Weekly Update

Flashback to traditional breadmaking in Altamura on the Culinary Adventure I hosted in Puglia in May.

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that we are repeating my Culinary Adventure in Puglia next year from 14 – 20 October 2019. The first one this May was such a success we want to do it again – and experience a different time of year. October is a great time to visit Europe: the crowds have gone (not that there are any in Puglia) and the weather is pleasant and not too hot. Puglia is largely undiscovered (though Italians holiday there) and therefore unspoilt – and the shopping is amazing.
Accommodation is firstly in the beautiful early 17th century Palazzo Viceconte overlooking the sassi in UNESCO world heritage site Matera and then at Masseria Motenapoleone which is not only a lovely place to stay but an organic farm and vineyard. The perfect spot for our hands-on cooking class. We also learn how to make burrata, see olive groves with trees 3,000+ years old (and taste the oil), visit two very different wineries and eat the freshest seafood on the coast. For more information and to book go to Southern Visions Travel and download the program.

Jump ahead to see:
 This Week’s Best Fruit and Veg
Recipe of the Week
Selector Magazine
Not all sugars are the same
Interesting Reading
What’s On
Special offer for subscribers


Enjoy the first of this season’s quality blood oranges. The juicy, deep burgundy to orange coloured flesh is extra sweet, fragrant and has a refreshing flavour. I was thrilled to receive a couple of boxes from Redbelly Citrus, Australia’s premier and largest largest producer. You can find the recipes I developed last year here. What a lot of us don’t realise is that one blood orange has 3 times the polyphenols and 9 times the antioxidant capacity of naval oranges. Not only pretty and delicious, but amazingly good for us.
Blood orange, fennel and chicken salad recipe here.

L: My Redbelly Citrus Poke bowl and R: My Ricotta Pancakes with Redbelly Citrus compote

Versatile lemons are great value. I buy them by the bag. Lemon juice, drizzled over a tomato-based casserole or soups just before serving enlivens the flavours. It’s also a great way to reduce salt.

Irresistible crisp apples are a winter favourite. The sweet-tangy Granny Smith apples are a popular choice for cooking. Homemade apple crumble, spicy apple cakes and old-fashioned baked apples are easy to prepare

For a stunning quick dessert, toss tangelo segments with halved hulled strawberries. Squeeze over tangelo juice and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Serve with a scoop of mascarpone and a drizzle of liqueur.

Premium Hass avocados from Southern Queensland and Northern NSW are plentiful and so I’ve been having them for breakfast or in my lunchtime salad. Of course, they are also wonderful with anything Mexican like my Quick Mexican Soup with Spiced Avocado Salsa.

Roasted spiced cauliflower with tahini yoghurt dressing. Recipe here.

Compact snow-white cauliflowers are also a top buy and I tend to always have one in my crisper during winter as they are so versatile. Perfect for a cauliflower rice or roasting. I’ve made creamy cauliflower soup with nothing more than cauliflower, garlic a drop of extra virgin olive oil and chicken stock.

Red and green capsicum prices are back a little this week so I’ve been adding red capsicum to my lunchtime salad. Red capsicums are the sweetest eating. Add capsicum to pizza toppings, salads, stir fries, char-grill or stuff with a meat and vegetable filling and bake until tender.

The natural goodness of cabbage shines in winter. Sautéed, steamed or tossed in a hot wok, these easy-to-prepare vegetables require minimum cooking. Try Cabbage & leeks with bacon & pine nuts

Creamy mashed potatoes are a family favourite – and delicious served with a winter casserole. Look for specials on 5 kilo bags of brushed potatoes for $4-$6.

Recipe of the Week
Let’s celebrate the Lamington
on Lamington Day Saturday 21 July

This was taken at the end of the Heart Warmers episode of Lyndey Milan’s Baking Secrets: we have a lamingtini cocktail and lamington trifle

Classic Lamington
For best results make your sponge the day before you want to serve the lamingtons, or refrigerate for a few hours. To make icing easier, you can also freeze your sponge for 20 minutes to help it firm up before dipping it in the icing.
Makes: 20
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes

4 eggs
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (35g) cornflour
25g chilled butter, chopped
1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
3 cups (216g) shredded coconut, to assemble

Chocolate icing
200ml boiling water
20g cocoa powder
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
260g dark chocolate (70%)

1.    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan, line base
with baking paper.

2.    Beat the eggs very well in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light in colour.
Gradually add the sugar; beat for about 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Mixture
should form thick ribbons when the beaters are lifted.

