We’ve had a great response to the BBQ Mango Cheeks and Lamb recipe featured earlier this week, so we’ve got another delicious mango recipe – a dessert this time. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t like Pavlova – it’s a summer classic. On a hot day you just can’t beat it with a bit of fresh mango. These Mini Mango Pavlovas are so easy and tasty that they’re certain to be a hit with your Valentine.
Ingredients (makes 4 serves):
- 2 x fresh Australian mangoes
- 8 x pavlova nests (store bought)
- 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Whipped cream
- Mint (optional)
1. Scoop out the cheeks of one mango (see images below) and slice into thin strips or if you are feeling romantic, use a heart shaped cookie cutter to create hearts.
2. For the puree, slice and pit one mango and cut into pieces. Place mango, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and puree until smooth. Cover and chill in fridge.
3. To serve, place the Pavlova nests on a platter, top with whipped cream, puree and mango slices or hearts.
You can slice the mango into thin strips, or if you’re feeling creative use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut into heart shapes
This recipe is courtesy of our mates from the Australian Mango Industry. Australian Mangoes are the flavour of summer with a range of varieties for you to enjoy all season long. There are four main varieties including the Kensington Pride, Calypso, R2E2 and Honey Gold, and several other late season varieties, including the Brooks, Keitt, Palmer, Kent and Pearl. Mangoes are quick and easy to prepare and are bursting with nutritional value. But best of all, mangoes are one of the most versatile fruits on the market; delicious by themselves or as an addition to your meat and seafood dishes, salads, cocktails, smoothies and desserts. Check out their websiteand their Facebook page.
Good knife skills are something that every chef (amateur or professional) strives for. Half the battle is finding a good quality set of knives, and this knife set from Joseph Josephwill more than get you on your way to becoming a pro.
I love the happy memories we associate with eating great food, which is what I drew me to Louise’s recipe for Crêpe Suzette. Louise recalls: “I grew up with close family friends who were French, and we always had Crêpe Suzette on special occasions for dessert (among Duck à l’orange, and profiteroles). It was so lovely being introduced to a different cuisine so young, and also to understand the lovely community that dining creates within a family. Every now and then, we’d have the smallest amount of ‘plonk’ with our meals although we were only 12 years old! But it showed us the true purpose of beautiful wine and alcohol. It’s used to celebrate, to create conversation and to compliment gastronomy. Divine.”
- 100g plain flower
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 300 ml milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Ice-cream to serve
- 100g caster sugar
- 35g unsalted butter
- 150ml orange juice
- 1 orange zest
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 2 tablespoons brandy (or a little more :0)
- Place first six ingredients in a food processor and whiz until combined and mixture forms a smooth batter. If you don’t have a food processor, use a stick blender or hand beaters.
- Pour into a jug, and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Carefully brush the pan with a little melted butter.
- Tilting the pan slightly, pour in enough batter (about 2-3 tablespoons) to just cover the base. Cook for 1-2 minutes until base of the crepe is lightly browned.
- Carefully flip the crepe to brown the other side. Transfer to a plate and repeat until batter is used.
To make the sauce, heat sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a frying pan over low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add butter, increase heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Add orange juice and zest, and simmer for a few minutes. Pour in liqueur and brandy and stir to combine. Dip a crepe into the sauce, then fold it into quarters and place on a serving plate.
Repeat with remaining crepes, serving 2-3 per person. Serve with ice-cream. Or if you’re feeling naughty, King Island triple thick cream!
Louise Murphy is the designer behind Forbidden Linen – a seductive selection of sensually inspired products under the Forbidden Linen label.
Her deliciously delicate linens come in a variety of designs that portray the beauty of a woman’s body in various discreet poses captured through the tactile medium of cotton finery, lace and silk.
Louise created Forbidden Linen to bring to life a collection of stunning, digitally printed tableware and household linens.
All of her work is printed onto imported Italian cottons using re-active dyes which are water based and steamed into the fabrics to lessen the effect on the environment.
These gorgeous ceramic jugs not only look great in the kitchen, but they are also a functional way of measuring out your ingredients to make the perfect crepe.
If you’re looking for a gift for someone who isn’t materialistic and doesn’t like ‘things’, Kelly Brough from Oola reckons you can’t go past an adopted grape vine. Kelly shared some of her other top gift tips with us…
Oola has a great mix of classic and contemporary educational toys
1. The best gift I ever received was…a diamond necklace for my 35th birthday.
2. The top gift on my wish list is…a spa weekend!
3. The best gift I have ever given was…an adopted vine at a local vineyard.
4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was/is…my husband. He doesn’t believe in having “things” which made the grape vine a total winner!
