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Friday, January 28, 2011


I haven't come across anyone that doesn't like Tiramisu - here is a quick and easy way of making a beautiful dessert that will impress all and leave them wanting more..


For the coffee dip:

2 cups of strong espresso coffee
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar

Prepare a strong espresso coffee and dissolve the sugar while its still hot. Place in a medium sized bowl and let it cool at room temperature.

For the zabaglione filling:

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Marsala wine
450g Mascrapone cheese
Whipped cream from the remaining egg whites
400g sponge lady fingers (about 40)
Cocoa powder

In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg yolk with a mixer until light yellow in colour and fluffy. Add sugar spook by spoon and beat really well. Add wine and mix well. Place your bowl either in a double boiler or in a smaller saucepan filled with water. You will need to steam your zabaglione until it thickens. Stir constantly on the steam, until small bubbles start to form.

In another bowl, mash the mascrapone cheese with a spoon. Add the thickened zabaglione and beat with a mixer until well combined. Add the beaten egg whites (beat until soft peaks form and gradually add 4 spoons of sugar until the egg whites are silky and firm). Fold in the egg whites cream and leave in the fridge while you work on the lady fingers.

Lightly soak the lady fingers in the coffee just enough to cover each side they will soak up the coffee very quickly and you don't want them to be soggy. Place them in one layer in a medium sized tray. Evenly distribute half of the zabaglione cream over the lady fingers. Add another layer and repeat the process.

Refrigerate for 4-5hrs and then sprinkle with the cocoa powder. Cut in thick rectangular shapes and serve.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Refreshing Mint Lemonde

Beautifully refreshing as a lemonade - if you're looking for something a bit stronger feel free to add a shot of vodka or contrieu.


4 lemons
2 limes
1 big orange
3 teaspoons of sugar to taste
1 bunch of mint
Shot of Vodka or Contrieu (optional)


Freshly squeeze lemon, limes and oranage. Pour in a blender, add mint (leaving a few nice mint leaves to decorate). Add sugar and blend well. Crush the ice so that it is nice and small. Fill up half the glass with ice, add some mint leaves then fill to top. Pour in the lemonade through a fine sieve and add some more ice on top. Decorate with mint leaves.


Tumeric and Coconut Braised Barramundi

This dish is absolutely divine - my Thai specialty..

Serves 4

4 Barramundi fillets
2 small red chillies, sliced into fine rounds
Shredded coriander leaves
Spring Onion thinly sliced into rounds (deep fried - see notes)
Half ginger cut into julienne strips (deep fried - see notes)

Turmeric Coconut Broth

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fanugreek seeds
2 tablespoons crab paste (you can find this in most Thai groceries)
3 red shallots, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh turmeric
1 Roma tomato, diced
12 curry leaves
3 tablespoons minced ginger (you can buy this in the fresh food section of Woolworths/Coles)
2 cups coconut cream (you can get this in most Thai groceries)
1 cup vegetable stock
50ml fish sauce, more or less to taste
50ml lime juice, more or less to taste


To make Turmeric ccoconut broth:

- Heat oil in a medium/large saucepan and fry mustard seeds until they pop.
- Add fanugreek and fry for 20 seconds, then add the crab tomalley, shallots, fresh turmeric and chillies, cook until the shallots are translucent.
- Stir in ground turmeric, tomato, curry leaves and ginger and stir until fragrant.
- Add coconut cream, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Season to taste with fish sauce and lime juice. Strain through a fine sieve and return to the same saucepan you used to cook the broth in.
- Slice each fillet into 2 even slices crosswise.
- Return broth to simmering point, add fish and cook for 3-4 minutes. It should be tender when you touch it.
- Remove from heat, place fish in serving bowls and ladle some broth over the top, as shown above.
- Combine chillies, coriander, deep fried spring onion, deep fried ginger strips and scatter over fish and serve.