3.    Meanwhile, sift the flour and cornflour together three times. Combine butter and boiling
water in a small heatproof bowl.

4.    Transfer the egg mixture to a large bowl. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture;
using a balloon whisk or a large metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the egg
mixture, then fold in the butter mixture.

5.    Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes
or until sponge springs back when touched lightly in the centre and comes away            from  side of  pan. Turn cake onto a wire rack to cool.

6.    Place cooled cake on a sheet of baking paper on a flat surface, using a ruler to help
you, cut the cake into 20 even pieces (5cm X 5cm).  Brush or shake off any crumbs .

7.    For the Chocolate icing: Pour boiling water, cocoa and caster sugar into a heatproof
glass bowl over a double boiler. Add dark chocolate, broken up into squares and stir
with a metal spoon until melted.

8.    To assemble: Place coconut in a shallow tray. Using two forks, dip each piece of cake
briefly into the icing until it is coated in icing. Hold the cake piece over the bowl to
drain off any excess. (If necessary divide the icing in two and dip half the
cake pieces in one bowl of icing and the other half in the second bowl of icing to
prevent the cake crumbs thickening the icing and so making it difficult to use.  If
the icing becomes too thick, stand it over hot water while dipping, or reheat
gently with a little more boiling water. If necessary, strain the icing into a clean

9.    Using two additional forks, gently toss each chocolate coated cake piece in the
coconut. Transfer cake pieces to a baking paper lined  tray or a wire rack; stand until

Lyndey’s tips: Sponge cakes depend on a good electric mixer, a light hand and not taking shortcuts.
Have the eggs at room temperature before you begin beating and use a deep bowl for maximum volume.  Beat for at least 5 to 8 minutes. Fold in the flour and butter mixture gently as heavy handling equals a heavy cake.

More lamington interpretations and recipes here.
Here’s the recipe for lamington trifle.(pictured below)

Lamington Trifle

Selector Magazine

The lovely Alla Wolf Tasker frm The Lakehouse, Daylesford

The first time I met Alla she was demonstrating at Melbourne Masterclass, more years ago than either of us would like to remember. I was blown away but how wonderfully down-to-earth she was, yet wonderfully talented with amazing real cooking skills. Little wonder she has received the accolades she has. Now she adorns the cover of the latest Selector Magazine.
The theme is community and Alla, and her Lakehouse in the regional Victorian town of Daylesford is a wonderful example of how a visionary idea can transform a whole community.
Former food critic and TV’s The Gourmet Farmer, Matthew Evans has taken his family from the city life to a farm community in Tasmania, and they’ve never been happier while Spice I Am chef & owner, Sujet Saenkham may have one of the busiest restaurants in Sydney, but he’s more at home on his farm in the Southern Highlands.
The issue features some delicious Vietnamese recipes from Melbourne chef Jerry Mai, while I show you how to cook with coffee! Yes, cook with coffee and not just tiramisu!
In wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is put to the test, tasting and rating over 70 great wines to come up with the ultimate Cabernet top 30 list.
The issue also showcases a dream vertical with Shiraz Viognier pioneer, Tim Kirk from Clonakilla, and see where to eat, drink and be merry in the Canberra Wine District.
And there’s an interesting look to see how the Australian wine community promotes our wine overseas, plus a look to Colombia to see how coffee is leading a revolution in the lives of farmers.

Not all sugars are the same

Sri Lankan Love Cake using rapadura sugar. Recipe here.

Recently I attended an event, hosted by Christopher Thé the talented owner/chef at Black Star Pastry It was put on by CSR to showcase their expanded range of sugars. In Australia, the sugar we eat comes from sugar cane which stores sucrose in its stem. In many plants, sugar is stored in the fruit which explains why ripe fruit is usually sweet. To make sugar, sugar cane is crushed in a mill. The juice is clarified to remove cane fibres and other solids and is boiled to produce a thick syrup. From this syrup, raw sugar crystals are formed which are about 99% sucrose with a brown syrupy outer layer containing water and other extracts from the sugar cane such as starch. At the sugar refinery, the raw sugar is dissolved, filtered and crystallised to remove such impurities and produce a range of sugar products, including white table sugar. The syrup helps make such products as brown sugar, coffee sugar, golden syrup and treacle.

