Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Tart


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 Tbs icing sugar
  • 125g chilled butter
  • 1 Tbs chilled water


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • Cocoa for dusting
  1. Place flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Chop the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and water to the flour and mix through thoroughly, adding more water little by little if necessary until the mixture just holds together.
  2. Place dough on a lightly floured board and knead it until smooth, being careful not to knead beyond this point. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.  Roll out pastry to fit a 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Line the tin with pastry, cutting off pastry edges which protrude beyond the rim of the tart tin. Place tin on a baking tray and blind-bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and continue baking for approximately 5 more minutes, or until pastry is beginning to colour. Allow pastry to cool and reduce oven temperature to 140 degrees C.
  4. To make the filling, melt the chocolate and allow it to begin cooling but not to set. Beat the egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. The whole mixture should be aerated and a ribbon should trail from the beaters when lifted. Continue beating as you pour in the chocolate, and finally the cream. Continue beating until ingredients are evenly combined but no further.
  5. Pour the filling into the pastry and bake for 25 to 30 mins or until just set. Allow to cool on the bench top, then refrigerate. Before serving, dust top with cocoa. Serve with cream and fresh berries.

Vicky’s Mum’s Ginger Biscuits

Ginger Cookies

When a trip into town for a taste of these biscuits was the highlight of my week, I just knew I had to get the recipe. It took some begging!

  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 heaped tsp powdered ginger
  • A little salt
  • 125g butter or margarine
  • 2 Tbs golden syrup

Makes 24

  1. Line 2 biscuit trays with baking paper. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub butter through dry ingredients until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together egg and golden syrup. Tip eggs into flour mixture and combine using a cutting action rather than stirring.
  4. Once the mixture comes together, take a teaspoon a time and roll into a ball. Place on biscuit trays with enough room to allow for spreading, and use three fingers to depress the top and flatten the balls a little.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Berry Fool


A simple dessert, easy to whip up! Berry Fool is delicious with fresh berries while in season – simply add a little water when heating the berries. Add a splash of Grand Marnier for extra decadence. Served as a dessert, Berry Fool is an open invitation for lame Dad jokes, making a fun and delicious end to a meal.

Serves 4

  •  2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 400g tin mixed berries
  1. Drain most of the liquid from the mixed berries and place the berries in a saucepan. Add two tablespoons of the castor sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Use a stick blender to partially puree the berries, allowing some small lumps.
  2. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining castor sugar and continue beating until dissolved. The mixture should be thick and glossy.
  3. In another bowl, gently whisk the mascarpone cheese and vanilla until just combined. Add egg white mixture and fold through until the two mixtures are evenly combined. Add the berry mixture and swirl through. Serve chilled with extra berries.

Almond Bread

Almond Bread

Almond bread goes exceptionally well with coffee for afternoon tea, or as an after dinner snack. The smell of almond bread reminds me of Christmas, when my mother would make a few batches and give little packets away as gifts.

  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 250g raw almonds
  1. Grease and line a log tin. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. In a clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar and continue beating until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Sift flour and add almonds; fold through. Spread the mixture in the log tin and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the loaf from the tin and allow to cool completely. Wrap tightly in foil and leave for two days.
  5. After two days, use a sharp bread knife or electric knife to cut the loaf into very thin slices.
  6. Using a biscuit tray, arrange the slices in a single layer and toast in the oven at 150 degrees C (in batches if necessary) for 20 minutes or until slightly golden, dry and crisp.

Cherry Strudel

Cherry Strudel

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 680g jar pitted cherries
  • 250g cream cheese
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 1 Tbs Marsala wine or sherry
  • 10 sheets filo pastry
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs caster sugar, extra
  • 80g butter, melted
  1.  Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Drain the cherries and pat dry.
  2. Mash together the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and Marsala wine and then beat until smooth. Combine the cinnamon and extra sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Place filo pastry on a clean bench, and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Using another clean space of bench-top, lay one sheet of filo pastry on the bench. Brush will a light coat of melted butter, and sprinkle with a little of the cinnamon sugar. Repeat with all ten filo pastry sheets, layering one on top of the other.
  4. When complete, spread the cream cheese mixture along the length of one side of the pastry, stopping 5cm before each end. Top with cherries, fold in the ends of the pastry and roll to make a log, completely enclosing the filling. Place on the baking tray with the pastry join facing down. Brush the top with melted butter and dust with remaining cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake for 30 – 35 mins or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Allow it to cool slightly before cutting into slices. Serve warm with cream or custard.

