Thursday, June 28, 2012

Easy Chow Mein

This is a dish that I like to cook when I'm short on time and energy. Very quick and easy to prepare.


  • 350g packet fresh Singapore noodles (3 pkt)
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  •  cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g chicken or pork mince
  • 2 cups frozen peas, carrot, corn mix


  1. Place noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Using a fork, separate noodles. Combine stock, oyster sauce and soy sauce in a jug. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large, non-stick wok over high heat. Add oil. Swirl to coat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and mince. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.
  3. Add frozen vegetables and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until just tender. Add stock mixture and noodles. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until heated through. Serve.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Super Dish Chinese Restaurant

Super Dish Chinese Restaurant in Cabramatta is a great place to get tasty and authentic Chinese food that is good value for money. Service is also very quick and prompt. 

Preserved Egg and Lean Pork Congee $8.50

Hubby and I normally come to this restaurant to have congee. Living in the south west of Sydney, there are not many places that make a good bowl of congee so it's nice to have a place to go to locally and not have to travel all the way to Chinatown. The serving sizes for the congee are pretty big and generous.
Braised Rice Vermicelli in Singapore Style $12.00

Super Dish Chinese Restaurant also has a few Yum Cha dim sims to pick from their menu. I've tried Prawn Har Gow and Chicken Feet ($6.80 per dish). Both were very nice and tasted very authentic. The prawn har gow dumpling skin is thin and translucent with plenty of prawn meat filling whilst the chicken feet dish has  good balance of flavours.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Tiramisu is one of my favourite Italian desserts. It's a little time consuming to make but the effort is so worth it :)


4 eggs, separated (room temperature)
½ cup caster sugar (sifted)
250g mascarpone cheese, softened
1/3 cup coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
½ teaspoon coffee essence
200ml thickened cream
4 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 cups warm water
2 x 250g packets or one 500g packet of sponge finger biscuits
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  1. Place the egg yolks and caster sugar in a mixing bowl, and whisk on high speed with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and on a medium speed, whisk until it starts to thicken.  Be sure not to over mix as you may split the mascarpone.
  2. Add the liqueur and coffee essence and mix until just combined.
  3. Wash and dry beaters. In another bowl, whip cream to firm peaks. Fold into mascarpone mixture. Wash and dry beaters.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Combine coffee and warm water in a shallow dish, stirring until coffee dissolves. Using half the biscuits, dip biscuits quickly one at a time in coffee, turning to coat. (Try not to soak your biscuits all the way through.  There should still be a little portion in the middle that has not been soaked in the coffee). Place, in a single layer, over the base of a 6cm-deep, 18cm x 28cm (base) baking dish.
  6. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over biscuits to cover. Sprinkle with a little of the cocoa powder. Repeat layers with remaining biscuits, coffee and mascapone mixture. Cover and refrigerate for minimum 4 hours or for a better result, overnight.
  7. Dust top with cocoa powder just before serving.
Tips for when making Tiramisu: 

If you have a coffee/espresso machine, use it instead of the instant coffee powder. I didn't have one so just used strong flavoured instant coffee.

Be careful to not soak the biscuits in the coffee for too long or they'll go soggy.

The flavour of the tiramisu is more intense if you leave it overnight and it sets better.

Dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder just before serving or the cocoa powder will settle into the cream.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Banana Cake


Melted butter, to grease
125g butter, at room temperature
315g (1 cup) caster sugar
1¼ cups mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
100ml buttermilk
225g (1½ cups) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 banana, extra, to decorate 
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon powder, to decorate
Fresh lemon juice, to brush

Ingredients – Cream cheese frosting

250g cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 20cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to grease. Line the base and side of the pan with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, banana, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor, and process for 2 minutes or until well combined. Add the buttermilk and process until combined.
  3. Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda, and process until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Shake the pan to settle the mixture. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool slightly, before transferring the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, place the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
  5. Place the cake on a serving plate. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake.
  6. Lightly dust the cake with sifted ground cinnamon powder.
  7. Peel and thinly slice the extra banana. Lightly brush 1 side of each slice of banana with lemon juice. Arrange the banana slices, lemon juice side up, around the edge of the frosting to serve.
Notes & Tips

Buttermilk substitute: Place a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into 1 cup regular milk. Let stand for five to ten minutes. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake

I made this blueberry cheesecake as part of a dessert for EPIC youth camp a few weeks ago. 


