Facebook Twitter RSS Pinterest Email


photo (640x480)

Ocho chocolate (our very own chocolatier) has bags of nibs which are the cocoa beans finely chopped.  They add a deep, dark, intense chocolate/cocoa flavour and work perfectly in these crisp floaty meringues.

MAKES 6-8 Large

3 large egg whites (85g)

70g brown sugar

125g white sugar

2 tsp cocoa nibs

1 tsp  instant coffee granules

1 tsp cocoa for dusting

Fresh nutmeg for dusting


Preheat oven to 110C

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper

Place a medium saucepan of water over gentle heat and bring to a simmer.  Place egg whites, both sugars in a heatproof bowl (I use my bowl from my mixer saves mucking about), ensuring it doesn’t come into direct contact with water.  Add the coffee and stir to break up the egg whites and mix in the sugar.

Heat for approximately five minutes or until a thermometer reaches 40C

Remove from the heat and place onto your mixer with whisk attachment and whisk until the mixture has cooled (approx 8 minutes). Fold through the freshly grated nutmeg and cocoa nibs.

Using a dessert spoon place large dollops of mixture upright on the tray.  I like to have mixture sticking up I places so when it cooks it will have pointy and crisp parts to them. Dust with cocoa and place into preheated oven.

Cook for approximately 1 hour, then turn oven off and leave door closed until oven has gone cold.  They will last in air tight container for 2-3 days.




beetroot syrup cake (427x640)

This cake is ruby red in colour and deep and rich in flavour.  It is a similar to a carrot cake in technique but more like a syrup cake in texture.

Serves 6-8

50g butter

100ml oil

200g soft brown sugar

200g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

300g grated raw beetroot

1 medium apple (75g) grated

½ tsp mixed spice

75g toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)

Zest of one orange


200ml water

150g caster sugar


Pre heat the oven to 180C

Heat the butter in a small pot until it browns and smells nutty. Add the oil, mix and leave to cool.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Continue whisking and gradually pour in the oil and butter mixture so that it thickens up and emulsifies.

Sift the flour, baking powder and spice together and fold through the egg mixture.

Add the grated carrot and apple and remaining ingredients and mix gently together until just combined.  Pour into a greased and lined tin. Bake for 40 minutes – 1 hour (or until a skewer comes out clean).

To make the syrup – heat the sugar and water in a small pot until the sugar dissolves.

Prick the cake all over with a skewer or fork and douse with the syrup so that the cake soaks it all up, this will add not only flavour but moisture.

Serve simply with natural yoghurt.

It will keep for at least 4 days.



yoghurt with pears (627x640)

Pears seem to be extra sweet and extra juicy this season. 

Try them served alongside strained yoghurt as it adds a luxurious note to this already divine pudding (it does however work just as beautifully with Greek yoghurt).


350g Greek yoghurt

Pinch of salt

For the batter
65g plain white flour (or gluten free)
65g cornflour
200ml cold soda water

Sunflower oil, for frying
3 medium firm pears, peeled and cut into wedges (1cm)
4 tsp runny honey

1 lemon, juice

I allow a good day in advance to strain yoghurt.  The idea behind this is to remove any excess moisture and to create a thick creamy paste which holds together. Place the yoghurt in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and place in the center of clean piece of muslin or a suitable cloth which will allow the liquid to filter through, wrap into a ball and secure tightly with string. This now needs to hang – I used a chopstick, which fitted over a deep bowl.

The next day divide the strained yoghurt into four balls (about 50g each).

To make the batter – Put the cornflour and flour in a large bowl. Whisk in the soda water, stirring constantly, until the mix is smooth and runny, then sit the bowl in the fridge and leave for at least 10 minutes.

Pour enough oil into a medium saucepan so that it comes 5cm up the sides, and place over a medium-high heat. To test that the oil is the right temperature, put in a few drops of batter: if they sink to the bottom, then bounce straight back up with large bubbles, it’s ready. Dip a couple of pears in the batter and lower carefully into the oil. Fry for two to three minutes, until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a kitchen paper-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining pears. Serve the fritters with the yoghurt balls, a squeeze of lemon, and a drizzle of honey.


pumpkin tarts (640x421)

These little tarts are velvety and fragrant and it’s a great way to turn a savoury ingredient into a sweet!