Slice the spring onion into thin rounds and deep fry in vegetable oil until golden. Slice the ginger in julienne strips (very fine strips) and deep fry in the same oil until golden.

Both this dish and the Silver Perch were inspired by a great Chef - Christine Manfiled from Universal Restaurant in Sydney. I learned both these dishes through an amazing cooking experience at the Sydney Fish Markets Seafood School.

Steamed Silver Perch, Chilli, Ginger and Black Beans

A wonderfully light fish meal with a Thai flavour - perfect for a summer lunch..

Serves 4

4 x 120g fillets silver perch, skin off, bones removed
2 teaspoons sesame oil
175g snow pea tendrils, snipped
2 green onion, sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon finely sliced singer
finely chopped coriander

Black Bean Sauce

25ml Shaoxing wine (you find this in most Asian groceries)
40ml  light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger juice (finely grate ginger and squeeze out the juice from the pulp)
125ml chicken/vegetable stock
1 tablespoon salted black beans, washed
2 red chillies, sliced finely into rounds


To make black bean sauce:

- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a spoon (it will look like a very light broth)
- Place fish on a flat plate in a single layer and pour half the sauce over.
- Heat the remaining sauce in a small saucepan and keep warm until it is ready to serve.
- Place fish in a bamboo steamer and steam fro 6-8 minutes, depending on thickness.
- Remove from heat and remove the fish carefully from the plate onto serving plates.
- Heat sesame oil in a small saucepan until very hot. Spoon over fish, then add the remaining hot sauce.
- Garnish with snow pea sprouts, green onion slices, ginger threads and coriander leaves.


Golden potato, cheese and herb puffs/croquets - Kroketi sa sirom

Fun sized potato bites, something everyone loves! Great idea if you're watching sport or a movie at home..


25g butter
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped finely
All spice mix
Cheddar cheese, shredded


Boil potatoes until soft and tender. Drain the water and return potatoes to the saucepan. Add butter, salt, pepper, parsley and all spice. Add the milk and mash until you get a smooth like texture, like you would for mashed potatoes. Add cheese and flour, keep adding the flour until the mixture does not stick to your fingers. Roll into small balls as shown above and deep fry for about 7-9 minutes.

Place on a clean hand paper towel to drain any excess oil. Serve in a bowl with some sour cream and chilly sauce on the side.

Bon appetit!

Stuffed Meatloaf - Mesni Rolat

Meatloaf with a twist - for the ultimate meat lovers..


Order a fairly large cut of veal or beef from your butcher, it is usually a cut from the rib section without the ribs of course. Explain that it is for a meatloaf.
6 eggs (lightly beaten)
English spinach - wilted
4-5 equally sized carrots (steamed)
Meat netting (see below)
GLAD oven bag

Combine the eggs, add a pinch of salt, pepper, some parsley to create an omelette mix. In a very shallow baking tray pour the omelette mixture on baking paper and cook until set. Your aim is to get a thin omelette layer approximately 1cm in thickness and the same size as your loaf cut.

Line the flat meat cut on a large chopping board and hit it with a meat hammer. Carefully take out the omlette from the baking tray and line on the meat. Place a layer of wilted spinach over the omlette. Cut your steamed carrots into equal size. If you need to, cut the narrow tops so that you get the same thickness all throughout your loaf. The carrots need to be placed towards the edge of the right hand side of the meatloaf.

Carefully roll the meat loaf and secure with medium sized skewers. Put meat netting over the meat loaf. Ideally get someone to help you with this process as it is quiet tricky. 

Place the netted loaf into a GLAD oven bag and roast on 250C for 35-40 minutes. Reduce heat to 220C and roast for another 20-30 minutes. The meat should be juicy and tender.

Cut diagonally in rounds and serve with a garden salad. Perfect for a dinner party.



You can get the meat netting from your butcher and the GLAD oven bags are available at your local supermarket.

Buckwheat pastry filled with Feta Cheese and ham - Slane Kifle

A very tasty snack, perfect for all occasions. Made to be shared.


