Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Photography by Darren Bester

I’ve always loved Chocolate Mousse … light and airy, you can just about feel the air bubbles pop in your mouth and then there’s the tasty moorish decadence of dark chocolate – Heaven!  It is rich though, which makes over indulging very easy to do, which is why this time round, I opted to serve them in cute little espresso cups.   You can of course, serve yours anyway you want … just don’t pair large portions with a very heavy meal. 

Quick and easy to prepare, it can be made a few days ahead of time thereby eliminating any stress when entertaining.  Perfect end to an Easter Lunch, I’m sure even the Easter Bunny would agree. 

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Yield: 4 standard ramekin portions 

Ingredients: 

170g dark good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids) – Lindt is a good option 

80ml full fat milk

1 egg yolk

4 egg whites

20g caster sugar

Method: 

Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water.  Stir until chocolate has completely melted and remove from the heat. 

Bring the milk to the boil and pour onto the melted chocolate, stirring with a whisk to combine.  Add the egg yolk and mix well to combine.  Set aside to cool. 

Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks, adding the sugar bit by bit.  Using a spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Whisk briskly, before folding in the rest of the whites (fold from the middle of the bowl up and outwards, using your other hand to steady and turn the bowl as you go).  Ensure the egg whites are well incorporated but be careful to not over work the mixture.  

Pour the mousse into individual ramekins or 1 large bowl.  If you want to serve in espresso cups or another dainty cup, use a piping bag to fill the cups neatly.   Chill for at least an hour.

Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired. 

Cooks Notes: 

The eggs should be very fresh.  Use them cold but not icy and not at room temperature. 

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Spicy Mince & Salsa Wraps

Spicy Mince & Salsa Wraps

I’ve never really been a savoury mince kind a gal.  I remember going to a friends house after school and being horrified when her mother presented us with mince on toast!  A firm favourite for many, i know, but not for this lady … or at least thats what I thought until, boredom of the same old chicken wrap, led me to experiment with this spicy mince recipe, which was inspired by Chef Pete Evans.  The family and I enjoy it so much that its become a firm favourite.  Even little Hudson is enjoying the mince, I add some spinach, some brown rice and a miellie and he is a very happy little toddler with a big belly.  The state of the floor, the feeding chair and him is another story! If you going to try this with your little ones – feed them outside 😉  Hudson’s portion has less chilli … as does Andrew’s 🙂

This dish is perfect for feeding crowds, place all the prepared elements on the kitchen counter for a self service kind of vibe 🙂 

You could substitute the wraps for oven roasted sweet potato slices, for a gluten free take on this dish.  Enjoy x 

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Spicy Mince & Salsa Wraps 

Yield: 15 (Great for lunch boxes the next day or for toddler meals which you can freeze)

For the Spicy Mince:

1kg lean beef mince

2 onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed and turned into a paste

2 red chilli’s, seeds removed and finely chopped

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp ground coriander seeds

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomato 

salt & pepper 

Dash olive oil

For the Salsa: (The salsa never stretches far enough, so be generous here)

6 tomatoes 

1 red onion, finely diced 

Few generous handfuls of fresh coriander, chopped 

Juice of 2 limes 

For the Guacamole: 

3 ripe avocados, mashed 

1 or 2 garlic cloves, crushed and turned into a paste

3 or 4 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp olive oil 

salt & pepper to taste 

Method: 

For the spicy mince: Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a pot and bring to heat, add the onions, reduce the heat and fry gently for 5 or so minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute or two before adding the mince.  Increase the heat and cook until the meat has browned, stirring continuously to break up the pieces.  Add the spices and the tomato paste and cook for a further minute before adding the tinned tomatoes. Once it comes to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the Salsa:  Bring a small pot of water to the boil.  Place a container with ice water, which will hold all the tomatoes, next to the stove.  Using a small sharp knife make a small ‘X’ insertion on the bottom of each tomato. Gently place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon and transferring to the ice bath you have waiting.  (Do not boil the tomatoes for more than 30 seconds else they will soften and begin to cook).  Once the tomatoes have cooled, you can easily peel the skin off, starting from the ‘X’.  To  deseed, cut through the centre of the tomato then cut into quarters. Using the small knife, cut through the flesh at the top and pull out the seeds, or use a teaspoon to scoop out. Cut the tomatoes into diced size pieces, add the finely chopped onion (be cautious of the onion overpowering the salsa so start with half the allocation – you can always add more) and the coriander.  Add the lime juice, salt & pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required. 

For the Guacamole: Mix all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. 

Prepare your wraps according to the packaging and plate up !  Additional extras could include some grated mature cheddar and cream cheese.  

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

There’s all this fuss about cauliflower these days, its proving to be a great substitute for rice, pizza bases and mash potato.  Aaaah… Mash Potato, how I love thee … unfortunately though, you do nothing for my waistline!  So I thought, let me see how the cauliflower puree phenomenon will stand up against my beloved mash potato.   The result? A creamy, rich, indulgent and delicious ‘mash’ / puree.   Is it mash potato? Well, no but its a very good substitute for those trying to avoid carbs at dinner time.   So quick and easy to prepare and I caught a few fingers licking the plate … mine included  😉  

I served mine with Pork Chops which I fried with olive oil, garlic and sage leaves.   I fried a few of the sage leaves first in the hot olive oil for 3 or 4 seconds before draining on carlton towel and sprinkling generously with salt.   I then set these aside for garnishing.   The oil was then nicely flavoured with the sage, so I added the pork chops, which I had already marinaded in a little olive oil, with a clove of garlic which I crushed into a smooth paste, salt & black pepper.   As far as week night dinners go, it was a goodie! 

Pork Chop cropped for blog picture

Yield: 3 – 4 servings

Ingredients: 

1 head cauliflower – tough stalks removed 

1 cup chicken stock / Water 

3 Tbsp fresh cream

1 Tbsp butter

Salt & Pepper for seasoning 

Method: 

Roughly chop the cauliflower and put in a pot together with the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently until cauliflower is completely tender.  Strain in a colander, retaining a few spoons of the cooking liquid.  Put cauliflower in food processor and blend until smooth, adding about 20ml of the cooking liquid as you go.  Once processed to a smooth consistency, add the cream and butter and process again until combined. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy ! 

Cooks Note: I use the Woolworths organic ready made chicken stock for this recipe.  The stock freezes well, so I freeze whats left over after I’ve measured.  If you find the puree too thick, add a little extra cooking liquid or even better, extra cream 🙂

Header pic for pork chop resized

French Fries with Garlic Aioli 

French Fries with Garlic Aioli 

Photography by Darren Bester

Yield: Approximately 250ml

Ingredients: 

Thinly sliced french fries baked / fried & placed in canapé cones

2 Egg Yolks 

1 Heaped tsp Dijon Mustard 

Squeeze of Lemon Juice 

1 Garlic Clove Mashed 

125ml Canola Oil 

125ml Olive Oil 

Pinch of Salt 

Method: 

In a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, salt & lemon juice and give a quick blend on a low speed to combine (bout 10 or so seconds).  Slowly start trickling the oil into the mixture until you can see that it starts to thicken, once it starts thickening you can increase the flow of oil into the blender until all the oil has been combined.  Taste and season accordingly.  If too thick, add another dash of lemon juice.  

Cooks Notes: Refrigerate if not serving immediately.   Will keep for 3 days in the fridge. 

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