Note: If you use frozen filo pastry, allow it to defrost in the box before you begin using it. While still frozen, the pastry is very brittle and will break apart.

Shortcrust Pastry (Savoury) – Beef and Vegetable Parcels

Makes 6


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ¾ cups plain flour
  • 125g butter straight from the fridge
  • 2 tsp cold water


  • 200g beef mince
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • A dash of Garam Masala
  • A little milk
  1. Pastry: Chop butter into squares and place in a food processor with flour. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and water and continue processing until mixture comes together. Knead for a short time until dough is cohesive and smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Filling: heat olive oil, beef mince and onion in a fry pan on high; continue until beef is cooked though. Mix through remaining ingredients. Cover and continue cooking on low heat for ten minutes.
  3. Assembly: Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and line a biscuit tray with greaseproof paper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Use a plate or bowl to cut out circles approximately 15cm in diameter. Place a small mound of filling down the centre of the circle. Fold sides of circle up to meet each other and press together. Brush top with a little milk. Place on biscuit tray and bake for 30 mins.
  4. Note: Although you will need to collect the remnants of dough and roll out again, aim to do so as few times as possible, as overworking the dough makes it difficult to work with.

Savoury Muffins

A delicious lunch box treat or perfect for a picnic … as well as something to use up the left-over ham after Christmas.

  • 1 egg
  • 80g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 100g diced ham
  • 1/3 cup semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray.
  2. Melt butter in a pyrex jug. Add milk and egg and whisk to combine.
  3. Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the butter, milk and egg mixture into the well and stir until almost combined.
  4. Finely chop the semi-dried tomatoes and crumble the fetta cheese. Add the semi-dried tomatoes, fetta, ham and rosemary leaves to the dough, folding through until the mixture just comes together.
  5. Distribute the mixture evenly among the holes in the muffin tray and top with a little shredded cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Cool on a wire rack. Most delicious served warm with butter.

Honey-Spice Biscuits

These more-ish biscuits are a delicious alternative to gingerbread.


  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 250g softened butter
  • 2 ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ¾ cups plain flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 2 Tbs castor sugar


  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 125g butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  1. Cream 250g butter and brown sugar. Add egg and combine. Add flour a cup at a time, and finally the baking powder, mixed spice and cinnamon. Mixture should come together to form a dough – remove from bowl, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line four biscuit trays with baking paper.
  3. Remove dough from fridge and pull into four parts. Roll out each part in turn on a lightly floured bench and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes from the dough. Transfer to baking tray and sprinkle with castor sugar. Bake in batches for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Allow biscuits to cool on the tray for five minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Beat the remaining butter and the honey, adding icing sugar half a cup at a time. Spread icing over half the biscuits, then place un-iced biscuits on top, matching for size. Store in an air-tight container.

Christmas Tree Meringues

This simple recipe is quick to whip up, gluten free, and quite stunning on a table full of Christmas goodies!

  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • Green food colouring
  • 100’s & 1,000’s
  1. Line two biscuit trays with baking paper. Preheat oven to 130 degrees C.
  2. Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually pour in the castor sugar, and continue beating until sugar has completely dissolved. Add several drops of green food colouring, and more as necessary, to tint the mixture green.
  3. Using a spatula, transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a wide star nozzle.
  4. Pipe the mixture onto the trays, layering four circles gradually decreasing in diameter on top of one another. Sprinkle with 100’s & 1,000’s.
  5. Bake in oven approximately 10minutes. Allow to cool slowly (preferably turn the oven off and allow to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar).

Makes 18

Macaroni Lunch Slice

This recipe is perfectly suited to using up left-over vegetables after a roast or barbeque, lending itself well to chargrilled capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Add sundried tomatoes or olives for more intense flavours. When I don’t have left-over veggies, I tend to use a jar of char-grilled marinated vegetables, which goes like a treat! Macaroni lunch slice packs well for mid-week lunches or a weekend picnic.

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1 cup (250g tub) cottage cheese
  • ½ cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 2/3 cup shredded tasty cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm cake tin.
  2. Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for ten minutes. Drain and place in a bowl.
  3. Add the parsley, cottage cheese, eggs, vegetables and herbs to the pasta and combine. Season to taste.
  4. Press into the baking tin, using the back of a spoon to smooth over the top. Spread shredded cheese over top.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for a while in the pan before removing and cutting into squares. Serve warm or cold.