Friday 28 December 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR - Ring in the new year with a bright spark!

The food dept reside in Sydney, Australia and as the rest of the world knows, we do love our fireworks. Sydneysiders pack the foreshores of Sydney harbour to view the most spectacular display of fireworks every New Years Eve, which seem to get bigger and better each year.

2012 has been an exciting first year for the food dept and we have absolutely loved working together and bringing you our delicious food features every month. A huge thank you to everyone around the globe for reading our blog and more importantly leaving feedback and comments. We love hearing your thoughts and ideas, so keep them coming next year and we will try to keep delivering what you like to cook and eat.

 We have put together a sparky little animation for you, which celebrates the end of 2012 and the start of another wonderful new year. Enjoy and remember to bring in the new year with a glass of our limoncello in one hand and a sparkler in the other.

Wishing you all a prosperous, peaceful and Happy New Year!

Cook, create + laugh!
Anne Marie and Sally  

This delicious lemon liquer is thought to have originated in Southern Italy. It is sweet and lemony without being bitter. So why not give the gift of this zesty refreshing drink on New Years Eve? Italians know how to party, what better way to ring in the New Year.  
Makes 1.2 litres

• 1 cup sugar
• ½ cup water
• 6 organic lemons
• 700ml bottle vodka
• 1 extra lemon, needed after 2 weeks when bottling the recipe

1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Using a mircoplane zest the 6 lemons into a large jug. Juice the lemons and combine the juice with the zest.
3. Stir the sugar syrup into the zest and juice while the syrup is still warm but not hot. Add the bottle of vodka and stir well.
4. Using a funnel decant the Limoncello into clean, glass bottles and store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks for the flavour to develop, give the bottle a shake every few days.
5. Just before bottling the Limoncello for gifts, cut strips of lemon zest from the extra lemon with a vegetable peeler and finally julienne them. Blanch in boiling water and place into the base of clean bottles. Strain the Limoncello to remove the grated zest and pour into the bottle and seal.
6. Label the Limoncello with a tag suggesting it is serve straight from the freezer.

food dept fact: Serve Limoncello in chilled shot glasses after a long lazy lunch.

Saturday 22 December 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND THANK YOU for supporting the food dept's first year!

Fig and pear fruit mince cinnamon tarts
Nothing says Christmas more than the smell of dried fruit, brandy and sweet spices. These delicious little tarts can be made in round base patty pans or a selection of decorative, vintage tins.

• 1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
125g butter, diced
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch salt
1 egg yolk
Fig and pear fruit mince
Icing sugar, for dusting

1. Combine the flour, icing sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until combined and looks like fresh breadcrumbs.
2. Add the egg yolk and pulse until it comes together into a ball.
3. Remove the processor and shape into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll out between floured baking paper to 3mm thickness.
5.Using a cutter slightly larger than the tins you are using cut out the pastry. Use a palate knife to gently lift the pastry into the tins, press into the tins and trim if necessary.
6.Place heaped teaspoons of fruit mince into the pastry and cut a smaller decorative piece to top the pies.
7. Bake in the hot oven for 8-10 minutes or until the pastry is golden, this will depend on the size tins you decide to use.
8. Serve warm or cold sprinkled with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Fig and glace pear fruit mince
This delicious fruit mince recipe makes enough for you and plenty to package up to give away! Make into fruit mince pies or simply serve warm over vanilla ice cream for a quick festive dessert.
Makes 5 cups fruit mince

2 large granny smith apples, peeled and coarsely grated
200g raisins, finely chopped
200g sultanas
200g currants
100g dried figs, finely chopped
100g glace pear, finely chopped
½ cup marmalade
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup brandy
2 teaspoons mixed spice
125g butter, softened
extra, 2 tablespoons brandy

1. Combine the fruits, marmalade, brown sugar, brandy and mixed spice in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over a medium low heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes until the fruits are softened and the mixture is thick.
2. Add the butter and stir until melted. Stir though the extra brandy.
3. The fruit mince can be used immediately or it can be bottles in sterilized jars and stored in a cool dark place for up to 3 months. Refrigerate once opened. The longer it is stored the better the flavours will develop.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

MORE MILK – Ruffle some feathers with our simple dessert.

