Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Cheese and Autumn Harvest Chutney Dip

 Cheese and Autumn Harvest Chutney Dip

This cheese and chutney dip makes a healthy school holiday snack served in a bowl surrounded by carrot and celery sticks and rice crackers.

Kids need to eat more veggies.If they won't eat them at dinner time, and many won't, they will need no persuading to dig into this dip inbetween meals,

The lemon rind and juice add a fresh sharp taste which compliments the sweetness of the chutney. Any leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a few days.

The Anathoth Autumn Harvest Chutney used in this recipe was recently launched by Barker's from Geraldine to mark their 25th birthday. It was chosen by their staff after a taste testing competition.

It's a combination of New Zealand rhubarb and New Zealand apples with dates, raisins, red wine vinegar and spices. I think it's delicious.


250 gm of reduced fat cream cheese
125 gm feta cheese
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of Anathoth Autumn Harvest Chutney
Pepper and salt to taste


Beat the cream cheese with a beater till light .
Add the crumbled feta cheese and beat again until smooth.
Stir the other ingredients through.
Add pepper and salt to taste.
Scrape into a bowl.
Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Boysenberry Ripple Chocolate Brownies

Who doesn't love chocolate brownies? This recipe rippled with boysenberries and with a fruity sauce makes a delicious treat for dessert. On a cold winter's night it is best served freshly baked and warm.

On the weekend we had a dairy free guest so I adapted this recipe from Barker's by substituting the butter with olivani. It was light light and moist. So useful to have a recipe that everyone can enjoy, and doesn't make dairy free guests excluded

The recipe says serves 12, but 6 hungry people, who like second helpings, can easily demolish it at one sitting.

Boysenberry Ripple Chocolate Brownies


150g butter ( or for dairy free use Olivani)
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
3 eggs
3/4 cup of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/2 cup of selfraising flour , sifted
400g pack Barker's Boysenberry Patisserie Filling
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of hot water


Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Line a 22cm  square cake tin with bakign paper.

Maelt the butter and cocoa powder over a low heat, stir and set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy then fold in the cocoa mixture and sifted flour

Pour into cake tin. Set aside 1/4 cup Barker's Boysenberry Patisserie Filling to make a sauce. Pipe the remaining Boysenberry Patisserie Filling from the bag in a swirling pattern over the brownie mixture.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until brownie springs back when touched.

To make the boysenberry sauce mix the remaining Boysenberry patisserie filling with the lemon juice and hot water and stir well.

Cut brownie into squares and serve with whipped cream, yoghurt or ice cream and drizzle with boysenberry sauce. ( for the dairy free omit the cream/yoghurt/icecream)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A cup of Chai

A Cup of Chai

Rajesh's Masala Chai

Masala chai (usually called chai for short) is a delicious spicy and aromatic Indian tea. It makes a healthy change from coffee.

The health giving properties of chai have been known for thousands of years and were mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic medicinal texts. Black tea is full of antioxidants and each of the spices used has its own health giving properties.

A cup of chai tea does need sweetening to bring out the flavour of the spices. For this I prefer to use honey rather than white sugar. Chai is usually made with full cream milk but Trim milk is healthier.

There is no fixed recipe. In India where it may be served at any time of the day each family will create their own mixture of spices.

I like this combination of spices which was given to me by Rajnesh. Use it as a starting point and then start to experiment with other spices to make your own brew. Choose from cloves, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns, ginger and fennel. But always include cardamom as this gives masala chai its distinctive flavour.

Rajesh's Masala Chai:
The amounts of spices and the ratio of water to milk are flexible but I started with the following quantities. This makes a not too spicy chai.

3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of trim milk
6 green cardamom pods
3 Cloves
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
4 thin slices of ginger
Sugar or Honey to Taste


1. Lightly crush the cardamom pods with the back of a knife or a metal spoon to release the seeds.

2. Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan.

3. Add 2-3 teaspoons of black tea leaves (or if you don't have loose tea add a couple of tea bags).

4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes

5. Add the milk and bring to the boil again

6. Strain the chai into a large mug and sweeten to taste with sugar or honey.

7. Stir with a cinnamon stick while you drink it.