Honeybunch of
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13 / 02 / 2020

I recently made a cake of the same name for our Christmas day lunch dessert. You can see how it turned out in this video, or just believe me when I say, it was a major disappointment. Here I was, wanting lusciously airy-mousy layers, and instead I got a coconut slab of chewy-ness. I wasn't at all pleased with the result, nor with how it semi-spoilt Christmas day - ok it wasn't that bad, but it did dampen the mood slightly.

Since then I have been determined to create what I was hoping the recipe would actually turn out like, and voila Honeybunches - here is the absolute goddess of a dessert I was dreaming of! Light and fluffy mango & passion fruit mousse, sandwiched between sweet moist mango sponge - HEAVEN! Yes, the ingredients cost a bit for this one, so maybe save it for ultra-special occasions such as (dare I suggest), Christmas day.

This recipe needs to chill over-night, so make in advance!

Makes 1 x 24cm (or 9 1/2 inch) mousse cake.
Serves 8-12

Ingredients

Sponge

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C, and start by making your sponge.
  2. In a blender, add the first six Sponge ingredients, down to and including the flesh of the mango cheek. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining Sponge ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet blended ingredients. Gently whisk together to form a semi-thick batter. Pour into a greased (and lined on the bottom) spring-form 24cm (or 9 1/2 inch) cake tin. Smooth over the top and bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until springy to touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, make your Mousse by placing the COYO in a bowl and beating with electric beaters until relatively thick. The odd batch will just become runnier instead of thickening up - which does make your stomach sink - but don't worry!! It will still set, no matter how runny it looks - I promise!!
  5. Rinse out your blender and to it add the remaining mango flesh, lemon juice, vanilla, castor sugar and coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Add to the COYO and beat again to combine. Refrigerate until the cake is cool enough to assemble.
  6. When the cake has cooled to room temperature, use a long serrated knife to saw all the way through, producing two thinner sponge cakes. Cut both halves into strips (that you can easily re-assemble in the round cake shape), so that the mousse and passionfruit pulp can slightly penetrate the sponge.
  7. Assemble one thin sponge cake on the bottom of the same cake tin you cooked it in. Top with a thin layer of passionfruit pulp (minimum 3 passionfruits), so that each sponge top layer has even a smidge of juice on it. Spread over half the mousse (yes it might be incredibly runny, but it WILL set!), repeat with the remaining sponge, topping it with more passionfruit and then spreading over the remaining mousse. Cover with glad wrap (or a plate) and pop in the fridge to set overnight.
  8. When ready to serve, run a knife around the sides of the tin and removes the sides of the pan to reveal the cake. Top with more passionfruit pulp if desired and gobble down!!

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09 / 02 / 2020

This is an incredibly simple and speedy salad recipe that is phenomenally refreshing on hot summer days. However, I also appreciate how well this recipe keeps (thanks to the main ingredient, being cabbage), making it i-deal(!!) for taking leftovers to school/work for lunch the next day. It's fresh, crunchy and (I think) very nostalgic. This recipe is adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe, where I've swapped out the chicken for "chicken" pieces by the brand 'NEXT!' I found at Coles (an Australian supermarket). Use any plant-based chicken you like, or alternatively, fry up some firm, patted dry tofu and use that instead. Either way, it's hella good!!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Method

  1. Start by finely slicing the red onion into half moons. Add to a bowl along with the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, oil and sweet sauce. Stir to combine and break up the onions slightly. Set aside to let the dressing take the edge off the onion.
  2. Finely slice or shred the cabbage with a knife/food processor attachment. Grate the carrot and roughly chop the bunch of mint (stalks and all if you like). Add the cabbage, carrot and mint to a large bowl.
  3. Cook your vegan chicken pieces according to packet instructions, or alternatively crispy-up some tofu in a pan with a little vegetable oil.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to the cabbage bowl and pour over the dressing (onion and all). Toss to combine thoroughly and devour. Yum!


02 / 02 / 2020

Bloomin' heck, I haven't tasted food this good in I don't know how long! You all know, my standard for ‘good-food’ is pretty flippin' high to begin with, so it's got to be off the charts for me to be shaking my head in disbelief at what I'm getting to eat! I’m convinced these are the crispiest potatoes you could ever possibly achieve in an oven, infused with thyme and garlic and topped with a cold creamy vegan feta which has a dairy-like twang (crazy cool!) and even melts for you after a minutes or so. 20/10 these are! 20/10.

And yes they are a bit of effort, but that's semi the point - they're worth every moment of it!

This recipe is inspired by and closely adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's 'Oven Fries with Oregano & Feta' and Erin Ireland's 'The Best Tofu Feta Ever, Hands Down!'.

Serves 3-6 as a side.

