Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cherry Clafoutis

Yay, the Cookbook Challenge is on again this year! I am a little bit behind the 8 ball, but have started with the first theme which is Stone Fruit. Wander on over to the Cookbook Challenge site for some of the great recipes that are already up!

My contribution of Theme 1 Stone Fruit
Cherry Clafoutis

I have been fascinated for a long time by the idea of clafoutis, but I've never eaten or made them. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how easy they are to make- essentially a baked custard with fruit.
They come from the Limousin region and are traditionally made with black cherries. You leave the pips in- they are supposed to taste better that way- and it makes them so easy to make!
I made them with cherries from the cherry lady at the Abbottsford Convent Slow Food market- I bought 2nds and they were absolutely choice! The recipe is from Stephane Reynaud's latest book 365. They were so easy to make and yummy. This recipe is a little bit to sweet, i think next time I would reduce the amount of sugar.
500g fresh cherries
240g caster sugar
60g plain flour
3 eggs
200ml full-cream milk (Reynaud is quite insistent about this in most of his recipes. I am but his obedient servant)
100ml cream (in case the full cream milk wasn't enough!)
20g butter
icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
mix the cherries with 100g sugar.
Combine the flour, eggs, milk, cream and 120g of caster sugar.
Use the butter to grease a tart tin and dust with the remaining sugar (gives the rim a nice caramelly flavour)
Add the cherries, then pour in the cream mixture and bake for 30 mins.
Dust with icing sugar and serve warm.

(Also delicious cold!)

I would definitely make this again- it's one of those things, you've usually got all the ingredients in the cupboard/ fridge anyway, so just add some nice fruit and you have a great impulse dessert.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cheesecake and Raspberry Brownies


this recipe used absolutely no fresh produce. But it is luscious! I used frozen raspberries and they were absolutely fine. You could substitute any fruit you wanted- current stone fruits would be delicious.

This recipe is pretty messy, but very easy. Just watch out with the sugar- the 400g is split between the brownie and cheesecake mixtures!

Feedback on this recipe was great- I am officially allowed to make this one again!

  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 110g plain flour, sifted
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120g fresh raspberries

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm pan.

  • Place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

  • Cream the butter and 250g of the caster sugar until pale, then add 3 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour. Spread the mixture into the lined pan.

  • In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar and eggs and the vanilla extract until smooth, then spread over the chocolate base.

  • Poke the raspberries into the top and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

  • Set aside to cool, then cut into squares and serve.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In season: radishes. Delicious: potatoes.

Being mid-summer, there is so much in season, but yesterday at the Port Melbourne Gasworks, these radishes caught my eye. They were so colorful and seemed to epitomise fresh summer flavour. They are very peppery, so needed a way of preparation to take the sting out. I decided on a Middle Eastern style salad, that uses a mix of lemon and lime juice to remove the sting and adds a middle eastern flavour with cumin, cinnamon and honey. A fresh tasting, delicious salad that would go well with lamb. It's also vegetarian and low (no) fat.

  • 4 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, washed, dried, stems and roots trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, halved, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh continental parsley, leaves picked

  • Combine the carrot, radish and onion in a large bowl.
  • Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice, lime juice, honey, cinnamon and cumin seeds in a bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the salad with dressing and sprinkle with parsley. Gently toss to combine.

As we were barbecuing, I wanted to make a simple potato salad. I do love the Jones Potatoes who do the market rounds, never had a dud bag.

For salad, yellow firm varieties are best and I was reaching for the kipflers, when I saw this variety, Pink Fir Apple, that look similar to kipflers. They are an old type and are lovely and waxy- ideal for salads. Its pinky on the outside, but peeled, is a lovely yellow inside and has a nutty flavour.

This potato salad is very simple and a good crowd-pleaser.


  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup (100g) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream
  • 3 tbs chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Optional: 2 rashers of crispy fried bacon, chopped finely
  1. Cook potatoes in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain, cool slightly, then cut the potatoes into pieces and place in a bowl. While warm, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with oil and lemon juice. Cool.

  2. Mix remaining ingredients, season to taste, then add to cooled potatoes and toss well to combine. Top with the bacon if using.