Month: December 2013

Little Bites


Friends Margi and Paul were over visiting from Perth and we had great catch up over delicious small bites at Dig a Pony in Yarraville.
The small plates of food were delicious and produced with great care. I loved these croquettes served whimsical on a miniature cake cooler.
I think sometimes small tastes can be more delicious as we don’t crowd our taste buds and overeat and over satiate.

It makes me thing a lot about trying to serve smaller amounts of quality food.
For example try one really good delicious cheese and not a platter or simply serve really ripe tomatoes with a good fresh mozzarella.

Chocolate Plum Pud



I adore Christmas traditional Plum Pudding and another old friend Barb and I had a successful part-time job making plum puddings at university ,which the proceeds of helped me travel around Asia on holidays. Now at Christmas Olivia and Zoe aren’t keen on that heavy style of plum pudding – maybe its something for a more sophisticated palate ??

We will probably sit down to pavlova or a delicious trifle – something lighter for a hot day.

This recipe sourced by friend Belinda includes cocoa and gives a subtle chocolate flavour with a small addition of currents,prunes and raisins – so enough fruit but without being too heavy. Just delicious !!

Here it is served with fresh red currents and lashings of cream.http://,chocolate,plum,pudding

Happy Christmas and here is the link for the recipe







Funky Lunch Boxes



An idea for feeding a large group of people without having too many leftovers is providing a lunch box. This one has a pulled pork brioche bun (skewered to look good and stay shut),a small serve of potato salad, a quinoa salad with pomegranate , and a lime and blueberry cheesecake – no base included .

These small serves give a hint of different flavours with the sweet desert at the end and are all served within a small disposable bamboo container or espresso cups. We had a fabulous baker called Noisette in Port Melbourne bake us small brioche buns, which we then filled with a pulled pork – slow cooked shoulder and nice crunchy coleslaw.

The special touch is serving in a tin – aka lunch box with menu inserted in the top – this will take you back to your school days !! I think the bento boxes are sometimes the best examples of this.



Christmas Bark

We have been making lots of parfait – a desert using egg yolks and sugar syrup leaving an inordinate amount of egg whites . The challenge is how to make great use of these leftovers. Martine a beautiful gentle Mauritian woman beat the egg whites adding sugar – then taking this meringue scraping it flat onto a baking tray – she then sprinkled some freeze dried strawberries, finely shreeded lime leaves and mint pieces. This bark was then slowly cooked in a warming drawer – you could use an oven at 85c to achieve the same effect. After 6 hours we had this wonderful christmas bark – shards of meringue – yum !!!

Here is a recipe from the Boson Globe




Cupcake Fix




What to do with those leftover cakes or muffins that didn’t quite work or you made too many. These are muffins or cupcakes that are vanilla and rather wasting them we popped them in the freezer for another occasion. 

I am not fond of eating all that icing on top so other ideas for topping small cakes are topping with meringue.and filling with a special filling . Firstly before finishing with meringue take out a small section of the top of the cake and fill with a sweet flavour such as lemon curd, cream and jam, dulce de leche,etc This gives that little cake a hit of flavour and a surprise as you bite into it. Yum

Swiss style meringue is the perfect accompaniment and a finish with a blow torch and you will have a very professional looking batch of cakes. Perfect for that special occasion.