Cheeky Tiramisu

ImageTiramisu is a classic Italian Dessert and one of my absolute favourites to make because it is just so damn easy! When it’s made properly, its a light creaming dessert that combines a subtle coffee flavour with soft, sponge-like biscotti! How can you go wrong with that!

Personally, I would really recommend this recipe for a dinner party where you want to impress your friends or family. The reason that I say this is because you can make the entire dessert the day before (it actually tastes better if you do this), meaning that you get to spend more time with your guests and less glued to the kitchen! Aside from that, most people tend to think that something that tastes as good as this does is really tricky to make! Thankfully for us home-cooks it is truly one of the simplest desserts to make. Now if that wasn’t enough to entice you, my recipe is kiddy friendly (I didn’t have any alcohol to add to the coffee mixture, but you of course could). PS Recipe serves 4


What You Need:

1 Cup Cold Espresso Coffee (use better quality for a better taste and please avoid using instant coffee granules if you can!)

200 grams savoiardi biscuits

2 large eggs

75 grams caster sugar

500 grams mascarpone cheese

Cocoa powder (to dust)

What I Did:


1. Break your eggs into a bowl, keeping only one of the whites. Add the sugar together and whisk together until thick and a paler yellow.

2. Fold in the mascarpone to make a moussy mixture.

3. Pour your cold coffee into a bowl (add alcohol here if you choose) and quickly dip one biscuit into the mixture at a time. Remember it should just be a quick dip on either side of the biscuit as they are very delicate and you don’t want the flavour to be overpowering. As you dip one biscuit into the coffee quickly transfer it to your serving dish (I’ve gone with individual wine glasses but anything with be fine. For my dish, I had to break the biscuit once soaked).


4. Pour your cream/mousse mixture over the top and spread it smoothly using a spatula (or if presenting like me add some to your glass, continuing the layering process until you have enough). 


5. Using a sieve, dust liberally with cocoa

6. Put into the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Baking!!

Jamies Italian

ImageI have finally achieved one of my culinary dreams…dining at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant!! I have to admit that whilst Jamie Oliver himself wasn’t present, nor did he personally cook my meal I was so excited to finally dine at Jamie’s Italian in Sydney. Ever since I was a young kid watching The Naked Chef on TV I have dreamed of this moment (if you weren’t aware previously, I have a slight obsession with Mr Oliver and his cooking!) so needless to say I was like a little kid on Christmas when we arrived. 

I was having lunch with two friends from work and my sister and luckily you can make reservations for the lunch sittings for 2 or more people, whilst the dinner sitting requires a group of 8 to make a booking. That being said, you wouldn’t have a problem getting a table during lunchtime on a weekday because the table turnover is quite quick. Image

The four of us were seated downstairs, and I was very surprised at how long and narrow the restaurant was. All in all, it is actually quite a large space, which they have used very cleverly, including an upstairs dining area. The decor is very relaxed and rustic, with a collection of “mis-matched” chairs seated at wooden tables. The atmosphere is very welcoming and it’s really not that noisy (despite what other friends who have also dined there have said). The waitstaff are all very attentive and friendly, introducing themselves by first name when you are seated and continuously checking on you throughout. I have heard previously that the whole thing is a bit rushed, so as to turn over more tables and whilst this may be the case on a weekend or at dinner, my friends and I couldn’t have felt more different, sitting and chatting for almost four (yes four) hours! Another great thing about the staff here is that their knowledge of the menu is very thorough. They’ve all tried every dish on the menu and are more then confident to advise you on what’s great. 

ImageActually selecting what I wanted to eat though was a whole other kettle of fish! There were so many wonderful sounding, delicious dishes so it took me a little while and in the end my sister and I agreed to get two different dishes which we then shared (very clever if you ask me!) I also had to use a process of elimination, removing any dishes that I already have the recipe for at home! Personally, when I eat at an Italian restaurant I always order pasta! I really don’t know why but it’s the way I’ve always done it! For lunch I ordered the Prawn Linguini ($28 main) which was to die for. The Linguini was served in a rich tomato sauce with a slight hint of chilli and topped with big juicy Prawns and fresh rocket! What I loved most about this dish was the way the pasta tasted though. Perfectly al dente, with a nice bite to it and with that beautiful homemade taste and texture. The linguini was slightly thicker then your dried store bought pasta which i feel really added to the dish overall. My sister ordered the Wild Truffle Risotto ($25 main) which was again, just beautiful. Creamy, rich risotto that just melted in your mouth, topped with beautiful black truffles and strong parmesan cheese! MMMmmm yum!! Trust me, I had to resist the urge to lick my plate it was that good! I should also add that the serves were very big, and the two of us struggled to finish our meals together. Personally, I am not sure that I would be able to finish a whole main size of the Risotto, as the flavours were very strong and I tend to find truffle to be quite rich so it’s very filling.

