Monthly Archives: August 2011

Potato and Leek Soup

My husband has been sick with the flu the last few days so it has been soup all round every night. I tried out this new recipe inspired by Margaret Fulton the other day. I’ve had to make some more to get a picture of it because we enjoyed it so much we devoured it right away.

I made changes to the original recipe to suit my own tastes so the recipe as I made it is below:

Potato and Leek Soup

60g butter
2 onions, finely sliced
3 leeks, trimmed, washed, then cut into thin slices
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups Chicken stock
3/4 cup white wine
4 tbsp thickened cream
salt and pepper
flat-leaf parsley to garnish

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium to low heat
2. Add the onions, leek and potatoes. Cover and continue to cook gently until soft and pale golden
3. Add the stock and wine and simmer for 10 minutes
4. Put mixture in blender and puree
5. Place puree back in medium saucepan and simmer
6. Add cream and stir
7. Serve and season with salt and pepper; garnish with parsley.

1. If using home made chicken stock, add 6 cups of chicken stock
2. When I don’t have home made chicken stock on hand, I use the Massel brand of chicken stock cubes as it is my most favourite for flavour and for all those vegans out there, there is no animal content.

Mini Chocolate Mud Cakes

I made this as a normal size cake for my Haus Meri’s birthday along with 6 mini’s. My husband came home and tried the mini’s and immediately requested I make another batch!

To get the best Mud Cake prepare the batter a day in advance and refrigerate it over night. You can cook it right away however I think the cake comes out with a better density if you hold onto the batter.

So here it is…


250g cooking Butter
200g cooking Chocolate
2 cups caster sugar
1 1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon instant coffee
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Topping Ingredients
100mL thickened cream
150g chocolate (milk or dark)
Fruit of your choice (optional)


1. Grease your mini cupcake tin or chosen cake tin with butter or olive oil.
2. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan and place over heat, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are dissolved or melted.
3. Allow chocolate mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes.
4. Turn the oven on to 150 degrees Celsius.
5. Meanwhile, sift plain flour, self raising flour and cocoa into mixing bowl.
6. Add cooled chocolate mixture to mixing bowl and beat slowly until well combined.
7. Add lightly beaten eggs and beat slowly until well combined.
8. Place batter in cake tin/s and put in preheated oven. Mini Cup Cakes take 25-30 minutes and a standard cake takes 1.5 to 2 hours.

1. Put the cream in a saucepan and scold it.
2. Remove cream from heat and immediately add your chocolate.
3. Stir while the chocolate melts and until it glistens.
4. Leave mixture to thicken for a few minutes and then spoon onto your cake/s and garnish with fruit of your choice.


1. You can choose to use Milk or Dark chocolate depending on your taste. Milk chocolate produces a sweeter cake whereas Dark chocolate produces a more traditional tasting Mud Cake.
2. If you choose to refrigerate the batter overnight, you can skip step 4.
3. You can smooth out the topping or just simply put a dollop in the middle of the cake and let it naturally slide and drip – looks great!

Grilled Mackerel & Barbecued Spanish Onions with Sweet & Sour Sauce

A few years ago my husband and I went on a deep sea fishing trip. We caught so many Spanish Mackerels we didn’t know what to do with them! We invited a lot of friends over for a seafood BBQ and prepared the Mackerel with this recipe. I have been asked so many times for the recipe so here it is…

4 grey (spanish) mackerel cutlets or 4 whole and gutted blue mackerel.
1/2 a cup of sugar
750ml of red wine vinegar
4 spanish onions
olive oil
smoked paprika
fennel seeds
salt and pepper
lemons (garnish)


For the Sauce
Make the sauce first by putting 1/2 a cup of sugar in a high-sided pot with 2 tbsp of water. Bring to the boil and keep it bubbling away until the sugar has caramelised to a light mahogany colour. Carefully pour in 750ml of red wine vinegar and keep it simmering until it reduces by half. Turn it off, transfer to a bowl and cool – it should be syrupy.

Cut 4 unpeeled spanish onions in half, brush with olive oil, sprinkle generously with smoked paprika and crushed fennel seeds, season with plenty of salt and pepper and grill on the barbecue. Brush the fish with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place it on the barbecue. Brush some of the sweet-and-sour sauce on the top side of the fish before turning, then do the same to the other side.
When the onions have softened, remove their outer skins, place on a serving plate and sprinkle with a little sweet-and-sour sauce.

To Serve
Serve the fish with the onions and wedges of lemon.

Use either 4 grey (spanish) mackerel cutlets, about 2cm thick, or 4 whole and gutted blue mackerel. If these are unavailable, any oily fish such as large sardines, kingfish cutlets or whole small trevally are perfect for barbecuing.

Simple Banana Bread

This recipe is definitely my own now. I have made so many changes to the original that I couldn’t say it is the same recipe any more!


3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed (use a fork)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can reduce to ¾ cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch salt
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup Quinoa bran


1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C
2. Mash bananas in mixing bowl with fork
3. With wooden spoon, mix melted butter into mashed bananas
4. Mix in the sugar, egg & vanilla
5. Sprinkle the salt over the mixture and mix in
6. Add the flour and quinoa bran last, mix
7. Pour mixture into a buttered 4 x 8 inch loaf pan
8. Bake for 1 hour
9. Cool on a rack
10. Remove from pan and slice.

There is no need to use a mixer for this recipe, it tastes better if you don’t use one!
Serve the bread immediately (hot) or store in refrigerator.
Tastes great as a toast in the morning.