Egg in Raviolo with Black Truffle


Orecchiette with Greens

Serves 2

Orecchiette pasta either freshly made or good quality dried pasta
Speck (smoked), pancetta, or good quality smoked bacon rinded and cut into small batons.
Olive oil
Garlic clove finely chopped
1/2 – 1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped or a pinch of dried red chilli flakes *
Green vegetables:  Cima di rapa and/or Broccoli / Broccolini / Chicory, stems removed, heads separated into small florets and any leaves cut into large pieces.
Basil pesto (basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper) *
1/4-1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind *
White wine *
Fresh continental parsley, chopped
Cream *
Salt & pepper
Pecorino or Parmesan  cheese, shaved or grated
* Optional

Cook the green vegetables in salted boiling water until just tender. Remove the greens from the pan and refresh in iced water.  Drain and set aside.  Keep the water boiling ready to cook the pasta.

Add the orecchiette to the pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Dried pasta will take about 15-18 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the garlic and chilli until softened and the flavours have infused.

Add the speck/bacon/pancetta and fry on a medium heat until golden brown and the fat rendered.  Alternatively, a couple of anchovies can be substituted for the cured meat and stirred until melted.

Add the green vegetables to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until heated through.  A splash of white wine can be added at this point and reduced slightly.

Stir in the cream, pesto and finely grated lemon rind.

Drain the orecchiette and add to the pan.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add chopped parsley and toss well.

Spoon into pasta bowls with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and glass of red wine – not optional!

Fettuccine with Pine Mushrooms

Serves 2

Recipe coming soon……..

Chocolate Soufflé

Chocolate Soufflé

Serves 2

150g Plaistowe Dark Cooking chocolate
Softened butter to coat ramekins
1/3 cup caster sugar (about 85 grams)
4 eggs separated
Extra caster sugar for dusting ramekins
Icing sugar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Thoroughly brush ramekins with softened butter. Brush up the sides to create a “path” for the soufflé to rise.  Then coat inside of ramekins with caster sugar. Together the butter and sugar will facilitate the rising.

Melt chocolate in a bowl large enough to incorporate the beaten egg whites.

Place egg whites into a bowl and start whisking with some of the sugar then gradually add the remaining sugar and continue to whisk until thick and shiny soft peaks form.

Mix egg yolks with a fork until well combined and add to the melted chocolate and mix well. This will create a batter that will bind with the egg whites.

Mix 1/3 of egg whites into chocolate mixture until well combined. Then turn and fold in remaining egg white until all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour mixture into ramekins all the way to the top and level the mixture but be very careful not to drip any mixture on the side otherwise you will have to wipe it clean and the soufflé will stick when cooked. (Some recipes suggest running the end of your thumb around inside edge of soufflé dish to ensure the soufflé will rise evenly).

Place ramekins onto a baking tray and place in the oven and cook at 200 degrees for 15 minutes until well risen and gooey in the centre.

Serve soufflé dusted with icing sugar and cold whipped cream with grated chocolate on the side.

To eat, break a hole in the centre of the soufflé and drop in chocolate cream.


My interpretation of the recipe as seen on MasterChef Australia on Ten


Used 8x7cm ramekins.

Next time, will reduce the sugar to about 65g because the souffle was intensely sweet.

Soufflé was prepared 30 minutes before baking, left at room temperature.

Methods for avoiding your souffle spilling over the dish when cooking:
– If the temperature is too low, it will not “seize” the souffle quickly enough and the mixture will spill over as it bakes.
– Ramekins can be filled approximately 2cm lower than the top of the dish so when the souffle rises it does not spill over.
– Do not beat the egg whites until they are stiff or the souffles can rise too high and spill over the rims of the mould. Instead whip the eggwhites until they just begin to hold their shape.
Source:  Il Viaggio Di Vetri: A Culinary Journey By Marc Vetri, David Joachim, Douglas Takeshi Wolfe

Some recipes also use flour or cornflour and milk. One website noted that they omitted the milk that goes into most chocolate soufflés and the result is a puffier, crisper texture outside and a lighter, airier consistency inside. Another recipe states that the soufflés can be prepared up to the point of ready to bake them. Just refrigerate for anywhere up to three days.  Just bring them out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. If you don’t take them out of the refrigerator early, then bake them for an extra minute or two.

Other recipes:

Lifestyle Food – Chocolate Souffle by Gordon Ramsay

Lifestyle Food – Decandent Chocolate Souffles


Lifestyle Food – Chocolate Souffle by Ben O’Donoghue from The Best In Australia

Lifestyle Food – Chocolate Souffle with Figs by Richard Phillips

Channel 4 – Chocolate Souffle by Gordon Ramsay

ABC – Chocolate Souffle from The Cook and The Chef

Epicurious – Chocolate Souffle

Cooking for Engineers – Dark Chocolate Souffle

The Baker’s Manual By Joseph Amendola, Nicole Rees, Nicole Rees Smith

Professional Baking By Wayne Gisslen, Mary Ellen Griffin, Le Cordon Bleu

Zucchini Flowers

Zucchini Flowers

Zucchini Flowers

Christmas Cake

250g sultanas
250g seeded raisins
250g currants
200g mixed glace cherries, chopped in halves
½ cup mixed peel
¼ cup brandy
¼-½ cup sherry (I use a combination  of  equal parts of sweet, cream, and/or dry)
250g butter, chopped
¼ cup jam (I like cherry but you can use plum or apricot)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown or brown sugar
½ cup hot water
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
5 eggs lightly beaten
1 ¾ cups plain flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon mixed spice (optional)
200g California walnuts, roughly broken into large pieces
125g slivered, blanched almonds
Whole, blanched almonds to decorate
Extra brandy (optional)

1.  Combine the raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries and mixed peel with brandy and sherry in a large bowl, cover and soak overnight or for up to 2 weeks.
2.  Combine fruit, butter, water, and sugar in large saucepan; stir over a medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered 10 minutes; transfer to large bowl; cool to room temperature.
3.  Preheat the oven to 150c. Line the base and sides of deep 19cm square cake pan or a deep 23cm round cake pan with 2 layers of baking paper, bringing the paper 5cm above the edge of the pan.
4.  Stir the eggs into the fruit mixture until well combined.
5.  Stir in sifted flour, jam, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts and slivered almonds.
6.  Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Decorate the top with whole almonds. Bake in a slow oven for between 2 ½-3 hours. Cover the cake loosely with foil during cooking if it is over-browning.
7.  Brush extra brandy over the top of the hot cake (optional) and cover tightly with foil, cool in pan.

This recipe can be made 1-2 months ahead to age the flavour. Keeping time is 3 months. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or refrigerate if the weather is humid.
If the cake is dry, it can be stored in a airtight container with a quartered apple which can be replaced every couple of days.

Spaghetti alla Granseola