Homemade Honeycomb


Sometimes a treat is in order and this is certainly a treat! 

We happily eat this as is but if you want to be really decadent, drizzle a little melted dark chocolate over the honeycomb, then it really is “to die for”! I like to crumble it a little and sprinkle it over vanilla ice cream too, yum!

You need to move briskly when making this so have the bicarbonate already measured out and the baking sheet lined, use a medium to large pan as the honeycomb rises rapidly as soon as you add the bicarbonate and whisk it in.

Makes a slab, 25 x 15cm.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon honey

175g caster sugar

70g liquid glucose

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Method

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Measure the honey, sugar, glucose and water into a pan.

Heat the pan over a high heat, do not stir! Just swirl it around a bit if you must move it.

Using a sugar thermometer, watch the temp rising, as soon as it hits 150 degrees Centigrade, take it off the heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda.

Immediately, tip onto the prepared tin and leave to cool and set.

Break into shards to serve.

The honeycomb will keep in an airtight box for a few days if you have any left!

Secret Stuffed Potatoes

The secret to these is the hidden zucchini that even the fussiest of children will not find as long as they like pesto!

I try to plan ahead for these and bake the potatoes the day before if I have the oven on.

Makes 16.

Ingredients

8 small potatoes, around 100g each, baked

300g zucchini plus two teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons pesto

A little grated cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Grate the zucchini and sprinkle with the salt, mixing a little with your hand, set aside in a sieve over a bowl for ten minutes.

Take a potato and cut in half, use a spoon to scoop the insides out and set aside. Repeat with all the potatoes.

Now, roughly chop up the potato to make a mash, stir through the pesto.

Rinse the zucchini under fresh water and then squeeze all of the moisture out with your hands.

Add the zucchini to the potato mash and mix well.

Spoon the zucchini mix into the potato skins and place on the baking sheet.

Sprinkle over the cheese and pop into the oven.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Peanut And Macadania Nut Balls


Now, I know that these aren’t healthy but they are very tasty and easy to make when you suddely have to make morning tea for your child’s cricket team, I speak from personal experience here!

I like mixing the sugars up a bit, dark muscovado sugar is a great addition in these, just omit 50g of the brown sugar and add the muscovado instead.

Makes 36 balls.

Ingredients

50g butter

175g smooth peanut butter

150g macadamia nuts

200g brown sugar

100g caster sugar

100g desiccated coconut plus extra

Method

Melt the butter and peanut butter gently in a pan.

In a food processor, blitz the macadamia nuts until fairly finely chopped.

Add the sugars and coconut to the nuts and blitz again.

Finally pour in the butters and pulse until combined.

Pour some extra coconut onto a plate.

Take small amounts of the nut ball mix and squeeze into a ball, roll in the coconut and set aside. Continue with the remaining mixture.

Once you have finished, pop the balls into the fridge to set.

Hidden Veg Sausage Rolls


Sausage rolls are sooooo handy on the evenings when we are all coming and going.

In the past I have been a big fan of cheese and bacon rolls but I am currently experimenting with hidden veggies with the aim of making these at the school I work in.

I do make a gluten free version for my youngest but he ate them too quickly for the photo! His sausage mix is made with gluten free fresh breadcrumbs and gluten free puff pastry.

Makes 20 large sausage rolls or 80 mini rolls for party food.

Ingredients

130g wholemeal bread blitzed to make breadcrumbs, crusts and the heel of the loaf are fine

100g onion, peeled and finely diced or blitzed

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley leaves

300g carrots, peeled and grated

350g zucchini/courgette grated and all liquid squeezed out by hand

500g minced pork

1-2 teaspoons dried sage

Salt and pepper

5 sheets pre rolled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, carrots, zucchini, pork, sage and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.

Seperate the pastry sheets, divide the sausage mix into 10 balls. Roll each ball into a sausage shape and lay one on the top half and one on the bottom half of each pastry sheet. Repeat with the remaining sausage mix.

Use a sharp knife to cut each sheet in half. Brush the cut with the beaten egg and then roll the pastry towards the egg wash to allow it to stick.

Cut the roll into your desired size, brush with egg and sprinkle with a little black sesame seeds if using. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

Kerala Beef Curry


This curry is very popular in our house. It isn’t the prettiest of dishes but the flavour is amazing!

