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Baking Recipes

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There’s nothing more winter friendly than toasting marshmallows over an open fire. But have you ever considered how easy it is to make your own homemade marshmallow? Essentials’ Megan Chalmers shares this recipe for light and fluffy orange blossom marshmallow; one that’s a touch more adult indulgent and that also pairs well with winter poached fruits or chocolate desserts. Orange Blossom Marshmallow 500g caster sugar 1 tbsp liquid glucose 400ml water 2 tbsp gelatine powder…

New Zealand freeze dried ingredient company Fresh As are culinary leaders in capturing the intense flavours of fresh fruits, herbs and many other food delicacies – literally frozen in time. Their products including freeze dried food segments and powders give chefs a new set of creative powers – enhancing dishes with both flavour punch and great textural accompaniment. Thanks to Essentials’ in-house chef Megan Chalmers, and an Essentials collaboration, several Fresh As products have recently…

Garlicious Grown black garlic starts life as quality hard-necked garlic grown in Braidwood in the New South Wales Southern Tablelands about an hour from Canberra. It’s grown by farming friends and business partners Jenny Daniher and Cathy Owen. The process of producing black garlic involves taking only the best quality garlic and placing it in a special chamber at high humidity but low temperature for 30 days. During this period oxidation takes place and the…

This Salted Chocolate Tart with Burnt Honey and Black Tea Syrup is a treasure to seriously indulge in this autumn. Essentials’ in-house chef Megan Chalmers pairs it with a clever toasted fennel seed ice cream and candied citrus, creating that classic ‘jaffas’  flavour pairing. Salted Chocolate Tart with Burnt Honey and Black Tea Syrup, Toasted Fennel Seed Ice-Cream and Candied Clementines 500g shortcrust pastry (see recipe below) 300ml thickened cream 2 tsp caster sugar 1…

This perfect autumn season dish is a wonderful way to wow guests with all the colour and fragrance of quinces. Chestnut Puff Pastry – Makes 1.2kg puff pastry (enough for 8-10 Tartes Tatin) 300g plain flour 200g chestnut flour 500g firm butter Pinch salt 250ml iced water Method 1. Remove butter from refrigerator and cut into small cubes 1 hour before using. 2. Sift flours into a mixing bowl and make a well in the…

Few desserts entertain better than a decadent cheesecake bursting with colour and natural fragrances. They may look tricky but we’ll let you in on a secret… they’re a cinch! Here’s how to whip your own delectable dream cheesecake into shape. New York Cheesecake with vanilla-poached rhubarb and lavender honey syrup 1 x Cheesecake Biscuit Crumb Base (see recipe below) Note: For the New York Cheesecake, add one small knob of grated ginger to the biscuit…

Preheat oven to 160C 500g sweet pastry (see recipe below) 750g frangipane ¼ cup good quality fig jam 10 ripe fresh figs, thinly sliced Poached figs and fresh raspberries to garnish Raspberry vinegar caramel to glaze and drizzle Frangipane 1 cup caster sugar 200g unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature 2 cups almond meal 2 eggs 2 tbsp Tokay (topaque) wine ¼ cup plain flour Method 1. Using an electric mixer, beat together caster sugar,…

Artisan dairy producer Andre Kogut, for the past 12 years, has been making premium organic cheeses at his Blue Bay dairy in Mornington, south of Melbourne. Products include the delicious and versatile European cottage style cheese Quark and (we think) one of the best-fermented foods in the nation: the health-giving fermented milk product Kefir. Quark is a European naturally fermented cottage cheese that can be used in cheesecakes, baking, dips or simply spread on bread.…

Makes 2 tarts, serves 4 Bake in 15cm diameter cake tins. 400g sheet of good quality all-butter puff pastry 16 pieces oven-roasted tomatoes (mixed varietals, see recipe below) 16 pieces caramelised shallots 2 burrata (about 200gm each; buffalo mozzarella is an excellent substitute) Green herb vinaigrette to garnish Oven-roasted Garden Tomatoes (mixed varieties) 8 fresh tomatoes of mixed varieties, cut in halves 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 1 bay leaf, torn into small…

‘Goddess of Pie’ Kirsty Heather of Cooper’s Handmade Pies has crafted this beautifully-decadent and flavoursome Pork Terrine Pie. Hot Water Pastry 500g plain flour Pinch of Murray River salt flakes 150ml melted lard or butter 200ml boiling water Method 1. Combine flour and salt, make a well in the centre. 2. Pour lard/butter and hot water into well in flour, mix well until flour is combined. This should come together to make a pliable dough. Take…

Serves 8 Shortcrust pastry 170g plain flour 90g unsalted butter 45g caster sugar ¼ tsp vanilla paste 1 egg, for pastry 1 egg, for egg wash 20ml milk, for egg wash 22cm flan shell with removable bottom Almond cream (frangipane) 115g almond meal 115g caster sugar 2 eggs 100g unsalted butter ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste 25g plain flour 10g flaked almonds Poached quince – Prepare a day before 3 quinces 500g caster sugar 500ml…

Makes 1 large tart – Serves 6 Shortcrust Pastry It is okay to use a quality store-bought pastry but this recipe is quick, simple and well worth the extra effort! 200g plain flour Pinch of Murray River salt flakes 110g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled 2-3 tbsp ice cold water Method 1. Place the flour and salt in the food processor. With the motor running add the cold butter, one piece at a time; blend…

Throughout the deeper reaches of the Swiss and Austrian alpine valleys, German forests and Russian villages, traditional winter foods, preserving techniques and family recipes are handed down from grandmother to granddaughter (ot babushki k vnuchke). In the spirit of giving, Essentials’ Megan Chalmers has reinvigorated a selection of the finest European winter treats to help ward off the winter nasties and restore the soul. Mini Black Forest Cake with forest floor of chocolate soil, mascarpone…

Serves 4 (makes about 30 gougères) 250ml water 165g unsalted butter 5g crushed black pepper 12g cooking salt 250g plain flour 10g nutmeg, freshly microplaned 4 free-range eggs 95g Gruyère cheese, finely grated 30g Parmesan cheese, finely grated 2 tbsp chopped chives Heat oven to 210C Method 1. Place water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, add salt and pepper. 2. Add the flour, stirring vigorously. This will cook the flour…