Ruffled Filo Pie with Honey and Pistachios
This wonderful recipe is an adaptation of a Greek dessert with a creamy baked custard base and crispy fillo pastry top. Don't be intimidated by the it's milky frills and ruffles, it really is easy to make and even easier to eat.
Serves 8

• 60g butter, melted
• 8 sheets filo pastry
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1½ cups milk
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons honey
• ¼ cup roasted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease and line a 20cm (8inch) cake pan.
2. Lay out the fillo pastry on the bench and cover lightly with a damp cloth, this will prevent the pastry from drying out and cracking. Take out one sheet of pastry and lay it lengthways on the bench. Lightly brush the pastry with the melted butter. Ruffle up the pastry so that you bring the long sides closer together, then coil up the length of ruffled filo to create a rosette. Place this into the greased cake pan and continue with the remaining pastry and butter. Place 7 rosettes of pastry around the outside of the cake pan and then one in the centre.
3. Liberally brush the top of the pastry with the remaining butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes. 
4. While the pastry is cooking, place the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. While the milk is warming place the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk well. Gradually pour over the hot milk while whisking the mixture until all the milk has been added.
5. After the 30 minutes remove the cake pan from the oven and pour over the egg custard mixture. Return to the oven and cook for another 30 minutes or until custard sets..
6. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes before pulling apart into the rosettes for serving. While still hot drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pistachio nuts.

Recipe: Sally Courtney.

Monday 5 November 2012

MILK – and the dish ran away with the spoon

Caramel Cream Tartlets with Almond Pastry 
These divine tartlets are a great way to use the food depts'  Salted cardamom dulche de leche from our slow story. But if time is of the essence you can buy a canned caramel in the cake isle of your supermarket.

Makes 6 x 10cm tartlets

2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup almond meal
¼ cup caster sugar
150g butter, diced
1/3 cup iced water
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water, to make egg wash
extra, ¼ cup caster sugar
2 free range egg yolks
seeds scrapped from 1 vanilla pod, reserve the pod for another use
200ml cream
½ cup duche de leche
extra, ½ cup caster sugar, for bruleeing

1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, almond meal, caster sugar and butter in the bowl of a large food processor. Process until it resemble breadcrumbs. Add the iced water through the feeder tube and keep processing until the pastry comes together in a ball.
2. Remove from the processor, shape into a log approximately 7cm in diameter and wrap in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from the refrigerator and slice of pieces of pastry, one at a time, approximately 1 ½ cm thick. Roll out the discs of pastry between sheets of baking paper to approximately 3mm. If the pastry is sticking to the paper sprinkle lightly with flour. Line each tartlet case and place onto a tray refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Once the pastries have been chilled, prick the base of each one and line with foil, fill with pie weights or rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and weights. Brush with the egg wash and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until light golden in colour. Reduce the oven to 160ºC (320ºF).
5. To make the custard, combine the extra ¼ cup caster sugar, egg yolks, vanilla seeds and cream in a jug, whisk until sugar dissolves.
6. Spread 1 tablespoon of dulche de leche in each tartlet case and fill each one with the custard. Bake for 20 minutes or until the custard is set.
7. Allow the tartlets to cool then remove from tartlet pans. Sprinkle each tartlet with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar and brulee to top. Sprinkle with another 2 teaspoons of caster sugar and brulee again.  By bruleeing in 2 layers you get a thicker and crisper top without the sugar burning. Allow the sugar to set then serve.

food dept fact: This recipe makes sufficient pastry to prepare this recipe a second time. If you are going to make pastry why not pop the remaining pastry in the freezer for up to 3 months and make another batch of these beautiful tartlets or there is enough to line a 10 x 35cm flan tin and you can make a variation on our delicious strawberry tart.  

