chocolate moon cake recipe: josh niland

Theobrama Cacao – or as we all know and love it – chocolate!

Josh Niland , head chef at Sydney’s Cafe Nice and an Electrolux Australian Young Chef Highly Commended shares his easy, extremely decadent, fit for the gods and delicious chocolate moon cake recipe!

 

Preparation time: 10mins

Cooking time: 35mins

Skill level: beginner

Serves: 8

Ingredients

225g Unsalted Butter

340g Chocolate 64%

6 Eggs

200g Sugar

Method
Preheat oven to 155°C in standard oven/no fan. Prepare a desired mould eg: muffin pan, porcelain ramekin or deep baking tray with canola spray & line the base with baking paper. You will also need a gastronome or baking tray which will be used as a water bath for baking & the tin to sit inside of.

Heat water in a medium saucepan. Place a metal bowl on top making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Melt butter & chocolate together & mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar & eggs well together. Whisk egg/sugar into the chocolate/butter combining well.

Pour mix into cake tin. Cover the tin tightly with foil, put it into the middle of the baking tray & place in the oven. Pour very warm water into the baking tray so that it comes halfway up the sides of the cake tin. Cooking time will vary from 30 minutes – 90 minutes depending on the size of the tin. Be careful not to overcook the cake.

It will be ready when it feels set when touched but the mix will stick to your finger when touched in the middle. Once cooked, remove from oven to cool. When cool, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

When ready to serve or once the slice is cold & hard – about 3 hours – portion into 8 even slices approx. 1.5cm thick. The slice is best eaten at room temperature & served with crème fraiche and a pinch of sea salt on top. You can also roll the slice in toasted sunflower seeds

Chef’s tips

  • Adjust oven temperature if the cake is cooking too quickly or too slowly
  • To add some extra flavour to the cake you could try blitzing the sugar with herbs like native mint.
  • This chocolate slice is a great component to add flavours to – some ideas include; Artichoke caramel & Crème fraiche; Blueberries & yoghurt; Pine nuts & pear

The list is endless!!

 

 

 

Handcrafted Boosey Creek Cheese

Written by Lilani Goonesena.

It’s a Tuesday morning on the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence produce tour and that means blue cheese day at Boosey Creek Cheese.

Cheesemaker and co-owner, Ken Cameron, gives us a tour of the dairy and 900-acre farm where 350 Friesian cows produce 400 million litres of milk a year. Only 100,000 litres goes into the cheesemaking, yet this ‘side business’ is the heart of Boosey Creek.

“We’ve been milking cows on this farm for 14 years and have been dairy farmers before that,” says Ken. “But when the drought came through, we sold the bigger part of the dairy and started making cheese.”

That diversification, spurred by a family history of cheesemaking and Ken’s passion has turned around the family business.

“The second batch of cheese I ever made won a silver medal at the Sydney Royal Show,” says Ken proudly. While the Boosey Blue is their best seller, the Warby Red Brie/Camembert is racking up the awards, including Australia’s Champion Washed Rind Cheese in the 2015 Australian Grand Dairy Awards.

On Mondays, they make Camembert and Brie, on Tuesdays, it’s blue cheese, and Gouda and cheddar are made “any day of the week.”

 

Untitled design (5)

 

Ken uses 500 litres from the first milking of the day for the cheesemaking. The milk runs directly from the cows to the dairy through a pipe barely a metre long between the two buildings. “That’s one thing we do differently,” says Ken’s mother, Ada Cameron, as she expertly cuts a Warby Red for our tasting. “As soon as you have to transport your milk even 100m across the yard to the factory you have to cool it, then heat it up and pump it again, whereas our milk only gets one little pump. That makes a huge difference to the quality of the cheese.”

 

Untitled design (3)

 

The quality is also in the cheesemaking.

“Everything is done by hand,” explains Ada. “The salting, hooping, wrapping and milling. After the curds set they have to be milled. Big factories use machinery but we do it with the chopping board. You’ve got to have it done within so many minutes so the pH doesn’t change so we’re all madly chopping away.”

The success of a small-scale, artisanal cheesemaker is one of the factors that impress chef Jordan McLeod and waiter Robert Luo from Oscillate Wildly.

Dan Moss, chef and restaurateur from Terroir Auburn, also appreciates seeing things first hand. “We make our own Haloumi cheese so I can relate to a few of the processes. We use milk from Jersey cows in the Fleurieu so it was interesting to see this milk from Friesians, and the sheer size of them,” he says.

Untitled design (4)

By-products, such as whey, are returned to the farm. “We make a poo shandy,” says Ada. “We have a two pond system for our effluence. During irrigation season we shandy that with our irrigation water and it goes on the paddocks. The grass loves it.”

The irrigation system also means the cows feed on perennial and annual pastures all year round. They are also fed grains during milking, depending on their individual feeding allowance.

“All the cows have RFID tags; when they walk into the dairy, it reads their number and that information is used for the feed system. There’s also a milk meter that checks how much milk they give,” says Ken.

“On average, a cow produces 30 litres a day, and up to 50 litres when they calve. Friesians produce more milk than most breeds. We milk three times a day and the majority goes to Parmalat for Pauls milk.

“They are two years old when they’re started and they calve every 12-15 months. We have cows calving all year round and about half of those are female, so the herd is growing by 100 cows a year. We don’t buy any; we sell the older cows routinely, and the male calves at five-days old.”

We walk around to the shed where a dozen doe-eyed brown calves are hand fed by Ken and his family. The calves poke their noses through the wooden gates and lick our fingers.

It’s life on a dairy farm, and the result is award-winning cheese that spells success for the Cameron family.

Boosey Creek Cheese
734 Grinter Road
Boosey VIC 3730
+61 3 5748 4374

 

A36O7158

 

 

A36O6856

Bianca Welsh – eat & drink insider knowledge

See where else to eat & drink around the country:
ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA

Bianca Welsh is our joint Young Restaurateur of 2015 and is co-owner of Stillwater Restaurant and Black Cow Bistro  in Launceston. Here she shares her favourite go to places in her home state of Tassie!


favourite coffee shops

Amelias

Is a fantastic little place that’s serious about their coffee and little treats. They use the locally roasted Ritual which is also a favourite of mine.

Sweet brew

Another fantastic cafe which serves some great little pastries along with their coffee.

Off Center

Another small coffee haunt has opened up off one of the main streets through town. The owner is a skilled barista.

 


favourite eateries/cafes

Blue Café

On my days off you will find my husband and I at Blue Café religiously having breakfast, they’re lunch menu is creative with new and interesting dishes popping up often.

Cafe Mondello

A convenient walk around the corner from our house that also does great breakfasts and a slightly Italian style lunch, it’s a perfect spot to watch the world go by on the ‘cafe strip’ of Launceston.

Phoenix and the Wolf.

A great place for a little drive is at Perth about 15 minutes out of Launceston. It’s in an old church on the main drag with really tasty, innovative food, they’re sweet and salty combinations are so good!

 


favourite restaurants

 Franklin

Of course Franklin is an obvious favourite, the fit out, the food, the wine, what’s not to love?

Me Wah

We love Me Wah in Launceston for fine dining Cantonese, they do great take away too, they’re service is outstanding.

Kai-Zen

We religiously go weekly to Kai-Zen, a small Japanese restaurant in Launceston, they take great care of us and always use the freshest of seafood.


favourite bars

Saint John

Saint John is definitely our favourite, its a craft beer bar with so much more, a great whiskey list along with great wines and plenty of other spirits. They’ve just expanded their space, they’ve done an incredible job. We always feel welcome and it attracts a really great crowd.

Mona’s Long Bar

Of course who could go past Mona’s Long Bar at the basement of the museum? Where better to have a beer while taking in all the interesting and pretty crazy things.

 

favourite food markets/local grocers

The Harvest Market

The Harvest Market in Launceston has really changed the community in such a positive way, it won best farmers market in Australia in the Delicious awards and it is such a vibrant place to go on a Saturday morning. The range they have there is fantastic, you can grab a great coffee, breakfast and see most of your friends down there too.

Green Grocer on Charles St

The green grocer on Charles St in Launceston has the best fruit and veg around town, it’s compact but they pack in all the best.

Alps & Amici

Other than our own deli, Alps and Amici is a great place to shop for readymade meals, great local produce and a great place to pick up a sweet treat like a house made cupcake or slice.

favourite interstate restaurants

Coda/Tonka VIC

Tough one, there is so many, Coda/Tonka in Melbourne is one favourite (yes, I’m combining them, it’s cheating I know!), the food is well balance and when you want everything on the menu, you know it’s your sort of place. Gavin has always suggested the best wines to match what we’re eating and it’s just such a fun place.

Supernormal VIC

Supernormal in Melbourne is such a great restaurant. The food is just incredible, the flavours are so clean, the service is excellent and how could you not love a restaurant that has vending machines with pocky!

10 William St NSW

Our favourite of them all. We just love everything that place has to offer, the simple yet thoughtful Italian food, the wine, the atmosphere, my husband and I feel really happy when we dine there and that’s what’s important for a diner.

 


Olive doughnut recipe: Josh Gregory

Sugar & jam step aside, the doughnut is now savoury. One of our young chefs,  Josh Gregory from Biota Dining in Bowral NSW shares his Cockatoo Grove Olive Oil Doughnut recipe, which we featured at our awards night earlier this year.

 

Olive Oil Doughnuts

Preparation time: 2 hours (includes proving time)

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Skills needed: Beginner/Intermediate

Serves: 40

 

Ingredients

600g bakers’ flour

100g finely chopped green olive – stones out

70g sugar

40g cold butter cubed

24g dry yeast

125g Cockatoo Grove olive oil

125g water

80g milk

Salt

Dehydrated black olive*

 

Method

Combine water, milk, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl and allow yeast to activate and go frothy or about 15 – 20 minutes in a warm place. In a standing mixer or kitchenaid with a dough hook, add flour, green olives and begin mixing on low speed. Slowly pour in wet mixture until dough begins to form. Divide the butter and olive oil into three equal portions or thirds. Add one portion of olive oil to the dough and mix until completely combined. Then add the second portion of butter & olive and mix until completely combined. Add the last portion of olive & butter and mix until combined & the dough is silky and elastic. Remove bowl from mixer, cover with a tea towel and allow dough to rest and proof in a warm place for approximately 30 – 40 minutes or until is doubled in size.

Once dough is proved, pinch off about a teaspoon size of dough. Roll into olive sized balls, place on lightly oiled oven tray and allow to prove again for 5 minutes. Deep fry in small batches at 180 degrees until puffed and golden. If you don’t have a deep fryer you can shallow fry in 10cm of vegetable oil.

Roll in mix of salt and dehydrated black olive powder & serve immediately. Serve on platters garnished with olive branches and leaves, drizzle with olive oil . Can be served with aioli if preferred

 

Chef’s tips:

  • After the individual doughnuts have been made you can cover with gladwrap and store in the fridge the day before. When ready to cook, remove from the fridge, allow to prove before deep frying.
  • If you’d like to be adventurous why not make your own dehydrated olives. Place small batches (about 30) in a microwave on low heat and cook 10 x times in 30 second time slots or until olives are dry. Place in spice grinder and blend.
  • The dough recipe can also be used to make brioche buns, make them in 30grams sizes instead.

*available at a good quality providores such as Essential Ingredient or Peter’s of Kensington

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Hospitality

The importance of building a restaurant team
“The relationship between front & back of house is a key contributing factor to the success that we’ve had,” says Megan Rhoades-Brown.

Restaurants are more than the food and the service. It is a place where the art of hospitality can blossom delivering an exceptional experience for customers. Much of this is dependent upon the symbiotic nature and relationship between front & back of house.

Troy & Megan Rhoades-Brown opened Muse Dining in 2009 right in the middle of the GFC. Their vision for their business is to create a workplace that breeds passionate industry professionals. A place that welcomes change, progression and learning from one another. A place where everyone is proud to be a part of the team from kitchen porters to book keepers. The staff work between both restaurants giving them the opportunity to experience two different season menus, styles of food & service. Hear their vision for their restaurants & their staff first hand;

In 2016, Muse Kitchen received Two Chefs Hats in the SMH Good Food Guide and Muse Kitchen retained its’ One Chefs Hat for the third consecutive year. Muse Restaurant and Muse Kitchen are situated in the Hunter Valley, NSW

The Good Oil

Written by Lilani Goonesena.

The screech of cockatoos pierces the air on a cold winter’s day. “They’re a pain in the ass,” pronounces Ken Dugan with wry affection. We are at Cockatoo Grove in Cobram on the first day of the 2015 produce tour in Victoria.  Ken, who founded and sold Cobram Oil, the biggest olive oil company in Australia, now owns a historical 100-year old estate on the Upper Murray River with 20,000 olive trees on 200 acres.

“We planted these in 1997, with 100 trees to an acre in the traditional Italian style of 8 x 5 metres apart,” says Ken. “We chose mostly Italian and Spanish varieties including the popular Manzanillo. But that was subject to frost, so we ended up pulling out those 7,500 trees.” “We also had 2,500 Nevadillo Blanco, another Spanish variety. Our first harvest won two gold medals; it’s a very powerful, wonderful olive oil. But after the first three years, we didn’t get anymore fruit so we had to pull them out too.”

Today they mainly grow the world-renown Tuscan variety, Frantoio Correggiola, also called ‘Paragon’ in Australia. “It grows very well here; it’s frost tolerant, disease resistant, and has wonderful flavours,” Ken explains.

Magic mulch
Cockatoo Grove is certified organic and Ken also produces his own organic mulch. He holds up pungent handfuls. “This is magic stuff, it’s the heart and soul of the bacteria in the soil,” he claims with enthusiasm. “When you take the fruit off the tree, you’re taking massive nutrients and minerals out of the soil. You’ve got to put it back somehow. But the synthetic stuff upsets the balance of the soil and it’s the bacteria in there that makes it all happen.” says Ken.

“During processing, the vegetable matter, pip and kernel are discarded. To that we add hay, cow poo, chicken poo, and some mushroom mulch. We follow an Australian organic standard that takes 5-6 days keeping the temperature around 55 degrees. You get this beautiful black stuff that goes back into the soil.” 151109_CockatooGrove_story We step over uneven ground, crumbly soil and weeds. “This farm has more weeds than most because we can’t use any synthetic weed killers,” explains Ken. But it’s also a healthy farm that’s full of life. Cherry, mandarin and orange trees also grow readily in the rich soil.

Though it sounds romantic to own an olive grove, Ken says olive farming is just hard work. “The tree itself needs a lot of managing; pruning and cleaning to continue to get new fruit coming through.” Ken is also proud of their ‘minus 4’ processing. “Our oil is processed in less than four hours from harvest, usually at night. So you’re getting the freshest oil that you can get anywhere.”

We follow him into the processing shed where floor to ceiling stainless steel vats squat side by side. Everything is done in-house, including bottling. After washing and crushing the olives, the residue goes through a series of malaxors to separate the oil. Finally, it is put into the tanks and left to settle. A36O5330  
An oily palate

The varieties are stored in separate tanks and blended later. Differentiating varietal subtleties in olive oil takes a skilled palate. “A straight Manzanillo is probably too strong but you could blend it into the Correggiola. For a point of difference, you might blend a Picual,” says Ken. Under his tutelage, we taste the organic olive oil. “Put some in a little cup and warm it in your hands. Take a sip and swirl it in your mouth. You’ll get bitterness, a strong pepper flavour, that’s the polyphenols, and a flavour of grass. This is powerful oil, that’s what you pay for,” he explains.

Josh Gregory, the sous chef at Biota Dining in the Southern Highlands of NSW, loves the potency. “We use a lot of olive oil and Ken’s is one of the best I’ve tasted, very herbaceous and grassy. I’d use it with fish as it has that really nice grass note to drag it back from the ocean into the earth.” We leave Cockatoo Grove with bottles of oil tucked under our arms and its namesake still screeching overhead.

Cockatoo Grove
T: + 61 3 9561 7522
E:office@cockatoogrove.com.au
W: www.cockatoogrove.com.au to learn, shop & purchase

A36O5431

151109_CockatooGrove_story5

Taste Melbourne 2015

Taste Melbourne is swinging back around again, this time featuring a handful of some of our young guns. If you would like tickets to see some of our very own chefs and restaurateurs deliver the goods, there are 5 double passes available each day so you can check out our alumni; Jake Kellie, Matt Dempsey & Victor Liong. Matt Dempsey’s restaurant Gladioli will also be there for the entire festival so check out some of his dishes.

Want one of the double entry passes? Simply email us @ info@appetiteforexcellence.com with your name and the day you’d like to attend.  To see the day they’re cooking in the Electrolux Taste Theatre see the below schedule. We hope to see you there!

 

Thursday 12 Nov: 7 – 7:30pm Friday 13 Nov: 1:30 – 2pm Sunday 15 Nov: 2:30 – 3pm
Matt DempseyGladioli Jake KellieEstelle Victor LiongLee Ho Fook
Matt Dempsey 006Jake Kellie Australian Young ChefVictorLiong_

A favourite dessert on Gladioli’s current menu, Matt will be demonstrating “Apple, Fennel & Spiced Cream” with a recipe to take home to try it out yourself.

On Friday, Jake brings his take on lamb – spring being a great time for lamb – showcasing different cuts of lamb in his dish lamb (neck & loin), olive & wild pea consommé.

Having moved Lee ho Fook into the 3000 postcode, Victor will be showing some tips and tricks for his Hiramasa kingfish, leeks, cloud fungi, radish, burnt garlic & ginger dish.

For more Taste information go to http://www.tasteofmelbourne.com.au/chefs/