Category Archives: dessert


In this classic Italian dessert layers of flavour combine in the mouth. The result should not be cloying. Make a day ahead for the sponge layer to develop fully.

5 eggs, separated
7 tb white sugar
500 g mascarpone
50 ml marsala wine
16-20 Savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers)
60 ml (2 shots) fresh espresso coffee
good quality cocoa powder

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a metal bowl until pale and thick, fold in the mascarpone. Whisk the egg whites in a metal bowl until soft peaks form and fold in.

Dip the biscuits in the marsala and lay in the bottom of a 20 x 30 cm serving dish. Drizzle the espresso over and cover with the mascarpone mixture. Chill in the fridge.

Before serving sprinkle generously with cocoa powder.

Source: Lotte H, from her footloose OE in Italy 20 years ago

Feijoas with Riesling and vanilla

The feijoa is an unusual fruit originating in South America and grown in southern Russia, Iran and New Zealand. Their distinctive aroma comes from the chemical compound methyl benzoate and the taste divides opinion sharply – either you gag or find it ambrosiac. This dish takes them to the next level. Perfect for preserving too.

Continue reading Feijoas with Riesling and vanilla

Russian fudge

A New Zealand staple using distinctly NZ ingredients. When done properly this is the ultimate sugar bomb.

100 g butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 c golden syrup
1 400 ml can regular condensed milk

Put everything in a heavy saucepan over low heat for 8 – 10 min until ‘soft ball’ stage, stirring continuously. Start testing for ‘soft ball’ stage after 6 minutes; drop a small amount in a cup of cold water and see if you can gather the mixture into a soft ball. Once off heat beat hard for 3 mins. Line a 180 x 200 mm tray with baking paper and pour in.

From: Ollie’s mum

Thai red rice with coconut milk and plums

175 grs Thai red rice
100 grs palm sugar
200 ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
250 grs plums, figs or ripe mango
pink peppercorns

Soak the red rice in cold water for at least three hours. Wash and rinse four to five times. The water will never be completely clear. Using equal parts of rice and water, boil the rice until done but still firm to the bite. Add the palm sugar and stir. The result should be slightly moist and glistening. Fry the cored and halved plums or figs in a little bit of butter until soft, add a bit of sugar if necessary. (If using mangoes slice and use uncooked.) Mix the coconut milk with the salt.

Place mounds of warm rice in bowls, pour cold coconut milk around it, place warm plums on top and sprinkle with pink pepper.

Sublime and very satisfying. The health conscious can reduce the amounts of sugar and salt.

Possible additions: Vanilla to the plums, rosewater to the rice.

Hot chocolate

As the Parisians make it. A drink for a king! This could be the ultimate way to take chocolate.  (yields 4 x 175 ml cups)

550 ml milk
50 ml good quality water
60 g caster sugar
100 g dark chocolate 70%, finely chopped
28 g cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona, sieved

In a good-sized saucepan, stir together the milk, water, sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chocolate and cocoa and bring to a boil again, whisking until all has dissolved and the liquid has thickened. Reduce heat to very low and blend with a barmix for 5 minutes until the chocolate is thick and foamy. Allow guests to sprinkle ground cinnamon over if they wish.

Source: ‘It must have been something I ate’