5. The best last-minute gift is…a box of hand-made chocolates or a nice bottle of champagne.
6. My hot gift buying tip is…try to find something that connects with the recipient. Make them feel special even if the gift only cost you $10.
Oola makes learning fun through games and creative activites
The Oola Family – rest assured that all of Oola’s toys have to meet the approval of the Chief Toy Selectors and Testors!
We love Oola’s philosophy: “Life is complicated, let’s make shopping online easy” – Amen to that!
Truffles are up there with cupcakes on the ‘romantic treats’ list. We love this recipe for Raw Almond Choc Truffles from leading Australian nutritionist, Lola Berry. We agree with Lola – “the only trick is trying not to eat them all at once!” We have put the ingredient list and method below, but you can also watch Lola make these delicious truffles here on YouTube.
Lola Berry’s Raw Almond Choc Truffles
Ingredients (makes 12-16):
- 2 cups medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup of organic goji berries
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk
- Melted 1⁄2 cup raw cacao powder (read more about this below)
- 1⁄4 cup raw cacao nibs
- 1/2 cup organic desiccated coconut
Method:1. Place dates, almond meal, walnuts, coconut oil, almond milk, goji berries and cacao powder in a blender or food processor and whizz until well combined.
NOTE: The mixture should be a bit crumbly, but not too dry, so add another teaspoon of coconut oil if you need to.
2. Next, stir in the cacao nibs, but don’t blend them because we want them to stay super-crunchy.
3. Finally roll the mixture into little balls and toss through the desiccated coconut.
4. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set (if you can hold off eating them for that long)! Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
TIP: Medjool dates are usually found in the refrigerated fruit and veggie section of supermarkets, but if you can’t find any, use regular dried dates, but you’ll need to soak them in water for 20 minutes so that they’re sticky enough.
What is Almond Breeze?
Almond Breeze is a delicious low-fat milk alternative made from almonds, a natural super-food, and it is completely free from diary, eggs, lactose, casein, peanuts and gluten. With its wide range of natural health benefits, Almond Breeze makes managing wellbeing and health easy.
• Almond Breeze is a source of calcium and contains E.
• Unsweetened Almond Breeze has a low glycemic index (GI) and no added sugar making it suitable for diabetics and for people who are concerned about their weight, health, and well-being.
• The low level of saturated fat makes Almond Breeze a healthier alternative to skim milk and soy.
• Almond Breeze is made from almonds, a natural super-food.
• Almond Breeze is lactose free – making it easy to digest and a great substitute for dairy milk especially for the growing Asian and lactose-intolerant population in Australia.
• Almond Breeze has no cholesterol and is suitable for vegans and people with dairy allergies or those who suffer from heart disease or high cholesterol.
For further and nutritional information, check out: www.almondbreeze.com.au
Fed up of spilling ingredients on your cook books or iPad when you’re cooking? Check out this cool folding cook book stand from Joseph Joseph. It will keep your recipes clean and folds away so it can also be stashed on the book shelf when not in use.
Giving someone a cupcake (or two!) on Valentine’s Day is a sweet, romantic gesture, especially if you’ve made them yourself. The unique thing about these lovely Rose Red Velvet cupcakes is the rose tea infused butter, which adds another subtle flavour to this simple recipe. Decoration can be as simple or as fancy as you like – you could even serve them up with a single red rose – how romantic!
Romantic Rose Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 2 cups plain flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 ½ cups castor sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 200g tea infused butter, melted (see recipe for this below)
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1tbsp red food colouring
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 18, 80ml (1/3 cup) capacity muffin pans with paper cases.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Stir through the sugar.
- Whisk the buttermilk, tea infused melted butter, eggs, vinegar and vanilla in a large jug until combined.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture. Stir until just combined. Stir in the food colouring.
- Divide the mixture among the lined pans.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Tea infused butter:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan until just liquid.
- Add the tea leaves and continue heating the mixture for 5 minutes over very low heat.
- Remove the butter from the heat and let the mixture stand for another 5 minutes.
- Strain out the tea leaves by pouring the liquid butter through a sieve into a bowl.
- Press the tea into the sieve with spoon on order to squeeze out the butter it has absorbed.
