Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lemon Ricotta Cake

  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 lemons , zested
  • 3 eggs , separated
  • 250g ricotta
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Heat the oven to 180C/fan. 
Butter and flour an 18cm spring-form cake tin. 
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy then beat in the zest, yolks and ricotta. 
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold into the ricotta mixture. 
Fold in the flour and baking powder then spoon the mixture into the tin. 
Bake for 35 minutes until risen, firm and golden in colour. Cool for an hour in the tin.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Buy me a pony

Or make me a cushion. Thanks Gypsy girl.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What would be your perfect Canberra day?

Lets say, it starts with a sleep in and a cup of tea catching up on the internet and friends far away. It's cold outside but sunny and the dog is on the bed snoring. I make toast out of sourdough and he wakes up in time to share the last buttery bit.

There is a chill in the air as I walk the dog - it isn't a big walk, but just a little walk so he is happy. His tail wags as we walk down to our park and the are poplars are just coming back to life and the contrast is amazing against the bright blue sky. I think it might be the end of winter...winter on the cusp of spring.

Then I ride my bike to brunch - maybe silo? No a coffee somewhere like Ona with a friend. Or the farmers markets? Maybe I meet someone at the farmers markets a bit later than usual. It is really busy and I don't eat because I'm going to silo for lunch. Coffee on the grass in the sun and chat, watching the dogs chase balls and the hustle and bustle of the stalls. I say goodbye and wander around the fresh produce and buy whatever is in season, and as a treat, some fresh flowers - I think jonquils. And mandarin juice too. The asparagus looks good, as do the fresh peas and I buy lots because I'm cooking dinner tonight for a small group of friends.

Silo is always nice for lunch and I get there right on time. Because it is so sunny we sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine with the pizza. Good company, maybe my friend is visiting from Bowral....yes that would be lovely. We go to essential ingredients and browse, then drive out to antique shops in fyshwick - a wander around down memory lane. I buy some more etched glassware to replace all the ones I break. Lucky i'm going for that eclectic look! We have a little bit more time before we meet her kids at the lake for icecream (before they drive home), so we go to Braddon and hang around Lonsdale Traders. 

We say goodbye and then I go home. People will be coming in a few hours and I go to the garden and cut fresh flowers for the house. The daphne is amazing this time of year and the smell does this thing where it reminds me of something...a moment in time, but hard to place.

I make a gin cocktail with the fresh mandarin juice and start planning the menu. Some simple antipasti, followed by a slow roasted joint. Not too slow because the sun is setting and there won't be time, but slow enough so the meat falls clean off the bone. It goes well with the alligot mash. I start cooking and enjoy the challenge of getting things done. It is always a nice time, that time in the kitchen. The dog lays on the floor in the middle of it all, but that's where he should be - and always is when I cook. The peas take forever to shell and ever now and then one hits the floor - which never fails to catch the attention of the dog, who without fail sniffs the air in disappointment.

The house is decorated for a party and everyone arrives. We have cocktails and then we listen to a great mix of music, taking turns playing albums on the record player. Someone brings me dahlia's which is so lovely. Gosh I have great friends.

We enjoy a long dinner and at the very end we eat home made fresh jelly. We decide to play scrabble before chocolate and cherry roulade dessert. It tastes good, but we are all so full. The dog makes his way around the table to pick up scraps and is in luck tonight. 

Before everyone goes home we light sparklers - because they are pretty but mainly because I love the smell. 

And as the dog snores loudly on his bed in the hall, everyone sneaks out one by one so as not to wake him. They know if he wakes up he'll be sad to see them leave and will bark loudly into the night. As the door slams the party tassels move in the breeze of the closing door and I squint as I look into the colours until they blur into one. Alone in my house filled with bunting and love.  I feel lonely for the day just gone, but also happy as I say goodnight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Autolyse - Braddon

Autolyse bread found its way into my life a few months ago, when it first made an appearance at Fyshwick Markets. The perfect sour dough. Tangy, chewy and just divine. Then it disappeared as fast as it came - bam! The reason behind the sudden disappearing act?  Then, the coolest dude in Canberra told me that there was a new cafe on Lonsdale street in Braddon.  Autolyse cafe. Great space with little cafe table outside, all tres European.  Beyond the bread....cake. Cheesecake with cherries, cheesecake with caramel, cheesecake new york style. Two weekends in a row I'm already forming bad cake habits, not to mention the detour on the way to work for pastries. This. This could turn into a really bad thing.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Comfort of grey

This is actually more beautiful than it looks and quite calming and reassuring after a week filled with out of kilter busy. I'm going to bunker down this weekend and enjoy the simple things, and silence - albeit the clippety clap of the dog of the houses paws on the dusty floorboards.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Loading Zone

Canberra. You are outdoing yourself with all your new, too cool for school eating options. Finally someone is using the amazing laneway space in the guts of the majestic Melbourne building (Odgers Lane to be precise). Buzzy little kitchen, outdoor seating, great pasta, hipster staff. Simple menu, great quality produce, authentic italian. Just bring your patience - this place gets busy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Harajuku Gyoza

For all your gyoza needs - the Valley, Brisbane.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013