Makes 12 medium muffin tin size

For the filling

300g raw cut into even sized pieces

¾  tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼  tsp ginger

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Pinch of table salt

1 egg

1 Tbsp cream

For the crusts

1-2 sheets ready made sweet pastry or 150g homemade sweet pastry

12 medium-sized muffin pan


4 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, lightly crushed


Preheat oven 170C

Carefully remove the skin and any seeds from the pumpkin.  Cut into even sized chunks and place into a microwave proof bowl and add 1 Tbsp water, cover with cling film and microwave for 5-8 minutes or until the pumpkin is very tender.  Or you can simply steam the pumpkin until tender.

Drain well and cool.


Puree the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt together until smooth and velvety (I used a food processor). Add the egg and cream whisk until just blended.

Lightly grease 12 regular-sized muffin tins and line with the pastry which is rolled to about 4 mm thick.  I used an 8cm round biscuit cutter. Working with one round at a time, use your finger to gently press the dough into a prepared muffin cup, making sure that the dough is pressed firmly and evenly up the sides and bottom.

Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the pastry molds and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling slightly wobbles in the center.

Cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then gently remove and cool.

Sprinkle over the topping and enjoy!





organic lettuce (319) (599x640)


Apple compote

500g apples, peeled, cored and chopped apples

¾ cup sugar

½ cup raisins

¾ cup water

¼ cup lemon juice

Pinch salt

Cinnamon crumbs

55g unsalted butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

pinch of salt

generous pinch of cinnamon

1 cup stale bread, diced

400g natural or vanilla yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 180C

For the cinnamon breadcrumbs – In a small pot melt the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until the butter is golden brown. Pour the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and bread, and toss. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool.
Add the toasted bread to a food processor and pulse to coarse crumbs, or alternately smash lightly with a rolling pin.

For the apple compote – Place all the ingredients for the compote into a suitable sized pot.  Cook over moderate heat until the apples are soft and mash easily. Cool, they can be refrigerated for up to five days.

To assemble – place some apple in the bottom of a glass, add some cinnamon crumbs, spoon over some yoghurt and repeat processor until almost full.  Continue until all glasses are completed


IMG_5019 (394x640)

Serves 6-8

For the meringue

6 eggs, whites

375 g caster sugar

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp cornflour

175 g hazelnuts, lightly crushed, with skin if possible

For the filling

4 poached pears, all juice drained and roughly mashed

300 ml cream



Preheat the oven to 150C.

Draw two circles with a 25cm diameter, on separate sheets of greaseproof/baking paper.

To make the meringues, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a teaspoon at a time.

Mix the vinegar and corn flour to a smooth paste, then fold the mixture into the meringue with 150g of the hazelnuts.

Divide the mixture in half and spread it onto the two silicone paper circles, each on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts over the top of the circles.

Bake the meringues for an hour, turn the oven off and leave the meringues to rest in the oven for another hour. Remove and cool.

Whisk the cream until soft peaks form, then fold in the pears. Spread the filling on one meringue and put the other meringue, right side up, on top. Dust with icing sugar and serve.






IMG_1488 (640x460)

Warm pears, a little lemon surrounded by flaky pastry and of course a generous dollop of cream would make this pretty much perfect!

Makes 4 tarts

6-8 pears or apples

60 g butter

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp grated fresh nutmeg

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp cornflour

1 Tbsp lemon juice

4 sheets puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Sugar for sprinkling

To serve

Icing sugar

Whipped cream or vanilla icecream to serve


Preheat oven 180C

Peel, quarter and core the pears then slice into 1 cm thick wedges.

Heat the butter in a large fry pan or pot and add the sugar, nutmeg and the pears.  Cook over high heat for 10 minutes or until the pears are tender but still holding their shape.  Combine the cornflour and lemon juice until smooth then tip onto the pears and stir to combine.  Cook for 1 minute to thicken the juice.  Set aside.

To assemble: Cut out 4x 16 cm circles of pasty (side plate) and place on a lined baking tray.  Divide the pears with their thickened syrup between the circles, leaving a 2cm boarder around the edge.  Brush the border with the beaten egg then fold the pastry to pleat.  Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sugar.  If time place the tarts in the fridge to harden the pastry for 30 minutes.  If you haven’t got the time then bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is well cooked and puffed and golden.

