Italian Socca Recipe

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I found this recipe in a recent copy of Gourmet Traveller and it's excellent. My Mum made this the other day with a few little additions and it was scrumptious. I've added these little embellishments here too...

130gms besan flour
2 heaped tablespoons of chopped rosemary (alternative flavours for a Spanish twist: smoked paprika & tomato powder)
Sea salt
60ml olive oil

  1. Whisk besan flour, a teaspoon of salt & half the olive oil with enough cold water (about 280ml) to make a batter that's pancake consistency. Rest for 2-3 hours. 
  2. Heat a non-stick fry pan until it's very hot. Add your olive oil - don't be shy - you don't want the dosai to stick.
  3. Fry a small ladle of mixture in a very hot fry pan. As soon as you've poured the mixture into the fry pan, sprinkle rosemary or smoked paprika and tomato powder.
  4. Flip the socca after 5 mins or so and brown the other side.
  5. Cut into quarters and enjoy hot with some Italian wine.
TIP: You might find the mixture sticks (very) firmly to the pan. Using a very good non-stick pan resolves this.

Home-Grown Blueberries

My first sourdough

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A few weeks ago my brother-in-law gave me some of his 4 year old starter and this morning it's a bake off! Mine's just out of the oven and wow, it really smells like sourdough. Which is lucky because it is sourdough. Phew.
All you need to do is follow the no-knead recipe on my blog an replace the instant yeast with a 1/4 cup of starter.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Say "no thanks" to this. I dare you.

Strawberry Tart

Shortcrust, creme patissiere, strawberries and cranberry glaze. So simple but so good!

Vegetable Biryani

Monday, August 25, 2014

This is so easy and a great recipe for using left over veges in the bottom of the crisper (you can use any veges you have if you follow roughly the same quantities below).

Serves 3-4


  • Olive oil (or a flavourless oil)
  • 250gms basmati rice
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • Large handful of small cauliflower florets
  • 4 button mushrooms diced
  • Handful of diced pumpkin
  • About 15-20 green beans chopped into about 1cm lengths
  • Half a small fennel diced
  • 500mls vegetable stock
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon of garam marsala
  •  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 level tablespoons of Keen's curry powder
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • Salt/pepper to taste

To dress
  • Small handful chopped coriander
  • Small handful toasted almonds
  • Cup of greek yogurt (or other creamy natural yogurt) mixed with with juice of half a lemon and salt/pepper
  • Poppodums


  •          Heat cast iron pot (with lid) in 200 degrees C oven
  •        Add veges with lid on for about 15 mins
  •          Add stock (with spices dissolved through the liquid), rice (plus a little more salt/pepper to taste) and currants
  •          Bake (with lid) on 190 degrees C for 30mins 
  •          Once cooked, gently break up with a fork and top with coriander and almonds
  •          Serve with yogurt/lemon juice on the side and poppadoms.

No-Knead Bread

Saturday, August 2, 2014

3 cups Lighthouse brand or any bread flour, more for dusting
1 level teaspoon dried yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 and ½ cups water (luke warm)
  • Mix all ingredients together. It will be a shaggy wet mess of dough
  • Leave in a warm spot for 12 hours (I cover with glad wrap and then put a tea towel over the top)
  • Heat oven to about 300 degrees C with the cast iron pot in there too so it heats up (it has to be really hot when you put the bread in)
  • Scoop out the dough onto a floured surface and fold a few times into a nice round shape
  • Leave for 1 hour to stand after you’ve folded it into a nice ball
  • Put into hot cast iron pot with the folded edges facing up (these will form a nice cracked top)
  • Cook for 30mins with lid on
  • Take lid off for a while to brown the top further (this could take another 5-30mins) depending on how brown you want it. It will be done when you tap it and it sounds hollow.

Today's Buns

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Very happy with these little babies!

Spaghetti Bolognese

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I used to make bolognese with lots of red wine. It was deep red/brown in colour and very intense. Over the past few years I've really come to appreciate a more subtle version. The addition of lemon zest, nutmeg and cinnamon might sound odd but their addition absolutely transforms beef dishes like bolognese. The spice combination takes away that sometimes sweaty flavour and adds so much depth. Try it and let me know what you think.

Olive oil
1kg lean beef mince (ideally room temperature)
1 litre good quality beef stock
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 brown onion finely diced
2 large garlic cloves finely sliced
3 carrots and 4 large celery stems grated or finely diced
3 bay leaves
Zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
Teaspoon of powdered cinnamon (nb. stick of cinnamon is too strong)
1 can of diced tomato or 3 big fresh tomatoes chopped
Salt to taste (depends on salt content of stock) and pepper

Spaghetti and parmesan to serve


1. Heat large heavy bottomed saucepan and add olive oil.
2. Fry onion and garlic until transparent.
3. Add mince and fry until browned through.
4. Stir through spices, lemon zest and bay leaves.
5. Add wine and cook until alcohol is evaporated.
6. Stir through tomato paste.
7. Add carrot and celery and combine well with mince mixture.
8. Add stock and tomatoes and stir well.
9. Place a lid on the pot and simmer gently for 1-2 hours stirring every now and then. Towards the end of cooking, adjust seasoning and remove the lid for a while if sauce needs to reduce.


And the 2014 Hot Cross Bun Easter Show Championship is mine. Again!