I love this time of year in Canberra. Clear days and high clouds with cool (but not icy) winds. I won’t say it’s my favourite weather, as it’s not always comfortable, but so long as it’s not wet and overcast, I love it.
Everyone agrees that weather effects emotions and at its most fundamental, warm weather and absence of rain is universally comforting. Winds hit my emotional triggers. Hot summer winds make me edgy, icy winds are just plain icy and no one likes that, but a cool winter wind transports me back to my childhood – hopscotch in the playground, throwing sticks into the creek and running through the back paddocks in gum boots to watch the lambs.
We don’t have lambs in Canberra in late June, but we do start the truffle season. Can I just stop here and say how spoilt we are in Canberra with an abundance of fantastic restaurants, edgy evolving food, excellent local wineries, fresh produce and truffles! I have been hanging out for the start of the Canberra truffle season; it started last weekend and is now all go. For me it started this weekend with a visit to the EPIC markets to get my hands on some locally grown black truffle.
Ever since I saw the episode of ‘My France with Manu (Feildel)’ earlier this year where he sandwiched freshly dug truffle between the halves of a wheel of brie and pan-fried it, I have been dying to make it. There’s no way I can go a whole wheel of brie (or afford that much truffle), so I made this with a modest wedge and about 4 g of black truffle. It doesn’t sound like much, but black truffle is quite strong and 4 g goes a long way. I served this with fresh salad, grapes and some toasted sour dough. I have heard that you can make the truffled brie sandwich ahead and store it in the fridge for several hours to allows the truffle to infuse in the brie.
There are quite a few food marriages made in heaven: white chocolate and macadamia nuts (or caviar if you are Heston Blumenthal); dark chocolate and orange; eggs and bacon; asparagus and Hollandaise sauce; and salt and caramel. Way up in my top ten list is carrot cake and cream cheese icing. But sometimes three makes perfect and here, orange makes a wonderful triumvirate, going exceptionally well with carrot cake and cream cheese. Carrot cake recipes are everywhere and pretty much everyone who bakes has their own. So why would I suggest trying this recipe for carrot cake cupcakes? Simply because they are the softest, moistest and loveliest cupcakes you will ever taste. Continue reading →
Gözleme – where have you been all my life? Have I been blind? But thank goodness I have discovered you! It seems that everyone is making these delicious and simple filled breads. They are showing up at food stalls everywhere and best of all, recipes are everywhere, too. Continue reading →
White chocolate and raspberry are a perfect combination. I made these when I had cream cheese to use up. I adore carrot cake with cream cheese icing but wanted to try something different. I remembered I had frozen raspberries (and I always have white chocolate!) so this was a bit of a no-brainer. I’m not a huge fan of squidgy fruit in cupcakes, so this is basically white chocolate chip cupcakes topped with raspberries, which sink slightly into the mixture during baking. Continue reading →
Bún chả is one of the most delicious and fresh Vietnamese meals you can eat. Grilled pork, rice noodles, loads of greens and a bowl of dipping sauce with pickled carrots and green papaya. As with most Vietnamese street food, its pretty easy to put together, but there are lots of ingredients and it takes a bit of time in preparation. But it’s worth it, so don’t skimp on anything! Continue reading →
My son requested an ice cream cake for his 11th birthday. My mind immediately ran to all things exotic and fancy. But he just wanted three layers of coloured ice cream with sprinkles on top. So, we compromised. This cake was so easy to make – it took a bit of time and planning, but we had wonderful fun developing the recipe and deciding what extras would go in each of the layers. We landed on chocolate bottom, strawberry middle and vanilla top with white chocolate shards to decorate the sides and milk chocolate on the top. Of course you can make your own ice cream, but with all the palava of a kid’s birthday party, I didn’t need the stress of making my own. So, I used store-bought Neapolitan ice cream. Continue reading →