Monday, October 31, 2011

D - serts

I've gone a bit low and high brow with a dessert fest lately. From my cheech n chong inspired stoners delight and the naff little cupcake to some more challenging kitchen experiments.

White chocolate cupcakes

White chocolate cupcakes
Here is the problem. I have come to hate cupcakes. Truly hate them. They are the food equivalent of the highschool boyfriend that made you gush and then couldn't stand the sight of them; remember it was as if their very presence (usually after about a fortnight) could make you feel physically ill. 

But I really truly do love cake. That's a relationship I'll never give up on. And that dam little c.cup truly is the perfect little bite of sponge and icing. So some cupcakes with a little white chocolate inspiration because, well I have quite the thing for  white chocolate of late.


For the c's
125g caster sugar
125g butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup white chocolate, melted

Top it off
75g butter
250g icing sugar
75g white chocolate, melted
1 tbspn water

Bake em
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Beat the butter and sugar, eggs and vanilla in a mixer until thick and fluffy. Gently stir through the white chocolate then gradually add the flour and baking powder and beat for about 30 seconds until just combined. Spoon into muffin cups in a muffin tray and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden and firm.

For the icing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Top each cupcake with abandon. A cupcake is not a cupcake without a heavy swirl of icing.

Stoners Delight
Stoners Delight Ice cream

Stoners Delight
Confession. I wanted to build a gingerbread house. I'd cracked it with the hansel and gretel style architecture and thought I'd bake myself a gingerbread terrace a la Sydney style. Oh it was going so well. I had my veranda, I had curly wurly for the lattice on the front and licorice straps for the shutters on my windows. I did wish I could live there - it was almost bigger than the place we are in. Then the damn wall collapsed. So rude! I guess what is a Sydney terrace without a bit of rising damp.

I didn't want to waste the sea of gingerbread I had lovingly baked so I decided to make gingerbread ice cream. Then I randomly added popcorn. And marshmallows. And caramel. And it was de-li-gh-t-fu-l! Then I decided to go all out and put my ice cream in its own pastel striped boat. Houses were obviously beyond me but a pre-made wee boat. All over it. 
This weird and wonderful combo made me wish I had the munchies. I don't actually need to be stoned to have that kind of hunger but this dessert - well I sort of wish this was around when I was stoned. It probably would have made the process a lot more fun. But, let's be honest, I'd eat it either way. You should too. 

Cause I wanna make tuile.
Spiced chocolate custard with strawberry fruit tuile and  turkish delight crumble

Just to say I can make a fruit tuile. And that I have. And that I wouldn't actually recommend it.It's a whole lot of effort and I dare say Uncle Toby's roll ups could do the trick and they are probably far more readily available than isomalt and xantham gum. I also burnt the shize out of my fingers and now my neighbours think I have Turrets syndrome. I could actually go wild and commit all sorts of crimes and there ain't a damn chance of me leaving any fingerprints. Do they grow back? Good lord it hurts. Meh. Perhaps I should get stoned. 

I'll post the recipe tomorrow. Hopefully by then the pads of my fingers will be back.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Can we get back to the basics please?

Getting on my soapbox - image Sugarsavy

I’ve been thinking about this for some time of late and a recent interview with Lien Yeoman, a prolific chef and a woman I admire deeply not only for her capacity as a cook but for her resilience as a human being, has pushed me to the brink. And is the reason for this rant.

The food train has been derailed.

When did feeding become so damn complicated? Why do we give a shit how high our cupcakes rise, how crisp the pork belly, or how our latest overpaid vintage tableware looks eclectic and chic?

The actual taste of the food gets relegated to the opinions of armchair masterchefs or something we read in Gourmet Traveller, with the reasons we are eating in the first place pushed somewhere dark, deemed to be unimportant.

We need an intervention.

Magazine spreads of perfectly dressed tables with perfectly dressed models not interested in the food need to be put down. Back away. We’re getting lost in the detail while we get further and further removed from what its all about.
Food is nurture. Food is love. Food is about time with people  we care about.

Boil it down. Peel it back.

We are all part of the problem - photographing, blogging, writing, reading, and at its worst, watching; morphing something that is there to subsist us into a horrible competitive bloodsport. It’s hideous.

So I want to bring it back to Lien.

The woman has had the shit of life thrown at her and she gets up smiling every day. She wants to make the world a better place through food. She has no time for fuss and detail. When you spend a childhood subsisting on sweet potato, when crisp duck is only the thing of your dreams and you see people near death scrambling for a piece of bread – a vision so strong to this day you cannot queue for food. Now that is suffering. That is truly knowing the importance of food.

We need to start again.

When I started this blog I made a point of saying it wasn’t going to be perfect and I’d like to make that point again (its fairly obvious I know). But I don’t care. Ditto for my book where I took some photographs for it myself. They're not perfect but they are the truth. And it was fun. Aahhh remember that - fun. Lots of politically incorrect, glorious fun. Where has that fun gone?

I love to cook. I love it in a way that 24hours out of a kitchen and its withdrawals that haven’t been seen since Trainspotting. I do it for me. We need to cook because we want to. For no other reason. Just for us. Just for me and you. Fuck the frills. Screw the pomp and circumstance. Start again and focus on that moment.