1 cup buckwheat flour - optional (you can find it in the health food isle in you local supermarket)
2 cups white flour
1 sachet yeast
1 egg lightly beaten
warm water
pinch of salt and sugar
Egg yolk extra
Feta cheese
Smoked Ham


Combine buckwheat flour and white flour with the yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon and add salt and sugar. Add egg and water and knead until you get a smooth and soft texture. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Once doubled in size knead again and leave for a further 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 20-24 small balls, Roll each ball into an oval shape, and in the middle place one slice of smoked ham and crumble some Feta cheese on the ham. Roll starting from the narrow side of the oval. Cut the top slightly with a knife - 3 lines so you get a nice separation while baking. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seeds or black sesame seeds.

Happy Baking :)

Orange zest roll filled with home made plum jam or poppy seed filling - Strudla

Great idea for picnics, beach, or as a nice afternoon snack with a glass of milk.


2 cups of freshly orange juice
Orange zest from both oranges
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 sachet of yeast (place in a cup of water with a cube of sugar to double)


In a large bowl pour the orange juice, zest, oil, sugar and yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add flour and knead until you get a smooth and soft texture. Leave to stand for 30 minutes until its double in size. Separate into 4 rounds and roll the dough with a rolling pin to about 1cm in thickness. Spread two rolls with plum jam and the other two with poppy seed spread and roll as shown above. Bake on 220C for 30 minutes or until golden.

Note: Poppy seed spread can be bought in most delicatessen stores.

Happy Baking :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Salmon and Spinach Cream Filled Canapes - Slani Rolati

This is a very practical idea when in need of finger food. It is always a hit and doesn't last long on the plate.

Ingredients for the Spinach Roll


7 eggs
Pinch of salt
50ml vegetable oil
1/2 sachet of baking powder
8 tablespoons of flour
300g steamed and finely cut English spinach

Mix egg whites first until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolks, one by one and mix. Add salt, baking powder and 8 spoons of flour, again adding one spoon after the other. Ad the finely cut spinach and stir through. Line a large shallow tray with baking paper and pour mixture. It should not be more than 1cm in thickness. Bake on 180C for about 20 minutes.

Once you take your base out of the oven remove the baking paper and place the base on a damp cloth. Roll with cloth on the outside. Doing this will prevent breakage of your base.

Cream Filling:

250g Danish Feta
150g Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
150g chopped ham/prosciutto

Combine well.

Cut your base in half lengthwise so that your rounds can be small. Add filling, remember not to add too much or close to the edges otherwise it will become runny and look messy. Secure the rolls tightly in cling wrap and leave in fridge for about 2 hours so the cheese filling sets. Once set cut into rounds as above and serve.

Ingredients for the Vegetable Relish (Ajvar) Roll

Note: Ajvar (pronounced Ayvar) is a traditional Serbian/Macedonian vegetable relish, made from capsicum, eggplant and garlic. You can buy it in most Delicatessen's.



                                5 eggs
                                2-3 tablespoons of sour cream
                                6 table spoons of flour
                                1/2 sachet of baking powder
                                3 tablespoons of the Ajvar

Mix the eggs as above and add the baking powder, sour cream, flour and Ajvar. Mix well with a mixed. Bake as above and roll into a damp cloth once out of the oven.

Salmon and Cream Filling:

1 sour cream
Shredded smoked flavoured cheese or Danish Feta if you can't find smoke flavoured cheese
Finely chopped spring onions or shallots.
Smoked Salmon Slices

Combine sour cream, cheese and spring onions. Cut the base in half lengthwise and spread with the cream filling. Line the filling with salmon slices all over. Roll and tightly secure in cling wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours and cut into rounds.

Perfect for entertaining!

Mini bread case canapes filled with Russian salad - Ruska Salata

Russian salad is a beautifully filling side dish and can be had straight out of a bowl or as above in a form of a canape.


