I thought it was a real steal!



I looked up a few different recipes but in true Hangry Chef style I ended up making it up as I went along! And I don't like to toot my own horn (but I will anyway), but it's pretty much the most amazing thing I've ever eaten!

You will need... (for a 2kg bone-out pork shoulder)
For the Rub
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cinnam…

Kiama Produce Market

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The best part about living in the South Coast area of the Illawarra is that we're so close to all the best produce of the area. I set myself a challenge recently to make more of an effort to buy and grow my own organic produce, and I have to say I'm quite proud of myself!

Today we took the short drive down to Kiama (about 10 minutes from where we live!), this sleepy town is known for its beautiful beaches and is home to many people who enjoy the quiet close-knit community. It's got a wonderful spectrum of locals- ranging from retirees to young families, and lets not forget the surfers who can be seen paddling out on the crystal clear blue waters at any time of year.


The markets are over a dozen stalls neatly lined along the path running along the beach. They are predominantly food, with a couple of clothing stalls and even a massage stall thrown in just incase you need a rub down after all your hard work shopping-just don't forget the ice bricks so your food keeps chil…

PASTAAAAAA!!!!

Ok it's no secret. I love pasta. I have a bottomless pit stomach for pasta. I can eat more pasta then is humanly possible. My husband, Matt, will throw down his fork and exclaim  'I can't eat another bite!' and I'll not only have finished my bowl 10 minutes ago, but will stare at his unfinished bowl of pasta like a dog at a bone until he eyes me and says 'eat it!'... I'm a pig.

I'll then pick at the extra pasta I made to save for lunch tomorrow. I had good intentions but we both know its not going to last that long... It's just so good! Comfort food at its best. Nothing makes me feel the way pasta does... Well.. Almost nothing..... Ice cream's pretty good too!!!

I don't have a favourite way to eat pasta, when I was younger I used to eat it every day after school a'la carbonara- dodgy style though, with loads of cream instead of egg like its supposed to be! Then when I became a chef, it was a staple in my diet again being the cheapest…

Tips and Tricks of the Trade # 3

Time for another trick of the trade! Actually here's a couple that will help you out if you ever run into strife....

1. Bug repellent: If you have trouble with Weevils (the tiny little bugs that breed in your flour container), place a bay leaf in the container as a natural deterrent. Or you can scatter a few bay leaves around your pantry.

2. Longer lasting herbs: Store any herbs upright in the fridge with their cut stems in water, like you would a bunch of flowers. Just cover well with a damp chux or cloth and glad wrap.

3. Need more juice: Roll your citrus fruits on the bench, pressing down firmly with the palm of your hand. If you want even more juice, warm them up slightly by microwaving them for 5 seconds.

4. Check if an eggs cooked: Spin an egg on its side, if it spins smoothly it's hard boiled, if if wobbles it's still raw.

Hope these tips have been helpful... Until next time! Xx

Bitterballen (Dutch Meatballs)

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My mother-in-law was born in Holland. If you ever met her you wouldn't believe it because she's about as Aussie as they come, but she really treasures her Dutch heritage and has passed as much of it as she can to her children. Dutch food has always been a staple in their household and this was really exciting for me because it was something that was quite foreign to me.

Although really Italy and The Netherlands aren't THAT far away, their cuisine couldn't be any more different. I never really encountered much deep-frying in my Nonna's kitchen (except for the times she made my favourite treat- Crostoli which is basically deep fried pasta dough smothered in icing sugar), not only that but the flavours were so different, you can tell that both cuisines are a result of availability and environmental factors (all cuisines are really!)

It's obvious that the Dutch are a resourceful lot, living in colder climates, below sea level where they have to build dykes and dams…

Eat,drink+beKerry: Eat your way around Eumundi Markets on Queensland'...

We did this last school holidays- the only thing she forgot to mention was the Belly and Balls food stand (its not as rude as it sounds!)...

Had the best lunch here of succulent slow roast pork belly on a roll with slaw and barbecue sauce and just to be gluttons, a couple of arancini balls for good measure! Deep fried delights of risotto mixed with sun dried tomato and pesto..

We came along the same stall at the Noosa Farmers Markets but had already stuffed our faces so couldn't go back for seconds :-(!

Eat,drink+beKerry: Eat your way around Eumundi Markets on Queensland'...: Amongst the jewellery, fashion, art, furniture, handmade toys and homewares at Eumundi Market on Queensland's Sunshine Coast just nor...

Sourdough Days 5 -10 & Our trip to Berry

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It's coming along quite nicely, it's got a distinct sour smell and looks nice and bubbly still. I'm still not quite sure if I'm doing it properly, but it's not mouldy yet so I'm guessing I'm doing something right (better not speak too soon though!).