Banoffee Milkshake
Makes 2 large shakes

• 1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 50 g butter
• 2 large ripe bananas
• 2 cups milk
• 4 large scoops vanilla ice cream
• ½ cup thickened cream, whipped
• 1 tablespoon shaved chocolate, for serving

1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar and butter in a frying pan over a low heat and cook stirring for 10-12 minutes until it has thickened. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Place bananas, milk, ice cream and 2 tablespoons of the cooled caramel sauce in a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Take 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce and swirl around the inside of a large glass, pour half of the banana shake and top with a dollop of cream and shaved chocolate. Repeat with a second glass. Serve immediately.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries and Spiced Maple Butter
We have gone out of our way to make sure these will be the lightest and fluffiest pancakes you’ll ever make. When nectarines and peaches are in season, add a few slices with to the blueberries when serving.
Makes approximately 10 pancakes

125g unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1¾ cups plain flour
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
50g butter, melted
extra, 30g butter, for greasing
1 punnet blueberries, for serving
Maple syrup, for serving
• Cream and icing sugar, for serving (optional)

1. To make the spiced maple butter, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon and continue beating until well combined, set aside at room temperature until required
2. To make the buttermilk pancakes, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
3. In a large jug whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Whisk into the flour, be careful to not over work the mixture. Small lumps of flour are fine in pancake mixture.
4. Heat a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Place approximately ½ teaspoon of the extra butter into the frying pan and brush over with a pastry brush.
5. Using a 1/3 cup measure pour the batter into the frying pan. Cook for approximately 4 minutes until small bubbles form, turn them over and continue to cook for another 4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Place on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm, repeat with remaining melted butter and batter.
6. Serve 2 pancakes stacked on a plate. While hot top with spiced maple butter, blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. To make them extra indulgent, drizzle over some cream and a sprinkle of icing sugar.

food dept fact: Spiced maple butter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month, return to room temperature before use.

Strawberry and milk jelly
Makes 1 litre jelly

2 leaves gelatine
• extra, 6 leaves gelatine
• 1 x 250g punnet strawberries
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• water to make up to a 1 cup measure
• 1 tablespoon boiling water
• 3 cups milk
• extra, ½ cup sugar
• 1 vanilla bean split and scrapped

1. Soak the 2 leaves of gelatine in a bowl of cold water. Repeat in another bowl with the 6 leaves.
2. Place the strawberries and sugar into a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Strain through a sieve to remove the strawberry seeds and if necessary add a little water to make up to 1 cup of strawberry liquid. This is to ensure you have the correct quantities for the gelatin to set to the same consistency for both layers.
4. Drain the 2 leaves of gelatine well and pour over the boiling water, stir to dissolve the gelatin sheets and then add the gelatine and water mixture to the strawberry puree, stir well to combine.
5. Pour the strawberry puree into a 1 litre mold and place into the refrigerator and allow to set for 1 hour.
6. Place the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds into a saucepan, heat over a medium heat until it comes to a simmer, remove form the heat. Drain the 6 leaves of gelatin well and add to the warmed milk, stir well to ensure the gelatine has dissolved. Strain into a bowl and allow to cool. You could place the milk mixture over a bowl of iced water to speed up the process, be careful not to let it get too gold or the gelatin will begin to set.
7. When the milk mixture is cold pour it gently over the back of a spoon down the side of the mold, being careful not to disturb the strawberry layer. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
8. To serve, dip the mold into hot water for 15 seconds, quickly dry the outside of the mold. Place your serving plate on top of the mold and invert, remove the mold and serve immediately.

food dept fact: Gelatine leaves can come in varying strengths, check your packet for the manufacturers' recommendations and adjust the recipe accordingly.

