05 February 2013

Messina Millar Project

Gelato Messina is my favourite ice cream store in Sydney. It just so happens that they have been recognised by quite a few other people having been named best gelato store in Australia!
So when Gelato Messina posed the  Millar Messina Project concept to me I jumped at the idea!
Check out the story ..... here
Cookies by me, gelato by Messina….yum!
Who doesn’t enjoy an ice cream sandwich?!?
Messina Millar Project
(oops! about the spelling but hey, it tastes the same at the end of the day!!)

Millar Messina Project Wild Oats

The Range of Cookies where pretty diverse....and quite out there with the combo of flavours....
(Ahem- potato crisps and pretzels in something sweet???)
But that's me.... I love being creative and popping different flavours together that get people talking..
Two of the cookies where a bit of a nod to Christina Tosi... an awesome pastry chef from Milk in NY who I've been following for a while.
I love her style of desserts... fun, creative and a little cheeky! 

Now....the best part... COOKIES!!!
Millar Messina Project Cookies
…’Everything, Everything’, ‘Night at The Movies’, ‘Wild Oats’, ‘Double Down’

Double Down – Double Choc Pretzel
Everything, Everything – Peanut butter, ground coffee, crisps, marshmallow and chocolate.
Wild Oats – White chocolate, oats, and cranberries
At the Movies – Popcorn, peanut butter and chocolate (Gluten Free)

The Millar Messina project was running for a limited time...it has now finished, but stay tuned... it is set to return!

In the mean time... you make your own Millar cookie... then grab some Messina gelato to sandwich yourself...

I give you
A night at the movies....
(this one is gluten free!)

160g crunchy peanut butter
100g smooth peanut butter
2g orange zest
220g caster sugar
50g whole egg ( roughly 1 egg)
15g chopped popcorn
120g milk chocolate chopped

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celcius. Cream both peanut butters and sugar together until sugar has dissolved. Add in the egg and continue to beat until incorporated. Add in Zest, popcorn and chocolate and mix until just combined. Portion up the dough into 30g balls (about the size of a large walnut). To make the cookies lovely and round, I use egg rings to push the dough into.... a cheeky little tip just there.
On a lined tray,  push the dough into egg rings, take off the egg rings and pop into the fridge for about 20mins to rest. Cook straight from the fridge for about 13-15mins. Leave to cool on the tray then enjoy with some Messina gelato- my suggestion salted caramel or dulce de leche!!

Have fun baking, and keep your eyes peeled for the return of the Messina Millar project :)

Eat Sweet Dream Big!

14 November 2012

Dinner with the animals!

Chefs and wild animals aren't necessarily the 
closest of friends....

 Except if they end up on each others dining plate ;)

Although, this time the two worked in harmony to raise funds towards fighting extinction 
for some of the worlds most amazing creatures.

A very familiar face,
George Calombaris, headed the star studded line up of 
chefs which included Travis McAuley from Hellenic Republic, Joe Grabc from The Press Club, Japanese master Shaun Presland  from Sake
dessert guru Darren Purchese from Burch & Purchese .....

......and I was lucky enough to be able to tag along and hang out in the make shift kitchen at 
Melbourne Zoo with these guys.

Shaun's dish was the first to go out

Sashimi salmon, seared with a blow torch, nori puree
and a few other bit and pieces  (wasabi and ginger)
that just made your mouth say- 


Kye and Tash where keen to grab a quick snap with Shaun....

And George .....

I think the best thing about being involved with an event like this
is, that you not only get to have a chat with some inspiring chefs,
you also get to help them out in the kitchen....

And sample their handy work

I was too busy enjoying the 'samples'
to snap any photos of the other courses but rest

Dessert was not forgotten!
"Gorilla's Breakfast"

Caramelised white chocolate mousse with a soft passionfruit centre, roasted
banana cream, banana jelly, salted caramel and avocado cream....

I can guarantee you the Gorillas would not be the only ones eating this for breakfast...
As George would say ;) 

Team Burch & Purchese representing ........
(or just having a laugh)

Me, Kye, Darren Purchese, Catherine 'Jugs' and Tash!

'Jugs' plating up under the watchful eye of George.

Yes, pretty chuffed that I was plating up with Shaun...

Such a good egg!

