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Fizzy tomato and basil aspic (Fizzy) January 21, 2019

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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Fizzy Theme - Andrew's EntreeThis was an experimental dish served as the entree for the Fizzy dinner. It was inspired by setting sparkling wine in gelatin and this recipe for jazzing up a tin of condensed tomato soup. While the recipe on the night didn’t turn out to be fizzy, three previous experiments with the recipe had worked. I think the main issue may have been the type of mold used to set the liquid in – a flat container may have made it go flat!


  • 2.5 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 75mL water
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3-4 mini roma tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 250mL condensed tomato soup
  • salt and pepper
  • 175mL soda water
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves (torn)


  1. Ensure that soda water is very cold, e.g. give it an extra chill in the freezer. Also ensure that the molds that you’ll use later to made the jelly are also chilling.
  2. Chop the red onion very finely, mince the garlic, and chop the mini tomatoes into small pieces.
  3. In a small container, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside.
  4. Prepare an ice bath, or just a sink with cold water in it.
  5. Place a small saucepan on medium heat, add some oil, and when hot fry the onion until well softened.
  6. Add the minced garlic, stir for a bit, then add the tomatoes, brown sugar and rosemary. Continue to cook until it is soft, aromatic and beginning to turn into a jam consistency.
  7. Pour the condensed soup into another small saucepan and heat over a low setting. When hot, stir in the onion jam mixture, then the gelatin mixture, and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
  8. Remove the soup from the heat and place in the ice bath. Stir occasionally until the soup has cooled to room temperature.
  9. Get the mold ready. Stir the basil leaves into the soup, then add the soda water and gently but briefly mix to combine.
  10. Pour the soup into the molds and place in the freezer for a few minutes, before moving to the fridge to allow to complete the setting process.
  11. Once set, remove from the molds by pouring very hot water on the outside of the mold. The aspic should slip out.
  12. To serve, gently place on cream cheese, top with fresh basil leaves, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and present with crackers.



Sparkling BBQ Salt (Fizzy) January 21, 2019

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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This was the seasoning for the oven-baked potato chips in the Fizzy dinner. It was inspired by the reference to sparkling salt on the Ideas in Food blog and this seasoned potato chips recipe. It has a fun fizzing taste that complements the slightly spicy hit from the chilli.


  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 1 /4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt flakes


  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix while crushing the ingredients together.
  2. Sprinkle over hot chips. (Better if chips are not too wet/oily.)

Goats Cheese Tarts (Quince) January 2, 2018

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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Quince ThemeThis was a dish at the conclusion of the Quince dinner.

The failure here was using gluten free puff pastry – it didn’t puff at all and was like cardboard. The cheese filling was quite delicious though. I didn’t follow a recipe exactly but based it on this one

I used the same amount of goat cheese and ricotta but added thyme and honey. This was then topped with the quince paste.


White Chocolate and Cranberry Bread-and-Butter-Pudding August 7, 2016

Posted by kerribatch in Recipes.
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Winter Celebration ThemeThis was a component of the dessert in the Winter Celebration dinner, and is based on this bread and butter pudding recipe.

I used mandarins instead of satsumas.

Vanilla and Clove Icecream (Winter Celebration) August 7, 2016

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Winter Celebration ThemeThis was a component of the dessert in the Winter Celebration dinner, and is based on this vanilla icecream recipe.

I added 6 cloves to the custard as it was cooking and steeped them overnight, straining them out when I put the custard into the ice-cream churner.


Chicken Enchilada Bundt Bread (Tins and Moulds) May 21, 2016

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's Mains (1 of 2)This dish was served as the main course at the Tins and Moulds dinner.

Chicken Enchilada Bundt Bread

The bundt bread was based on a recipe on the Old El Paso website.

I tripled the filling as I wanted to make three (two meat and one vegetarian).
For the vegetarian bundt bread I roasted some red and yellow mini capsicums and added those to the filling. I used two Jiffy cornbread packets that I had from a recent trip to the US.
For the two chicken enchilada breads I made my own cornbread as I needed it to be gluten free. I used this recipe here as a bit of a guide but weighed the two packets of Jiffy cornbread mix to get a feel for how much cornmeal and flour I would need. I used polenta (you can grind up polenta to make cornmeal if you really want to) and gluten-free plain flour.

I used 4 cups polenta and 1 cup gluten free plain flour. I also made my own buttermilk (1 tsp white vinegar to 1 cup milk and leave to to stand for 10-15 mins) and used about 2 and 3/4 cups of it and 2 eggs. I used about 150gms of melted butter. I didn’t use the bacon drippings (that was just needed to grease the pan) or the sugar. I did use about 1/2 tsp salt. I’m also not sure about the quantities in this recipe for baking soda (bi-carb soda). I considered this to be way too much and only used 1 scant tsp for the double mixture. Most other recipes call for baking powder so I’m not sure if this was a typo.