I've been feeding it my mix of strong bread flour, spelt and rye for the last 10 days now, just with tap water. I had another reduction the day before yesterday and again instead of discarding the excess mix, I made a little tester dough just to see how it tasted.


The sourdough flavour is definitely there now- I actually prepared this one properly by kneading for about 10 minutes then allowing it to prove in a warm spot for 3-4 hours. It didn't show too many signs in the way of rising, and was extremely dense when I pulled it out of the oven, which basically tells me the dough still has loads of yeast to capture, also that I may need to incorporate some other kind of flour perhaps? Maybe one that will re…

Standard Dessert Sauces #3 - Ganache

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You will need...
250gr good-quality dark cooking chocolate (such as Calebaut) 60ml pure cream, room temperature 15gr (1Tbs) unsalted butter, room temperature
Method... 1. Using the water bath method, put your ingredients all together in a clean, metal bowl over a saucepan half-full of simmering water (making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl). 2. Slowly stir using a wooden spoon, bringing the ingredients from the outer edge of the bowl to the middle, more of a folding method rather then a vigorous stirring. Once the chocolate has completely melted, remove from the heat and use as desired!

Standard Dessert Sauces # 2 - Raspberry Coulis

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This will go really well with the Orange Almond Cake if you wish to serve it with a nice fruity summery sauce!

You will need..  400gr frozen raspberries (you can use fresh if you prefer, but frozen work just as well!) 1/3 cup of caster sugar 1 Tbs water 1/2 Tbs lemon juice (leave the seeds in if you can- I'll explain why later!) 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
Method... 1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, simmer over a medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes and don't bring to the boil. 2. Using a stick blender process the mix to get any lumps out (or pop into a food-processor or blender) 3. Then sieve through a fine mesh strainer. Use the back of your spoon to push through all the pulp. As you squish the raspberry seeds and lemon seeds to release the PECTIN which aids to thicken your coulis :-) this is also a technique for making jams and marmalades too. 4. Leave the coulis to sit for an hour or so before using, you can preserve it in a ja…

Standard Dessert Sauces #1 - Anglaise

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I thought I'd do a few different standard dessert sauces and get them out of the way. There are a plethora (I like this word!) of different sweet sauces you can make up to spice up any dessert you make.

All sauces are variants of Four classic sauces;
1) Milk or cream based sauces
2) Chocolate based sauces
3) Fruit based sauces
4) Sugar based sauces

Today I'll do Anglaise (milk), Ganache (chocolate) and Raspberry Coulis (fruit) as I've already done butterscotch in my Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe which is a sugar-based sauce.


(I'll do the hardest one first!)
You will need...
300ml full-cream milk
30gr caster sugar
3 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod, split in half
(for alternative flavours you can also use star anise and cinnamon)

Method...
1. In a large bowl, combine your egg yolks and sugar until they become a little lighter in colour.
2. Add the vanilla and milk in a heavy-based saucepan and slowly bring just to simmering point, then quickly remove from the heat so it doesn&…

Cupcake Week!

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It's Cupcake week from the 16th-22nd of September! Ok, it's in the UK but I've decided to set myself a cooking challenge anyway!

Between now and then I'd like you, my readers, to send me requests for flavours of cupcakes you'd like to see me make at either in a comment below or an email to elise.colella@gmail.com or alternatively message me on Facebook if you're lucky enough to be a friend of mine!


I'll be making a different type of cupcake every day for the whole week, so if I get plenty of requests I'm sorry but I'll have to pick which ones to make. I may even take it to a vote! If you have a particular recipe in mind send it on, but make sure you let me know who's recipe it is so I can give them proper credit!

I'm excited to see what flavours you guys can suggest, and make sure you challenge me! If you're nearby and would like to purchase any cupcakes (especially if they're a flavour that you requested), feel free to drop me a li…

Tabbouleh and Labane bi khiyar- Vegetarian/Vegan friendly!

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A Lebanese feast is my idea of heaven! We have an awesome authentic Lebanese restaurant in Wollongong. It's family-run and you just know that the recipes they use have been in the family for generations. It's such an amazing cuisine because it can be so light, with gorgeous salads and grilled skewers with chicken, lamb and beef, and so heavy with deep-fried goodies and rich creamy dips!

Labane bi khiyar is basically the Lebanese name for a dip thats almost identical to the Greek Tzatziki. It's a yoghurt-based dip with freshly grated cucumber, with loads of mint, garlic and lemon juice. It also can refer to a salad with the same ingredients.

Tabbouleh is a salad traditionally made of chopped fresh parsley, finely diced tomato, cucumber, onion and burghal- otherwise known as bulgur which is cracked wheat. It's really delicious and pretty good for you too!

You will need...