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Monday, November 21, 2011


On Sunday I decided to have another go at making my own phyllo pastry. Growing up, one of my favorite dishes was gibanica. It's a Yugoslav dish which is kind of like spanakopita but without the spinach. Essentially it's a cheese pie made with ricotta, cottage cheese and eggs, layered with phyllo pastry and baked. When I was living in Melbourne I discovered this amazing home made phyllo pastry and decided that it was so much better than the stuff you buy in the supermarket!
It is time consuming but the end result is so worth it.
You can make as much or as little pastry as you like, using a 2 parts flour to 1 part water ratio with a pinch of salt. Just get a feel for the dough, it should be firm but still a little tacky. Rub some oil over the surface and let it sit for an hour.
To roll the pastry you'll need to put down an old sheet or table cloth and remember a little gies a long way.
Start by rolling with a rolling pin and when it starts to thin out, you'll need to start gently pulling at the dough and stretching outwards, letting it cling to the fabric. It takes a bit if practice and patience but just remember it doesn't have to resemble the stuff you buy in the supermarket, keep stretching until the dough is paper thin.

500g fresh ricotta(firm)
500g cottage cheese( not creamed)
2 eggs
Salt&pepper to taste

Use any baking dish you like. The smaller, the higher your slice will be.
Start with a layer of pasty and spoon some of your cheese mixture on top, continue layering, brush the top with some melted butter. Bake @ 180 c for about 40 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and crispy.

I made a nice salad with lettuce straight from the garden and it was the perfect Sunday night meal <3

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beetroot and chocolate brownie

Every Sunday mum and I go to our local farmers market to get fresh veggies for the cafe, last week I picked up a beautiful bunch of organic baby beetroots, with the thought of having a go at making beetroot chocolate brownies. Not being game to make it up as I go, I searched for a recipe that inspired me and I found a really simple one from River Cottage.


250g butter, unsalted
250g dark chocolate
3 eggs
250g caster sugar
Pinch salt
150g self-raising flour
250g cooked and pureed beetroot

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a baking tray 23cm square, or similar.
Melt the butter and chocolate in the warming oven, or over a pan of hot water.
In another bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together, then pour in the melted chocolate and butter. Sift in salt and flour and fold to combine. Fold in the beetroot. (Try not to overwork the mixture).
Pour into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. You want the end result to be a little sticky and a little dense. Don't be too concerned if this brownie seems a little cakey at first, once it's cooled it will settle and turn into a delightfully moist brownie. <3

Monday, July 18, 2011

My daily escape

Baking is my escape....actually anything domestic is an escape for me. When i've had a bad day i go home and clean my house....even if it's already clean, it's something about the sound of my hoover that washes all that bad energy away. When i'm feeling inspired i bake. I remember when i was little, sunday was my favourite day of the week. Mum would help us make something, my sister and i would love to make a bag or a scrunchie or a loaf of bread...which was always so hard you could throw it against a wall and it still wouldn't break! But we were always encouraged to be creative. As we got older my sister found her niche in sewing and i found mine in baking. I am so lucky that i get to be creative everyday and have the freedom to try something new on a whim. Some of you might just think i work in a cafe and that's not really a career but i see myself as one of the luckiest people! I get to wake up everyday and do something that i love. i get to decide what muffins people will drool over, will i make some lemon tarts today? maybe some whoopie pies? the possibilities are endless and my world is filled with inspiration.....who wouldn't want that?
I've been wanting to start this blog for a while now, I want to share and learn and be excited.