I then made the bundt breads as per the recipe. I used a mix of Kraft Mexican blend cheese and shredded Colby.


  • Grease the tins really well.
  • Use less than half the cornbread mix first because the tin is smaller at the bottom and you end up with a thick layer if you use half and then don’t have enough for the next layer (I had to make another quick batch of cornbread – 3/4 cup polenta 1/4 cup g/f plain flour, 1 egg, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/8tsp baking soda).
  • Keep the filling narrow and push down the cornbread so that the two layers of cornbread meet otherwise you can see the layer of filling and it separates when you tip it out of the tin.

FYI – this recipe served 6 easily (and not 4 as stated).

Mexican Salsa

I also made this salsa to serve with the bread.

Because I wasn’t following the recipe closely I sauteed my onion for 5-10 mins. I used tinned tomatoes and blitzed them with a hand-held blender before I added to the pan. I also just finely chopped the coriander because I had forgotten to add to the tinned tomatoes. I didn’t add cumin but did use the juice of a lime. I also used about six slices of jalapenos from a jar instead of the 2-3 hot peppers and it definitely wasn’t very spicy so I would add a few more next time.

Avocado and Cucumber Mousse (Tins and Moulds) May 21, 2016

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's EntreeFor entree at the Tins and Moulds dinner, I made a avocado and cucumber mousse, based on a recipe at this blog.

I doubled the recipe but only because I wasn’t sure how much mousse this recipe made and I needed it to fit in the fish shaped mould (not shown).  I didn’t use the salsa recipe but instead just finely chopped red and yellow mini roma tomatoes, spring onion and added a bit of pepper and a glug of olive oil.  I also served with celery sticks and corn chips.

Mole Chicken (Foods of Love) March 14, 2016

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This dish was served at the Foods of Love dinner, and is based on a couple of recipes.

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (4 of 4)Mole Sauce

I used this Pati Jinich recipe.

I omitted the almonds (because of an allergy) and anise seeds (because I couldn’t find them in any of the four shops I went to). I used peanut butter instead of peanuts. I also used a range of fresh and dried chillies and tinned chipotles in adobe sauce. Because I was worried about it being too hot (cooking the sauce was making my eyes water) I removed the chillies before blending and it ended up being quite mild. I made the sauce the day before and it was very, very earthy and quite bitter. I googled ‘how to fix a bitter mole’ and basically determined that mole’s need a lot of sugar and salt to taste good so i kept adding agave syrup and salt until it tasted ok. Approx 1/3-1/2 cup agave syrup and 1-2tsps salt.

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 4)Chicken Mole

I then cooked the sauce and chicken according to this David Lebovitz recipe.

I used about 1.5kg of thigh fillets instead of a whole chicken and only used about half of the mole from the first recipe.

I served it with fresh limes, basmati rice and roasted vegetables. I roasted sweet potato, red onion, zucchini and corn with some oil and dried oregano.

Lime and Salted Caramel Popcorn (Citrus) March 13, 2016

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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Citrus Theme - Andrew's DessertThis recipe formed part of the Citrus dinner. This recipe has been reproduced from memory, so apologies if it isn’t quite right!


  • 1 medium-sized lime
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) popping corn
  • 2 tablespoons (40mL) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 stick (125g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (190mL) white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (40mL) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) salt


  1. Set the oven to 140 degrees Celcius.
  2. Using a fine grater, remove the zest from the lime. Also, juice the lime and set aside.
  3. Line two flat baking trays (or just use one, but do two shifts later) with baking paper.
  4. Pour oil into a large saucepan, and add a few kernels of popping corn. Cover and place over high heat until you hear the corn begin to pop.
  5. Remove from heat, add in all the remaining popping corn, cover and return to heat. Gently shake the saucepan, and continue while waiting for popping to begin and then to decrease to only one pop every couple of seconds. Remove from heat and empty into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the lime zest over the popped corn and gently stir through.
  7. Place the butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Do not stir, at least not once the butter has melted. Watch the mixture and wait until it turns a light golden colour, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat, and carefully pour in the lime juice. Return to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and combined, then remove.
  9. Scatter the cooked popcorn over the baking trays, then pour the lime caramel evenly over the popcorn. Place the trays in the oven.
  10. After 8 minutes, remove and gently turn the popcorn so that the caramel is evenly spread. Return to the oven for another 8 minutes.
  11. Remove trays, sprinkle salt over the popcorn and allow it all to cool. Break the pieces apart and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Jaffa Mousse Cake (Citrus) March 13, 2016

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Citrus Theme - Andrew's DessertThis recipe formed part of the dessert for the Citrus dinner, and comes from Christine Manfield’s book Paramount Desserts. I have adapted to sizes to match my bakeware, and fixes a mistake in the original published recipe.