200g biscuit crumbs
50g unsalted butter, melted

200ml thickened cream + 1 tablespoon icing sugar

1 tablespoon gelatine powder 
3 tablespoon boiling water 

500g light cream cheese (softened at room temperature) 
60g caster sugar (sifted) 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
250g blueberry puree (strained) 

4-5 tablespoons blueberry jam 


Line base of 20cm/8" spring form cake pan with cling wrap or baking paper. Toss biscuit crumbs into melted butter and press firmly onto base of cake pan. Chill in the fridge 30 minutes.

Whip cream with icing sugar until firm peaks. Cover and keep chilled.

Place the boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle with gelatine and use a fork to stir until the gelatine dissolves. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.

Meanwhile cream cheese, caster sugar and lemon juice together until smooth and creamy.

Add the warm gelatine solution to blueberry purée and mix well.

Add blueberry mixture into cheese mixture and combine till well mixed. Fold in the whipped cream.

Pour cheese mixture onto cake base and chill for about 4 hours or overnight.

Spread the blueberry jam over the top of the cheesecake 45 minutes before serving.

Lemonade Scones

Learn the secret to light and fluffy scones so that your next afternoon tea will be perfect! 

Makes 24 scones


3 cups self raising flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1 cup of cream
1 cup of lemonade
milk, to glaze

  1. First preheat your oven to 220°C. It’s important to have the oven preheated to give the scones that immediate heat burst which will create a lighter scone.
  2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the cream and lemonade.
  3. Mix with a round bladed knife (like a butter knife) using a cutting action until mixture comes together. 
  4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth and pliable. It’s important to knead very lightly, as heavy, long kneading develops the gluten in the flour and creates denser, heavier scones. 
  5. Pat dough to a 2cm thickness. Avoid using a rolling pin as this is too heavy for scone dough. The trick to scones is to be as light handed as possible.
  6. Dip a pastry/scone cutter into flour to help prevent it from sticking, and then gently press on the dough to cut scones into rounds. Don't twist the cutter, or the scones may not rise evenly.
  7. Arrange scones side by side and just touching, on a lightly greased tray. This will keep the sides straight and even as the scones cook. 
  8. Brush the tops of the scones with a little extra milk for a glaze, or sprinkle with extra flour for a softer finish.
  9. Bake the scones on the top shelf of the oven for an instant blast of heat. Bake for 10 to12 minutes or until scones are golden and have risen.
  10. Gently tap a scone to check if it’s cooked through. If it’s ready, it should sound hollow.
  11. Turn hot scones out onto a clean tea towel - this helps keep the scones soft.
  12. Serve warm with butter or jam and cream.
Notes & Tips

Use a little icing sugar or caster sugar (approx. 1 teaspoon) to eliminate the "floury" taste sometimes associated with scones.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sweet Potato & Caramelised Onion Quiche

Recipe adapted from Australian Good Taste Magazine, August 2005 issue, page 59


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large brown onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
280g orange sweet potato (kumara), peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
1 sheet (27 x 27cm) ready-rolled frozen quiche shortcrust pastry, just thawed
185ml (3/4 cup) thickened cream
3 eggs, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil (or basil paste)

  1. Line a round 22cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with pastry and trim any excess. Use a fork to prick the base. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.  
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until onion caramelises. Add the mustard and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Cook the sweet potato in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well. 
  4. After pastry has rested, cover the pastry base with non-stick baking paper and fill with pastry weights, rice or dried beans. Place tin on hot baking tray in oven. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights, rice or beans. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. 
  5. Cover pastry base with caramelised onion and top with sweet potato. Whisk together the cream, egg and basil in a jug. Pour into pastry base. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until golden and set. Serve with, mixed green salad leaves or coleslaw.
Notes & Tips

To freeze (for up to 3 months): Set aside for 1 hour to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to cool completely. Label, date and freeze.
To thaw: Place in fridge for 12 hours.
To reheat: Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove plastic wrap. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until warm.

If you don't have any pie weights, not to worry! You can freeze the pastry in the tin for 15minutes instead of chilling it in the fridge since freezing pastry in the tin removes the need for 'blind baking' with baking paper and weights 

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