Cook because you love it. Cook because you might want to make a fuss for a friend. Or for your mum. Or have some fun. Cook because you are fortunate enough to do so. Cook to nurture and to love.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Oh how I love what a bit of clever editing can do. A bit of gold to take you into your weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


How hilarious is this and how do I get some? Who wouldnt want butter flavoured lip balm especially with that tagline!
Paula Deen Chapstick

Paula Deen Chapstick
I had no idea there was a wee review of Kitchen Coquette in the Australian last weekend by the food detective. Thank you to the person who kindly sent this to me. Also have had a few questions about the book launch so photo of me in action below (and no I wont be posting more than one). And for the chocaholic queries I received, I went through 6kg of couveture chocolate but in turn sold Kinokuniya out of their pre-release books - whoever said chocolate wasn't the best bribery!
Also sorry for the slackness on the recipe front - should have some more by the end of the week.

Review from The Australian 22 October
AT last, a cookbook whose chapters are not arranged by season. Kitchen Coquette by Katrina Meynink (Allen & Unwin, $39.99) is a cute compendium of dishes ordered by occasion; from Moveable Feasts and Love and Other Bruises to What the F*$k Should We Cook for Dinner? Detective has her eye on the chocolate and salted caramel brownies under the Awkward Moments section, described as "the crack cocaine of the PMS world -- plenty of sugar, fat and salt for that slight bittersweet tang of hormonal resentment". Woe betide anybody foolhardy enough to come near her when she's eating them, though.

Monday, October 24, 2011

WIlly Wonka - the new zumbo

Schlepped to Star City in the hope of some dessert train action at the new Zumbo offering. Sadly - and story of my life - the dessert train isn't open until next week. Still managed to down a few macaroons - passionfruit and tonka bean....hello friend.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sometimes I wonder...

You've got to wonder with all this incessant blogging, facebooking and tweeting if there is anyone really reading/absorbing what you've got to say and whether we're just adding to the endless loop of noise that is the

I thought this was hilarious - bloggers can get all self-rightous about their cause - and some of them rightly so - but for many and no doubt myself included - surely this applies...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A few goodies

I've been crafting a few bites to eat and some goody bags for the lovely folk attending on Thursday night. Some couverture chocolate bars with rosewater infused cranberries, Turkish almond cocoons, pistachio nuts and rose petals. And some Willy Wonkers chocolate smash from the book - a rocky road of far too much chocolate, macaroons, nuts,turkish delight and pretty much anything and everything from the sweet aisle which together in a rocky road, seems perfect.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A little spy sent me this...

Kitchen Coquette sneaks onto the shelf. Can't wait till November 1 for full release. The countdown begins...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Happy Anniversary Tom 
Rocking first year - here is to many more. 
Thank you for asking me to marry you 
(...And for taking me to Koh Samui)

Street Meat...Thailand Style

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple Crumble Souffle

Have been working on a few 'how to' videos for the impending launch of Kitchen Coquette.This is the first of three, I hope you like it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day Spa Deliberations...

So I have just emerged from a day spa on Koh Samui, Thailand – one regularly touted in the Conde Naste top 10 world spas - and have come to the conclusion that maybe the whole spa gig is not for me. Trust me, I have given it a red-hot crack and will undoubtedly continue to do so just to make sure, but overall I find the whole master/servant thing a little unsettling.

Day spas are meant to take you places – a relaxing journey for the mind, body and soul. But for the therapist, it’s just a job and you the equivalent Monday morning meeting. So do you know what my journey turns into? It's all unanswered questions. I start wondering if the therapist had breakfast. Is she saving for a trip? Compiling a mental to-do list perhaps… … Do the shopping, pick up the dry cleaning, then holy hell would you check out the cellulite all over this ass, it’s like a white chocolate aero bar... shit must try and get to the gym on the way home.

Other than mentally confirming for me that said ass is beyond help, I feel there is not a salary in the world high enough to justify touching a stranger’s feet and/or rubbing and scrubbing their backs and upper thighs with treatment creams that actually don’t do a thing for (a) cellulite (b) circulation or (c) your soul. 

And f&*k me – those weird tissue paper harry-high-pant undies you are often forced to wear are far more intrusive and uncomfortable than the therapists hands or that weird ‘women checking out other women with their kit off’ thing that goes on in such centres of wellness.

FYI these are not an actual sample from my spa experience - its a product sample from 

I know this spa-induced vitriol probably has you thinking I am somewhat unbalanced but join me comrades, isn’t it time they provided a light refreshment? Spa menus are all the rage – it’s such a glorious way to overcharge for vegetables - so I am baffled as to why it’s kept separate from the actual (gasp) spa.

If they can turn over food on a 40-minute flight why are spa peeps going without when any decent treatment for (a) cellulite (b) circulation and (c) your soul is at least 2 hours long? If I am going to emerge from that funny massage bed with my face looking like it has been smashed by a doughnut then I dunno – maybe give me a doughnut. And if a shot of espresso is out of the question, I’m so freakin parched/hungry/weirded-out I’ll take one of your green wheat grass numbers.  Or just be a doll, and pass me a juice. (Keep your spirolina).

Seriously it’s an untapped market, spa snacks. How much more fun would it be if instead of staring into a bowl of flowers while they pummel your woman flesh they floated apples in the water. Then we could pretend to play 'bobbing for fruit' like a carny at the fair and get $2 off the bill at the end. Hilarious. And instead of the thimble of herbal tea presented on one of those dinky little trays in the resting area, what's wrong with a wee buffet?

Oh, and did I mention my therapist farted mid deep tissue maneuver? I can confirm this did nothing for my (a) cellulite or (b) circulation, but it did very nearly crush (c) my soul.