Sunday, 28 December 2014

Yotam Ottolenghi's Luscious Meringue Roulade

This luscious meringue roulade comes from Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi‘s fantastic new cookbook.

 One of the world's most creative vegetarian chefs, he has again worked his magic with fresh vegetables, grains, spices and exotic ingredients. The recipes will delight and surprise you.

Light, pretty, festive and special, this roulade can pull off the trick of being either the Christmas yule log (without the chocolate and the sponge) or the perfect pudding for a midsummer lunch.



4 egg whites (120g)
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cornflour


100g mascarpone
1 tbsp icing sugar, plus
extra for dusting
1½ tbsp rose water
400ml whipping cream


150g fresh raspberries
2 tbsp dried rose petals
1 tsp slivered pistachios (or
regular if unavailable) crushed
  • Preheat the oven to 160ºC/140ºC Fan/Gas Mark 3.
  • Line the base and sides of a 33cm x 24cm Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper. Allow the paper to come about 1cm above the sides of the tin.
  • In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until they begin to firm up. Add the caster sugar to the whisking whites in spoonfuls or tip into the bowl in a slow stream. Continue whisking until you achieve a firm, glossy meringue. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the vanilla essence, vinegar and cornflour. Spread the mixture inside the lined tin and level with a palette knife.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until a crust forms and the meringue is cooked through (it will still feel soft to the touch). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
  • Tip the cooled meringue on to a fresh piece of greaseproof paper. Carefully peel off the lining paper.
  • Meanwhile, place the mascarpone in a large mixing bowl, along with the icing sugar and rose water. Whisk to combine and become smooth, then add the whipping cream. Whisk by hand for about 4 minutes, until the cream just holds its shape. (You can do this in an electric mixer but keep a close eye on it as it’s easy to over-mix.) Spread most of the mascarpone cream over the original underside of the meringue, reserving a few tablespoons. Leave a small border around the edge of the meringue.
  • Scatter most of the raspberries and 1½ tablespoons of rose petals all over the cream.
  • Use the paper to assist you in rolling up the meringue along its long edge, until you get a perfect log shape. Carefully transfer the log on to a serving dish. Use the remaining cream to create a rough wavy strip along the top of the log. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, dust the log with icing sugar, scatter the remaining rose petals, along with the pistachios, over the top, and dot with the remaining raspberries.

This recipe  was published with kind permission from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi. Ebury Press. RRP $69.99. The photograph was by Jonathan Lovekin.

This recipe and review first appeared on The Breeze ( Auckland radio station ) website to which I am a regular contributor

Monday, 22 December 2014

Savoury Mince Pies

My granddaughter Becky is passionate about horses and meat pies. So we spent a morning creating a recipe for child size savoury mince pies together.

She  thinks this is the kind of food lots of kids would like to make and eat in the festive season so we are sharing the recipe.

Becky  loves the handheld pies served at her local café  Two Spoons in Whangaparoa so she was keen to replicate their healthy filling of sweetcorn, carrot and spinach. as she remembered it.

Here is the recipe.  And have a Merry Christmas!


4 Edmond's flaky puff pastry squares

1 tbsp of olive oil
500gm of prime mince. ( We used Angus premium beef mince from Greenmeadows)
2-3 tbsp IAMSAUCE
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 grated carrot
1/2 cup of sweetcorn kernels
3 small spinach leaves (shredded)
1/2 cup of beef stock ( I used Campbell's)


Fry the mince in the oil over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes until it has browned and the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the IAMSAUCE, chilli sauce , grated carrot, sweetcorn and shredded spinach and fry for another 2 minutes
Add the beef stock and continue to fry until the liquid has again been absorbed.

Cut pastry squares into 4
Brush edges with beaten egg
Put 3 tbsp of the mixture  on one side of each square and fold the pstry over to enclose it.
Press edges together.
Seal further by pressing along the edges with a  fork.
Put the pies on a baking paper lined oven tray,
Bake at 190 degrees C for about 20 minutes until crisp and  golden.

We served them with a choice of Wattie's's tomato sauce  or Barker's
 sweet chilli jam

A green salad and garlic bread  were served alongside.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Grandad's Crunchy Shortbread

Carrying on the family tradition Emily and Becky are making a batch of shortbread under their grandfather's watchful eye.

He has perfected the art of making shortbread with children and grandchildren over the years. His shortbread is a dense and crunchy version of Edmond's. He always replaces the icing sugar with castor which makes it more crunchy. This he declares is how it should be.

Creaming the butter and sugar is not something he has ever done in his life and he says he never intends to. Why bother? He's not after light as a feather shortbread.

