On my first visit to Vietnam I did what comes naturally to me – I bought the Lonely Planet guide and researched food like there was no tomorrow. And as soon as I saw the picture of the Saigon roll in my Lonely Planet guide, I knew I had to find one. A couple of issues there, starting with the folly of trying to locate food places in a very ‘dynamic’ country using a print version of a book that was four years out of date. Unfazed, I researched the best place in Ho Chi Minh to find the best Saigon roll and it happened to be a little stand located on a little street, which in spite of my best pre-breakfast efforts (and the herculean stamina and patience of my travelling companion) I could not locate. I needn’t have worried as pretty much every Saigon roll in Vietnam is wonderful (and I had a few!). Continue reading
This is one of those great desserts that can be made ahead and made in a hurry. It’s egg free and can be served after an hour or so in the fridge, but will firm up over night and still produce a light and fluffy mousse.
Sometimes I will make a simple crumb base to add a bit of extra texture (blitz some plain biscuits with a little melted butter and spoon into the bottom of each serving bowl before adding the mousse on top), but this is entirely optional!
For these ones, I sprinkled some grated chocolate on the top for a bit of colour.
I updated my little banner this morning – realised it was still in its ‘summer’ mode even though today is the first of August, zero degrees C outside and rain forecast! Yes, it has been THAT long since I posted a recipe. But here we go, something to lift the soul and sweeten the heart. Continue reading
I love duck! What is not to like about BBQ duck? Absolutely nothing. And it doesn’t come better than when it is smothered in hoisin sauce and rolled up in a delish soft pancake with a sliver of crunchy cucumber and spring onion. This dish is a hit at my place and there are rarely any leftovers. The BBQ roast duck is so simple to make and the results are a crispy skin and succulent flesh. I make my own pancakes because I simply can’t find pre-made ones anywhere! But although they make this recipe a bit of a labour, they’re easy to make ahead of time and store in the fridge until needed. Continue reading
In recognition of ‘International Pancake Day’ – or Shrove Tuesday
When I was younger and growing up in country Victoria, the biggest thrill of going into the nearest provincial city was eating out. We ate McDonalds once a year (if we were lucky) and at other times, for a posh outing, were allowed to go to the Pancake Parlour. Yes, even then I thought it was a bit kooky, but I just couldn’t get over how delicious pancakes could be.
Now the point of this recipe is show. And why not? After all Shrove Tuesday, or International Pancake Day (for us gluttons) only happens once a year. This is hardly a recipe, more an assembly job. Inspired by the wonderful stacks of pancakes that make eating pancakes such a special thing. Continue reading
Sausage rolls are an absolute favourite of ours. And these pork and apple ones are the best. I have really lovely memories of buying these as a treat for my eldest son and I when we lived in York in the UK when he was a wee toddler. The place I rented was right next to the York railway station and we just loved the train sounds. My son was a huge fan of Thomas the Tank Engine; we had all the videos (yes, you heard me right…) and I loved listening to Ringo read the stories to the model trains jiggling about on their sets. I have Thomas to thank for teaching my son his colours, his numbers and the joy of reading. Every Saturday, we would go for a walk to the station, and he’d get his jollies looking at all the trains (I’m so cheap). Sometimes, I would lash out and take him to the National Railway Museum, where you can see the replica of Stephenson’s Rocket. I was always way more impressed with the Chinese Engine at the museum. If you have never been there and you are visiting York, You Must Go! Now my eldest is 16 and he still loves pork and apple sausage rolls and will never admit to liking trains. Making sausage rolls from scratch sounds a bit tedious, but it’s not at all. I love how you can change things around, play with the flavours. Sometimes I make these with pork, pear and blue cheese, sometimes chicken mince and sage… I tend to avoid lean mince for sausage rolls, as they tend to be drier. Higher fat content = juicier sausage rolls. Here comes the recipe…. Continue reading
This is what to do with experiments in molecular gastronomy. Hide it in mousse. Super easy (apart from the fruit caviar part), light and with a delicious surprise of bursting ‘grapes’ in the middle. I like the added texture from the tempered white chocolate and the salted caramel sand (which also contrasted the sweetness of the grape). Continue reading
Is there anything better for a baking fiend than getting a 2.5 kg bag of chocolate for Christmas? I think there is – when the bag in question is Lindt couverture and is accompanied by a chocolate recipe book (or two). Continue reading