**there is a certain amount of butter that will be lost as it will stick to the tea leaves. One cup of butter will yield closer to 3/4 cup of butter. The recipe takes this into consideration, so only add 200g of tea infused melted butter to the cupcake mixture.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 x 250g package cream cheese, chilled
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 cups icing sugar
1-2 tsp rosewater (optional)
- Have the cream cheese cold and butter at room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and rosewater until blended. Add sugar one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency. Do not overbeat.
- When the cupcakes are cold, pipe the cream crease frosting on top or use an ice-cream scoop to dollop the frosting on the stunning red-domed cupcakes.
Check out Dilmah’s range of other delicious teas, which are great to use as infusions in cooking or to drink everyday.
Mr Gift has a great range of kitchen utensils and gadgets that make perfect gifts for conscientious cooks and budding bakers.
Mangoes are one of my favourite summer fruits. They’re delicious on their own, but also add a tropical freshness to any summer dish. In the warmer months I adore recipes that involve a BBQ – it’s great to cook outside and there’s less washing up! This BBQ Mango and Lamb recipe’s a beauty. It would have been great for Australia Day (and Sam would definitely approve!), but why not give it a go for a relaxed but very tasty Valentine’s treat?
Make the most of this season’s mangoes with these BBQ lamb cutlets and mango cheeks
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
- 2 x fresh Australian mangoes
- 8 x lamb cutlets
- Vegetable oil
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- 1x long red chilli, finely sliced
- 1 cup of coriander leaves
- Juice from 1 lime
- Brown sugar
1. Start by making a mango hedgehog (see images below) but without turning mango cheeks inside out.
2. Heat and lightly oil the BBQ hotplate, add the lamb (seasoned with salt and pepper) and mango cheeks making sure the mango is cooked until it is caramelized.
3. For the dressing, combine chilli, coriander, lime juice and stir in sugar to taste.
4. To serve turn mango cheeks inside out and place on a large platter with cooked lamb, drizzle with dressing and serve.
This recipe is courtesy of our mates from the Australian Mango Industry. Australian Mangoes are the flavour of summer with a range of varieties for you to enjoy all season long. There are four main varieties including the Kensington Pride, Calypso, R2E2 and Honey Gold, and several other late season varieties, including the Brooks, Keitt, Palmer, Kent and Pearl. Mangoes are quick and easy to prepare and are bursting with nutritional value. But best of all, mangoes are one of the most versatile fruits on the market; delicious by themselves or as an addition to your meat and seafood dishes, salads, cocktails, smoothies and desserts. Check out their websiteand their Facebook page. A BBQ is just not a BBQ without the right tools. These MAN LAW Digital BBQ tongs will ensure you cook your lamb to perfection. Check out the MAN LAW BBQ range here.
One of Collette White’s mantras is “Take care of you”, along with “Cut out the Crap” which is also the name of her website. Cut out the Crap is the result of Collette’s personal journey to improve her diet after developing severe food allergies. This inspiring lady challenges the way we think about food. Instead of considering food intolerance and allergies as an obstacle, Collette encourages her readers to see them as a positive challenge that requires creative thinking and a fresh approach to food.
Collette’s Stuffed Squid recipe is light and fresh – perfect for summer, and Valentine’s Day.
“It is a beautifully satisfying meal, something a little bit fancy, but easy enough that anyone can cook it!” says Collette. We also love Collette’s cheeky idea of printing out the recipe and leaving it “on the kitchen bench for your partner with a very subtle message of “cook this for me” written on it???!!!” ENJOY!
- 2 squid tubes (cleaned) – approx 300g each
- 6 toothpicks
- ¾ cup brown rice
- ½ a lemon
- 80g pistachios – toasted
- ½ teaspoon herbamare (or salt & pepper)
- ½ a bunch of flat leaf parsley – finely shredded
- ½ a bunch of coriander – finely shredded
- ½ a bunch of dill – finely shredded
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of ½ a lemon
- 2 red capsicums – approx 700g roughly chopped
- 2 brown onions – approx 250g roughly chopped
- 1-2 small red hot chilli sliced – (depending on how hot you like food)
- Pinch herbamare
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup water
Add the ½ lemon to the brown rice and cook as per normal.
Drain rice and set aside, allow to cool as long as you can (at least half an hour).