Serve warm with plenty cream or ice cream.


IMG_4281 (640x285) (2)

serves 4-6

500 ml full fat milk

300 ml cream

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways or a drop or two of vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

200 g sugar

2 Tbsp butter, melted

2 stale but not too stale croissants, halved horizontally

2 apples, halved, cored and roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan and grease a large pie dish or baking. Put the milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
Put the whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a mixer or in a mixing bowl using an electric whisk and whisk until pale and fluffy. Slowly pour the boiled cream into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously until evenly incorporated.

Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and discard the vanilla bean, cinnamon stick and any bits of egg shell that may have accidentally crept in.

Brush the melted butter over the croissants and arrange them in the prepared pie dish or baking pan. Scatter the apples over the croissants in the pan, then pour the custard in over the top.

Using a spatula, press down the croissants so that they start to soak up some of the lovely custard mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. It should still be a little runny in the middle.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, or just some whipped cream flavoured with a little lemon and vanilla extract.



organic lettuce (358) (427x640)

This is a traditional Danish pudding and one that would be great with red or black currants as they like it tart.  However I am using frozen Karaka berries today from Butlers and it works beautifully. 

500g red berries or fruit (red currants, black currants, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, karaka or a combination)

2 ½  cups water

¾  cup sugar

¼ cup cornflour, arrowroot or potato flour mixed with ¼ cup water

250 ml cream, plain or whipped with 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar


Add the fruit well into nonreactive saucepan and cover with 3 cups water; simmer over medium low heat until the fruit falls apart. Remove from heat and strain juice through cheesecloth or a fine-meshed sieve; dispose of berry seeds.

Return juice to heat, stir in sugar, and bring to a low boil; reduce heat to medium and add the dissolved cornflour etc  to thicken. Stir the mixture constantly until it begins to gel to the consistency of a heavy syrup. Remove from heat, pour into individual serving bowls, cover with cling wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days.

Serve chilled with either plain or whipped cream.

otago farmers market – mobile kitchen menu

organic lettuce (353) (640x350)

Its a bit of a mixed bag of ingredients today – a little black pudding from Leckies Butcher is combined with sweet apples baked onto of homemade puff pastry from Gilberts Fine Foods!  Tofu is combined with bok choy and coriander.  Sweet, juicy corn from Rosedale orchards is getting close to finishing and I thought it would be perfect with some tofu in a surprisingly fresh tasty salad.

organic lettuce (330) (640x372)

Apple Tarte Tatin is one of my all time perfect puddings and I thought it must be about the time to make one again!  Apples from Willowbrook Orchard and once again pastry from Gilberts fine foods.

organic lettuce (321) (427x640)


Have a great weekend and don’t forget I am always available to talk food! 


IMG_9813 (640x640)

Serves 2

2Tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil,

250g firm tofu, cut into cubes

20g fresh ginger, sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 bunch bok choy, washed and stems separated

1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry Sherry

½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp  ground white pepper

2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil


Heat a flat-bottomed wok or heavy fry pan over high heat until drop of water added to wok evaporates on contact. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and swirl, then add tofu and stir-fry until tofu just begins to brown, about 1 minute. Transfer tofu to plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same wok (do not clean). Add garlic, ginger and bok choy stir-fry until so that the bok choy  are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Return tofu to wok; add rice wine, salt, sugar, and white pepper. Stir-fry to blend, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in sesame oil and coriander and serve.



black pudding tart (640x459)

The combination of sweet baked apple, comforting potato and moreish black pudding makes this one of my all-time favourites!

Serves 6

1 leek, washed and sliced thinly

4 Tbsp crème fraiche

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

4 waxy potatoes, Nadine, van rosa

2 sweet apples, pacific beauty

400g black pudding

350g puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen but still cold

Flour for dusting

100g gruyere cheese, grated


Cook the potatoes in lightly salted water for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.  Drain well, then cut into thin rounds.