Ingredients – Chocolate Fudge Cake

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 150g+150g (300g total) castor sugar
  • zest of 1 orange (finely grated)

Ingredients – Jaffa Mousse

  • 200mL milk
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 50mL fresh orange juice
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 300mL thick (45% fat) cream

Ingredients – Orange Caramel

  • 150mL fresh orange juice
  • 300g castor sugar
  • 100mL water
  • zest of 3 oranges


  1. Heat oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Grease and line two cake tins measuring at least 30cm x 21cm and ~5cm deep. Note that these tins will need to sit in larger dishes for a water bath. Also, separate the eggs at this point.
  2. Finely chop the chocolate and place it with the butter in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted, and then set aside to cool a little.
  3. Place the yolks and 150g of sugar in a mixing bowl, and use electric beaters to beat until it is light and frothy.
  4. Place the egg whites in another bowl, and beat until stiff peaks form, then slowly add remaining 150g of sugar while beating slowly to form a light, glossy mixture.
  5. Add the orange zest to the egg yolk mixture and mix through well. Then stir the melted chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, and then fold in the egg white mixture until combined but don’t over-mix.
  6. Pour the resulting cake batter into the two tins, and then cover the surfaces with a piece of baking paper.
  7. Boil water. Place cake tins into the larger dishes, and position in the oven before pouring the hot water into the water baths. Bake for 20 minutes or until the centre is set, tested by a clean skewer.
  8. After removing from the oven, peel off the baking paper on the tops, remove from the tins, and allow to cook on a wire rack.
  9. Chocolate fudge cakes should be wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge until ready to be used.
  10. Now make the jaffa mousse, although you may need to clean up the kitchen first if you want to reuse mixing bowls.
  11. Place the milk and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a simmer before removing from the heat.
  12. Beat egg yolks and castor sugar in a mixing bowl, and use electric beaters to beat until pale and creamy. Strain the orange juice into the mixing bowl, and then whisk it through the mixture. Then slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl while whisking.
  13. Soften the gelatine leaves in a glass of cold water, then remove and gently squeeze the leaves to remove excess water. Stir these into the mixture until dissolved.
  14. Finely chop the chocolate, and place in a plastic bowl, and zap in the microwave on high for 30s at a time, stirring between each. When chocolate is almost completely melted, do not retun to the microwave, and instead stir until all chocolate is melted. Then set aside.
  15. Pour the egg and orange mixture into a metal bowl, and stir over a saucepan of simmering water until the mixture “coats the back of a spoon” and thickens slightly.
  16. Strain the mixture into a mixing bowl through a fine sieve, and discard the zest. Stir the melted chocolate into the mixture. Make an ice bath, e.g. in the sink, and stir the mixture until cool.
  17. Place the cream into a bowl and beat until it is whipped. Then fold the cream into the chocolate-orange mixture. Note that the mixture will set in about 30 minutes, so it is time to press on and assemble the cake.
  18. Line a square-sided 22cm x 9cm x 6cm loaf tin with baking paper, leaving some sticking out the top to aid in removal later.
  19. Remove fudge cake from fridge and cut 1cm thick slices of it to line the bottom, sides and ends of the tin. (Don’t use it all up at this point, though.)
  20. Pour the jaffa mousse mixture into the tin, leaving a space at the top. Place a 1cm thick layer of the fudge cake on the top to seal it all in.
  21. Wrap the whole tin in cling film and place in the fridge for 5 hours to set completely.
  22. The orange caramel can be made shortly before serving, but can also be omitted without compromising the dessert.
  23. Strain the orange juice and set aside.
  24. Boil sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat without stirring until it turns caramel coloured. Keep a close eye on it, the whole time!
  25. Reduce the heat, then carefully pour the juice and zest into the hot caramel, and cook for a few minutes more until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  26. Remove the saucepan, pour the mixture into a jug and allow to cool to room temperature.
  27. Finally, to serve the jaffa mousse cake, remove from the fridge and unwrap, and pull out of the tin using the baking paper.
  28. Using a hot, wet knife, slice the cake into thin wedges and place on plate with a smear of the orange caramel.
  29. Serves 8-10.