I love all the traditions and memories that Christmas celebrations bring to our family. Growing up with a mother who loved to bake, October and November were the months for preparing the cakes and pudding, a much more arduous job than it is today. All the individual fruits had to be thoroughly washed, dried and stoned, unlike the easy-to-open packets available today. The fruit was soaked in either Sherry or ‘Hospital’ Brandy. When the day came to make the cake and pudding, the butte...read more
Women’s Weekly Three-in-One Christmas Cake Mix This is my favourite cake and pudding recipe, I’ve been making it for years. It’s such a versatile mix. The basic fruit mixture will make one very moist cake (22cm round), one steamed pudding, and about 20 fruit mince tarts. Prepare this basic fruit mixture up to a month ahead, the longer the fruit soaks, the better. This year I have made 1 quantity of this Basic Fruit Mix and am using the entire mix to make Christmas Cakes. The mix h...read more
Today is exactly 12 weeks to Christmas Day Now this is not meant to scare you, though it may do, but rather, I want to inspire you to at least start making some early plans, and have your most organised Christmas yet. Last years Let’s do Christmas Countdown Planner started just 4 weeks out from the big day, and I will do that again this year. In the mean time I’ll post some regular additional ideas which will lead you gently into the Silly Season. Here are a few things to get your head ar...read more
Who doesn’t love a warm, decadent chocolate dessert? This is a one of my go-to desserts, really easy, cooks in about 10 minutes, and can be prepared a day or two before – just keep the ramekins refrigerated. Make sure to bring the puddings back to room temperature before cooking, otherwise the cooking time will need to be adjusted. This recipe can be doubled easily to make 8-10 x 150 ml ramekins. 125g quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa) 25g butter 50g caster sugar 4 egg whites, at roo...read more
This is my favourite muffin recipe, works every time. I usually make it in my silicon mini muffin tray which holds 24. They freeze really well, so there are always some on hand to have with a cuppa. Just defrost in the microwave. Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins 375g SR flour 150g caster sugar 1 tsp. vanilla essence or extract 150ml vegetable oil 180ml buttermilk 1 egg 250 – 300g frozen raspberries or mixed berries ( do not thaw) Demerara sugar Method 1. Preheat oven to 200C 2. Line a 12-hol...read more
Having run a successful catering business in Sydney for more than 20 years, providing the highest standard of food and service for private and corporate clients, I have more than a few tricks-of-the-trade to impart to help make your entertaining easier. Sharing good food with family and friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures – entertaining should be easy and fun for everyone, including the cook.