So it's just a matter of putting all the ingredients into a large bowl, kneading them firmly together , rolling the dough into cylinders and letting it chill in the fridge for a while.

Any complaints about sticky fingers are soon forgotten when it's time to lick the bowl/

When the dough has cooled down it is cut into 1 cm slices.No need for baking paper. The shortbread is put directly onto a greased oven tray and baked at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes . Delicious!


250 gm of butter, softened
1 cup of castor sugar
1 cup of Edmond's cornflour
2 cups of Champion standard plain flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Skinny Dips for the Festive Season



It's the festive season as our bathroom scales tell me each day and Christmas hasn't even arrived yet! After a surfeit of mince pies, shortbread and truffles we'll all behave ourselves and feast on skinny dips. Here's three of my favourites:

Beetroot Dip

I used a full cream yoghurt for this recipe ( Clearwater's )

3 tablespoons of finely grated raw beetroot
1/2 cup of yoghurt
1 tablespoon of chopped mint
1 teaspoon of pomegrate molasses ( optional)

Avocado Dip
1 avocado
3 tablespoons of yoghurt
chopped coriander to garnish

1/4 telegraph cucumber
1/2 cup of yoghurt

grate cucumber
squeeze very well with your hands or with the back of a spoon against a sieve to drain off as much as the water as possible
Combine with yoghurt

toasted ciabatta to serve


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tony's Marshmallow Slice

This recipe came from an old friend who warned me that it is very yummy and extremely more-ish . With its snowy marshmallow topping it makes a sweet Christmas treat.

Instead of chocolate chips I crushed a 200 gm block of Trade Aid pure dark chocolate (70 % cocoa) . now made right here in New Zealand in the new Trade Aid Christchurch factory. I crushed it into small chunks with a rolling pin inbetween a folded sheet of baking paper.

And I used a 23-23 cm square tin and increased the baking time to 20 minutes.
To finish it off I sprinkled the surface generously with the coconut before cutting, rather than dipping it as Tony suggested which worked well for me.

Tony’s Marshmallow Slice

3 crushed weetbix
100g self‐raising flour
50g desiccated coconut
85 g brown sugar
125g melted butter
½ c small chocolate chips (optional)
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together and press into a lined 20cm x 30cm baking dish. Bake at 180° for 15 minutes
and then allow to cool.
The base is the recipe I use, but you could use any biscuity base, cooked or uncooked.

1 tbsp gelatine
215g sugar
¾ c water
½ tsp vanilla essence

In a saucepan put the gelatine, sugar and water. Over a low heat stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
When all sugar granules have disappeared bring to a gentle boil and allow it to do so for 7‐8 minutes
without stirring. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When it is at room temperature add the essence and beat at high speed until it becomes thick, white and double in size. (10mins?) This is when I am thankful for my bench mixer as I can turn it on and walk away.
Pour the marshmallow over the base and put in the fridge to set. When the marshmallow is set (it will still feel a bit sticky), finish it off.

When you make the marshmallow, do not let the mixture boil strongly. It should just be simmering.
Simmer for the smallest time possible, until the liquid is clear. If you overdo it or let it boil too strongly the gelatine will not set properly.

Topping/finishing off
You can make either a chocolate topping or ganache and pour it over before you cut it up, or after you have cut it up dip each surface into desiccated coconut. (or both!!)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Good Old Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those  good old fashioned comfort foods that always goes down well, especially with my meat loving partner. I usually make it with what is on hand in my pantry and herb garden. The only non negotiable is good quality prime beef which is not too fatty, We don't like a loaf that is swimming in its own grease.

Here is the meatloaf we have been eating lately, and it's a good one: easy, tasty and moist with a tangy topping. He insists on eating it with tomato sauce. I think it's nice just as it is with a small salad of pawpaw, cucumber, red pepper and lime juice.

IAMSAUCE contains soy, fresh ginger, honey and tamarind.



500 g prime mince
2 slices of white bread
A few sprigs of parsley
A few sprigs of oreganum
2 tbsp of IAMSAUCE
2 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce
1 tspn dijon mustard
1 egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

In the food processor whizz the bread (torn into large pieces) with the herbs until it is reduced to fine crumbs.
Mix in a large bowl with the other ingredients. I like to squish it around with my hands.
Press the mixture into a smallish loaf tin (8cm by 16 cm )
Score the top with a fork.


1 tbsp of IAMSAUCE
1 tbsp of chilli sauce

Brush this over the loaf.

Bake for about 40 minutes in a moderate oven ( 180 degrees C)