• Cupcakes to make you smile

    Cupcakes to make you smile

    25 June 2013 . Posted by Sarah in What we ate

    From miniature green apples to happy braces, we went all out when we decorated cupcakes in the Smile kitchen recently.

    They were polished off quick smart – so if you weren't lucky enough to have a taste – you'll just have to trust us when we tell you they were DELICIOUS!

  • Tart of Hearts

    Tart of Hearts

    11 February 2013 . Posted by Sarah in What we ate

    Why not make someone you love my Roasted Tomato and Bocconcini Tart this Valentine's Day? It's a great summer dish - and is just as much fun to eat as it is to make. Enjoy!

    200 grams of flour
    110 ml olive oil
    100-120 ml of water
    2 teaspoons of baking powder

    For the tart
    150 ml cream
    2 eggs
    ½ cup of parmesan
    200 grams of broken up bocconcini (you can use any type of fresh mozzarella/baby bocconcini)
    Fresh thyme leaves (about a tablespoon)
    Oval cherry tomatoes

    Remaining bocconcini
    Fresh oregano leaves (we want pert ones) or small basil leaves
    Extra virgin olive oil

    Make the pastry – place the flour , baking powder and salt in a food processor then add the oil and then the water in a stream to form a dough.  Line a 20cm flan tin or in or case a 11cm by 35cm flan tin with the dough.  I have been told this is a secret recipe of Escoffier and the dough requires no resting, however I do rest it while my oven preheats at 210C in the flan tin lined with scrunched baking paper and filled with rice (see picture).

    When the oven is hot you bake the tart with rice and paper, this is called ‘baking blind’ (not with wine) for 15 to 20 minutes leaving the paper off for the last five and covering the sides with foil.

    Now whisk the cream eggs, parmesan, thyme leaves together and season, add to the tart shell along with 50 grams of the bocconcini roughly broken.  Turn the oven down to 180-200C and start to bake the tart for a total of 30 minutes. 

    Meanwhile cut the cut the tomatoes on a 45 degree angle.  

    After the tart has been baking for 15 minutes gently remove from the oven and arrange the tomatoes in heart shapes. Continue to bake for the remaining 15 minutes, remove from the oven and gently push any out of shape tomatoes back together. Finish by garnishing with the remaining bocconcini and pert oregano leaves or small basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.

    Tart of Hearts
    Tart of Hearts
    Tart of Hearts
  • Christmas Roast

    Christmas Roast

    04 December 2011 . Posted by Sarah in What we ate

    The link between general health and oral health has been well established. We know that a well-balanced diet and lifestyle will keep you smiling for life.

    And when you’re healthy you can live life to the full. You can celebrate Christmas without guilt or discomfort: Enjoy candy canes and caramel toffee; delight in hot and cold foods and drinks, and share this delicious pork roast with your family.

    ‘Tis the season after all…


    Serves 10-12

    Cooking time
    1 hour 45 minutes (Stuff the pork the day before and let the skin dry out overnight in the refrigerator)


    • 1 × 5kg Bangalow rolled sweet pork loin (ask the butcher to score the skin for the crackling)
    • 250g pitted prunes
    • 1-2 pink lady apples
    • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
    • 375ml Pedro Ximenez sherry
    • Sea salt (for seasoning and crackling)
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • Olive oil

    Place the prunes and Pedro Ximenez sherry in a saucepan and bring to the boil, turn the heat off and allow to soak and cool for 30 minutes. Drain the prunes (reserve liquid for jus) and roughly chop and mix along with the apple (also peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes), thyme leaves and salt and pepper.

    Lay the meat skin-side-down on the bench and form a log of the cool stuffing along the centre of the pork. Then tightly roll to enclose the stuffing and tie with butchers’ twine at 3-4cm intervals.

    Preheat the oven to 220C. Rub pork with olive oil and cover generously with sea salt flakes massaging into the skin. Place your loin in a baking dish in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 220C, and then turn the oven down to 180C for 60 minutes. Increase the heat to 230C for the final 15 minutes or so until the crackling is crisp and the meat is cooked (juices run clear when a skewer is inserted).

    To finish crackling the skin, you may need to use the grill element – roll each side in sections for a minute or so under the heat to get even results. Rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. Use the pan juices deglazed with the reserved Pedro Ximenez to make a jus.