The night was a 'roaring' success
raising a generous amount going towards]saving the animals,
and i was all thanks to these incredible chefs!

We always have a bit of fun at B&P ;)

I almost forgot to send a recipe your way...

This one is just a simple one to have in your memory bank...

100ml liquid
1 gold leaf of gelatine (bloomed)

This is just a very general guide to making a simple jelly, 
but I have found it works well.
Try purees such as raspberry (just blitz frozen berries and strain out the seeds), passionfruit or 
even a tea.
Just be careful when using citrus of fruits high in acidity, them counteract the
gelatine and can hinder the setting.

Other than that have a crack,
you could set it in glasses or holds or even try layering a jelly on top of another
(make sure the first layer is set before adding the next)


Photos were taken on my Nikon V1

29 October 2012

Sydney Starlight Pop Up

When Andy called me to ask if I would do a pop up with him and Ben,
I said "Andy, i think you already know the answer...."

When he told me it was for Starlight Children's Foundation
I was on that bandwagon faster than 
a crazy mob of girls chasing 'Bandy' ;)

Starlight Children's Foundation is a great charity and one that is close to Andy's family.
So to be able to cook at an event to raise money for such an organisation was an honour.

...And I enjoy catching up and having a chat to the boys as well

Now the food....

We where very fortunate to be offered some great venues for the pop ups,
And a great spot to do the prep...

Casa Barilla in Annandale.
Barilla do cooking classes here and it was a great spot for knocking out some serious 

....Working hard....

Your mum better not see this one Andy....
Ha ha ha

Pop Up numero uno was held at The Grounds of Alexandria

One of my favourite places in Sydney to grab a coffee... 
(And pretty awesome one mind you! They have The world latte art champion Jack as Barista!)
...a good bite to eat and roam the garden which are ladened 
with herbs, vegis, edible flowers and even chooks!

The grounds out door gazebo was transformed from a 
relaxed hangout area...

Into a stunning dining area.....

(Thanks Courtney!)

With the tables set, the wine chilling and people starting to arrive it was time for us to 
get the food out!

A tooth fish tequila slammer
Served with chipotle salt and limes....

This gets the taste buds tingling and ready for entree

Which was Andy's domain...

Handmade tostadas with cerviche salmon,
pickled jelpeno, chipotle mayo,
creamed corn puree and pepitas... 

That had everyone licking their plates...

Then came the main....
Ben's baby

Adobo braised beef cheeks, pomme puree, 
deep fried tortillas and blistered vine tomatoes!

I love the braising liquid in this dish...
It has you typical onion, garlic etc. but to give it that extra kick
dark chocolate and orange are added to send your taste buds buzzing!

And dessert.... 
Well you'll have to wait till night two to check it out!

But a huge thanks to the crew at The Grounds of Alexandria-

An awesome bunch!
And just for a bit of fun, I jumped on the coffee machine
to test out my latte art skills against Jack
(World Champion!)

Guess who's is who's...
(Jack poured with his left hand and still smashed me!)

But seriously check The Grounds-
Check it out!
I love it- the food, coffee and setting are fantastic!

Number two!

Based in Roseby,
This is a spot I have been hanging to checkout
So I was thrilled when I found out we where actually cooking here.

has a cool Scandinavian feel mixed with 
creative flare and the smell of delicious,
homely food cooking.

the man himself!

The dishes where the same again but we amped up the numbers to 
120 people....

Masses of little tostadas to pump out! 

Main was incredible as always...
Then dessert

A sweet corn ice cream, with cajeta, masa cinnamon crumb, candied pop corn, lime sugar
and my version of churros with cinnamon marshmallow

I think my favourite part would have had to have been the popcorn microwave sponge...

Pulling it out of the microwave reminded me of the movies!

And you lucky ducks are going to get the recipe for this little squashing cake...

Pop Corn Microwave Sponge

200g Eggwhites
40g Caster Sugar
60g Plain Flour
20g Pop Corn Dust
(Pop corn that has been blitzed into a very fine powder then passed through a sieve)

Pop all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth, 
strain into a siphon, and charge with 3 nitrogen bulbs.
Make sure you shake it heaps between each charge!

