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The Shelf Life

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Best. Brownies. Ever. Gary Mehigan’s Triple Chocolate Brownies

I was planning on doing some baking this weekend – it’s been so hot for the last couple of months that the oven has hardly been used – and it was with interest that I stumbled across the “George & Gary’s Chocolate Desserts” feature in this month’s edition (March 2011) of Australian MasterChef Magazine. Gary’s “Chocolate Gluttony” recipe on page 36 takes my favourite dessert combination – berries, meringue and cream – and adds chocolate brownies and chunks of white chocolate. Wow. Not feeling quite that gluttonous, I decided to try the brownies by themselves. The brownie recipe I usually use is from Jamie Oliver’s excellent “Cook With Jamie” book, and is apparently the one used at Fifteen. Gary Mehigan’s Triple Chocolate Brownies Ingredients 150g unsalted butter, chopped 300g dark chocolate, half finely chopped and half roughly chopped 4 eggs 330g brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 150g (1 cup)…

Classic MasterChef moments

As we know, MasterChef has recently returned to UK screens, and the most recent series of MasterChef: The Professionals is about to start screening in Australia on Foxtel. To whet your appetite,  I present the following classic MasterChef moments for your mid-week viewing pleasure. Be warned, there may be spoilers ahead… If you’re not familiar with MasterChef The Professionals, here’s two good introductions: …and here we have Vic & Bob doing MasterChef on Shooting Stars. Just seeing Bob Mortimer as Gregg always makes me laugh. In a more recent classic moment, Digital Journal reports that in tonight’s MasterChef UK, 33 year old contestant Kennedy slices off the top of his middle finger with a potato peeler and it has to be glued back together by paramedics. Ouch. To make matters worse, he is (was?) a professional cellist. I thought about finding that infamous video of Rick Stein cutting himself with…

Snack-food Review: Smith’s “Crispy Bacon” Potato Chips

It seems that someone at Smith’s has been reading my blog! It was only a month or so ago when I moaned about the lack of variety of crisps (potato chips) available in Australia when writing about the Walkers Crisps “Clash of the Comics” promotion in the UK, and now Smith’s have delivered two limited edition “flavours of the nation” – crispy bacon and lamb & mint. Those readers from the UK will be familiar with “smokey bacon” as a very common crisp flavour, much like cheese & onion or  “barbecue” here. When you open the crispy bacon packet, the smell is very reminiscent of smokey bacon although the taste is different, in a subtle way that I can’t really describe. They didn’t taste as strong as I expected given the smell, and I wonder if this flavour would be better suited to a thinner crisp (rather than crinkle cut)…

The Sunday Roast

So what’s happening in the world today? Aussies are good at claiming good things from New Zealand as our own, but they can keep this one – this year’s annual “Wildfoods Festival” is offering shots of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavoured horse semen. Let’s hope they’re not offering it on tap. (Yahoo!) for some reason there’s an uproar about McDonald’s new combo meal containing enough calories for a whole day. They needn’t worry, because no-one will buy it – it only comes with a medium fries, regular sundae and no thickshake. Madness. (news.com.au) Max Silvestri’s Top Chef All-Stars roundup at Eater National is always good for a laugh. This week the crew made cookies for Cookie Monster, and Angelo wore some horrific socks. the British Nutrition Foundation says that eating red meat can be good for you. Thank God for that, no more luncheon henchen sandwiches. (Daily Mail) those folks…

Fast Foods of the World: McDonald’s France with a side of Pizza Hut Japan

I realise that this series is fast becoming an encyclopedia of burgers – and that was never my intention – but McDonald’s is an easy target with its colourful and extensive history of regional variations. This is by no means a criticism, and is testament to McDonald’s willingness to adapt and innovate in order to continue its global success. In saying that, I touched on KFC Japan in an earlier post, and considered writing about Pizza Hut Japan, but it’s just so weird that there’s not enough hours in the day to do it justice. Check this out: It’s called the “Double Roll”, and takes the stuffed crust concept to extremes by filling it with what appear to be hot dogs, then throwing peas and corn over the top. It even comes with ketchup and maple syrup dipping sauces. Almost all of Pizza Hut Japan’s pizzas come with mayonnaise on…

“A bald bloke, an Aussie and some fantastic food” – the return of MasterChef UK

I have a strange confession to make. MasterChef UK is one of my favourite shows, and I religiously watch every episode be it “normal”, celebrity, professional or junior. I watched MasterChef USA with Ramsay at the helm. But I have yet to see a single episode of MasterChef Australia. My usual excuse is that I get TV from Foxtel or the Internet, and there just isn’t enough on free-to-air to warrant the cost and effort of getting an aerial. But the reality is that the snob in me hates the fact that MasterChef has become such a phenomenon in Australia, bringing with it a plethora of new cooking shows like My Kitchen Rules, Iron Chef Australia (which thankfully was better than the pitiful UK edition) and the odd-sounding Conviction Kitchen. I feel cheated that so many Australians love this “bastardised” version of MasterChef with its different set and format, without…

Just leftovers for dinner tonight

Unfortunately my brain is still in reverse after my quick trip to Sydney and back, so nothing creative is likely to pop out today. Did I experience any gourmet delights in Sydney, I hear you ask? Um…no. I did learn a few things: the restaurant in the middle-of-nowhere motel I stayed at isn’t open on Saturday or Sunday nights, which doesn’t inspire confidence. It also doesn’t help when you arrive on Sunday night not having had lunch yet. Don’t get me started on how bad the breakfast was. the service at KFC in Sydney is as slow as it is in Perth. Hey, it was either that or the BP service station. BP service station custard tarts aren’t very nice. Here are some links to ease your hunger: Food Liberation Army holds Ronald McDonald hostage.  I hear they’ve also been waterboarding Grimace 🙁  (NPR) Taste test : dark chocolate. Yum…hmm,…