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Same But Different October 23, 2016

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For possibly the first time, we ended up having two recipe clubs arranged for the same month, with this dinner on Monday 25th July. In honour of this unusual event, we decided the dinner would be inspired by the food from the previous dinner this month (Tofu). It wasn’t meant to be an exact copy, but the “same but different”. Andrew and Jacinta served the dishes and Andrew hosted in his newly renovated kitchen.


Same But Different Theme - Entre

The first dish was Andrew’s take on Franca’s silken tofu soup – it was carrot, ginger and tofu soup.


Same But Different Theme - Mains (1 of 2) Same But Different Theme - Mains (2 of 2)

The main course was inspired by Franca’s bean curd wraps and eggplant stirfry. Andrew served a corn flour flatbread (that unfortunately didn’t roll up) and an imam’s moussaka from Annabel’s Crabb’s cookbook.


Same But Different Theme - Dessert (1 of 2) Same But Different Theme - Dessert (2 of 2)

Inspired by Laura’s chocolate cheesecake and choc-chip cookies, Jacinta made a yummy chocolate, coconut and macadamia tart and choc-chip and tahini biscuits.

Tins and Moulds May 21, 2016

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On Monday 9th May, Jacinta hosted a dinner that was a celebration of tins and moulds. Jacinta cooked the savoury dishes and Andrew made dessert.


Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's Entree

To begin the evening, Jacinta made us an avocado and cucumber mousse.


Tins and Moulds - Jacinta's Mains (1 of 2)

Jacinta followed up with a chicken enchilada bundt bread with mexican salsa.


Tins and Moulds - Andrew's Dessert

For dessert, Andrew plated up slices of date and walnut nut loaf with discs of home-made cultured butter, Melbourne-breakfast flavoured tea jellies, and dollops of date syrup.

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

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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.

Citrus March 12, 2016

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For our first dinner in 2016, we met on Monday 18th January at Andrew’s house for a dinner in the theme of Citrus. Kerri made the savoury dishes and Andrew made the sweet ones.


Citrus Theme - Andrew's Drink

To begin the meal, Andrew provided some lemonade refreshments.


Citrus Theme - Kerri's Entre

The first dish was Kerri’s orange, ginger and carrot soup.


Citrus Theme - Kerri's Main (2 of 2) Citrus Theme - Kerri's Main (1 of 2)

For main course, Kerri served up a delicious chilli lime chicken and a cauliflower salad with cumin and orange dressing.


Citrus Theme - Andrew's Dessert

To finish the meal, Andrew made a Christine Manfield chocolate jaffa mousse cake with orange caramel, and lime and salted caramel popcorn.

Caramel October 3, 2015

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Shocking to all of us was the discovery that over the years of Recipe Club, we never had a caramel theme. So, on Monday 7th September, Andrew hosted a caramel dinner, cooking the savoury dishes with Franca cooking the sweet dishes.


Caramel Theme - Andrew Entree

To begin the evening, Andrew served a red wine caramel sauce drizzled on goat’s cheese and walnuts on crackers.


Caramel Theme - Andrew Main (3 of 3) Caramel Theme - Andrew Main (2 of 3) Caramel Theme - Andrew Main (1 of 3)

The main course from Andrew was Neil Perry’s pork hocks with chilli caramel saucecaramel chicken, and salted caramel carrots and parsnips.


Caramel Theme - Franca Dessert (1 of 2) Caramel Theme - Franca Dessert (2 of 2)

Franca ended the meal with sophistication, with coconut creme caramel and a salted caramel dipping sauce.

Salt and Pepper June 8, 2015

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This month, on Monday 1st June, Andrew hosted a Salt and Pepper inspired dinner, cooking together with Jacinta.


Salt and Pepper Theme - Andrew's Entree

While the mains were cooking, Andrew served a simple roast red pepper (capsicum) dip.


Salt and Pepper Theme - Andrew's Main (2 of 3) Salt and Pepper Theme - Andrew's Main (3 of 3) Salt and Pepper Theme - Andrew's Main (1 of 3)

For mains, Andrew made some salt-crust roast chickens, served with papas arrugadas and green mojo and hot pepper mojo as well as a three-pepper salad.


Salt and Pepper Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (1 of 2) Salt and Pepper Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (2 of 2)

Jacinta finished off the dinner with a couple of sweet dishes: salt and pepper popcorn slice and pink peppercorn panna cotta.

Barbecue April 11, 2015

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On Monday 5th January, we launched another year of recipe club with a dinner inspired by the barbecue. Laura hosted, and cooked together with Andrew.

Entré and Drinks

BBQ Theme - Andrew's Entree BBQ Theme - Laura's Punch

While the main course was cooking, Andrew provided a dish of smoked polish sausage and Laura served a refreshing punch.


BBQ Theme - Andrew's Main BBQ Theme - Laura's Main (1 of 3) BBQ Theme - Laura's Main (3 of 3) BBQ Theme - Laura's Main (2 of 3)

For main course, Andrew made two types of home-made sausages: pork, apple and caramelised onion, and pork with sage and red wine. Laura served a Greek lamb salad, haloumi and capsicum parcels and Changs cabbage salad.


BBQ Theme - Laura's DessertTo conclude, Laura made a delicious dessert of sticky rice in banana leaves.

Languishing Cookbook November 29, 2014

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On Monday 6th October, Andrew hosted the dinner on the theme of the languishing cookbook, together with Laura. The idea was that dishes should come from a cookbook that has been languishing, unused on the shelf.



Languishing Cookbook Theme - Andrew's Main (1 of 3) Languishing Cookbook Theme - Andrew's Main (2 of 3) Languishing Cookbook Theme - Andrew's Main (3 of 3)

Andrew discovered some Indian recipes from Poh Ling Yeow’s book “Poh’s Kitchen”. His main course included pistacchio chicken korma with tomato
rice and papadums, with a side of tandoori broccoli.



Languishing Cookbook Theme - Laura's Dessert (1 of 2) Languishing Cookbook Theme - Laura's Dessert (2 of 2)

Laura’s desserts came from The Great Australian Bake-Off cookbook. She made Jonathan’s Chocolate Wheel Biscuits and Jonathan’s Strawberry Creme Brulee Tart.

Burnt Honey Ice-cream (Custard) September 13, 2014

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IMG_7149_fixThis was part of the dessert for the Custard dinner, and is based on a recipe from Alison Thompson’s book Sweet.


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 50g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 400mL milk
  • 400mL thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
  • 100g honey


  1. Separate the eggs, and place the yolks into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and beat until it becomes pale and creamy.
  2. Put cream cheese into another mixing bowl and beat with a fork until it is very soft.
  3. Place the milk, cream, vanilla bean paste in a medium saucepan and heat until it begins simmering. Remove from heat.
  4. Place honey into a small saucepan over medium heat and stir with a metal spoon until the honey turns a dark golden colour.
  5. Immediately add the milky mixture to the honey (it will bubble) and then bring back to just simmering, and remove from the heat.
  6. Drizzle the milky mixture into the egg mixture, whisking all the while. Then pour this mixture back into a saucepan.
  7. Cook the mixture over a low heat, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon, until it reaches 79 degrees Celsius and slightly thickens.
  8. Pour into the bowl with the cream cheese, whisking all the while. Then strain into a 2L plastic container, and place in fridge overnight.
  9. Churn in an ice-cream maker until the mixture becomes thick and no longer expands in volume. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer until ready to serve.