Vanilla tres leche cake with double cream and mango

The food dept’s version of a traditional Latin American cake served with double cream and mango.  The base is a beautiful fluffy sponge soaked with a combination of cream and 2 milks, served piled high with double cream and mango slices or your favourite spring and summer fruits.
Make 16 serves

5 free range eggs, separated, at room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour, sifted 4 times with a pinch of salt
1 cup cream
1 cup evaporated milk
1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
extra, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
300ml double cream, for serving
2 mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Lightly grease and line the base of a 20cm (8inch) square cake pan.
2. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in half of the sugar and continue to beat for 1-2 minutes until glossy. Set aside.
3. In another bowl beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy, gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat for another 1 minute.
4. Using a large metal spoon gradually fold the yolks into the whites being careful not to over mix.
5. Sift over half of the flour and gently fold through, sift over the remaining flour and gently fold through, be careful not to over work the mixture or you will loose the air which is what makes a beautiful light sponge.
6. Gently spoon the sponge mixture into the prepared cake pan and gently smooth over the surface. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door, especially not in the first 45 minutes. Doing so with deflate the sponge.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the cake pan15 minutes. Don’t remove the cake from the pan. While the sponge is cooling combine the cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large jug, whisk to combine.
8. Once the cake has cooled, use a skewer to poke holes over the whole top of the sponge, this will allow the cream and milks to be more easily absorbed. Pour over half of the cream and milk mixture and allow it to absorb. Pour over the remaining mixture, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
9. Turn out the cake onto a platter and cut into 16 small squares, serve with a dollop of double cream and mango slices.

Malted milk and chocolate chip cookies
These cookies with a glass of milk will satisfy any after school cravings.
Makes approximately 6 large cookies.

• 125g butter, softened
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 free range egg
• 1½ cups plain flour
• ½ cup malted milk powder
• pinch salt
• 1 cup chocolate chips or your favourite chocolate bar, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes.
2. Add the egg and beat for another minute until well combined.
Sift together the flour, milk powder and salt. Add the flour to the butter mixture and beat on low until combined.
3. Add the chocolate chips and gently mix through.
4. Roll ¼ cups of the mixture into a balls and place onto a lined baking tray. Flatten with a fork and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Milky ice pops
 This recipe makes 2 cups of chocolate milk mixture, depending on the shape and size of your mold will depend on how many you get. This recipe is super easy to halve or double to suit your moulds.

• 1 cup milk
• 150ml cream
• 100 g chocolate – white, milk or dark, finely chopped

1. Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and just bring to a simmer. 
2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it has melted. Add the liqueur or sugar if you are using at this stage.
3. Chill the milk and chocolate mixture. Just before pouring into the molds whisk the mixture well and then pour into ice pop molds. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

food dept fact: These can be made with white, milk or dark chocolate. If they’re for adults try adding a tablespoon of your favourite liqueur – coconut liqueur with the white chocolate, Cointreau with the dark to make a jaffa flavour and try a coffee liqueur with milk chocolate for mocha ice pops. If you use a bitter sweet dark chocolate you may find the ice pops are not sweet enough, add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the warm milk and cream to sweeten things up. These milk pops can also be half dipped in melted chocolate for a fun variation.

Recipe: Sally Courtney, Art direction: Anne Marie Cummins, Styling: David Morgan

Sunday 30 September 2012

SPRING into action with our yummy desserts, you may be familiar with these recipes but we have added a little food dept twist! Enjoy!

Strawberry tart with black pepper pastry
Serves 8

• 1 cup (250ml) milk
• 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
• 3 egg yolks
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
• 2 tablespoons plain flour
½ cup (125ml) double thick cream, whipped
• 500g strawberries, hulled, halved
• 1 tablespoon vino cotto
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Black pepper pastry
• 1 ⅔ cups (250g) plain flour, sifted
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
• 175g chilled unsalted butter, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
• 1 egg, lightly beaten