Ingredients

Chips

Tofu Feta

Method

  1. Make your feta in advance by draining your tofu and adding it to a food processor with all other Tofu Feta ingredients. Blend until super smooth and combined, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed. Transfer the mixture to an air-tight container and chill for 3 hours minimum.
  2. When the feta is set and you're ready to make your chips, pre-heat your oven to 230C.
  3. Scrub your potatoes clean, but don't peel them. Chop them up into thick fries. Add them to a large pot and cover with just boiled water, add a pinch of salt & bring to the boil. Boil the potatoes until they start to soften (approx. 7-8 minutes). Drain and let them steam dry on a tea-towel for a few minutes.
  4. Toss all potato chips with the grapeseed oil and salt, then spread them out over two trays, so not to over-crowd them.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring/flipping/moving around twice in that time.
  6. When they're looking practically done, take a small saucepan and add the olive oil and garlic. Fry the garlic until smelling sensational and lightly golden. Take the potatoes out of the oven, pour the garlic oil over the chips, toss once more and return to the oven to cook one last time for 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the dried thyme over the chips, along with the feta you made (crumble it slightly before sprinkling). Toss gently to combine, then top with more of the feta and eat up my friend!!

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26 / 01 / 2020

So, I know these look like little fat logs of cabbage, but they are one of the most comforting, delicious, wholesome and nourishing dishes on the planet! It's simple, "peasant"-fare (if I'm not offending anyone by calling them that) - that is surprisingly flavourful! They're slightly sweet, slightly vinegary, herby and very very savoury. The mushroom and rice filling is elevated 200-notches by the tomato sauce which these rolls are cooked in, as it seeps into each unit and carries the flavour to the finish-line of perfection! Please do find a deli that sells a jar of cabbage leaves, and cook these up for your loved ones. Family & friends will ask for them to be on the menu again in no time.

So yes, you can steam a cabbage and use it's leaves, but you end up with a lot of leftover cabbage that way, so I find using a jar not only saves the hassle and leftover cabbage conundrum, but also adds a welcome vinegary-twang to the sauce.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Start by cooking the rice for a few minutes less than the packet instructions suggest, however with the stock cube added to the cooking water. Once a few minutes off perfect, drain (or remove from the heat) and set aside to steam dry a tad.
  2. Grab a large fry-pan, pot or casserole dish and add a large glug of olive oil and a generous knob of butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté until the onion and mushrooms are soft, their juices have been released into the pan and have reduced in size (yet still are a little tender). Add the thyme, dill, mint and paprika and stir to coat. Take the pot off the heat, and add in the rice and stir everything together.
  3. Make the tomato sauce by mixing all the Tomato Sauce ingredients together.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  5. Assemble your cabbage rolls by carefully taking a cabbage leaf from your jar, rinse it off slightly to dull the vinegary flavour just a tad. Then lay on a tea-towel to pat-off the excess moisture and arrange the leaf so that the leaf's base (where the leaf was joined to the cabbage) is closest to you. Add about 1/3 cup of packed mixture (for an average-sized leaf, more of less depending on the size of the leaf - they're not all uniform after all) near the base of the leaf and then roll up tightly like you would a burrito. Place the roll in large deep-baking dish that has a smidge of the tomato sauce splashed on the bottom. Don't be afraid to pack them in tightly. Repeat to use up all the leaves and filling-mixture.
  6. Pour all the Tomato sauce over the rolls (yes, it seems like a lot), cover with foil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes to let the sauce thicken and give the rolls a chance to brown up slightly. Serve as they are, or you can top with parsley and vegan sour-cream (not essential though). Enjoy!

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23 / 01 / 2020

This sauce is absolutely divine! Overflowing with flavour and texture, I would encourage you to think of it more as a 'pesto' in how strong the flavour really is. Yes, it's slightly oily and kind of rich, but that's the beauty of this sauce. It's full of vegetables which I won't rush to say are my favourite, but together and slowly cooked in this way until they are incredibly tender - is utter heaven. I intended this recipe make a lot, because as well as serving it stirred through pasta for a hot dinner, or cold lunch the next day (so GOOD!!), you might like to serve this on bruschetta or freeze some to add into a lasagne, to bump it up 101 flavour notches. Do try this one honeybunches, it's simple yet sophisticated.

Makes approx. 6 cups of sauce. (Serves 8 if stirred through pasta)

Ingredients

Method

  1. Grab a deep dish pot/large & deep fry-pan, and add the olive oil (yes it's a lot, but as I said think of this like a pesto, plus the eggplant absorbs a lot of it) along with the diced onion, capsicum and celery, sautéed over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and sauté until all the veg (the eggplant especially) is incredibly tender and starting to fall apart. It will take approx. 15 minutes, don't rush this step.
  2. Add the garlic, oregano, capers, olives, chilli flakes and a generous sprinkle of salt & pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes longer. It should be incredibly fragrant and beginning to resemble a sauce.
  3. Drizzle in a generous splash of red wine vinegar, stir to de-glaze the pan and then add the two tins of tomatoes. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for approx 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Finally add the parsley and more salt & pepper should you think it needs it. Stir through pasta, serve on bruschetta or incorporate into a lasagne. Enjoy x

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