Monday, June 22, 2015

Decadent Chocolate Fondants

I haven't forgotten you all and I've been on adventures to Taiwan and Hong Kong which I will need to fill you in at another time but I needed to stop and write a recipe for my decadent chocolate fondants.

I recently ate at Big Stone Tapas in North Sydney and I couldn't get over how amazing the chocolate fondant dessert was. It was one of the things I missed most on my travels was being able to cook and bake for my family.

I decided to rectify this to replicate a quick and easy chocolate fondant that could be whipped up whilst we enjoyed our family dinner of spaghetti bolognese.

Serves 6


100g dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
100g sugar

100g plain flour


1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius

2. Use a thin slice of butter and use this to grease the ramekins. (I use a pannacotta mould as I wanted these to be small as these were rather decadent)

3. Add chocolate and butter into a microwave dish with lid and place in the microwave for High 50 seconds. The chocolate wouldn't have completely melted but stir this mixture around and it will melt due to the residue heat from the butter.

4. Add eggs and egg yolks with the sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk for 3 minutes until pale yellow in colour.

5. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mix and fold in the 100g of flour.

6. Divide the mixture into the ramekins and place on an oven tray.

7. Bake for 8-10 mins or until the surface is cooked but still soft in the centre.

8. I like to serve mine with a dollop of yoghurt as it is a rather rich dessert.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Spaghetti Bolognese you want to make a big batch of.

I've been looking for a Bolognese sauce to impress hubby and have been playing around with a few things but I will say that I am most impressed with Matt Preston's Simple Bolognese recipe. So much so that I have made this twice already and haven't had the need to change the quantities and now have an easy method to make this. This recipe makes a good amount, as I have 3 containers in the freezer ready for the next spag bol night. Perfect for a cold winter's night and one that hubby and the kids' love.

Matt's simple bolognese

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes or as long as possible


Olive oil
40g butter

To make soffritto
2 medium carrots, diced small
3 medium brown onions, diced small
4 bacon rashers cut into fingernail size tiles
2 celery sticks, diced small

1 tbsp soft brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped and crushed
3 tbsp tomato paste

1kg beef mince
1 lemon
500ml red wine
3 bay leaves
Splash Worcestershire sauce
2 cans tinned tomatoes
500ml beef stock

1 large pack of egg tagliatelle  the curly nesty ones are nicest
150g Italian parmesan cheese
1 loaf crusty bread and a green salad for serving


1. Place a large pot on the heat.

2.  Throw the onions, carrots, celery, bacon rashers into the food processor and blitz until diced small.

3. Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 40g butter into the hot pan. When the butter is melted and the oil hot, throw in the carrots, onion, celery and bacon. Cook until veg is soft and going translucent at the edges (about 10mins).

4. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp of brown sugar and stir through.

5. Add garlic and tomato paste. Move this all round the pan to cook out for three minutes.
Scrape the tomatoey soffritto into a bowl.

6. Splash in some more olive oil.  When it is hot, throw in the mince and cook until browned. Stir the meat the whole time so it cooks evenly. (Depending on the size of your pot, you may find it easier to do this in two batches.)

7. Cut a 4cm long ribbon of lemon peel (without pith) and cut the lemon in half.

8. Scrape meat into the soffritto bowl.

9. Turn up the heat and deglaze using the red wine.

10. When the wine has reduced by half, add back in meat, soffritto, bay leaves, a couple of good dashes of Worcestershire sauce, lemon peel, tomatoes and stock. Stir.

11. Season with salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice from one half of the lemon. Reserve the rest.

12. Bring to the boil covered, then remove lid and turn the heat right down. Cook very gently for up to four hours. Stir occasionally to ensure the sauce doesn't stick and burn. (If the sauce gets too thick, add some more stock and stir it in.)

13. The sauce is ready when it smells irresistible, wonderfully thick, and is a dark red, glossy colour.

14. Taste and season with a little more salt and lemon juice as required. You can now either serve it straight away or cool it and refrigerate before using the next day.

15. Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of salted boiling water in a large pan. When the pasta is cooked but still a little firm to the bite, carefully scoop out a cup of the starchy cooking liquid and drain the pasta.

16. Put a generous ladle of the bolognese sauce in the pasta pot (about two cups) and toss through the pasta. Moisten the combination with a little of the reserved pasta water so it isn't clumpy.

17. Feel free to use as little or as much sauce as you like  we've got lots of plans for the sauce that's left over.

18. Serve it with grated parmesan over the tagliatelle, bread for mopping up the leftover sauce and crisp green salad.