 I love the fact that the meat and veg are all in one pot and the boys love that they get to eat it with bread and poppadoms while using their fingers!

Serves 12, this curry freezes well so I tend to make this quantity and freeze half for a night off another day.

Ingredients

50g ghee

15 whole cloves

15 cardamom pods

20 black peppercorns

4x5cm sticks of cinnamon

2 medium onions, diced

4 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised

30-40 curry leaves

Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1.75kgs diced beef, around 3cm

1 litre water

Salt

750g potatoes, kipfler are great, cut into 4cm pieces

1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

500g frozen baby peas

270mls coconut cream

2 tablespoons corn flour mixed with 3 tablespoons water

75g fresh chopped coriander, stalks and leaves

Method

In a large pan with a lid, heat the ghee, once hot, add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns.

As soon as they begin to sizzle, add the onion and cook over a medium to high heat until colouring a little.

Add the garlic, curry leaves and ginger to the pan and cook for two minutes.

Add the beef to the pan and over a high heat, brown the meat, around 4 minutes.

Pour the water into the pan, cover, bring up to simmering and simmer for 90 minutes. Uncover for the last 30 minutes.

Now, add the potatoes, cayenne and salt to the pan, bring back up to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes covered and then ten minutes uncovered.

Carefully pour the cornflour slurry into the curry sauce and stir until thickened.

Now add the peas and coconut cream, bring up to a simmer and sprinkle over the coriander. Serve.

Cheese And Jalapeño Muffins

Cheese and jalapeño, a match made in heaven here and gluten free to boot!

Sometimes it can be hard to find Mexican cornflour in Western Australia so a great way to get around that is to use crushed up corn chips, it works, I promise.

We have these muffins with a bowl of soup or they go to school for lunches for the boys, any leftovers, freeze on the day of baking. 

Makes 10 large, 120g muffins.

Ingredients

150g crushed plain corn chips

220g grated cheese

3 large jalapeño chillies, deseeded, quartered lengthwise and sliced thinly

125g chickpea/bean flour

50g tapioca flour

50g ground almonds/almond meal

4 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

2 eggs

200g sour cream

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

150mls milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Line a twelve hole muffin tin with large muffin cases, this mix makes ten muffins with my cases.

In a large bowl, combine the crushed corn chips, grated cheese, jalapeño, chickpea flour, tapioca flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Give it all a good stir to combine and season with pepper and a little salt depending on how salty your corn chips are.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, add the sour cream and whisk again, add the mustard and milk and whisk a final time.

Now, pour the wet ingredients into the dry, scraping out the mustard seeds that will have sunk to the bottom.

Give the mix a brief stir and then spoon into the prepared cases.

Sprinkle a little extra cheese over the top if you want and then slide the tray into the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden and risen. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Szechuan Roast Chicken


Anyone who needs to eat gluten free will know that eating out in many Asian eateries can be a nightmare so I have started making more and more gluten free versions of meals that I remember from my gluten days.

Don’t be tempted to through out the bones and leftover pan juices! Boil them up to make the most flavoursome stock for any future Chinese style cooking.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

2 x 1.6kg whole chickens

3 teaspoons Szechaun peppercorns

6 garlic cloves

60mls gluten free soy sauce

250mls chicken stock

40g ginger, skin on, thinly sliced

Method

In a mortar and pestle, crush the Szechaun pepper and garlic. Tip into your roasting tin.

Add the soy sauce, chicken stock and ginger to the roasting tin.

Take a chicken and carefully seperate the skin from the flesh over the breast and legs, repeat with the second chicken.

Place the chicken into the roasting tin and carefully pour some of the marinade under the skin of each bird and massage well in. Place a few ginger slices into the cavity of each chicken. Marinade the chicken, turning occasionally, for 6-8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Turn the chicken, breast side up, cover with a piece of dampened baking parchment and then with foil, ensuring that it is really well sealed.

Bake for 90 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 210 degrees, uncover the chicken and baste with the pan juices.

Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, basting regularly until cooked through and dark golden.

Allow to rest for talents 20 minutes.

While the chicken rests, strain the pan juices into a small pan, add a little chicken stock or water if you don’t have much.

Slice the chicken with the skin on and pour over the warmed pan juices.