Category Archives: Baked Recipes

Baked Sour Dough with Brie and Chive Butter, Green Tomato Chutney

Photo by Jun Pang

So, we have been through compound butters before.

If you can’t remember, a quick re-cap.  It is basically “flavoured” butter.  Simply put, you take softened butter, place it in a mixer and add flavourings such as nuts, herbs etc.  Depending on what you are going to use the butters for will depend on the ingredients you put into the butter for flavour.  For example, chopped herbs with lemon zest will go great with flavouring fish, a little bit of Jus (refined juices from a roast, most home cooks would call it “gravy”) and some type of fruit jelly with chopped herbs would go great with grilled beef and so on.

Most compound butters acts as a sauce in essence.  This type of compound butter is the flavouring agent and adds moisture to the bread.  The butter used for “garlic breads” is a type of compound butter.

I have added cheese to this butter for an extra element of flavour and goes well with aged sour dough bread.  If you exchange the cheese from brie to a blue cheese or a “stinky” wash rind cheese like a talegio, then you can perhaps use that in pastas.  Simply blanch pasta, a fusili perhaps, add to a heated pan with a little normal butter, add garlic and broccolini, toss the pasta through then finish with knobs of this “stinky” cheese  compound butter with lashings of herbs and you have a flavoursome and quick meal.

Make plenty of this butter as mentioned in prior blogs and freeze it in small batches and when ever you have limited time to make a meal, take a protein, add this on top and simply bake in the oven, grill or toss through a heated pan and there you go, a meal in seconds.

The chutney can also be used in many ways.  In this recipe, the acidity from the green tomatoes simply counter balances the richness of the compound butter, really smoothing out the palate.  The vincotto is also great for sweetness with a type of “prune” flavour  finish.

This dish does act as a great starter to a meal but it can also be a meal in its self.  Add some sliced parma ham, some dressed rocket and you have a complete and appetising light meal.

Photo by Jun Pang

Baked Sour Dough with Brie and Chive Butter, Green Tomato Chutney

Enough for 4 people

1 Sour Dough Loaf

For the green tomato chutney:

1kg Green Cherry  Tomatoes

300ml Cider Vinegar

400gr Brown Sugar

1 Brown Onion – diced

1 Cinnamon Stick

5 Star Anise

For the compound butter:

300gr Brie – softened

200gr Butter – softened

1 Bunch Chives – finely sliced

To Finish:

2 Punnets Baby Herbs


Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)


For the green tomato chutney:

  1. Place the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, onion, cinnamon stick and start anise in a pot.  Cook for about 3 hours on low heat, continually stirring until it breaks down and looks and states like a chutney.  May need to adjust sugar quantity depending on the tomatoes.

For the compound butter:

  1. Place the butter and brie in a mixer and mix using a paddle on low until it blends together.  It does not have to be super smooth, then add the chopped chives.
  2. Cut deep slits into the loaf on a slight angle but do not cut through.
  3. Butter the slits with the brie butter and cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius in an oven or Webber for about 10 minutes.

To finish:

  1. Serve with tomato chutney on top and garnished with herbs.
  2. Drizzle the vincotto and EVOO for dipping.

Vincotto – is cooked grape must.  Simply put, it is the residue that is left from pressing grapes then that residue is cooked for a long period of time until it is slightly caramelised.  The end product is thick, dark (almost black) liquid, similar to reduced balsamic.  The flavour is much like prunes but it can also be infused with flavourings such as fig and orange on production.  Great to finish a dish such as duck with high level of sweetness but can also be treated much the same way as a vinaigrette, emulsified with EVOO, salt and pepper and used in many salads.


Leek, Bacon & Potato Bake

Photo by Jun Pang

What else goes better together than leeks, bacon and potatoes?

There are so many versions of these flavours but none more recognizable than in the famous soup, potato and leek as we know it or cock-a-leekie of Scotland or the French version, vichyssoise.  These soups, no matter what version you pick, have two ingredients that are a match made in heaven, leeks and potatoes.  Separately, these two ingredients are unassuming, almost boring but combine it together with lashings of butter and cream and you have something totally wonderful, something “mind-blowingly” simple but absolutely tasty and top it off with my favourite ingredient of all time, bacon – and boy you have a flavour sensation that will remain with you for the rest of your life.

