Flourless Lemon Teacake

  • 6 eggs, separated (or 5 large eggs)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsps finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence

Cream cheese icing

  • 25g butter, at room temperature
  • 60g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 11/2 cups pure icing sugar

Grease the base and side of a 23cm round cake pan. Line with baking paper. Grease baking paper.

Beat egg yolks, sugar and rind in a small bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in almond meal, juice and essence. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold into almond mixture. Pour into prepared pan.

Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for about 45 minutes, or until cooked when tested. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make cream cheese frosting, beat butter, cream cheese and rind until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Spread frosting over cold cake.

Serve cake cut into wedges.

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Heston Blumenthal Roast Chicken

  • 1.5–2 kg whole chicken
  • 6% brine (300 g salt dissolved in 5 litres water)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for rubbing into the skin
  • 30 ml dry white wine

For the gravy (optional)

  • 20 ml dry white wine
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 sprig tarragon
  • 1 sprig parsley

Remove the trussing from the chicken then place it in a clean container. Pour over the brine ensuring that the chicken is submerged then cover the container with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.

Remove the chicken from the liquid and dry well with kitchen paper. Remove the wishbone and place on a cooling rack over a tray.

Preheat the oven to 90ºC

Roll and pierce the lemon then place it in the cavity of the bird with half the thyme. Rub some butter on top of the skin.

Place the chicken on the rack in a roasting tray and place in the oven. Roast the chicken until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast is 60ºC (this should take 3-4 hours). I prefer it to be 75 degrees, as 60 is considered lower than safety guidelines.

Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 45 minutes. Turn the oven temperature as high as it will go.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a pan and add 30ml wine and a few sprigs of thyme. Bring to the boil then remove the pan from the heat and use the melted butter to baste the chicken before and during browning.

Once the resting time has elapsed, put the chicken back in the roasting tray and return it to the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown, taking care that it doesn’t burn.

Once coloured, remove the chicken from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

To carve the chicken, remove the legs by slicing down where they meet the breast and splaying them outwards to expose the joint, which you can then sever.

Remove the breast by running a sharp knife deeply into the flesh along one side of the centre bone that extends the length of the bird, making a deep vertical cut. Then cut horizontally through the flesh at the bottom of the breast until the horizontal cut meets the vertical, separating the breast from the ribcage. Repeat the procedure on the other side of the centre bone. The breasts can then be laid cut-side down on the chopping board and sliced.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

If making the gravy…

When the chicken has been browned and removed from the roasting tray, place the tray containing the juices on the hob over a medium-high heat. Add the white wine and scrape and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken stock and cook until reduced to a sauce. Strain into a small saucepan.

Before serving, stir in the mustard and warm through. Finish with freshly chopped tarragon and parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

* Source: Heston Blumenthal at Home

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Slow Cooked Moroccan Lamb

  • 1 whole leg of lamb (or shoulder) on the bone (Can be done without bone too)
  • 4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Trim excess fat from the leg of lamb, and make a dozen or more cuts deep into the meat with the tip of a sharp knife.

Combine the butter with the garlic, spices and olive oil. Spread the mixture over the entire leg of lamb, working some butter into the incisions made with the knife. Place the leg of lamb in a roasting pan, and proceed with the following slow roasting method.

Very Slow-Roasting Method – 7 1/2 to 9 Hours

This is my preferred method, you can reduce cooking time to between four and five hours by using a 350° F (180° C) oven temp.

Preheat an oven to 250°F (120/130°C).

Place the lamb in a roasting pan and cover with foil,  or lid sealing the edges tightly. Roast the lamb, basting hourly and resealing the foil each time, for 7 to 8 hours, or until the juices run clear and the meat is tender enough to pinch off the bone. Note: Small legs (under 2 kg) may finish cooking in six hours; large legs may take closer to nine hours.

Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 475° F (240° C). Brown the lamb, basting frequently, for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is well-colored.

Transfer the lamb to a platter and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving. If desired, the juices can be poured over and around the lamb.  I prefer to drizzle tzatziki over the top and sprinkle fresh herbs (coriander or flat leaf parsley.

This dish is perfect served with my Herbed Lentil Pilaf recipe.

* Source: www.moroccan.foodabout.com


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Violet’s Coconut Macaroon

  • 3 free-range egg whites
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 150 grams (2 cups) dry, unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 150 degrees celcius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey and coconut in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Stir the mixture continuously until everything is dissolved and it just begins to scorch on the bottom. The key to getting these macaroons just right is to stir the ingredients in the pan until they begin to dry out.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Let the mixture cool completely, then use an ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup) to scoop out 12 even macaroons, and place them on the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden and set. Let the macaroons cool completely before peeling off the paper.

Makes 12 macaroons

Tip: The key to getting these macaroons just right is to stir the ingredients in the pan until they begin to dry out.

Source: Leon Cookbook

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Coconut Cake

36009 coconut  raspberry loaf cake
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour (I use gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use macadamia, almond or grapeseed)
  • 3 eggs

Combine eggs and sugar (I use hand whisk), then add flour, coconut, yoghurt and oil.

Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake at 170 degrees for 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. Let it cool down before serving. I chill in fridge overnight and serve sprinkled with icing sugar and with vanilla bean yoghurt – YUM!