Now, I don’t have a sweet tooth, but there are times as a cook, when you must use sugar. So good to learn about the different types and uses:

Unrefined Rapadura has a golden colour and delicate caramel flavour from molasses content in the sugar cane. It can be directly substituted for white and raw sugar in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Muscovado sugar retains the dark colour and aroma from its natural molasses content, carrying robust notes of bittersweet toffee and treacle. This gives an added depth to baked goods. With a fine crystal size similar to caster sugar, it can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. It can be directly substituted for dark brown sugar and also in marinades and glazes that call for homey – use enough water with the sugar to make a past of a similar texture.
Unrefined coconut sugar retains the nutrients naturally found in the nectar of the coconut blossom. With its subtle caramel and butterscotch notes, it can be used in most recipes and applications that call for white, raw or palm sugar. It is also Organically grown and sustainably farmed and has a GI value up to 10 points lower than raw sugar.
Golden Demerara  has a full bodied rich golden colour with subtle butterscotch aroma and rich toffee taste and makes a delicious, crunchy decorative finish to baked goods and desserts. The fine syrup coating on the crystal, together with its coarseness also gives a good colour to the crust of baking.
Coffee Sugar Crystals dissolve slowly allowing the full flavour and sweetness of coffee to last longer. It also make a delicious crunchy topping for desserts and ice-cream and can be used in homemade sugar body scrubs given its coarse texture.
CSR LoGiCane® uses world first technology to develop a sugar with a naturally Low Glycemic Index (GI). It works by spraying an all natural molasses extract onto raw sugar. This molasses naturally increases sugar’s resistance to digestion. By having a low GI, CSR LoGiCane® takes longer to be digested, resulting in a slower release of energy, which can help curb hunger cravings. Low Gi Cane Sugar can be directly substituted for white and raw sugar.
More information here.

Interesting Reading

My Deconstructed peach melba from my Taste of Australia.This is not overly sweet, so try a late-picked riesling with it.

Bob Campbell MW in the Real Review writes about his top five food and wine matches and why they worked. the matches are pretty classic but I enjoy his reasoning – plus he’s a lovely man.
You can read some of my quick “how to” guide here.In Good Food, Callan Boys reveals Your First Look at Sydney’s Quay 2.0. I can’t wait to try it for myself.
Richard Cornish also writes a fabulous piece about Victoria’s New Dairy Brands. There are some truly exciting things happening in our artisan dairy industry, which is producing more beautiful milk and butter in Victoria than ever before. Indeed, some of these products are the best in Australia.  

The Dish from Food & Wine cautions on 10 Things you Should Never Put Down the Drain.

What’s On

It’s that time of year again, and certainly chilly enough: Yulefest is on in the Blue Mountains

Yulefest in the Blue Mountains brings with it the enchantment of opera performed within a legendary party palace, fine dining, the intimacy of crackling fireplaces and even the possibility of snow-dusted landscapes. Sojourners are warmly welcomed into Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Echoes Restaurant, Darley’s Restaurant and the Hydro Majestic Hotel for steaming drinks, fireside dining and rousing entertainment to celebrate the season for which the region is most famous.
There are myriad activities in the various properties from High Teas to degustation dinners, different forms of entertainment including Viennese waltzes and songs and finally on August 25 the chance to take the Hydro Express vintage train from Central Station to the Hydro Majestic for afternoon tea.
Information here or ring (02) 4780 1200.

Special offer for subscribers

The Grape, Grain and Graze Festival is on at Sydney Showground on Saturday 11 August 2-6pm

The Grape, Grain & Graze Festival (formerly The Wine Experience) is an afternoon of fabulous wine, brews, fine food and live music – and you can get $14 off the single entry price of $90 – so that’s $76 which represents amazing value.

This is your opportunity to taste incredible wines from the 2,200+ entries from the 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show, enjoy products from the 2018 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show and satisfy food cravings at grazing stations laden with Sydney Royal medal-winning food.

Sample your way through the 2018 success stories, taste new trends and pick up a tip or two at Judges Tutorials. Industry Judges will be on hand to answer your questions and guide your palate around the stunning array of varietals and blends.

As a special offer for subscribers, I am offering $14 off all single tickets which have a RRP ticket price of $90. Please use code LMGGG18 at checkout.
Purchase tickets here
When: Saturday 11 August 2pm-6pm
Where: Hall 6, Grand Parade, Sydney Showground
General public: Single Ticket $90 + booking fee; Double Pass $164 + booking fee
RAS Members: Single Ticket $80 + booking fee; Double Pass $150 + booking fee

Please note: the online ticketing link will close 5pm, Friday 10 August.
Alternatively, tickets can be purchased at the door.

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Enjoy what you cook, eat and drink.


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