Add a knob of butter to a medium sized fry pan and add the leeks and a sprinkle of salt, cook until soft and tender (5 minutes). Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add another knob of butter and allow to go frothy add the apple slices and cook until they just begin to colour. Remove from the heat.

Mix together the crème fraiche and mustard.

Preheat the oven to 180C

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to your desired round, I rolled mine to a 25cm round and place on a baking sheet. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the crème fraiche mixture evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with the leeks and half the cheese.  Then arrange alternate layers of black pudding, potato and apple on top.  Cover with remaining cheese, sprinkle of salt and grind or two of pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and the base is crisp.

If need be drizzle with a little more oil and serve immediately.



corn1 (640x365)

Combination of creamy tofu with sweet crispy corn work together perfectly for this healthy salad!

Serves 4


Handful fresh coriander

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup orange juice

Dash of Asian fish sauce (optional)

2 cloves garlic

Sprinkle of red chilli


1 tsp smoked paprika

500g firm tofu, drained, cut into 1cm thick slices

1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked until tender

1 capsicum, sliced thinly

1 red onion, finely diced

1 robust lettuce (romaine, cos anything similar)

1 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

To make dressing

Place all ingredients and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

To make Salad

Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Mix tofu with dash of oil and lightly dip or brush onto tofu pieces.  Place onto hot grill, and grill 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cool, and cut into squares.

Gently toss tofu, corn, capsicum, sesame seeds and red onion with dressing and serve immediately on a large platter and enjoy.



This is the ultimate classic dessert which is perfect for end of any meal!  Source good apples and good pastry and the rest will fall into place.

Serves 6

plain flour , for dusting

500 g puff pastry

5 small eating apples, approximately 800g, a mixture of sweet and acidic varieties

100 g golden caster sugar

100 ml Calvados, cider or 50ml water

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out or a drop of vanilla extract

50 g butter, cubed


Preheat your oven to 190˚C. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out your puff pastry until it’s just over 0.5cm thick. This will be enough to cover the ovenproof frying pan you’ll be cooking the tarte Tatin in, leaving about 5cm extra around the edge. Put the pastry to one side for now. Peel your apples, then halve them horizontally and use a teaspoon to get rid of the seeds and core.
Put the ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add the sugar, Calvados, vanilla seeds and pod. Let the sugar dissolve and cook until the mixture forms a light caramel. Just please remember never ever to touch or taste hot caramel, as it can burn really badly.

Once the caramel looks and smells delicious – it should be a lovely chestnut brown – add your halved apples. Carefully stir everything in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples start to soften and you get a toffee apple vibe happening. Add the cubed butter, then lay the pastry over the top. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges – it’s best to use a wooden spoon so you don’t touch the caramel.

Bake the tarte Tatin for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden, with crispy caramelly pieces bubbling up from under the edges. Take it out of the oven. To make it look like a tarte Tatin you need to turn it out, which isn’t hard – but you do need to be careful with that hot caramel. So get a serving plate or board larger than your pan and put an oven glove on to protect the arm holding the board. Put the board or plate on top of the pan, then quickly, carefully and confidently turn it out (remember you can go to www.jamieoliver.com/how-to and see a video of how to do this safely). Put it to one side for a few minutes, so the caramel can cool down, then divide it up and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche or ice cream.


IMG_5596 (640x285)

Serves 4

4 ears corn

50g butter

1/4 cup freshly chopped coriander leaves

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 lime, juiced

Red chili powder, to taste

2 limes cut into wedges, for garnish


Remove the husks of the corn but leave the core attached at the end so you have something to hold onto. Grill the corn on a hot grill or cast iron griddle pan until slightly charred. Turn it so it gets cooked evenly all over. Grate the Parmesan in another bowl. While the corn is still warm slather with butter. Squeeze lime juice over the corn and shower with Parmesan and coriander. Season with chili powder and serve with extra lime wedges.


organic lettuce (361) (640x427)

Alison would like to thank the following producers

LECKIES BUTCHER – black pudding

GILBERTS FINE FOODS/ LIEVITO BAKERY – fresh baked goods and puff pastry

JANEFIELD HYDROPONICS – bok choy and coriander


WHO ATE ALL THE PIES – selection of amazing pies


JIA HE ASIAN FOOD – freshly made tofu