*Serves 8


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Pad Thai

  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp tamarind puree/paste
  • 2 Tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari (gluten free)
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli
  • 200g dried rice noodles (the thicker ones)
  • 2 tsp peanut oil (extra)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 500g minced chicken
  • 150g (2 cups) Chinese cabbage, finely chopped
  • 100g snow peas, sliced
  • 90g (1 cup) bean sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 cup spring onions, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped peanuts

Put the boiling water and tamarind paste into a heatproof bowl and stir to combine, to dissolve the paste. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, peanut oil, chilli and tomato paste, then set aside. (This can be done in advance, morning!)

Heat 1 tsp peanut oil in a large wok and swirl to coat, then add the beaten egg and swirl the wok to make a thin crepe. Cook on one side only and when the egg is set, roll it into a thin crepe and slice into thin strips, set aside.

Put the rice noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Read packet, but generally only needs a minute or two. Best to under cook at this stage as they will cook when you mix in with the hot ingredients at the end. Drain and run under cold water.

Heat remaining oil (1 tsp) in wok and add the garlic, onion and ginger. Saute over a med-high heat for a few minutes. Add the chicken  and saute until the chicken is browned, breaking up any large lumps as you go. Add the tamarind sauce and coat the chicken, allow the sauce to carmalize a little. Finally add the drained noodles, cabbage, snow peas and spring onions and heat through, mixing and tossing altogether as you go. Then add the sprouts, spring onions, coriander, egg crepe and lime juice. Mix together and serve, topped with peanuts.

Tip: Have your ingredients all pre-cut and in bowls ready to go (this can be done in the morning) then you simply add ingredients as per the recipe. There are a lot of ingredients so it is best to be organised to make this a really easy dinner!

* Serves 4-6

* Source: More Gluten Free & Easy by Robyn Russell


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Herbed Lentil Pilaf

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 400 gram tin lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 large handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 large handful mint, chopped


  • 80ml olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp currants
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch sweet paprika

In a large saucepan heat oil and cook the onion, ground coriander and garlic over low heat for 5 mins. Stir in the rice and 500mls water. Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. Remove from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork and leave covered for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile (or in advance) make the dressing. Mix ingredients in a jar with a lid, add salt and pepper and she to combine.

Add lentils to the warm rice along with the spring onions and herbs. Pour the dressing over the top and mix to combine.

* Serves 6 as a side dish

* More gluten free and easy, Robyn Russell

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Spinach and Ricotta Pies

  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, washed well and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 500 grams English spinach, trimmed and washed
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 500 grams fresh ricotta cheese
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
  • 35 grams crumbled plain feta cheese
  • 35 grams grated mozzarella
  • 1 handful basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted and chopped

Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees and grease a 12 hole muffin tin.

Heat the oil in a large fry pan and cook the leek and garlic for 5 mins, then add spinach and cook for a few more minutes until wilted. Pour off excess liquid and add nutmeg and s&p.

Put the eggs, ricotta, parmesan, feta, mozzarella into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl and add the spinach mixture, basil, pine nuts and stir until fully combined. Do not put spinach and pine nuts into food processor as it will over blend and look too green.

Pour mixture into muffin tin, filling each hole generously. Bake for 25 minutes, or until browned on top.

*Source: More Gluten Free and Easy, Robyn Russell


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Gluten and Dairy Free Banana Loaf

  • 3 eggs
  • 125g sugar
  • 250-300g ripe bananas. (best with very ripe bananas – the browner the better)
  • 125g canola, sunflower, olive or other oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

put all above ingredients into food processor and puree together well

preheat oven to 180 deg C
line loaf pan with baking paper

In a large bowl mix

  • 150g gluten free flours (  You can use store bought gluten free mixed flour or I found this combination works well: 20g quinoa flakes, 30g quinoa flour, 50g white rice flour, 15g tapioca flour, 35g buckwheat flour)
  • 50g glutinous rice flour
  • 50g ground almonds or hazelnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda or 2 tsp baking powder

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix till combined. Pour into loaf pan.
bake loaf for 50-60 minutes at 180 deg C on normal bake, not fan bake. It is done when lightly browned on top.

I also make into muffins and mini muffins, just adjust cooking time to half, or check when lightly browned on top.

Leave 10 minutes in tin when cooked then cool on rack. Best eaten the same day or the next.



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Roast Sweet Potato and Rosemary Chicken

  • 400gram sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1Tbsp olive oil extra
  • 4 x 200gram chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp wholeseed mustard
  • 70grams baby spinach leaves

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place the sweet potato, half the parmesan and oil in a bowl and toss to combine. Layer the sweet potato on a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and bake for 25 mins or until golden.

Heat a large fry pan over high heat. Add the extra oil and cook for 3 mins on each side. Place on a baking tray and cook for a further 10 mins in oven, or until cooked through. Slice chicken in half diagonally.

Add stock, rosemary and wholeseed mustard to the pan and cook for 2 mins.

To serve, cut the sweet potato into squares. (I cut into circles to start with so dont need to do this step). Top with spinach and chicken and drizzle sauce over the top.

* Serves 4.

* Source: Donna Hay, Simple Essentials Chicken.


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