Steamed Carrots
Boiled Potato
Steamed peas
Hard boiled eggs
2 lemons
Thomy Mayonnaise
Thomy Mustard
Cocktail bread cases (you can get this at your local supermarket)
Cherry tomatoes
Parsley to garnish


Chop all ingredients very finely. The hard boiled eggs should be separated, the egg white finely chopped and the yolk should be crushed with your hands and added at the end. As you chop the ingredients add them to a large bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the juice of two lemons and almost the full jar of mayonnaise, all ingredients should be well covered. Add a teaspoon of mustard, less if you do not like mustard.

Mix well and taste. The salad should be zesty with a punch of flavour. If you need to, add more lemon juice.

Spoon the mixture into the cocktail bread cases and assemble on a plate. Add cherry tomatoes and parsley to garnish the plate.

Your guests will love this, its always a winner!

Polenta with smoked ham - topped with yoghurt infused with a hint of chilli and corriander - Palenta/Kacamak

I love polenta as a light side dish or meal. Its quick and easy to make and the corn flour is healthy.


Corn Flour/Polenta Mix
25g butter
75ml milk
Greek Style yogurt
Sour Cream
Smoked Ham/Prosciutto (finely chopped)
Coriander/Parsley (finely chopped)
Fresh Chillies/Paprika


Bring water and butter to boil and gradually add the corn flour or Polenta Mix in, stirring with a wooden spoon. The texture should slightly thick but not too thick. Keep stirring on medium heat for about 25 minutes, the mixture will thicken. Towards the end of your cooking time add the finely chopped smoked ham or prosciutto and stir through.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine Greek style yogurt and sour cream. Add the chillies or paprika and the herbs and mix through.

Mould you polenta with a small round sized bowl and place on plate. Cover with the yogurt mixture and serve.


Easter Eggs - Saranje Jaja

Easter is just around the corner for 2011 and colouring Easter eggs every year is something I always looked forward to as a kid. Every year its a fun family activity, whereby my dad and brother go to collect differently shaped leaves and grasses, while my mum and I take care of decorating and colouring the eggs.


Eggs (smaller sized eggs are better, as they do not break while boiling)
White Vinegar
Egg Dye (you can get this in most delicatessen stores during the Easter period)
Leaves and Grasses
Used stockings
Small clean cloth


Collect some old stockings that you no longer wear or that have ripped and cut them into 10cm long pieces. Once you have your leaves and grass collected, place the leaf on the egg and secure with the stocking, so that its nice and neat. Tie the stocking with some thread and keep on repeating this until all of your eggs are decorated.

I normally have 3-4 saucepans on the stove at once with different egg dye colours in them. Add about a litre of water and the egg dye, add a teaspoon of salt and 2 table spoons of white vinegar. Doing this prevents breakage of the eggs.

Slowly add the eggs into the saucepans, holding by the tail of the stocking and boil for about 25-30 minutes. Eggs need to be very hard boiled.

When removing from the water, cut the stocking with scissors and take off stocking and the leaf immediately. Once it dries it wont come off and leaves the egg looking dirty. Make sure you wear plastic gloves so your hands don't get coloured. Also note, the eggs will be very hot so take one by one out.

Once the eggs have cooled down, wipe them with the cloth which you have put oil on previously. This will add a beautiful shine to the eggs.


Easter/Christmas Bread - Bozicni Kolac

Another beautiful version of a festive bread. Beautifully soft on the inside with a crispy crust on the outside. For Christmas we place a gold coin inside the bread. On Christmas day who finds the coin is deemed to have good luck for the rest of the year. For Easter a red egg is placed in the centre of the bread so as to symbolise the blood shed by Jesus Christ.


