April 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

It has been a few years since I made ANZAC biscuits.                They are something I remember my mum used to make often when I was little. When I made my first batch this year as ANZAC day approached, I felt quite patriotic watching my Instgram feed as there was a collective posting of everyones version of ANZAC biscuits across the country. I made two types a traditional and one studded with my current obsession cocoa nibs. I didn’t have a copy of mums recipe so I adapted one that Jill Dupleix shared in the weekend paper last year.

Cocoa Nib ANZAC


Recipe Makes 45


300g rolled oats

150g desiccated coconut

600g white flour

390g dark brown sugar

150g cocoa nibs

375g unsalted butter

180g water

240g golden syrup

3 tsp bicarb soda

1 pinch of sea salt



In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, sugar, flour, cocoa nibs and salt. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C, and line two baking trays with baking paper. Melt the butter water and golden syrup together  in a pot over the stove, remove from the heat and stir through the bicarb soda pour this frothy mixture onto the dry ingredients and mix well. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the mixture onto the trays, then press the tops to flatten slightly. Place the trays into the oven and bake for about 20 min. Remove the trays and allow the biscuits to cool on racks until crispy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside.



Chocolate Meringue Ice Cream Sandwich

February 5, 2013 § 2 Comments

It is February already and things seem to be progressing rather slowly with the bakery.  However there is no shortage of planing to do while we wait for architects, engineers and builders to pull together the bits they need to do so we can truly get under way.  The other day when I was having one of those “my brain doesn’t want to think about spreadsheets, costing or invoicing any more” days,  I streamed a couple of episodes of Nigella Lawsons new Italian cooking program Nigellissima.  In one of the episodes Nigella made a frozen chocolate meringue ice cream.  This inspired me to procrastinate a little further and make an ice cream cake with some of the meringues left from my stall at the markets.

Each week we make a huge batch of meringues that I put in a large glass bowl and perch on top of my market stall.  Most of them are sold to people who munch on them straight from the bag looking for an instant Sunday sugar hit.  Though some of my customers buy a bag of them when they are having a dinner party to turn into a trifle or Eaton Mess.  I thought this frozen dessert was another incredibly simple way to use meringues.

Smashed Chocolate meringues


Adapted from Nigella Lawsons Meringue Gelato Cake featured in Nigellissima

For the meringue ice cream


400 ml cream

60 ml rum

2 x Chocolate pistachio meringues broken into pieces (approx 180 grams)

65 grams chopped pistachios

(If you only have plain meringues also add chopped dark chocoalte)


Whip the cream until it holds medium peaks then whisk in the rum. Then fold through the meringues and pistachio nuts. Spread into a rectangular cake tin (110 x 350mm) lined with baking paper or cling wrap and freeze for several hours.

You could stop here and serve the ice cream with Chocolate sauce and berries like Nigella did, but I sandwiched my ice cream between two slabs of brown sugar chiffon cake.

meringue ice cream ready for the freezer

For the brown sugar chiffon cake

155 grams flour

150 grams brown sugar

5 grams baking Powder

Pinch of Salt

60 grams sunflower oil

60 grams egg yolk (approx 3)

80 grams water

5 grams vanilla extract

150 grams egg whites

2 grams of cream of tartar


Preheat the oven to 165 degrees celsius. Place two rectangular cake tins (110 x 350mm) onto a tray lined with baking paper. Do not grease the side of the tin as you want the cake to stick so it doesn’t collapse too much when removed from the oven.

Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together half the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and water. Whisk this into the flour and mix until well combined. Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until they hold soft peaks and then add the cream of tartar. Then slowly add the sugar and continue until they hold stiff glossy peaks. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in two batches. Spread into the cake tins and cook in the oven for 25-30 min.

Rum Syrup

65 grams of water

65 grams brown sugar

30 grams of rum

Boil the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly and then pour in the rum.

When the cakes have completely cooled brush the top of one with the rum syrup then place the ice cream slab on top. Brush the top of the other cake with the remaining syrup and invert onto the ice cream. Place the whole cake back into the freezer until it is ready to be served. Dust with icing sugar and slice.

Meringue ice cream sandwich

Vino Cotto & Coffee Sago with Fresh Fig & Yoghurt Mousse

January 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

A few years ago I took a cutting from a friends’ fig tree and planted it in the front yard where we are now building the bakery. This year we have had a bumper crop of figs and have been eating them with everything.  One of my favorite combinations has been toast with ham, sliced fig and a slosh of Maggie Beer’s Vino Cotto that I received as a Christmas gift.