Squirt the mixture into paper cups that have been pricked in the base and lightly sprayed with oil
(only half fill)
Then cook for 50 seconds. Once cooked turn the cup upside down and wait for the sponge to 
fall out ...
It may need a little bit of encouragement :)


A huge thanks to Darren Purchese for allowing me to prep some of my dessert-ie bits and pieces 
at Burch and Purchese..

Martin Dulke who helped in the kitchen...
Chefs toolbox and Nepean Motor Group who
where major sponsors of the event. 
The gang from Barilla for allowing us to take over their cooking school and
for supplying goodie bags for the guests.
And a heap of other sponsors...

We managed to raise over $40, 000 over the two nights for Starlight

Thankyou so much to everyone to contributed!!
We had a ball in the kitchen!

Photos were taken on my Nikon V1

26 October 2012

SBS French Radio

Comment allez-vous?

That is about the extent of my French I am afraid....
But I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the SBS French head quarters at Federation Square and
meeting Christophe Mallet, executive producer of the SBS French radio department.

If you would like to listen in to the interview to hear about what I'm up to, some behind the scenes goss on MasterChef
and my plans for the future tune into SBS radio  to have a listen to the interview.
I really enjoyed having a wander around the SBS head quaters- so incredible the number
of languages and culture they accommodate!
You can also check out SBS French radio's Facebook pager twitter

In celebration of all thing French...
Here is a little recipe for 
Pain Pedu
(French Toast!)

300mL Thickened Cream
90g Sugar
Zest half an orange
1 Small loaf Broiche cut 1-2cm slices
Butter & oil to fry
Cinnamon & Sugar to serve

In A deep mixing bowl mix together the cream, eggs, sugar and zest.
Dip the bread into the liquid and leave to soak for about 30s before turning it over and repeating n the other side.
Heat a generous amount of butter along with a splash of oil ( a non fragrant one) into a non stick pan on a medium head. Pop the soaked break on to the pan and cook until golden, flip over and repeat. Once cooked, spindle with cinnamon and sugar and then enjoy!

You could also serve this with Strewed fruits or change the spice that you sprinkle on top.
If you are feeling particularly decadent you could also add some vanilla been ice crew, maple syrup and crunchy bacon (yes that's right!)


09 October 2012

MasterChef Live

MasterChef Live...

A massive foodie event where exhibitors, chefs and rookie chefs 
(aka MasterChef contestants ha ha)
Come together to have a bit of fun in the kitchen!

The start to my MasterChef Live experience started with a quick dip at Bronte...

Then to work....

Well not really, was just a heap of fun!
For me being able to catch up with other contestants, meet 
some inspiring chefs and be able to teach people how to cook is pretty awesome!

Masterchef Live saw so many cooking demos....

Barilla Pasta

Patisse, Bread making, and heaps more from
other contestants too...

I made my blue cheeses ice cream with Andy...

Doughnuts with Mindy...
Wonton Berry Stack with Adriano Zumbo and Darren Robertson...

Hamburger Spring Rolls with Dan Hong...
Explosive marshmallows with Darren Purchese...

Not all that much cooking really ;)

One of my favourite demos of the week was showing people how to make marshmallows....
This was a component of one of the dishes I made on MasterChef in the dude food challenge.

People get quite daunted when they think of making marshmallows-
They are so easy!
If you have ever made meringues at home, you can make marshmallows!

Lime Marshmallows

150g Caster Sugar
250g Glucose
150g Egg whites
7 Sheets Titanium Gelatine (bloomed)
Zest 1 lime
20mL Lime juice

Icing Sugar to serve

Place the glucose and caster sugar in a pot and heat to 120 degrees celcius. 
In a stand up mixer, whisk eggwhites to stiff peaks.
Slowly string in the sugar syrup with the whisk still on high.
Once it is all in, pop the bloomed gelatine into the hot pot and stir to dissolve.
Add into eggwhite mix. And continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled.

Add in the zest and juice. Pop into a piping bag and pipe onto
baking paper dusted with icing sugar or set into a lined baking tin
and pop into the fridge for 20min or until set.

This is such an easy recipe! Have a go at home.
You can even substitute the lime for other citrus fruits, or even fruit purees
cocoa powder...
Whatever tickles your fancy!

(ps. I still make a bit of a mess...managed to get marshmallow in 
my hair and on the microphone!)

A few more photos...
(more to come as well!)

Thanks to everyone for coming and saying Hi!