1 1/2 Sachets of yeast
2 teaspoons of caster sugar
1 1/2 cups of warm milk
5 cups of flour
150g butter melted
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 teaspoons of ground aniseed
1 teaspoon of salt
1 egg yolk extra
Black poppy seeds


Combine only 1 cup of flour, yeast and sugar. Add the warm milk and knead until you get a small ball of dough. The dough should be nice and smooth. Leave to stand for about 30 minutes to prove in size. When doubled in size make a well in the dough with your hands and add the melted butter, eggs and the remaining 4 cups of flour. Add aniseed and salt. Place on a floured surface and knead really well until smooth again. Return to the large bowl and leave to stand for another hour it should double in size again.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into three equal pieces and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1cm thickness. Spread each piece with butter or margarine and then roll lengthwise. Once rolled, cut into 4-5 rounds. Start assembling bread into the flour shape as shown above. Mix an egg yolk with a bit of milk and brush on top. Sprinkle with black poppy seeds.

Bake on 250C for about 30 minutes or until golden, cover on top with foil and return to bake on 200C for another 30-35 minutes. To check if ready, tap the bread form the bottom, if it sounds like it is hollow it is ready. Otherwise return to the oven for a little bit longer.

The black poppy seeds add an amazing aroma to the bread.

Happy Baking :)

Another way of assembling the bread is to turn the cut roles on their side as oppose to flat down. Doing this will achieve the above look.

Traditional Serbian Bread made usually for the family Saint Day - Slavski Kolac

Something I make once a year and thouroughly enjoy doing. This special bread is taken to church on the day and blessed by the Priest. It is then broken in half by the family members and small drops of wine are poured.


Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
1 sachet of yeast
Luke warm water


In a very large bowl add flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the luke warm water and start kneading the dough until you have a smooth texture. Leave to prove for about 30-40 minutes. Once the dough has doubled in size, knead well again and leave to prove for another 30-40 minutes.

After the second proving, shape the bread and place into a baking tray brushed with oil. The bread will rise again in size while you are making the cross for the top decoration. Place the cross on top of the bread and bake on 250C for about 30 minutes or until golden on top. Reduce heat to 200C and bake for another 30-35 minutes. To check if it is ready tap the bread from the bottom, if it sounds like it is hollow it is ready, otherwise return to the oven for a little longer.

Happy Baking :)

Beer Bombs - Kolac od Pive

Another invention test - something a little different with a beer twist for those beer lovers.


For the base:

350g flour
250g sugar
1/2 L beer (your choice of beer)
12 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 tablespoons blended almonds
1 sachet baking powder
1 lemon

For the filling:

1/2 L milk
5-6 tablespoons of sugar
6 tablespoons of flour
Vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon (optional)
Jelly Lollies - chopped (see note)
Cocoa or melted dark chocolate


Combine beer and oil, add sugar, almonds, lemon zest and juice and mix through. Add combined flour with baking powder and mix until you get a nice smooth texture. It shouldn't be too thick or too runny. Pour mixture into a small-medium sized baking tray brush with oil. It should be about 1.5cm in thickness. Bake on 180C.

While your base is baking, start on the filling. Add milk to a medium sized saucepan and slowly bring to the boil mixing constantly so it doesn't burn at the bottom. Gradually add the sugar and flour spoon by spoon. Add vanilla and Cinnamon and stir until the mixture thickens. Add the lollies and mix throughout.

Once your base is ready and cooled you can cut it in any shape you like, I chose circle but squares look just as nice. Spread the filling over and sprinkle with cocoa. If you choose to do squares, spread the filling over the whole base first and then cut - this will be a lot faster. You can also do a melted dark chocolate topping it is up to you.

Notes: The lollies I use are as shown in the picture below. I normally get this from a Serbian Delicatessen. You can use an alternative.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


This was a little bit of an invention test, something that circled my mind for a while  - I made this for my best friend's Hen's night..

1 cup of buttermilk
2 cups of sugar
Half a cup of vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
2 cups of flour
1 sachet of baking powder
40g blended almonds or raisins or both
1 teaspoon of Cocoa

Mix all ingredients except for cocoa together. Eggs should be lightly beaten before added to the mixture.