I though the vino cotto would also be lovely used in a dessert.  Initially I had been using it as was suggested on the label, just as you would use balsamic vinegar but also it reminds me a little of marsala which I know goes well with coffee.

Fig Vino Cotto and Sago


For The Sago

1 cup Sago

125 grams of water

70 grams of Vino Cotto

60 grams Organic Sugar

200 ml Strong Black Coffee (I used plunger) 


For The Yoghurt Mousse

200 grams milk

200 grams of Greek Yoghurt

vanilla pod

3 egg yolks

50 grams Organic Sugar

3 gelatine leaves

 200 grams of cream 

To begin bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the sago and stir.  Simmer this for about 10-15 min or until most of the sago is transparent.  Drain through a sieve, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Bring the sugar, water and vino cotto to a simmer and continue for 10 minutes.  Add the coffee and remove from the heat. Combine with the drained sago return to the heat and simmer for a few minutes.  Ladle this into glasses and place in the fridge to set.

For the mousse place the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.  Pour the milk into a saucepan with the cut and scraped vanilla bean. Bring the milk to the boil.
In the mean time whisk the yolks and sugar until thick and creamy.  Pour  the hot milk onto the egg mixture while whisking, place this in a double boiler.  Continue whisking until it reaches a temperature of 85°C. Stir in the squeezed gelatine and mix until dissolved.  Remove from the heat and incorporate the yoghurt.

When the mixture has cooled to around 30-40°C whisk the cream until soft peaks form and fold into the yoghurt egg mixture.  Ladle over the cold sago.  Carefully put the glasses back in the fridge and set the mousse about 1 hour.  Slice your figs and sprinkle with a little extra vino cotto, arrange on the tops of the mousse and dust with crushed pistachios.


Oilve Oil Loaf

September 19, 2012 § 3 Comments

I have been thinking about a loaf of bread. It is the sort of loaf that when sliced would be perfect wrapped around a sausage smothered in tomato sauce at a BBQ. This loaf has been bugging me for a while. I am chasing a childhood food memory of  that good old squishy white bread soaked in sauce that is better than the sausage it is holding, but every time I buy that type of loaf it doesn’t seem quite right now that I have been eating complex rustic sourdough for so long. I want the chewiness of a sourdough, the squishiness of a traditional white sandwich loaf, a little bit of the denseness of a bagel a tiny bit of the sweetness of a turkish loaf and the thin crust of a Italian loaf. Is this too much to ask? It needs the tensile strength to stay together when made into a saucy steak sandwich or remain soft and delicate in the fridge when made into a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich. Yesterday I came close with an experimental olive oil loaf.

Steak Sandwich Mayonnaise


3 egg yolks

40gm American Mustard

350gm Sunflower, rice bran, peanut or grape seed oil (not olive as it is too strong a flavour)

3tbs cider vinegar

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tsp chopped chives

2 tsp chopped parsley

1/2 tsp sea salt


Whisk the egg yolks and mustard until they are well combined. Slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl while continuing to whisk, when all the oil has been incorporated and the mixture is thick and smooth whisk in the vinegar and lemon juice. Then the herbs and finally the salt. This mayo is great with a juicy steak.

Herb Brioche Crumbs

September 10, 2012 § 3 Comments

I love breadcrumb toppings, leftover brioche makes a lovely delicate sandy breadcrumb that is fantastic with fish or salads. When I am not eating cake, I eat a lot of fish. I am really lucky to live just down the road from the local fish co-op, so I drop in to pick up fish about 4 times a week after my muffin delivery run. I usually buy a couple of small locally caught fish and get the fish monger to leave them whole and just gut and scale them for me, because after a whole day baking and cleaning pots and pans it is about the easiest thing I know how to cook. I wrap each fish in a parcel filled with herbs from the garden and sliced onions and throw into my hot oven that has been cranking all day baking cakes and tarts, for about 20min at 200 degrees celsius. I then tuck into the fish straight from the bag. On nights when I don’t mind the idea of a few extra pans to clean might bake fish fillets with a crumb toping. I save any leftover bits of brioche and keep them in the freezer for this purpose. I like to use a mix of herbs I have growing in my garden but any mix will do, here I have added some dried lavender which makes it a sort of Herbes de Provence mix.