I simply cream the leeks in butter by softly cooking it on low heat until the butter and leeks meld into one gooey, tasty mess.  The bacon is an addition simply to add that smokey, porky goodness infusion in the gooey mess.  Really, if you didn’t want to to put it in with potatoes, you can spread it on nice toasted brioche and grill some nice stinky cheese like a taleggio or munster cheese on top and you still have something totally awesome and a flavour over load.  You would only need a bite and I bet you would feel full.

Try this, if you love one pot or one pan wonders, you would love this shizzle.  Bake it in baking tins, bring it to your next BBQ and warm it up in the Webber to get that smokey flavour and it will be gone in seconds.  Like I said, it’s got all the “all star” ingredients like butter, cream, bacon, cheese, potatoes and leeks!  Baked potato with a punch!

Potato Bake with Leek & Bacon

Serves 8 people

250gr Butter

6 Rashes of Bacon –  finely sliced

1 Large Brown Onion – peeled and sliced

2 Leeks – washed, split lengthways and finely sliced

3 Cups Cream

2 Kg Kipfler Potatoes – par boiled, ¾ cooked

2 Cups Shredded Cheddar

4 Sprigs Thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Heat up a large oven proof pan on medium heat for 2 minutes
  3. Add the butter and melt
  4. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously
  5. Add the onion and leek and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions and leeks are softened
  6. Add the cream and simmer for about 10 minutes, slightly reducing the cream and to help develop flavours
  7. Add the potatoes and stir through until well covered
  8. Off the heat, add shredded cheese on top and bake in preset oven for 15 minutes

Photo by Jun Pang

Orange & Cardamom Custard Tart

Photo by Jun Pang

Custards are probably the first things you learn to make in trade school when it comes to sweets.

Trick here is temperature control and the best way around this is usually a double boiler.  A double boiler is a bowl above simmering water.  This allows for gentle, even heat on what ever you are cooking.  When you are making custards especially for the first time, you must use a double boiler, it is user friendly for the novice pastry cook.

I won’t lie, you might want to try this recipe a few times.  The custard has to be “totally” cooked correctly and with the correct consistency otherwise it won’t set then you can’t brulee it.  It is such a fine line between the right amount of doneness and being over cooked and coming up with scrambled eggs.

Keep stirring the custard and make sure you “never” leave it, other wise it will over cook, trust me, even the best chefs muck this one up but stick with it, try it over and over again because getting the ingredients together is easy, the hardest bit is the correct doneness and it will only be through practice that you will recognize what that is.  After that, you will be doing it with your eyes shut!

So get cracking, if first you fail, try again!!

Baked Orange and Cardamom Custard Tart

Makes about 12

720ml Cream

1tblspn Grand Marnier

5cm Piece of Ginger                          finely sliced

5 Cardamom Pod                              crushed

1 Cinnamon Stick

14 Small Egg Yolks

80gr Caster Sugar

1 Orange Zest

½ the Short Crust Pastry Recipe     previous article



  1. Place the cream, Grand Marnier, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring to boil
  2. Once boiled, place it in jug and refrigerate
  3. Next day, reheat the cream in the sauce pan to boil, once boiled, add the orange zest and set aside for about 5 minutes
  4. After 5 minutes, strain the cream mixture
  5. Put the egg yolks in a large mix bowl and whisk together then add the sugar and whisk until combined thoroughly
  6. Pour the cream mix into the egg mix and whisk through
  7. Put a pot of water on to simmer large enough to hold ¾ of the bowl on top of the pot
  8. Place the bowl on top of the pot and using a temperature resistant rubber spatula, mix the egg and cream mixture
  9. Cook on this double boiler for about 12-15 minutes or until the mixture is thick, with no lumps.  Use the spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl.  Do not at any time allow the bowl to touch the water, it will over cook the egg

10. Remove from the heat once you have the correct thickness and whisk for a couple of minutes to cool (over ice water if necessary)

11. Refrigerate over night

12. Place the custard into a piping bag

13. Pipe into the tart shells

14. Sprinkle evenly with caster sugar then brule with a torch gun until golden


Photo by Jun Pang

Alright then – DESSERTS!!

Do I really need to say anymore?

It always makes me laugh; the fascination with sweet stuff.  I guess it is because I have absolutely no interest in eating sweets, it simply does not even register with me.  For me, the perfect sweet or dessert would be a banana split with vanilla ice cream, caramel banana wrapped in bacon.  You read it right, BACON!  In my head, for me to eat sugar, it would have to be masked with something totally salty.