Separate 1/4 of the mixture into another bowl and add cocoa so that it goes brown.

Place white mixture in a tray (I used a round muffin tin tray) then add the brown mixture in whatever pattern you like, swirl it around with a fork.

Bake on 180C for about 30 minutes or until fully set and golden.

In every half round, scoop out the middle with a mini ice cream scoop and fill with cherry compote. top with the other half and sprinkle with icing sugar until completely white.

Happy Baking :)


My absolute favourite cake - this delicious dessert is sweet and soft with the sugary syrup oozing through with every bite.


1/2L water
1 small cup of sugar
1 small cup of vegetable oil
1 small cup of milk
10 tablespoons of flour
1 sachet of baking powder
4 eggs (lightly beaten)

Combine water, sugar, oil and milk and bring to the boil. Add flour spoon by spoon so that no lumps form. Add baking powder and mix really well, the mass will be sticky and thick, the mixing will require a bit of muscle power. Leave to cool.

Transfer the mass from a saucepan into a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and mix really well with a mixer. In a large saucepan pour 1/2L of oil and let it warm up, you should be frying the tulumbe on medium heat so that have a nice golden colour.

The dough is to be spooned into the tulumbe mould maker - see picture below.

Once they are fried, you need to soak them or pour over the same sugar syrup as for Baklava. See recipe below.

500g sugar
650ml water
2 sachets of Vanilla sugar
1 lemon

In a medium sized saucepan bring water and sugar to boil - add slices of lemon and leave to simmer until the lemon is glazed. Take off heat and leave to cool.

This dessert can get addictive!

My Nutella Pizza

A naughty treat that I love to have in cafes. I thought I'd make my own version just for fun..


Teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of salt and sugar
Luke warm water
Banana or strawberries


Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add luke warm water and knead until you get a nice soft and smooth texture. Leave for about 15-20mins. Knead again and then roll with rolling pin into a round pizza shape. Place in baking tray brushed with oil and make a crust around the edges, but folding the outside of the dough.

Bake for about 12-15minutes on 200C. On hot dough spread Nutella and decorate with banana or strawberries and whipped cream. Sprinkle crust with icing sugar. Cut into pizza slices.

Enjoy this treat with family and friends!


Traditional Serbian delicacy - some say sweeter than sweet - one of my favourites.

500g walnuts (250g finely chopped and 250g blended)
Filo Pastry
250g butter
Blended Scoth Fingers (Petit Beurre)
500g sugar
650ml water
2 sachets of Vanilla sugar
1 lemon
Cinammon Powder


In a medium sized saucepan bring water and sugar to boil - add slices of lemon and Cinammon powder until the lemon is glazed. Take off heat and leave to cool.

In an oiled tray start lining the filo pastry, 2-3 sheets for the bottom layer and then interchangeably top with walnuts both chopped and blended and blended scotch fingers. Repeat this process until you come almost to the top of the tray the baklava needs to be fairly thick as shown above. For the top layer also put 2-3 sheets.

Cut into diamond shape and pour melted butter over the baklava.

Place in oven to bake on 180C until it goes golden. Reduce heat to 160C and bake for another 45 minutes. Once cooled slightly, pour over the syrup including the lemon slices. The baklava will be floating in the syrup but will soak it up completely once cooled.

Place in fridge for a few hours or over night. Enjoy.

Happy Baking :)

Fruit Jelly

A refreshing summer dessert that is super easy to make..

Fruit variety Berry Mixture
6 x Aeroplane Jelly packets (flavour as desired)

Choose a tray of desired shape and add first layer of jelly, Refrigerate for an hour and then add the fruit mixture, put back into the fridge until set. Keep on repeating the above process with each layer until you fill the tray to the top. This needs to be prepared the day before.

Once all of the layers are set, carefully tip out the jelly and serve with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Tip: You can play around with the colours of the layers to give it an even more playful effect.