2 cups brioche chunks

A bunch of fresh herbs such as parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary

2 teaspoons of culinary lavender

Zest of a lemon

1/2 teaspoon of salt


Place the brioche on a pan in the oven set at 150 degrees celsius and dry out for about 10min, turn off the oven and leave the crumbs to cool. Meanwhile in a pestle and mortar bruise the lemon zest, salt and lavender. When the brioche has cooled place it in a food processor and blend until sandy, add the herbs and blend well. remove from the processor and rub the lemon lavender mix into the green crumbs. The crumbs are now ready to top salads, casseroles, fish, meat or even cauliflower cheese.

Herb Brioche Crumbs Two Ways

September 10, 2012 § 3 Comments

The first recipe I want to share using my herb brioche crumbs is really fast and easy. It is a cabbage salad that is quite a tasty side with a rich dish such as roast lamb or cold cut meats and cheese. I have been lucky over the last few months to have a constant supply of fantastic locally grown cabbage from one of my favourite farmers at the markets Chris Pillidge.

Brioche Crumbed Cabbage Salad


2 Cups of finely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup of herb brioche crumbs

3 tbs lemon juice

1 pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup of candied hazelnuts *

Black pepper


Place the cabbage in a bowl and toss with lemon juice and salt then the bread crumbs. Toss the nuts through and season with pepper just before serving.

* candied hazelnuts can be made by making a sugar syrup (combine 150g sugar and 150g water then boil until the sugar dissolves) coat 250g of nuts in the syrup place on a tray in a 180 degree celsius oven until dry and toasty (about 10min). They keep well in an airtight container for several weeks.

Brioche Crumbed Fish with Zucchini Salad


I used Trevally but use any fresh local fish fillets from your fish monger.


4 fillets of fish (skin on)

1 punnet of cherry tomatoes

6 cloves of organic garlic

1/4 cup of herbed brioche bread crumbs

2 tbs olive oil

salt and pepper

1 lemon

1 zucchini


Place the tomatoes and garlic (skin on) and 1 tbs of oil on a tray in a 150 degree oven for about 10min or until the garlic is soft. Remove the tray from the oven and turn the temperature up to 180 degrees celsius. Rub the fish fillets with the remaining oil and season with salt and cracked pepper, place skin down in the pan on the tomatoes and garlic and top each fillet with herb brioche crumbs. Place in the oven and cook depending on the size of your fillets for about 8-10min. Meanwhile slice the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. When the fish is done place the fillets on the plates and squeeze the garlic out of its skin onto the zucchini and toss through the cherry tomatoes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Drunken Stuffed Brioche

August 15, 2012 § 6 Comments

Each Sunday I pile a shelf behind my stall at the Newcastle Farmers Market with plain large brioche loaves. For the first few weeks I started doing this I didn’t sell any and I would bring the pile of loaves home and turn them into Bread and Butter Pudding or Bostock. Then finally people started buying them and now I sell out. Often I am asked by customers how I prefer to eat brioche. Really most of all I love simple brioche toast and jam but I thought I might blog a few recipes using the loaves. At first I though I would make a tiramisu inspired brioche using coffee, mascarpone and marsala, but decided to put that recipe off until next time as I had a fridge full of produce from my neighbouring stalls, and a jar of creme fraiche that I had made earlier in the week (recipe here). How could I go wrong with soaking brioche in the lovely First Harvest Noble Semillon from Mill Creek and fresh strawberries?


1 Brioche loaf

2 punnets of Strawberries washed and sliced

200ml of sweet wine such as a botrytis semillon

150 ml water

145 gm organic sugar

3 egg yolks

250g of creme fraiche

250g cream

1 vanilla pod


Put the strawberries in a bowl and pour over the wine cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Meanwhile combine 75gm of sugar and the water heat until the sugar has dissolved then leave to cool. Cut open the brioche and carve out the centre set the inside pieces aside (or if you prefer just slice the brioche and assemble in a glass dish like a trifle). When the strawberries have finished soaking drain the liquid into the sugar syrup. Whisk the cream and creme fraiche until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and scraped vanilla seeds over a double boiler with the rest of the sugar until pale and frothy then fold through the creme fraiche and cream.

To assemble the brioche brush the inside liberally with the wine syrup and layer strawberries then cream then a layer of the set aside brioche pieces continue by brushing this layer with the syrup until the loaf is full. Wrap in plastic wrap and put into the fridge over night to soak. You should be left with some of the brioche centre you can freeze these pieces for making bread crumbs.

I have to admit I ate this for breakfast but I think it would be lovely on a picnic.

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