Tag Archives: Baked

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

Apple Tart Tatin

Photo by Jun Pang

Two simple things I love, warm apple pies and warm apple tart tatins, both served with vanilla ice cream.

I grew up eating Granny Smith apples straight from a tree my mate’s dad grew.  I love the tartness of these apples, the crunch and the floury texture on the inside.  I remember eating them right to the core.

There are certain ingredients that are meant to be together, destined to make a fabulous dish.  In this case it is Granny Smith apples and cinnamon.  These two ingredients combined with sugar is a match in flavour that I bet any one who have tasted it or will taste it, it will always leave a memory stamp in your mind.  I bet from the first time you taste it, you always remember that moment for the rest of your life.

This is easy desserts, perfect after a roast pork meal, something you and your guests can slowly cut into with nice coffee and apple schnapps.  Serve it with vanilla ice cream or double cream.  Serve it straight out of the oven for that ever lasting memory of a great and simple dessert.

Apple Tart Tatin

Serves 8

1Kg Granny Smith Apples

500gr Castor Sugar

1 Tbslpn Water

500 Puff Pastry

¼ Cup Sugar

1tspn Cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven at 220 degrees Celsius
  2. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters.  Cut the core out and slice them about 1mm thick.  Try to be as neat as possible to get a nice pattern.  If you are a bit slow in slicing, best to keep the sliced apple in a bowl of water with some lemon juice, to keep them from turning brown.
  3. Place the sugar in a small pot along with the sugar.  Make s “slurry” by mixing the sugar and water together, try to be as neat as possible, keeping the slurry from the pot edges.
  4. Place the pot on the heat on low heat.  With a wet pastry brush, brush the sides of the pot so the sugar does not burn the edges.  Continue to cook until the slurry turns in colour.  Do not stir the pot until, it will crystalize.  The colour you want to achieve is a nice, golden colour.  Once achieved and even in colour, take off the heat.
  5. Using a heavy based frying pan or tart tin, cut around the edge to get puff pastry lid and set aside.
  6. Pour a little of the caramel into the pan, spreading it evenly.  Best to work with a slightly warm caramel, then once spread allow to cool a little.
  7. Drain the apples (if in water) and layer the apples, making sure the first layer has a nice pattern so when it’s turned over you have a nice presentation.
  8. Continue to layer until all the apples are used up.
  9. Place the puff pastry lid on top.
  10. Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the pastry lid.
  11. Bake at 220 degrees Celcius for 10 minutes and turn down to 180 and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden in colour.
  12. Once cooked, allow to cool slightly, place a plate on toip of the tin and turn it over.  You may have to pry the edges with a palette knife but again be gentle.
  13. Serve with dollops of vanilla ice cream.

Photo by Jun Pang