    Serve with roast goose fat potatoes, poached pears, glazed carrots and baby asparagus.

  • Eggplant and Parsley Antipasto

    Eggplant and Parsley Antipasto

    04 October 2011 . Posted by Sarah in What we ate

    Try out my antipasto recipe using heirloom variety eggplants, tomato and lemons picked straight from our Smile vegetable garden.

    Fresh picked

    • 4-5 small young Lebanese eggplants cut into 2 cm cubes (If you use small, young eggplants you do not need to salt them to draw out the bitterness)
    • 1 vine ripened tomato, peeled and chopped
    • 2-3 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
    • Juice of ½ a lemon or to taste

    Australian grown/made

    • 1 clove of organic garlic finely sliced
    • 120 mls extra virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Olive oil and parsley to finish

    Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy based pan and sauté garlic until transparent, add the eggplant cubes and sauté until lightly sealed, add the tomato, parsley and turn down the heat to low.

    Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper and allow to cook for about 10-15 mins. The eggplant should still hold a little texture and colour.

    Once off the heat and slightly cooled add a squeeze of lemon to taste and final seasoning.

    Present in a serving dish finished with parsley and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Serve at room temperature with warmed ciabata bread.

  • Fallen Milk Chocolate Puddings

    Fallen Milk Chocolate Puddings

    16 September 2011 . Posted by Sarah in What we ate

    If you saw my (now somewhat legendary) appearance on Masterchef you'll understand why I've named this pudding "fallen". But take your time and your puddings (and you) will stand tall. And trust me – when served with créme anglaise, raspberry sauce and cheats white chocolate and raspberry swirl ice cream – this dessert won't last long no matter what happens along the way.


    • Unsalted butter softened for greasing
    • Plain flour for dusting
    • 350 grams couverture milk chocolate buds
    • 4 Eggs
    • 125 ml pouring cream
    • 50 grams unsalted butter at room temperature cut to 1 cm cubes

    Grease 6 x 125 ml dariole moulds with softened butter using a pastry brush, dust with flour and refrigerate until needed.

    Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until melted and free flowing.

    While the chocolate is melting, break eggs into a bowl and whisk gently together. Bring cream to the boil in a saucepan over a medium heat, set aside and cool for 5 minutes.

    Add several spoons of melted chocolate to the egg and gently mix through, then slowly, gently mix through the rest of the chocolate.

    Add the cream and gently mix through. Add the cubes of unsalted butter and mix until melted.

    Cover the mixture with cling wrap and allow to set for an hour in the refrigerator until fudgy.

    Spoon the mixture into the chilled dariole moulds filling almost to the top and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

    Preheat oven to 200 C and evenly space moulds onto a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. The puddings are ready when the edges crack and there is a soft dome shape in the centre.

    Allow to cool for 3 minutes before carefully up turning puddings onto the serving plates.

    Creme Anglaise

    • 1 scant teaspoon vanilla paste
    • 1 cup of milk
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 1/3 cup of sugar

    Add vanilla paste and ½ the sugar to the milk in a saucepan and simmer to dissolve. Bring to the boil then take off the heat.

    Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in 1/3 of the hot milk to temper the yolks. Return mixture to the saucepan and to a low heat. Stir the custard with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Set aside.

    Raspberry Sauce

    • 2 punnets of fresh raspberries or a 300 gram packet of frozen raspberries
    • ½ cup castor sugar
    • ½ cup water

    Cook raspberries and sugar in asaucepan with water until the sugar dissolves and the raspberries are broken down. Reduce for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy. Strain the mixture through a sieve pressing through the seeds with a spoon to make a smooth viscous sauce. Divide into equal portions, one for the ‘raspberry swirl’ in the ice cream and one for the plates.

    Cheats Ice cream

    • 1 litre of good quality vanilla bean ice-cream
    • 125 grams of couveture white chocolate buds
    • One portion of the raspberry sauce reserved as above

    Melt the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water using a spatula to stir. When ready keep warm with the flame off.

    Place ice-cream in a large food processer and churn quickly to a semi frozen state. Pour the warm melted white chocolate through the top of the food processor without letting the ice-cream melt.

    Place the ice-cream in a round stainless steel bowl and let reset in the freezer until it is still manageable.

    Fold the raspberry sauce through the semi-frozen-but-still-resistantice- cream so it suspends itself in the mixture.

    Place the ice cream back into the original ice cream container and pour a little extra raspberry over the top. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.


    • Gold leaf
    • Rose petals
    • Remaining raspberry sauce
    • Fresh raspberries

    To plate up. When the pudding is upturned on the plate, pour around crème anglaise, then raspberry sauce. Use tweezers to place gold leaf on the top of the chocolate pudding then scatter with rose petals and fresh raspberries. Finally add a scoop of the ice cream.

    Fallen Milk Chocolate Puddings
  • Vietnamese Confit Duck on Betal Leaf

    Vietnamese Confit Duck on Betal Leaf

    11 July 2011 . Posted by Sarah in What we ate

    The next in my series of recipes for DUO Magazine is a delicious way to start your meal! It serves 6. Enjoy!

    For the confit

    • 2 duck marylands
    • 6 sichuan pepper corns
    • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
    • 350 grams duck fat

    Confit spices

    • 6 sichuan pepper corns
    • 1 knob of ginger
    • 1 strip orange peel
    • 3 star anise
    • 2 all spice berries
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 4 shallots


    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • 1 tablespoon ground white
    • pepper
    • 10 mls fish sauce
    • 1 table spoon sugar

    To serve

    • 18 betal leaves
    • Lime cheeks
    • 12 shallots, cooked in
    • peanut oil until crispy
    • 2 shredded red chilli
    • 1/2 cup coriander mint
    • 1/2 cup asian basil

    Grind sea salt and sichuan pepper in a mortar and pestle. Season duck generously and place in refrigerator overnight.

    Place duck in a small roasting pan and cover with melted duck fat (you can top up with a little water if needs be). Add the confit spices, and put in an oven at 120 C. When fat is gently bubbling turn down to 100C and cook slowly for an hour and a half or until the duck is very
    tender and nearly falling off the bones.

    Blend the dressing ingredients together to taste, ensuring the sugar dissolves.

    When the duck is cooked, allow to cool enough to handle, remove skin and pull away the flesh. Shred the flesh with a fork, then dress while still warm.

    Serve on top of betel leaf garnished with herbs, chilli and crisp shallots. Add a squeeze of lime if desired.

  • Barramundi, broad beans and fennel sauté

    Barramundi, broad beans and fennel sauté

    14 June 2011 . Posted by Sarah in What we ate

    My recipe for fennel salt crusted line caught Barramundi on a bed of fennel sauté with blood orange sauce and broad beans appears in the July issue of DUO Magazine. It's one of my favourites and serves 6.


    • 6 x 200g portions of rectangular cut Barramundi, skin on (approx 2.5cm thick)
    • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted
    • Sea salt
    • Grape seed oil

    Fennel sauté

    • 2 large fennel bulbs, finely sliced
    • 1 onion, finely sliced
    • 100 mls olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, toasted
    • 100 grams pine nuts, toasted
    • 50 grams raisins, chopped Fennel fronds


    • 2 blood oranges juiced (or 200 mls blood orange juice), strained
    • 1-2 table spoons white sugar Lemon to taste Sea salt

    To serve

    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Fresh or frozen broad beans approx 6 per person, blanched and peeled
    • Cypriot black sea salt
    • Micro rocket/micro herbs

    Make the salt crust: toast fennel seeds and grind with salt in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, cover skin with the fennel. Salt generously.

    Sauté finely sliced fennel bulbs with onion in olive oil until soft. Add extra toasted fennel seeds, raisins and pine nuts. Add blanched chopped fennel fronds. Set aside.

    Peel, blanch and shell broad beans season and toss in olive oil.

    In an oven proof frypan cook the fish skin side down in grape seed oil, holding firmly down with a fish slice until the skin is crisp. Turn the fish and finish in a 180C preheated oven for 5-7 minutes.

    Reduce blood orange in a pan with a little sugar so it has body. Finish with a squeeze of lemon. Taste to make sure it isn’t too sweet and season to taste.

    To plate up, sit the fish fillet on a bed of fennel sauté. Pour some blood orange sauce around the fish and ‘drop’ in the EVOO. Scatter broad beans in around the plate and garnish with Cyprian black sea salt and micro rocket or herbs.