Chocolate is another thing I do not understand.  To me it is an art.  Art in how people temper chocolate and there are some very creative people out there who come up with some pretty incredible things with chocolate, but eating it or in some extreme cases (usually in females!?) an addiction with it; that I cannot make sense with in my head.  I am trying, I am trying to eat more sweets but I fear it will be a long process.

I do how ever, feel comfortable making sweets.  Don’t really enjoy the sticky fingers and the patience that desserts or pastry chefs must have but I try nevertheless to get through and learn.  I find that if I take my time by choice, I get to really enjoy it but if I had to be a pastry chef and produce pastries on a deadline, I think I would shoot myself, simply because I do not have the patience that pastry chefs must have.

Pastries are delicate, so precise in methods, cooking time, temperature and the list goes on and on.  Females, I find make good pastry chefs.  They are patient and they tend to get the chemistry and thinking behind what happens when preparing pastries.  Also, I think it is because they want to be near their weakness, makes it easier to get their fix!!

I will start my sweet stuff with tarts.  I find it’s a good middle ground to start, you get to learn a little about pastries and learn a little about sweets with the fillings.  This is a short crust pastry.  Simply put, this pastry crumbles when cooked because we do not work the gluten at all.  When gluten is worked or kneaded it stretches the gluten, like in breads giving allowing the final product be structurally stronger.

Keep this recipe, I will refer to it at times when I blog about different types of fillings.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Makes 21-22 tart cases

400gr Butter – cut into 2cm cubes, kept chilled

670 Plain Flour – chilled

5gr Salt

20ml Lemon Juice/Vinegar  chilled

100gr Caster Sugar – chilled

170ml Water – chilled


  1. Take the butter 15-20 minutes out of the fridge prior to working with it
  2. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well
  3. Place the butter in with the flour and rub the flour into the butter cubes.  Make sure you work in a cool place, you want to avoid the butter from melting
  4. Once the flour is semi rubbed, start to prepare your water mixture
  5. Mix the lemon juice (vinegar), sugar and water in a jug with a fork until the sugar is dissolved
  6. Sprinkle the sugar water onto the butter/flour mix and smooth it into the flour using the palms of your hands.  Do not over work the pastry just enough to incorporate all ingredients into one smooth dough
  7. Clump the pastry all together, you can use the pastry to pick up all the other bits off the bowl
  8. Break the dough into two and wrap with cling film, refrigerate for 30 minutes
  9. Flour a bench down well and place the dough on top

10. Flour the dough well.  Initially press down with the palm of your hand until you get a flat surface, try to shape it in a long rectangular shape

11. Using a rolling pin, pin the dough evenly, lifting it off the surface every now and again to loosen it so as it gets pinned the dough doesn’t break up as much or rip and allows it to “relax”

12. From here, you can flour the surface of the dough and freeze with baking sheets in between or you can use it straight away

13. If you are making tart shells, pre heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius and cut out discs using 10cm round cutters

14. Butter the inside of an 8cm tart tin and press the pastry in gently, leaving about 2mm above each tin for shrinkage

15. Ball up any left over dough and use it to press the edges and corners tighter into the tin. Refrigerate for 10 minutes

16. Place two pieces of foil totally covering the all the surface of the dough

17. Place baking beads or dried chick peas in the tart, level to edges

18. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown

Corn Bread

I could eat corn bread all day.  Fresh baked straight from the oven with whipped butter, you could ask for nothing more.

This is easier than making bread.  No resting time, no proving time, simply make the batter, place into tins and bake.  The batter itself takes no longer than 5 minutes to put together, no skill required here, it’s like making pancake batter.

You can make these into little dinner roles by baking it into muffin tins for your next dinner party for something different.  Bake a loaf for breakfast and spread jam on it, it would beat toast any day!

Corn Bread

Makes 1 Large Loaf

½  Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Cream

4 Large Eggs – lightly beaten

1 Cup Creamed Corn

½ Cup Polenta (in Australia)

1 ½ Cups Self Raising Flour

2Tblspn Castor Sugar

1 Cup Melted Butter

Canola Spray


  1. Preheat heat oven at 180 degrees Celsius
  2. In a bowl, mix sour cream, eggs, creamed corn, polenta, self raising flour and sugar until well incorporated
  3. Mix the melted butter through to make a thick batter
  4. Spray the baking tins with canola spray
  5. Pour the batter into the tin until it is 1cm from the edges
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm