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  • 4 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
  • 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
  • 50g (1/3 cup) cornflour
  • 1L (4 cups) milk
  • 600ml ctn thickened cream
  • 80g butter, chopped, at room temperature
  • 6 (10g total) gelatine leaves (see tip)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry essence
  • Red food colouring, to tint
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 195g (1 1/4 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 20g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water, plus 1-2 teaspoons, extra
  • Red food colouring, to tint
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place a sheet of pastry on each tray and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until the other side is crisp and golden. Cover the pastry with a clean tea towel and press down gently to flatten. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining pastry.
  2. To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl until well combined and slightly pale. Whisk in the flours. Combine the milk and cream in a large saucepan. Bring just to the boil over medium heat. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the milk mixture over the egg yolk mixture, until well combined. Wash and dry the pan. Transfer the egg mixture to the clean pan. Stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until thick (don’t let the mixture come to the boil). Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir until melted and combined. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
  3. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl. Cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes or until soft. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the hot custard. Stir until gelatine dissolves. Divide the custard evenly among 3 heatproof bowls. Stir the vanilla extract into 1 portion. Stir the strawberry essence and a few drops of red food colouring into another portion to make it pink. Sift the cocoa powder over the last portion and stir to combine. Set aside, stirring each bowl occasionally, until cooled to room temperature.
  4. Using the base of a 20cm springform pan as a guide, cut a round of pastry from each puff pastry sheet. Release the base of the pan. Line the base with baking paper, allowing a 4cm overhang. Secure the base, paper side up, back in the pan. Grease the side of the pan and line with baking paper, allowing the paper to come 2cm above the side.
  5. Place 1 pastry round in the prepared pan. Top with the chocolate custard and spread evenly. Top with another pastry round and the vanilla custard. Top with another pastry round and the strawberry custard. Place the remaining pastry round on top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight to set.
  6. For the icing, place the icing sugar and butter in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the butter. Stir until melted and smooth, adding the extra boiling water, if required. Divide icing among 3 bowls. Add a little red food colouring to 1 portion and stir to tint it pink. Stir the cocoa into another portion.
  7. Release the side of the pan and carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Spread the white icing evenly over the top. Drizzle with the 2 remaining icings (adding a few drops of water to thin, if necessary). Set aside to set.

We used 6 small gelatine leaves (half of a 20g packet), available from the baking aisle at the supermarket.


  • 7g sachet (2 teaspoons) dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 60g butter, chilled, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup NESTLÉ BAKERS' CHOICE Dark or Milk CHOC BITS
  • 1 teaspoon gelatine
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • Butter, to serve
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  1. Grease a 6cm-deep, 23cm (base) square cake pan. Place yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar in= a bowl. Whisk to dissolve yeast. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in centre. Add yeast mixture, egg and remaining sugar. Stir to combine. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down dough. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Add choc bits. Knead to combine. Roll into 16 balls. Place in prepared pan. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until slightly risen. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced.
  4. Meanwhile, make paste Combine flour, sugar and 21/2 tablespoons cold water in a bowl. Spoon into a snap-lock bag. Snip 1 corner from bag. Pipe crosses onto buns. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatine over boiling water in a heatproof jug. Stir with a fork until gelatine has dissolved. Place buns, top-side up, on a wire rack. Brush tops with gelatine mixture. Cool. Serve with butter.


  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon gelatine powder
  • 600ml buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons rosewater
  • Pink Persian fairy floss, to serve
  • Sugar-coated rose petals, to serve
  • 45g (1/4 cup) icing sugar mixture
  • 250g strawberries, hulled
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • six 180ml moulds
  1. Place the sugar and half the cream in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. Place the water in a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle with the gelatine. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water and stir for 1 minute or until the gelatine dissolves. Stir into the cream mixture. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  2. Add the buttermilk, rosewater and remaining cream to the gelatine mixture. Pour into six 180ml moulds. Place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until set.
  3. For the strawberry sauce, place the icing sugar and half the strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Slice the remaining strawberries.
  4. Invert the panna cottas onto serving plates. Top with the sliced strawberry and drizzle with the strawberry sauce. Arrange the fairy floss and rose petals over the top to serve.


  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder
  • Fresh strawberries, washed, halved, to serve
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) espresso coffee
  • 1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  1. Grease 8 x 1/2-cup (125ml) capacity dariole moulds. Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
  2. Place 1 tbs boiling water and the gelatine powder in a small bowl. Stir until gelatine dissolves. Add to the warm chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Set aside to cool slightly. Divide evenly among the prepared moulds. Place on a baking tray and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 6 hours or until set.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, combine the coffee, sugar, and vanilla seeds and bean in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 mins or until syrup thickens. Set aside to cool completely. Strain and discard vanilla bean.
  4. Turn panna cottas out onto serving plates. Drizzle with espresso syrup and serve with strawberries.


  • 600ml pouring cream
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 50g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 3 teaspoons gelatine powder
  • 100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) thickened cream
  1. Stir the pouring cream, milk, vanilla bean and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate and set aside for 1 minute. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
  2. Place the water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle with the gelatine. Place the bowl in a small saucepan. Add enough boiling water to the saucepan to come three-quarters of the way up the side of the bowl. Use a fork to whisk the mixture until the gelatine dissolves. Stir the gelatine mixture into the white chocolate mixture. Set aside to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Strain into a jug. Pour among six 125ml (1/2-cup) capacity moulds or ramekins. Place on a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to set.
  3. Place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream almost to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour over the chocolate and set aside for 2 minutes to stand. Stir until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
  4. Turn the panna cotta onto serving plates. Serve with the chocolate sauce.

Make it ahead: Make the panna cotta to the end of step 3 up to 3 days ahead. Store in the fridge. Continue from step 4.


  • 60g (1/3 cup) blanched almonds, toasted
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 55g (1/3 cup) dry-roasted hazelnuts
  • 40g (1/4 cup) walnut crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 x 250g pkts cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 300g ctn sour cream
  • 155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 10 sheets filo pastry
  • 110g butter
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) water
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake almonds on a baking tray for 5-8 minutes or until toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the honey syrup, stir the sugar, water, honey and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, for 15 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Discard cinnamon. Set aside to cool.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C. Release the base from a 22cm (base measurement) springform pan and invert. Brush with melted butter. Line the base with non-stick baking paper, allowing the edge to overhang. Secure the base back into the pan.
  4. Process the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the walnut and cinnamon. Add 60ml (1/4 cup) honey syrup to the nut mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Process cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in the clean bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, and process until combined.
  6. Place filo on a clean work surface. Cover with a dry tea towel, then a damp tea towel. Brush 1 filo sheet with some melted butter. Fold in half crossways. Place in the pan, allowing it to overhang slightly. Repeat with the remaining filo and melted butter, turning and overlapping each sheet slightly to line the pan completely.
  7. Pour half the cream cheese mixture over filo. Top with half the nut mixture. Repeat with the remaining cream cheese mixture and nut mixture. Fold the overhanging filo over the filling to partially enclose. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until just set in centre. Turn oven off. Leave cheesecake in oven, with door slightly ajar, until cooled completely. Place in the fridge for 6 hours to chill. Drizzle over remaining syrup to serve.


  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 185g butter, at room temperature
  • 155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g (3/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons red food colouring
  • Oil, to grease
  • White chocolate curls, to decorate
  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder
  • 300ml ctn thickened cream
  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 60g butter, at room temperature
  • 80g (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with ted butter. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the self-raising flour, plain flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Stir flour mixture and buttermilk, in alternating batches, into butter mixture. Stir in food colouring. Spoon mixture into pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool slightly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Cut cake in half horizontally. Trim the top.
  4. To make the filling, use an electric beater to beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth. Place the water in a heatproof jug. Add the gelatine. Place the jug in a saucepan and add boiling water to come halfway up the side of the jug. Stir until the gelatine dissolves. Add to the filling and beat until combined. Use an electric beater to beat the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture. 5 Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with oil. Line base and side with plastic wrap, allowing side to overhang. Place cake base, cut-side up, in pan. Spread with filling. Top with cake top. Fold over plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight to chill.
  5. To make the frosting, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until well combined.
  6. Turn cake onto a serving plate. Spread with frosting. Decorate with chocolate curls.

Allow overnight chilling time. Cook's tip: To make the white chocolate curls, spread melted chocolate over a dry marble or glass surface. Set aside until just set but not hard. Holding a chef's knife at a 45-degree angle away from you, scrape the chocolate into curls. (If it breaks, it's been set too hard - scrape it off and melt again.) Store the curls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.


  • 350g plain chocolate biscuits
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 70g (1/4 cup) crunchy peanut butter
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
  • 270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
  • 200g white chocolate, melted
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
  • 2 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 2 x 250g pkts Lindt Lindor Peanut Butter balls
  • 55g (1/3 cup) roasted salted peanuts
  1. Grease the base and side of a 20cm (base measurement) springform pan and line with baking paper.
  2. Process the biscuits until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Use a straight-sided glass to spread and press the mixture firmly over the base and side of prepared pan. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Spread the peanut butter evenly over the biscuit base.
  4. Process the cream cheese, cream and 55g (1⁄4 cup) of the caster sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the chocolate. Process until well combined.
  5. Place the boiling water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle gelatine evenly over. Stir until gelatine dissolves. Add to the cream cheese mixture and process until well combined.
  6. Arrange half the Lindt balls over the peanut butter. Pour over half the cream cheese mixture. Arrange remaining Lindt balls over cream cheese mixture and top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Place in the fridge for 6 hours or until set.
  7. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Sprinkle with the peanuts. Place the remaining sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and caramelises. Pour over the peanuts on the lined tray and set aside to set.
  8. Place the cheesecake on a platter. Break toffee into large shards and arrange over the cheesecake to decorate.


  • 5 gelatine leaves
  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 cup caramel syrup, plus extra to serve 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips, chopped
  • 600ml thickened cream, whipped
  • 300g butter, chopped
  • 200g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  1. Make Double Chocolate Brownie: Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease 2 x 6cm-deep, 20cm square cake pans. Line bases and sides with baking paper. Place butter, milk chocolate and dark chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture is smooth and combined. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  2. Stir in sugar, vanilla and egg. Sift over flour and baking powder. Stir well to combine. Divide mixture evenly between prepared pans. Level tops with a spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre of brownies comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool completely in pans.
  3. Turn brownies onto a board. Wash and dry one of the pans. Grease pan. Line base and sides with 4 layers of baking paper, extending paper 4cm above all edges. Return 1 brownie to pan, top-side down.
  4. Place gelatine in a small bowl. Cover with cold water. Stand for 5 minutes. Remove the gelatine from the water, squeezing out excess water. Place in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook for 1 minute or until gelatine has dissolved.
  5. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in gelatine until combined. Gradually beat in cream until mixture thickens and is well combined. Beat in caramel syrup and salt.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 the peanut butter chips over the brownie in pan. Spoon cheesecake mixture into pan. Level top with a spatula. Sprinkle with remaining chips. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until almost firm but top is still sticky. Place remaining brownie, top-side down, on cheesecake layer. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  7. Just before serving, line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place remaining sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to high. Boil, without stirring, for 10 minutes or until mixture turns golden. Remove from heat. Stand for 1 minute to thicken slightly and allow bubbles to subside. Using 2 forks, back to back, carefully dip into hot toffee mixture and drizzle back and forth over prepared tray to form thin strands of toffee. Stand for 15 minutes to set.
  8. Meanwhile, turn cheesecake onto a serving plate. Stand for 15 minutes. Top with whipped cream. Decorate with spun toffee and drizzle with extra caramel syrup. Serve.


250g scotch finger biscuits
125g butter, melted
1 tablespoon gelatine powder
500g cream cheese, chopped, at room temperature
70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 x 180g blocks Nestlé Milkybar, melted, cooled
300ml ctn thickened cream
1.Lightly grease the base of a 20 x 30cm (base measurement) slice pan. Line the base and sides with baking paper, allowing the 2 long sides to overhang. Line each compartment of four 6-compartment giant silicone ice-cube trays with wide strips of baking paper, allowing the 2 sides to overhang. Stand the trays on a tray or board.

2.Process the biscuits in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the butter and process until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared slice pan and press evenly over the base. Place in the fridge until required.

3.Place 125ml (½ cup) water in a bowl and gradually sprinkle the gelatine over, allowing it to absorb water before adding more. Microwave on High for 20 seconds, then use a fork to whisk until gelatine is dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

4.Use electric beaters to beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and creamy. With the motor running, slowly add the cooled gelatine mixture. Add the melted chocolate and cream and beat until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a jug.

5.Pour 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base and smooth the surface. Divide the remaining cream cheese mixture evenly among the ice-cube trays (they won’t be filled to the top). Place slice pan and ice-cube trays in the fridge for 4 hours or until set.

6.Lift the cheesecake base from the pan, remove the paper and place on a serving board. Carefully lift the cheesecake blocks from the ice-cube trays (use a knife to loosen). Arrange the cheesecake blocks over the base in rows to resemble a giant Milkybar. Trim the base edges. Cut into 24 pieces.

Giant silicone ice-cube trays (about 60ml capacity for each compartment) are available at some variety stores or online. Alternatively, you could just pour the mixture over the base. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.


1/3 cup thickened cream
2 x 200g blocks milk chocolate, chopped
100g soft licorice pieces, finely chopped
3 licorice allsorts, thinly sliced, quartered
1.Combine cream and half the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave uncovered, on MEDIUM (50%) for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth. Stir in finely chopped licorice. Cover, refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until firm.

2.Line a tray with baking paper. Using 2 teaspoons chocolate mixture at a time, roll into balls. Place on tray. Freeze until firm.

3.Place remaining chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave uncovered, on MEDIUM (50%) for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth. Using a fork, dip truffles in chocolate, shaking off excess. Return truffles to tray. Top with 1 piece licorice allsort. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set. Serve.


2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 cup packed (about 20g) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup (20g) freshly grated parmesan
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf Coles Bakery Stone Baked Pane di Casa*, halved horizontally
200g havarti cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
125g double-cream brie, rind trimmed, cut into 6mm-thick slices
2 ripe truss tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1.In a food processor, pulse garlic, salt and chilli flakes until finely chopped. Add basil and parmesan and pulse 10 times. With the machine running, gradually pour in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

2.Prepare a barbecue for indirect cooking by heating one burner on high and leaving other burner(s) off. (Alternatively, preheat oven to 180°C.)

3.Tear enough bread from the top half of the loaf to leave a 2cm-thick shell. Spread basil mixture over each half. Top both halves with havarti, then brie.

4.Place bread halves over unlit side of barbecue. Close hood and cook for 10 mins or until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasty. (Alternatively, cook in oven.) Transfer to a cutting board.

5.Arrange a single layer of tomatoes over bottom half of bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of the vinegar. Top with remaining tomatoes and vinegar. Cover with top half of bread, cheese-side down, and press gently. Using a serrated knife, cut into 4 pieces and serve immediately.

Alfresco to al desko To make this for work lunches, cut uncooked sandwich into portions and pack the tomato and vinegar separately. Cook on a sandwich press.


200g butternut pumpkin, peeled, thinly sliced
Olive oil cooking spray
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
15cm approx (460g) round cob loaf
150g tub rocket with cashew and parmesan chunky dip
4 slices green olive mortadella
200g chargrilled eggplant
60g swiss cheese, thinly sliced
200g chargrilled red capsicum
1.Heat a large frying pan or chargrill pan over medium-high heat. Spray pumpkin with oil. Cook, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until tender. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with zucchini. Allow to cool completely.

2.Place loaf on a plate. Cut top quarter from loaf. Scoop out centre and discard, leaving a 2cm-thick shell. Spread dip inside loaf and over cut side of top. Place pumpkin over base of loaf shell. Top with zucchini, mortadella, eggplant, cheese and capsicum. Replace top.

3.Wrap loaf tightly in plastic wrap. Top with another plate. Place a heavy object on top to compress filling. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to develop.

4.Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Unwrap loaf. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until crust is crisp. Slice and serve warm or cold.

Preparation time excludes overnight chilling.


650g Butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 5mm-thick slices
80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 large red capsicums, halved, seeded, cut into 1.5cm-thick strips
450g Vienna loaf (see note)
80g (1/3 cup) bought basil pesto
250g thinly sliced salami
200g Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1.Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the pumpkin in a large roasting pan. Drizzle over 11/2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

2.Meanwhile, preheat a chargrill on medium-high. Combine the capsicum and remaining oil in a bowl. Cook half the capsicum on grill, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining capsicum. Set aside to cool.

3.Use a large serrated knife to cut the top quarter from the loaf and reserve. Scoop out the centre, leaving a 1cm-thick shell. Scoop out the centre of reserved bread.

4.Spread the pesto over the inside base of the bread shell. Arrange the pumpkin, capsicum, salami and cheese, in 2 layers, inside the shell. Top with the reserved bread top and press firmly to compress the filling. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to develop the flavours. Cut into slices to serve.

Vienna loaf is only available when baked in store. Picnic tip: Make up to 1 day before the picnic. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and transport to the picnic in an esky.


Olive oil spray
2 rashers short-cut bacon
1 1/2 tablespoons spreadable light cream cheese
2 teaspoons fresh chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tip Top Original Sandwich Thin, split
1 butter lettuce leaf
3 thin slices avocado
1/2 roma tomato, thinly sliced
1.Spray a small frying pan with oil and heat over high heat. Cook the bacon for 2 mins each side or until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Cool.

2.Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, chives and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season.

3.Spread sandwich thin base with the cream cheese mixture. Top with the bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato. Season. Top with sandwich thin top.

Tip: Swap the cream cheese mixture for margarine or hummus, if desired.


1 x Rib eye steak 500g - 16oz (remove from fridge 20 - 30 minutes before use)
1 or 2 shallots (approx half cup when chopped)
1 cup of beef or veal stock
1 cup of bold red wine
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or half tsp of dried)
A few sprigs of parsley (optional)
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp of soft butter
3 tbsp grape seed oil
Salt and pepper
1.Preheat your oven to 160ºC or 320ºF.

2.Chop the shallots very very finely.

3.Grate or crush the garlic very finely.

4.Salt your meat evenly by dropping salt from up high over steak. Salt both sides. (pepper later)

5.Place a frying pan on high heat with the grape seed oil.

6.Once the oil is very hot (do not smoke) gently ease your steak and sear each side until nicely caramelised. Flip steak on its side to sear each side too.

7.Add black pepper on each side and place in oven at 160ºC or 320ºF for approx 8 minutes, if you like your meat medium rare.

8.Once steak is cooked, remove from pan and leave aside on a warm plate, in a warm spot.

9.Place the pan back on full heat and add the chopped shallots, the rosemary and crushed garlic and mix well scraping all the meat residue stuck to the bottom of the pan.

10.Deglaze pan with the red wine (be careful as the alcohol can ignite) If unsure do it away from any flames.

11.Add the beef stock plus any juices from the resting steak that may have leaked out. Reduce liquid by approx one fifth, there still should be some liquid left but not much.

12.Turn the heat down to very low, add the butter to the liquid (jus) and mix well until all the butter is melted. Pour over your meat immediately.

13.Chop a little bit of parsley for garnish if you wish.

Always bring your meat to room temperature before cooking, remove from fridge 20 to 30 minutes before using. For a nice presentation, cut the meat into slices and arrange it like a fan over the bone.


1kg - 2.2lbs good quality beef for stewing (i.e rump)
3 large brown onions
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 slices of bread
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 small bottles of beer total (750ml - 25oz) Beer can be stout as per recipe or lighter colour ales, stout will be much stronger in flavour
3 Bay leaves
A few thyme sprigs or half tbsp dried thyme
Quarter tsp of ground cloves
Half tsp of cinnamon
Quarter tsp of grated nutmeg
Half tsp of fennel seeds
3 bacon rashers
One handful of fresh parsley
Cooking oil (recommend grapeseed)
Salt and pepper
1.Slice your beef into chunky stewing size cubes if not already.

2.Peel and slice the onions quite finely. Keep aside.

3.Place a solid stew pot over high heat, add some cooking oil

4.Once oil is hot, add one third of your meat and caramelise until nice and brown. Remove and keep the meat aside (on a plate or bowl). Add a little more oil and repeat the same process two more times until all the meat is brown. All the meat should be aside and stew pot empty.

5.Add a little more oil to the same stew pot and add the onion. Keep stirring until the onions are caramelised.

6.Slice and add the bacon.

7.Add the brown sugar and mix well.

8.Return all the meat with juices back to the stew pot.

9.Add the cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaves and fennel seeds.

10.Add the fresh thyme by stripping off the leaves and removing stems.

11.Add the Dijon mustard.

12.Open the beer and pour both bottles into the pot.

13.Dice the bread into cubes and add to pot.

14.Add salt and pepper and mix well.

15.Simmer gently for 15 minutes with lid off.

16.Place the lid on, turn the heat to super low and cook for 3 more hours. Check every hour or so that the bottom is not burning or starting to stick.

17.Chop the parsley and keep aside.

18.Once cooked, leave to rest 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with French fries or boiled potatoes. Use the beer you like or 50% stout and 50 % ale should stout be too strong.


For the marinade

2.2lb - 1 kg of paleron, chuck, beef cheeks or rump
2 large carrots
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
1 bottle of red wine
5 cloves
4 sprigs of thyme (one tsp dried)
2-3 bay leaves
Zest of one orange
Salt and pepper

For the second step

7oz - 200g Bacon
5oz -150g black olives
3 cups tomato puree
2 tbsp all purpose (plain) flour
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Optional, small bunch of flat leaf parsley
1.Trim off any excess fat or sinew and dice the meat into large bite size chunks and place in a mixing bowl or marinating container.

2.Slice the peeled onions finely. Cut the peeled carrots into medium thick slices (angle cuts are nicer). Add the minced garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and a whole bottle of red wine.

3.Slice the peel (zest) of the whole orange and pierce the layers together using all the cloves. Add to the marinade along with the bay leaves. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

4.Remove the orange peel and thyme. Fish out the meat pieces and place on a kitchen towel and pat dry to remove moisture.

5.Place a Dutch oven on high heat, add enough olive oil to just cover the bottom. Once hot, brown your meat pieces one third at a time. Set aside on a plate once nicely caramelised. Repeat process until all the meat is cooked. Scrape the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t burn.

6.Remove the rind of your bacon (if any) and slice into large lardons. Add to the same pot and cook until the fat starts to render.

7.Add the flour and mix well, return the meat to the pot along with the tomato puree. Add the marinade, mix well and cover with a lid. Place in oven and first bake for 120 min at 285°F – 140°C.

8.Remove from oven, check seasoning and add the pitted black olives. Return to oven and second bake for 30-45 min at 285°F – 140°C.

9.Remove from oven, and leave to rest 20 minutes before serving. While it’s resting, as an option, chop some parsley and sprinkle over the finished dish.

Serve with boiled potatoes, plain pasta. Freeze it in portions for ready meals, reheat in microwave. Olives can also be quite salty, so take that into consideration when adjusting your seasoning.


1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 Coles Australian RSPCA Approved Chicken Thigh Fillets
450g pkt microwavable brown rice
1/3 cup (85g) Mexican tomato salsa
400g can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
400g can corn kernels, rinsed, drained
1 avocado, peeled, stoned, coarsely chopped
2 iceberg lettuce leaves, shredded
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
Sour cream, to serve
Coriander leaves, to serve
1.Combine half the oil and half the paprika in a large bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Heat a greased barbecue grill or chargrill on high. Cook the chicken for 5 mins each side or until charred and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 mins to rest. Thickly slice.

2.Meanwhile, heat the rice following packet directions. Transfer to large heatproof bowl. Add the salsa and beans and stir to combine.

3.Divide the rice mixture, chicken, corn, avocado, lettuce and tomato among serving bowls. Combine the lime juice with the remaining oil and paprika in a small bowl. Drizzle over the chicken mixture in the bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with coriander leaves.


4 Coles Australian RSPCA Approved Chicken Thigh Fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
450g pkt microwavable brown rice
1 avocado, stoned, peeled, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, seeded, thinly sliced
1 mango, stoned, peeled, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup coriander leaves
1/3 cup (100g) whole-egg mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1 tablespoon lime juice
Lime wedges, to serve
1.Place the chicken in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tbs of the Cajun seasoning and toss to combine.

2.Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken mixture, in 2 batches, turning occasionally, for 5 mins or until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.

3.Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. Add remaining Cajun seasoning and cook for 1 min or until fragrant. Add the rice and ⅔ cup (160ml) water. Cook, stirring, for 6-7 mins or until water evaporates. Remove from heat.

4.Divide the rice among serving bowls. Top with avocado, capsicum, chicken, mango, onion and coriander. Combine the mayonnaise, paprika and lime juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over the chicken and vegetables. Serve with lime wedges.

Lunch bowl For a make and take lunch, pack rice and toppings separately. Heat and assemble just before eating.


160ml (2/3 cup) milk, warmed
2 tablespoons caster sugar, plus 55g (¼ cup), extra
2 teaspoons dried yeast
340g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour
75g unsalted butter, melted
2 egg yolks
12 Cadbury Creme Egg Minis
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sunflower oil, to deep fry
1.Combine the milk, 2 tbs caster sugar and the yeast in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes until foaming.

2.Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, butter and egg yolks then gradually combine. Knead on a well floured work surface until smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3.Knock back the dough then divide into 12 pieces (about 60g each). Working one at a time, roll a piece into a ball, flatten into a disc, place a creme egg in the centre and encase with the sides. Roll between your hands to completely enclose. Place the balls on a lined baking tray for 15 minutes to rise slightly. Combine the extra caster sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

4.Half fill a saucepan with oil and place over medium heat. Heat the oil until 160°C on a cook’s thermometer. Working in batches, cook the balls for 1 1/2 minutes then flip over and cook for a further 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel then toss in the cinnamon sugar.


250g packet plain sweet biscuits
1 x 180g block dark chocolate, chopped
395g can sweetened condensed milk
2 x 125g packets caramello Easter eggs, foil removed
190g bag hundreds and thousands
1.Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place biscuits in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.

2.Place chocolate in a heatproof microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth.

3.Add melted chocolate and sweetened condensed milk to biscuits. Stir until well combined. Place hundreds and thousands in a small bowl.

4.Working quickly and using 1 tablespoon mixture at a time, gently mould biscuit mixture around 1 Easter egg to form a ball. Roll ball in hundreds and thousands and press to coat. Place on prepared tray. Repeat with remaining biscuit mixture, Easter eggs and hundreds and thousands. Serve.


150g butter, melted, cooled
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
130g packet white chocolate Easter eggs, foil removed


200g block milk chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup thickened cream
1.Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan. Line with baking paper extending paper 2cm from edge of pan at long ends.

2.Place butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Sift over flours and cocoa. Add coconut. Stir to combine. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool completely in pan.

3.Make Chocolate ganache: Combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth. Spread ganache evenly over cold base.

4.Using the picture as a guide, gently press Easter eggs into ganache. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set. Cut into squares. Serve.


2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1.5 kg skinless salmon fillets, preferably cut from the centre, cut into 4 to 5cm pieces
2 lemons, very thinly sliced into rounds (you will need 24 slices)
3 tablespoons olive oil


1/3 cup drained capers, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt-reduced chicken stock
2 teaspoons lemon zest
90g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1.Prepare the barbecue for medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and chilli flakes. Set aside.

2.Beginning and ending with the salmon, thread the salmon and lemon slices alternately, onto 8 pairs of parallel skewers to make 8 brochettes total. Coat with the oil and season with the oregano mixture. Barbecue, turning occasionally, for 5-8 minutes, or until salmon pieces are still rosy in the centre.

3.Meanwhile, in a heavy medium saucepan, combine the capers, lemon juice, stock, and zest and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan to combine the flavours. Whisk the butter into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the salmon, garnish with the parsley, and serve.

The salmon brochettes can be skewered, but not seasoned, up to 2 hours before cooking. Cover and refrigerate.


1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
2 x 600g Coles Australian Lamb Rack Roasts
3/4 cup (60g) panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup (25g) grated parmesan
2 tablespoons oregano leaves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
200g punnet Perino tomatoes
2 bunches broccolini, ends trimmed
400g can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
1/4 cup (40g) chopped dry-roasted almond kernels
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sliced white sourdough bread, to serve
1.Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a medium baking dish.

2.Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on high heat. Cook lamb, fat-side down, for 5 mins or until browned. Turn and cook for a further 3 mins or until browned. Transfer to a board.

3.Process breadcrumbs, parmesan, oregano and 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a food processor until finely chopped. Use a small knife to spread top of the lamb with mustard. Use your hands to press parmesan mixture firmly over the mustard to coat. Place in prepared baking dish and bake for 10 mins. Add tomato to the baking dish and bake for a further 10 mins or until lamb is cooked to your liking and tomato skins are just starting to split. Transfer the lamb to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 mins to rest.

4.Cook baby broccoli in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 mins or until just tender. Refresh under cold water and drain well. Toss baby broccoli, beans, almonds, lemon juice, tomato and remaining oil in large bowl. Season.

5.Use a sharp knife to cut each lamb rack in half. Divide the salad among serving plates. Top with lamb and serve with bread.

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