That being said, we all had dessert (we had to!) and I wouldn’t regret it for a second. ImageThe four of us ordered the same thing; The epic Brownie ($10) (the name speaks for itself!). Oh wow! Even though I have the recipe for these exact brownies (best brownie you will ever taste) and have made them countless times before, this was a whole new level of yum! A rich, moist chocolate brownie topped with fudgy chocolate sauce, creamy amaretto ice cream and caramel popcorn! I could have eaten it all day long. Realistically, you could share this dish with two but hey, who would want to. You’d probably spend more time fighting over who got the next scoop so I’d recommend getting your own! 

Overall, a wonderful dining experience at my favourite chefs restaurant (I might be a bit biased but the rest of my party agree). I’m already planning my return for a couple of weeks time!! Highly recommended! 

Pasticceria Papa & Pizzeria Locale Reviewed

ImageEarlier this week was my Dad’s birthday so I made a little trip over to his (and incidentally my) favourite Italian bakery, Haberfield’s Pasticceria Papa!! I’m going to make a fairly big call here and say that this place makes what has got to be the best baked ricotta cheesecake and Cannoli in all of Sydney (see told you it was big). I love everything about Papa’s so it’s pretty lucky I live far enough away to not make regular visits! Buyers beware, it doesn’t matter what day you go, or what time, there will always be a line out the door. But never fear, aside from this being a fantastic sign of good food that the locals love, the line moves fairly quickly and gives you an opportunity to peruse the delicious assortment of cakes, biscuits, gelato and pastries that are available. 

So before I went I made a promise to myself that no matter what I would only purchase what I came for, Cannoli, not matter what temptations there were and trust me, there were plenty. One of the best things about this place (apart from the food) is the warm chocolate smell that greets you as you walk in the front door. Never in my life have I smelt something as good as this! As I mentioned before, I was on a Cannoli mission and because I’m the most indecisive person in the history of the planet I opted for the mini cannoli in both chocolate and ricotta (they also come in vanilla).

ImagePersonally, I would recommend….getting both! because who wants to miss out on anything and at around  $1.60 each who cares! Secretly and in hindsight I could easily have eaten two large ones. Nothing beats the crisp, fried pastry which encases the rich, creamy centre of the cannoli! Whilst I was waiting in line I discovered that they also now sell their traditional baked ricotta cheesecakes (in small individual  serves or larger cakes) with a nutella stuffed centre!!! I promise you it took every part of my self control not to buy a few extras!
For dinner we headed to another of my Dad’s favourite places Pizzeria Locale at Meadowbank (sensing an Italian food trend here!). Even though I’ve only been here a couple of times I love the food, which is very traditional, fresh and most of all is great value. The restaurant itself is family owned and run and so has a really great family friendly vibe. For a Wednesday night it was also very busy which goes to show that I’m not the only one who enjoys it.

ImageFor an entre we all shared the proscuitto pizza ($19) which would have to be my favourite flavour and I was not disappointed. The base was slight and thinly rolled with a crisp outside and soft centre, topped with thin slices of fresh proscuitto, crisp green rocket and shaved parmesan cheese. Absolute perfection!

ImageFor my main I had the Spaghetti Locale (about $25) which had a rich tomato sauce, pippies and prawns. I opted to get fettucini because thats my favourite but my sister had the spaghetti and both looked equally as good. My serve was huge!! I actually couldn’t finish it so I had to give it to mum. The sauce was really lovely though and had a little hint of chilli that gave a great kick!

My parents both got the snapper special ($27) which they both really enjoyed, although I think they were still a little hungry afterwards. That being said, the fish was cooked perfectly, with moist flakes accompanied by a date, rocket and pear salad!

ImageBecause Dad didn’t know about the cannoli surprise at home he also had the Cassata Gelato which is basically three flavours (chocolate, nougat and zabaglione) of gelato together. This was on the specials board and normally i don’t like Cassata but the gelato was lovely and creamy and I liked that the three flavours were separate (i’m not sure if thats the usual way to serve it). If your after a great dessert though I’d very much recommend the locale mess which has honeycomb, meringue, macadamia and salted caramel and vanilla gelato! ($13) mmmm yum!!

Overall, I’d highly recommend a visit to either of this fine venues if your after a great family night out or good quality Italian produce at a decent price! You can’t go wrong!

Check out their websites for more details:

Buon appatoto!!