1. For the pastry, whiz flour, sugar, butter and pepper in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and pulse until pastry comes together in a ball. Enclose pastry in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, place milk and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over low heat and bring to just below boiling point.
3. Combine yolks, caster sugar and flour in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, then strain into a clean saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until a very thick custard. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with baking paper and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Fold through the cream and chill until ready to serve.
5. Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to 5mm thick, then use it to
line a greased 35cm x 11cm rectangular tart pan. Prick the base with a fork and chill for a further 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until pastry is golden and dry.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
7. Place the strawberries, vino cotto and brown sugar in a bowl and toss gently to combine. Spread the custard in the cooled pastry case, top with the strawberries and serve immediately.

food dept fact: Vino cotto, an Italian condiment made from cooked grape must or figs,
adds a sour element to sweet dishes, while delicate orange blossom water enhances citrus flavours. Look for both at gourmet food shops.

Blood orange margarita ice blocks with lime salt
Makes 10

You will need ice-block moulds and paddlepop sticks for this recipe. Be creative and make use different shaped moulds for some kitsch fun.

¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
• 2 cups (500ml) blood orange
• mineral water (such as Schweppes Agrum Blood Orange)
• 2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
¼ cup (60ml) tequila
• Finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus
¼ cup
• (60ml) lime juice and wedges to serve
• 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes

1. Combine sugar and
¼ cup (60ml) water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring for 2-3 minutes until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and simmer for 1-2 minutes until slightly syrupy. Transfer the syrup to a large heatproof bowl and allow to cool.
2. Place the blood orange mineral water in a large bowl and lightly whisk to
remove the bubbles. Stir into the cooled sugar syrup with the Cointreau, tequila and lime juice. Transfer mixture to a jug.
3. Carefully pour mixture into the ice block moulds, leaving 1cm at the top to allow for the ice block to expand as it freezes. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
4. To serve, combine the salt flakes and lime zest in a small bowl. Run the moulds
under water to release the ice blocks, then serve with the lime salt and lime wedges.

Grapefruit posset
Makes 4
Here's our twist on the old English dessert lemon posset, the grapefruit adds a slightly tart taste which cuts through the thick cream. With only 4 ingredients, it couldn't be easier.

• 1 ruby grapefruit, plus wedges to garnish
• 450ml double thick cream
cup (150g) caster sugar
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• Shortbread, to serve

1. Finely grate the grapefruit zest, then halve and juice (you’ll need 100ml). Heat
the cream, sugar and grapefruit zest in a saucepan over low heat for 2-3 minutes,
stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly
for 1-2 minutes.

2. Gently stir the grapefruit and lemon juice into the cream mixture, then divide
among four ½ cup (125ml) serving glasses. Chill for 4 hours or overnight until set.
3. Garnish the possets with grapefruit wedges and serve with shortbread.

Lemon curd, mascarpone & almond layer cake 
Serves 8
We know you all love this recipe, as so many have baked and sent us pics of this gorgeous sunny cake. The trick with layer cakes is to put the cooled cakes in the freezer for 40 minutes and then cut each in half. It makes it much easier to handle and you won't have too many crumbs. 

• 1 cup (150g) plain flour
• 1 tbs cornflour
cup (80g) almond meal
• 8 eggs, separated
• ¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
• 200ml thickened cream
¼tsp vanilla extract
• 250g mascarpone
• 1 cup lemon curd (recipe follows) or use good-quality store-bought lemon curd
Lemon syrup
• 400g caster sugar
• 2 lemons, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two round 20cm cake pans with baking paper.
2. Sift the flours and almond meal into a bowl, then sift again. In a separate bowl, beat yolks and 80g sugar with electric beaters until thick and pale. Set aside.
3. In a clean bowl, whisk eggwhites until soft peaks form. Whisk in remaining 85g sugar, then continue to whisk until glossy peaks form. Fold eggwhite mixture into yolk mixture. Working in 3 batches, fold in flour mixture until just combined.

4. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until pale golden and the
tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. For the syrup, heat sugar and 400ml water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring
until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium, then add lemon. Cover the surface with baking paper and simmer for 30 minutes or until the syrup has thickened and lemon is translucent. Set aside.
6. Lightly whip cream and vanilla with electric beaters, then add the mascarpone
and beat on low speed until combined.
7. To assemble, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place 1 layer on a plate and brush liberally with lemon syrup. Spread with one-third of the curd and top with one-third of the cream. Repeat layers 2 more times, then top with a final layer of cake. Drizzle top with remaining syrup and decorate with the candied lemon slices. 


Lemon curd
Makes 1 cup
 These little jars of golden lemon curd make beautiful thank you gifts or look for decorative jars and sell them at your next local fete.

½ cup (110g) castor sugar
• Finely grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
• 3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
• 100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1. Place sugar, zest and juice in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add eggs, stirring to combine.
Return the pan to low heat and add the butter, a piece at a time, whisking constantly for 8-10 minutes until thickened.
2. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover surface with baking paper and chill lemon curd until ready to serve or pour into sterilized jars. Use as required.

Ricotta Doughnuts with Orange Blossom Glaze and White Chocolate Sauce
Makes 24 doughnuts

Before you start this recipe, head to a kitchenware shop and grab a kitchen thermometer. This the yummy the food dept. recipe requires patience and great restraint. These doughnuts are irrestistably delicious, bouncy morsels of soft dough, a citrus kick and wonderful then oozy white chocolate dipping sauce..... We dare you to stop at one.

• 1
½ cups (225g) plain flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 2 tbs caster sugar
• 1 cup (240g) ricotta
• 2 eggs
3/4 cup (185ml) milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 200g white chocolate, chopped
½ cup (125ml) thickened cream
• Sunflower oil, to deep-fry

Orange blossom & honey glaze
½ cup (180g) runny honey
• 1 tablespoon orange blossom water

Finely pared zest of 1 orange.

1. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat the ricotta in an electric mixer for 1 minute or until almost smooth. Add eggs and beat for 1 minute until well combined. Add milk and vanilla, then beat for a further 1 minute. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Set aside.
3. To make the white chocolate dipping sauce, place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water), stirring until melted. Set aside.
4. For the glaze, combine honey, orange blossom water, orange zest and
¼cup (60ml) water in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Set aside.
5. Half fill a wok or large saucepan with oil and bring to 160°C over medium heat (oil
should be hot enough for batter to sizzle and rise to the surface). In batches, drop heaped teaspoons batter into the oil and fry, turning, for 4-5 minutes until golden.
Drain on paper towel.

6. Toss the warm doughnuts with the glaze and serve with the dipping sauce. 

Pistachio ice cream with praline
Makes 1 litre

cup (100g) pistachio kernels
• 2 tablespoons glucose syrup

• 8 egg yolks
• ¾
cup (185g) caster sugar
• 600ml thickened cream
• 400ml milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pistachio praline
cup (100g) pistachio kernels
• 1 cup (220g) caster sugar

1. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until fine. Mix glucose and
¼ cup (60ml) boiling
water in a bowl. Add to the pistachio and whiz for 3-4 minutes until a fine paste.
2. Beat yolks, sugar and pistachio paste in a bowl with electric beaters until thick and pale.
3. In a saucepan over low heat, bring cream, milk and vanilla to just below boiling point, then whisk into egg mixture. Strain into a clean saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring,
for 3-4 minutes until thickened and smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover surface with baking paper and chill until cool.
4. Churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions, then freeze for 4 hours or overnight. 

5. For the praline, grease and line a baking tray. Place pistachios on tray. Stir sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water in a pan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook for 3-4 minutes until a golden caramel. Pour over nuts and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour or until firm. Break into shards.
Serve the pistachio ice cream sprinkled with the praline shards.

food dept fact: Glucose syrup is available from the supermarket baking aisle. To hand-churn ice cream, pour the cooled custard into a shallow container and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen at the edges. Beat with electric beaters, then return to the container and refreeze. Repeat 3 times.

Recipes: Sally Courtney.