Once cooled, place the rice, pistachios, herbamare, parsley, coriander, dill, lemon juice and lemon zest into a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
Place all the ingredients for the sauce (EXCEPT FOR THE ¾ cup water) into a large frying pan. Cook over a high heat for 5 minutes (don’t let it burn) then add the ¾ cup water, reduce heat to medium and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and puree with hand whisk. Set aside. DON’T clean out the pan.
Stuff squid tubes 2/3 full with rice stuffing and close ends by threading with toothpicks.
Place 2 tablespoons oil into the frying pan you just made the sauce in and heat on medium -high.
Cook squid tubes for approx 5 minutes either side – until thoroughly cooked – but be careful not to overcook!
Place the sauce at the bottom of the serving plate. Slice stuffed squid into approx 2cm pieces and place on top of sauce.
Serves 2 (large portions) or 3 with salad.
Check out Collette’s website, Cut out the Crap.
Mr Gift also has a great range of kitchen gadgets and accessories to help you prepare your dream Valentine’s Day feast.
As the parent of a seven-month-old baby, eating out these days is a bit trickier than it used to be. By the time you pay for a babysitter for a few hours, it can also be quite an expensive night out. But the thing is, I love my food. Never one to miss out on a good meal, I’ve taken to hunting down delicious recipes to cook at home.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I’m on a mission to collect a sumptuous selection of recipes so I can plan the perfect Valentine’s meal with my husband. I’d love to share some of my favourites here on our blog with you, so keep checking back over the next couple of weeks for some darn good dishes.
Our first recipe is a Chocolate Fondant from Mark Bennett, Head Chef at Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant. I’m definitely a dessert girl, and nothing says ‘romance’ like chocolate, especially if it comes in the form of a gooey fondant with some berries on the side…
Chocolate FondantIngredients (makes 12):
200g good quality dark chocolate
Delicious Chocolate Fondant from Mark Bennett, Head Chef at Esca Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley
- Using some extra butter, grease the dariole moulds on the inside and allow the butter to set in the fridge, repeat this process so you have two layers of butter.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl over the top of a pot that is lightly simmering with water, alternatively you can melt them in short bursts in the microwave.
- In the mixer, combine the eggs and sugar and beat on a medium/high speed until the mix is white and leaves a trail in itself (ribbon stage) about 10 minutes.
- Sift the flour into the creamed egg and sugar in two batches, folding through the flour between additions.
- Fold through the butter and chocolate mix
- Pour into the dariole moulds and set in the fridge
- Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees, you will need to test bake a fondant to get the timing right.
- When the oven is hot place a fondant on a tray in the oven and allow to cook for 7 mins.
- When it is cooked, turn it out onto the tray it was cooked on and allow any excess butter to run off, leave the dariole mould on the fondant to allow the outside to set fully.
- Remove the dariole mould and break open the fondant, it should be soft and gooey inside. If your fondant was completely cooked through, reduce the cooking time. If the fondant was too fragile and broke too easily, increase the cooking time.
- Serve with some seasonal fresh raspberries, and ice cream or crème fraiche.
Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant is located within Bimbadgen Winery in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Bimbadgen Winery is a must-see winery the next time you are in the Hunter and boasts an expansive cellar door and modern tasting rooms, café, accommodation, outdoor amphitheatre, and of course the award-winning Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant.
Open 7 days for lunch 12pm – 4pm. Dinner Wednesday to Saturday nights from 6pm.
790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: 02 4998 4666
This week we talk to Janette Baker from Wallstudio about the best 30thbirthday gifts…
1. The best gift I ever received was…a trip to Fiji for my 30th Birthday. It was just the best holiday, so relaxing and rejuvenating and exactly what I needed.
2. The top gift on my wish list is…I would really like a nice sun lounger chair so I can chill out by the pool this summer, read magazines and catch some rays.
3. The best gift I have ever given was…I gave my husband a flight in a jet fighter plane for his 30th birthday a few years ago. Even just watching from the ground as a spectator was thrilling, and he just loved it!
4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was/is…my dad is usually quite hard to buy for as he has everything.
5. The best last-minute gift is…I think you can’t go wrong with gadgets for guys and spa/beauty treatments for the girls.
6. My hot gift buying tip is…buy something personalised, the personalised prints at www.MySweetPrints.com.au are always a winner with family and friends.
Janette Baker is a Sydney based graphic designer, who along with her sister-in-law Sue, created www.Wallstudio.com.au – a collection of beautiful, on-trend canvas art. Wallstudio art comes with the option of adding Echo Reduction for acoustic benefit; transforming noisy open plan houses with stunning art that is practical too!